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WARNING:  I am going to write quite a bit more personally today than I normally do.  Proceed with caution.

FB_IMG_1510540790433As might be evident, I have intentionally avoided talking about my pending divorce here.  Now and then the topic has come up in a blog, but it’s just not something that I have wanted to put out there in this blog.  It’s a challenge to me as there are not too many off switches in my personality, my normally introverted extrovert self has no problem sharing whatever is itching at my soul, my heart an open book.  Anyone who knows me will probably tell you that I am embarrassingly open.  Just ask my children and they will give you an emphatic YES.  It’s the way that I am put together, the way that I have to be, both a blessing and a curse at times.

Part of the reason that I am reluctant to bring up the topic of my divorce here is my faith.  Hopefully, it is evident that I try to live my life in a way that honors God.  I want people to see my flaws, see me as genuine, but I also am afraid of showing a side of me that is contrary to what is expected of a person who wants to be known as a Christ follower, a Christian.  Divorce is a touchy subject when it involves Christians, a decision that can not be made without a whole lot of prayer, study, and talking with friends who also know God.  With me, the last few years (more than just a few) involved just that.  This was not a decision that I or my wife made overnight.  When I asked my wife for a divorce two years ago, I asked in a way that was more of an ultimatum — I need you to change, have dealt with the questions and issues enough that I need to see if you really want to be married to me.  Ultimately, she didn’t.  Say what she wants, but it was just as much or more her decision.  We both gave up.  Frankly, I don’t know who gave up first. When I did give up, I gave her enough reasons to do the same.  Years of disrespect towards me took its toll and I could no longer find a place to stuff it.

For me, I need to know that God is OK with my decision to divorce.  How odd it has felt to pray and ask God if He could bless something that I know full well God does not approve of.  Even more odd is that I could and can see that God is blessing the decision.  The months since our final separation, when we sold our house and moved into our own places, have not been a time of moving away from God.  On the contrary, I felt the wall of pain crumble, the constant stress of living with two people who were toxic to me suddenly taken away.  My walk with God has become constant, my hunger to learn more amplified by the opportunity to read and study, to bask in the quiet.  There has been much needed healing.  I can see it in myself, I can see it in my children (even my son), even see it in my wife. There is no desire to reunite, as we both see that this divorce is something that needs to happen.  We both are at peace, I think.

My son is reaching out to me.  The distance has been good for us.  He texts me, calls me now and then.  Saturday night, he sent me videos he took at the concert he was at, evidence of the influence that I have had on him over the years.  I have been the one to go to concerts with him, ball games, played golf with him as well as plenty of other sports.  I see him trying to mature, a challenge to the males of today in this age of stunted maturity.  There is hope.

And that is what this whole thing is about… hope.

Wednesday morning at 9 AM is the final hearing, the prove up.  Unless something happens to change things, I will be divorced in two days.

The next chapter begins.

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