I ran into an old friend in the grocery store yesterday…someone who used to go to my church, someone who knew me and my husband when we first got married and watched us serve and have kids and be, you know, actually married.  We hugged, and the pleasantries began.  How are the kids?  You’re a grandpa??  And yours?  Are you still writing?  Is your husband still —?
Yes, he is, I answered.
And then I took a moment. And in that moment I had a choice to make: drop the mask or keep it firmly affixed.
I plowed ahead, quietly, gently, “…but we’re divorcing.”
The look on his face told me that I had just completely blindsided him. He had not seen that coming. (No one had.) At first, I could tell he didn’t know what to say. I tried to fill the silence with, “I’m sorry…that was a big thing to drop on you in the grocery store…”
And then he said, “No, I’m sorry. I’ve always known you to be wonderful in so many ways. {He seriously said that sentence to me.} If you have come to this decision, it must’ve been so hard and with God’s help.”
“It was a hard marriage the entire time…I just did a pretty good job of covering it up and acting like things were better than they really were.”
Pause.
“Just when you think you’ve got life all figured out, huh?”
“I know,” I said quietly.
“Well, this is what I know…I know that God is with you and you’ll be okay.”
We talked a few more minutes, filled in a few more details. He gave me another hug and said “love you” (in the most gracious and appropriate way).
I could tell he was thrown. I felt badly for doing that to him…that my life choices could do that to somebody.
I couldn’t get out of the store fast enough. Though it could’ve been so, so much worse…he could’ve looked at me with disgust as opposed to compassion…he could’ve said harsh, judgmental words instead of sweet and healing ones…I still felt like was walking around the store all splayed open. “Here’s my heart, what’s your hurry?”
And when I got into my car, I cried. I still can’t believe I’m the girl who uses words like “I’m divorcing”. Maybe that’s good…not that the decision was wrong for us or will be overturned — we are way beyond that point…but maybe it’s good that it still gets to me. That it still stings. That I’m not cavalier about it. I never want those words to just roll off my tongue. And I don’t think they ever will.

If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.