Friday, June 3, 2011

On Departing, and Parting Ways, Pt. 2

It is never too late to become what you might have been. -George Eliot

Photobucket Photo

I asked Christ into my heart when I was eight, but--somewhere in my mid teens--I stopped talking to Him very much, except sometimes in crisis mode, and not always then.  Not when I found myself in a real pickle at 22, states away from home, and moved in with a sweetheart of a man in my apartment complex.  3 days after going out with him for the first time. 

Then (having been taught straight out the KJV for over a decade) I felt all convicted and weird about living with someone outside of marriage, so I married him.  I loved him, and I still do (in the exact same way I love my cousins), but--in almost seven years of marriage--we had precious few, happy days.  Even the happy days weren't, like, woo-hoo-life-is-awesome happy days: unless you count the day our son slid into the world. 

Our son slid out; I slid further and further down the rabbit hole.

(Before I proceed, I want to make a point of saying: my ex-husband has never been anything but the same sweetheart of a man I met when I was 22.  We were just--from the outset!--a bad match.)

I held on for the longest time, but I reached, finally, some kind of breaking point in early 2004, and I remember praying this exact prayer to God:

I can't do it, anymore, God.  Even if Your son Jesus Christ descends right this moment and says I have to stay, I'll tell Him: no, I can't.  So I'm begging You to help me find a way out. 

Now, you can say what you like about God as pertaining to marriage and divorce.  I know what His Word says on the topics; I do.  And I'm not trying to encourage anyone to enter marriage or divorce lightly; in fact, I intend for my words to have the opposite effect.  Because both marriage and divorce can bring almost unimaginable pain.

The facts remain:

Within two weeks of my praying a desperate prayer, two things happened: 1) I was offered (seemingly out the blue!) a full-time position at work, and 2) my sister-cousin Andrea called, and we had a conversation that went something like this:

Andrea (who lived in L.A. at the time): "Brandee Renee, I'm thinking of moving.  And I'm thinking of moving closer to family.  And I'm thinking...what do you think of my moving near you?"

Me: "That would be great!  Because I'm thinking of moving, too."

Andrea: "Oh!  Well, in that case, I'll buy a house big enough for all of us."

Not long after (and everything about the moment has been etched, permanently, into my brain), my ex-husband and I were standing in our kitchen, when I looked at him and asked: "Aren't you tired?  Because I'm so tired.  I just feel like we beat our heads against the wall, daily."

He looked at me, nodded, and agreed: "I'm really tired." 

I shared with him my thoughts about moving out, and--almost instantly, like magic--the tension between us began to evaporate.

Soon after, Andrea and her daughter Brandi drove across the country and moved into the house with my ex-husband, our son, and me, where we all lived happily, together, for several months until everyone moved out (and back in, together) except my ex-husband and....sort of?...our son (who has bounced like a ping-pong ball between two houses for seven years, now).

So I feel like I have this message, and I haven't hammered it out, entirely, but it has to do with how, sometimes, with God alongside, reverse can work as a direction.  Backwards can be ok.  A done can be undone.  And--in the interest of full disclosure--I just want to throw it out there: in the wild, blossoming center of my honest heart, I hold out hope that Thomas Wolfe was wrong and that, sometimes, you can go home again.  (And by home, I mean my home town, where my parents live.)

I'll let you know. 

In the meantime, I can't wait to share with you the part of my story about parenting one child out of two houses.  With big, Jesus love.

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