Monday, March 31, 2008

Dear God, How Do I Answer Her Questions?

This has just been one of those days. Everyday I wake up thankful to be alive, but then there are those moments . . .

My daughter is 6. She's what was once called precocious. This week, she's been telling people that she is suffering from summer pollen. Thursday, she looked at me and said, in the most somber voice, "Momma, is Nationwide really on our side?" She tells her brother (he's a year old) on a daily basis that he needs to grow up, but not too fast. Normally, it's just great entertainment to listen to what she comes up with, but tonight in the bath tub she blindsided me.

"Momma, I want to make sure I pick the right husband when I grow up."

I was not quite sure where she was going with that. So I replied, "Sweetie, if you talk to Jesus about it, and always remember to seek Him first no matter what, I'm sure that won't be a problem." End of discussion - I hoped. Wrong.

"Momma, was Daddy the right husband for you?"

Yikes. Difficult, but not impossible. "Yes, sweetie, I think God brought us together. He gave us you and David, and we both love you."

"If Daddy was the right husband, why doesn't he live here anymore? Why doesn't he love you? Momma, I'm just so sad."

There are no right answers then. Only pain in a tiny heart. Only pain in my heart too. How do I tell her that I prayed every day, for many years, that God would change her Daddy's heart. How can I tell her that I was SO SURE I was in His plan, but sometimes now I wonder? I don't want her to know what Daddy has done. I want . . . so many things. But now, God, I need an answer, because she's waiting for me to give her one.

So, since I didn't have one, we prayed. Yep, with her in the bathtub, and David saying, "Duck . . .quack" in baby voice. There was no revelation, but she eventually stopped crying and we went to watch an episode of *Little House on the Prairie*. I'm still waiting for the lightning and thunder - the answer to her question.

Because I want the answer too.

I don't know the answers or the reasons why. I only know that He who made heaven and earth is looking after us both. For me, it's enough. For her, I think it will be too. He is faithful, even when others are not. He is God. He took away the pain in my heart when I asked Him to, instantly. I pray that He will do the same for my baby. Please Jesus, heal her heart.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Death of a Marriage: May 21, 1994 - March 20, 2008

The call came at around 2:00 this afternoon. The judge had signed my final divorce decree, and my marriage was over. Thirteen years, 9 months, 29 days from the day it began, it was over.

I wasn't quite sure how I would feel when it was final - oh, I had ideas, but nothing definite. Having had approximately nine hours to reflect, this is as good as it gets:

1) I am relieved. My marriage became a lie a long time before I was willing to admit it. I was working, giving, loving, and trying, while my partner - my husband who had promised to love and cherish me - was constantly pursuing his own interests and excluding the family we had created. My custody order is in place. I have primary custody of my children, and I am able to make most decisions concerning their care.

2) I am sad. It is a death. I had many dreams on the day I married. I had many dreams, not even very long ago, about what marriage meant. The dreams are officially dead today. And I'm okay with that. It was time. Yet I am still sad.

There are benchmark moments in this life. Our births are celebrated each year. Later anniversaries. We know exactly where we were the moment we found out our first child was coming into the world. We remember the moment we looked into that tiny face and saw the mystery of creation and the glory of God reflected in this tiny human face. Everyone remembers where they were when they heard the towers had been hit by airplanes. We remember our wedding day . . .

And I will choose to remember this day as the end of the beginning of my life. I am no longer naive. No longer a child. I know who I am, why I am on this planet, and what I must do. I will walk forward and do it.

And never again will I settle for anything less than everything that I deserve from someone who claims to love me. This is the lesson I have learned.