So lets get to the nitty-gritty… lets talk about why the name of this blog is “Jesus loves your Ex-Husband and his Momma too”. It’s not because I have it all together and want to tell the world how to do it, it’s because it’s a work in progress. From my fleshly perspective, it is ALWAYS a struggle to truly empathize for or see things from my ex-husbands perspective. But from my knees – I can see him and his family in the same light that our Heavenly Father shines on me. I can see grace for him, I can see forgiveness, I can see the good heart God gave him, I can see the blessing he is to OUR daughter!
To be truly transparent here I want to give you some back story. I’m divorced because I left. I left a marriage that was young, fragile, fractured – but not broken. I can’t give you some huge sob story to convince you all to see that he was a terrible human being and I needed to get out. There’s not one. We each had our fair share of wrongs. Our perspective was WAYYYYYYYYY off base on what marriage is because we both grew up in homes that were ran by one parent. One parent CONTROLLED EVERYTHING. Control was an issue for both of us. I would dare say we both created huge wounds in each other by exerting control in different areas of our lives. But the bigger issue was insecurity. I can’t speak for my ex so this next part is just about me.
INSECURITY is an understatement for the emotional roller coaster I lived on and still fight to stay off of to this day. I wanted to believe that people around me loved me and would never leave me but I didn’t. I wanted to put ALL MY HOPE in the people right beside me. And when those people let me down, I felt betrayed and hurt. I didn’t know Jesus the way I know him now. I was searching for something only God could give me but I didn’t even know I was missing anything. I was young physically but emotionally I was a child. I needed sooooo much more than any one human could give. I don’t tell you these things to lessen the reality that I walked out on a marriage. I tell you this so you will understand the level of desperation I created in myself. I can’t play like a victim of divorce – I created the divorce. It was me. Did he do some things along the way, sure. Did he leave? Nope. I did.
In 2006, I decided I wanted out. It was too much to trust that this was gonna last. It was too much to forgive the things he had or hadn’t done. And it was easier to cling to someone new to fill all the voids I had in my heart. I had seen, lived, and been told that marriages don’t last and all husbands are cheaters so why stick around?? He didn’t cheat and I actually didn’t either. I just left like it was a high school boyfriend I could walk away from and move right onto the next man. I left and within two-weeks or so I had another crush from work to spend time with and that gave me all the crazy feelings that would temporarily fill the wounds in my heart. I just knew he would love me better. For the first few months of my separation from my ex-husband, I dated this new guy. Then my ex-husband and I decided we would try to work it out. But after just a couple of months, I left again and went straight back to the same boyfriend. I would later find that this boyfriend was affirmation for all the things I had been told – “men are rotten”, “all men cheat at some point”, and “men don’t stick around”. Yep – he was rotten, he was a cheater, and he would break-up with me at the drop of a hat and then swoop back-in with the right words just when he wanted to. This went on for a number of years… from the end of 2006 to 2010 we were on again… off again! Thankfully, around the end of 2009 I had started attending some Wednesday night services at a local church with a friend and was beginning to be exposed to more and more of God’s word. If you’ve read my first blog, you know I gave my life to Christ in 2011 at the funeral of my ex-husbands second wife’s father… haha! God clearly has a sense of humor as that has now become my testimony and I find myself sharing that nearly everyday! And to further that humor, God got right up in my face about that boyfriend.
After nearly a year of attending Wednesday night services at Church of the Highlands (Birmingham, Al), I began to really see and feel that everything I was doing was wrong. In late 2010, I hadn’t yet given my life to Christ but I started to pray. Pray for Christ to lead me and show me direction. I knew I wasn’t supposed be hurting emotionally or feeling empty the way I did. I felt that God was weighing on my heart to get rid of that boyfriend. I had finally decided to break it off for good in October 2010. Per his usual fashion, around mid-November, he called and insisted on meeting for dinner at a Mexican restaurant after I got off from work one day. I obliged, but didn’t feel quite right about it. I remember driving to the restaurant and yelling out “God – help me! I’m so confused! Show me a sign or give me something! Damn it! Why are you letting me do this? God I’m tired of being hurt. DO SOMETHING PLEASE GOD!” and I ended that prayer/demand/desperate plea with a nice slammed fist on my steering wheel as I parked my car. I walked into the restaurant and put a smile on as he proceeded to woo me with all the right words. By the end of dinner, he had convinced me to come back to his house for a movie night. Little did I know, I was about to get that sign from God I had just ever-so-politely demanded, haha! As he walked me to my car to leave, I could see something stuck to my driver-side window. When we got closer I could see a boot on my tire. The sticker on the window read “you aren’t supposed to be here” it was signed by the tow-truck driver with a hand-written cellphone number to call. I knew immediately! I wasn’t supposed to be there and I wasn’t supposed to go watch movies! I quickly turned and said to my boyfriend – “you need to go, now! I asked God for a sign and this is it – we’re done!”. After a small discussion and looking at me like I just fell out of the Bible-thumper-tree, he left. I called the tow-truck driver to come remove the boot. It was supposed to be a $250 fee. But when he got there, I was visibly upset and he asked if I was okay. As I started to share with him what I felt like was my sign from God, he looked at me and said “young-lady, when God speaks you listen – if you don’t He’s gonna get all up in your face until you do”! He didn’t charge me a dime. He sent me on my way on a promise that I would seek God every time I missed that boyfriend. Oh how I wish I had gotten his name or even paid attention to the small name on his homemade tow-truck!
Of course, there is a lot of details that happened between 2006 and my salvation in 2011. Many of those details will be subjects of future blogs. But what I want you to take away from this blog today, is I am not innocent…. I have my fair share of wrongs. I left a marriage for a boyfriend. I filled the nights that I didn’t have my daughter with bars, parties, and alcohol to keep my heart from hurting while she was gone or to keep myself too busy to grieve my marriage. But God can do so much with the messes we create! And I had no idea of the things to come that would make my testimony and turn me into the person I am today!
A psalm of David.
PSALM 23, NIV
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.