When The Hammer Falls

It’s been one of those moments, one of those weeks. I have to write it down. On May 16th the hammer fell. I wasn’t there to hear it, but I can picture it. As the judges gavel banged down, it was finished. It was over. 25 years of marriage, 2 years, 2 months of separation, over, done. It was final. Divorce application granted.

To be honest, I was at work. It was just another day. As I checked the courts online 5 minutes after the time of the hearing, the results were in. It was a relief. Done. Dusted. Closure. Until it wasn’t. I then learnt that here in Australia while the judge has signed off, the documents take one month and one day to be processed before the divorce is considered final. I walked that week in deep disappointment. Deep sadness. It was already a long, hard and tiring journey. I just needed it to be done.

Once I accepted that (it took about a week cause I was so focused on it), I realised that it didn’t make a difference. When she hit that gavel down, it was over. In the two weeks since, I have literally become a different person. The period of waiting is done. The new season I have been waiting for and longing for is upon me. These last two weeks it is like a spiritual force has been lifted. A weight has been taken from me. I am no longer tired, I no longer want to stay at home, I no longer want to be silent. I want to LIVE! But not just for me, for God. When I have tried to explain this, some people have told me that it is the freedom that makes me feel like this, or it is the release from the trauma and the closing of the chapter. It may be…. but it is also MORE.

The last two and a half years, and probably before that were like walking through quicksand. Once I made the decision to leave, there was the guilt, the sadness, the numbing pain. There was discouragement, then hope that maybe we could work it out, only to have the hopes dashed again. Then came the spiritual brokenness of being treated like I could be someone’s ‘bit on the side’, the unworthiness of more than one person’s offer of sexual pleasure, of which then they planned on going back home to their partner/wife. There was the search for a job during Covid, the renovating, the days and weeks spent painting, the selling of two houses, the stress of cleaning out everything, splitting funds, trying to find a new home in a booming market, finally the shift, and the time to settle down. It’s a lot. And doing it while you have five children, albeit adults, is still a LOT. I’m thankful for their understanding and support. Even after shifting, the first six weeks, I just wanted to rest. I was tired. I knew a new season was coming, but it didn’t feel like it was here. I just felt done.

But the last two weeks. Its hard to describe. I have had life, and hope. Whereas before I felt alone at church, suddenly I find myself in community there. Where I couldn’t find my place, God has brought not one, but two opportunities and places to serve him – one helping people with their finances, and another helping to lead a small women’s group. I have helped in a food truck feeding the homeless, I have visited friends, and I want to go and I don’t want to stop. I’m no longer surviving life, but I am beyond thriving.

A few nights ago I went to a prayer and worship night at church. My pastor prayed over me and had a word for me. He said that God was making a mosaic out of my life. That where I saw the brokenness, God was crafting it into something beautiful. He said that where I saw the mound of broken pieces, that actually they were already in place, and there were only a few more to go before the mosaic was finished and would be completed. He said to keep my focus on God, not on the rubble, because all that rubble was going to become a thing of beauty. To be honest, I was thinking to myself ‘hmmmm there really isn’t much left, I am feeling very healed’ – until a lady started praying for the men of the church. That they would rise up and be the men God wanted them to be, that they would be devoted to God and Godly husbands etc etc.

At this point I wanted to walk out. I couldn’t pray for them. I just felt my whole body tense up and react to these prayers. I asked God why as others also started praying for the men. I realised it was because I still view men as abusers, controlling, domineering, selfish, liars, and cheaters. It was a deep seated belief. (Like my son says – that is understandable). So in that moment I had to surrender to the idea that actually there was still some healing to be done. But God. Only God. Within two minutes one of the men started praying. He was praying for the same thing. But he said something in his prayer: “God I pray that the strength of men doesn’t come from the creases in their elbows, but by the bend in their knees.” This was and is truly a man of God. He knew that his strength had nothing to do with lifting weights, but everything to do with being on his knees in front of a living God. This was the very man I needed at this moment. He showed me there are men who don’t use their place to hurt, but use it to care. There were men who truly love God and spend their lives trying to honor him. There are men who pursue holiness, who crave righteousness, who want to live in God’s will, and His will only. So, it was a night of revelation and part healing all in one go. Since then I had two ladies who were there come with separate words the received from God over my life. It was so special.

But, back to my point. My days have suddenly changed. Where once I filled them with sleeping or tv, now I am filling them with people. Where once I dragged myself out of bed, now I get up with a sense of anticipation as to what the day might bring. Before I was struggling with studying God’s word and now I am craving it. Before I wondered when my new season would finally begin, and now I’m LIVING IT!

I am wanting to understand more about the spiritual significance of a divorce, but all I can believe is that the moment that hammer hit the wooden block, the old season was finished. The ties that bound me and kept me spiritually trapped were lifted off. I was released. I was free. Not just in body, or emotion, but spiritually free. The significance of the last two weeks, of so many things falling into place, of such a change in me, of the work God is doing in me, of going from what felt like nothing to being ~plonk~ in the middle of a new season. It can only be God.

We think a hammer falling is just a hammer falling. I’m convinced it was as much a spiritual release. It is over. It is done. It is finished. The future awaits and it has never seemed brighter. When the judge wields that hammer down, it truly is the end of the matter.