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.

For You

At every turn I pray tenderness floods your soul, beauty captures your heart and wonder saturates your mind.

Imagine a world where we strive for our souls to be filled instead of our houses.

Imagine a world where our hearts overflow instead of our credit card.

Imagine a world where our eyes are full of wonder instead of greed.

Imagine. ❤️

Dear Christian Friend…

I value you, or I wouldn’t have shared my story with you. I love you because of your beautiful heart and love for God. I treasure you because you make me feel known by you. Or you did. Until now. Until I told you I left my husband.

I shared my story, I poured out my heart and you said you would pray for us. I knew you would, but please don’t pray for reconciliation. There will be none. My only prayer is this does not happen. I am scared of being forced back into a marriage of loneliness, control and where my soul dies every day.

I thought you knew me, but I find myself wondering. You send me words and yes I hear your beautiful heart for Gods best – but don’t you think that is what I have searched for? What I have strived for? The reason I have put so much energy and so many years into this marriage?

Do you think I have left him on a whim? Do you think I haven’t spent 25 years hoping God would truly be the foundation of our marriage? Do you think I haven’t used up 100% of my emotional, mental and spiritual energy?

Friend – I am exhausted. I have been bullied, disrespected, unloved, and made to feel invisible. I am giving by nature. Do you not think I have given all I have and more to this?

Dear Christian Friend – when you say you pray we get back together I hear you saying it’s ok for me to be treated badly. You are saying it’s ok for my health to suffer. You are saying it’s ok for me to be unloved. When you say God wants us back together, I hear it’s ok for me not to matter, and it’s ok to live a lie.

Why is that? Is it because if we stayed married it makes you feel better? Do you think it will make God love us more? Or does he love me less now? Does it make us better people because we ‘hung in there’. Do you believe that God can restore me as an individual or will I forever be a let down because I will be divorced?

I know you mean well, but dear friend, please do not heap more shame, guilt and failure upon me. I have put enough on myself. I do not need your judgements or your ‘Godly’ advice because my heart is broken that God was only talk and not action for the past 25 years in my marriage. Do you not think I want to honour God too? Why does it appear to bring more honour to God by living a lie, than it does by being honest?

Dear Christian Friend, I can acknowledge my own failings. I acknowledge I am not perfect and I have messed up more times than I can count. But right now, I stand in front of you a shell of the person God created me to be. I stand in front of you tired and worn down. I stand here without hope. I stand here needing your loving kindness, not your ideals.

So dear friend – please change your language. Please try a different way to communicate with me. Maybe say:

‘I know if must have taken a lot for you to get to this point. I am sure it has taken massive amounts of courage for you to make this call. My heart breaks for you. How can I be of most help to you? How can I pray for you?’

My friend, I love you. And right now I am sensitive and vulnerable. I need your support. I need you to show me that God still looks at me tenderly. I need your prayers. More than ever I need you to pray for healing and gentleness for me, my husband and my children.

My Dear Christian Friend…. I have been you. I know you mean well. But you are hurting me. You may not be able to walk a mile in my shoes, but please, please open your arms with gentleness and love. Please love with tenderness and compassion.

Your reaction is more important than you know.

Love me,

Your friend who is separated and searching for God in the shipwreck. ❤️

In The Silence

Who are you in the silence?

When Gods whisper has stilled

And his presence is void

Who are you when the world is not watching?

When it’s you, just you

No demands, no pull

Who are you when you look in the mirror?

When tenderness tints your lense

and love covers your embrace

Who are you when you look at your lack?

When the gaps glare back

And the darkness threatens to descend upon you

Who are you when standing in the presence of the cross!

Covered in sin and shame

Face down in guilt, arms stretched wide in grief

Who are you when the world seems threatening?

when the ugliness surrounds

and the abyss pulls you closer

Who are you when standing in the sun?

Warmth flowing through,

basking in its goodness and love

Who are you when the world is beneath your feet?

The heartbeat of the nations thundering in your soul

The tears of the helpless making streaks across your cheeks

Who are you but a multi faceted soul

searching for meaning,

for purpose, for acceptance

When your heartbeat is dancing, demanding, exploding,

When your spirit is sad, and troubled

When your body is tired and weak

Simply whisper

I am enough!