One of the highlights of my days when I am at school is sitting around the table at lunch with fellow teachers. In the beginning of the year, we had to sit at real lunchroom tables. You know the ones. They have those little round seats. You have to be six and weigh fifty pounds to fit on them! We were so thrilled the day that our principal got us a "real" table with "real" big people chairs.
I would usually eat lunch with about four women and four men. We are all from different walks of life. When I was in the "dark place," I did not eat with them for about six weeks. They all knew something was wrong. Different ones would stick their head in my door. "You okay, Adams?" "Yes, I am fine," I lied. Why do we wait so long to reach out to people for help? Why are we so bound and determined to do things on our own? With me, I think that I was holding out that all of this would just "go away," and life would go back to normal. I could once again join them at the lunch table as the happy one who was always smiling.
Well, life didn't go back to normal. Finally, I came to the day that I knew I needed to go join them again. No one asked where I had been. No one pried. They just gave me my space and let me sit quietly. Slowly, over time, I began to talk. At first our talks were very serious. They listened. They sympathized. They did not judge. As the weeks passed, we started drawing closer to the end of the school year. The gravity of my situation was finally beginning to lift a little. I could feel myself slowly pulling out of the "dark place." Finally, I could sit at the lunch table, and once again we could laugh.
One day when we were sitting there, the dean looked at me. He said, "Adams, I have been divorced. Let me prepare you for what is coming next. Everybody and their brother is going to try to set you up with somebody." Are you kidding me??? I have been married to the love of my life for twenty-one years, and people would honestly think that I want to go that route anytime in the remotely near future??? He said, "Just wait."
Well, people have been gracious and not pushed too hard, but I have gotten plenty of advice about finding the "next relationship."
- "Before you date, check the bank account. Marry for money. Do nothing all day and drive a Lexus." (From a fellow male teacher...He went on to say, "Heck, that's what I would do if I was a woman. You can get used to ugly.")
- "Take your time. You need to give yourself at least a year to find yourself." (From several friends who had been in a similar situation.)
- "Okay, as soon as you're ready, I got a great guy to set you up with. He's a really nice guy, and he drives a Mercedes. (This was from my dear friend's husband. What is it with men and cars??)
And I think my favorite one was:
- "Take a bus trip; that is where I found my man." (From my "older" twisted sister, Ellen.)
On a serious note, my very wise friend whom I mentioned in an earlier blog gave me the best advice yet. She said, "Amy, it is now over." Gosh, I still can't stand to hear those words. Sometimes I am still in denial and find myself thinking that it is all really a very bad dream. But she is right. It is over. She then went on to say, "Now, let God be your husband."
What does it mean to let God be your husband? I have pondered that, and here is the best answer that I can discern. I read a quote recently that said, "A divorce is like an amputation; you survive it, but there is less of you." By making God my husband, he can help me rebuild those missing parts and make me into the person that he wants me to be. I think all too many times, people look to human relationships to restore what was destroyed. Just hang with me a minute. I am not saying that we cannot go on and have other relationships. I am sure that some day I will get to that point. But right now I am broken. I do not need to look to a person to "fix me." God needs to do that. Then down the road, when I am whole again, who knows? To me, that is what it means to "make God my husband."
So for now, my Facebook status could be "in a relationship"...with God! And there is one thing about which I am certain. This is exactly where I need to be. So to all the cupids out there...maybe one day! For now, you are going to have a pretty hard time setting me up with someone as perfect as the guy I have!
Isaiah 54:4-5 (New Living Translation)
“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame.
Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you.
You will no longer remember the shame of your youth
and the sorrows of widowhood.
For your Creator will be your husband;
the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name!
He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,
the God of all the earth."