I grew up in a Southern Baptist family where divorce was just not something that was even discussed. It was not an option, families stayed together no matter what. Examples had been set that no matter what the situation you stayed. Stories were told about an ancestor generations back who had stayed in her marriage until death even though, her husband was a womanizer and even worse. When I began dating this ideology stuck with me. I was looking for a husband, a forever kind of love. A love of commitment that would last a lifetime that would mimic that love that had been modeled for me by my parents and grandparents. One day I met a guy and I thought over the next few months that I had found that forever kind of love, but within a few short years my world was shattered. We had had our issues, but I knew I wouldn’t leave. Not until I spoke with my pastor and after counseling sessions and there being no attempt from the other side to make an effort to make changes towards healing our marriage, did I even begin to consider his suggestion of separation. It took months before I had up the courage to stand up for myself and make the statement that if an active effort was not going to be made that I would ask him to leave.
Even after I made the decision that the pastor was right, that some time apart would help us make a final decision, it still took time before I actually got the nerve to take the next step. I came home from what was supposed to have been a joint counseling session that I had gone to by myself and with tears in my eyes neatly folded and packed all of his clothes in trash bags and packed up all his belongings and stacked them neatly in the living room and then went into my office closed the door and began to pray. Not a word was said, he just picked up his stuff and didn’t come back. That day I felt like the sun had set on all my hopes and dreams. I felt like my dreams of being a wife and a mother had been shattered, and I had no way of seeing the big picture, all I could see was that my heart was broken and I wasn’t sure how life would ever be good again. I felt cold hearted and black on the inside, I felt dirty and shameful even though I knew I had biblical reasons for initiating the separation.
I never thought that there would ever be a sunrise on a new day. I had been left with rent on the house and all the bills, on top of losing my job just a few months prior, I had no car and no way to get to a job even if I could find one. If someone had told me that this was sunset on my marriage, but that there would be a beautiful sunrise in a few months on the new part of my life I would not have believed them, but the interesting thing about sunrise is that the time between sunset and sunrise gets very dark. We always know that the sun will come up the next day, our body has been trained to think that way. We don’t worry that the sun will come up again, we just believe in the goodness of God that it will. So why was this any different. I knew what to expect but I didn’t want to believe it.
The good news is there is sunrise after separation, I sit here 13 months after I packed my husbands things and gave him the option to leave, and I see light on the horizon. Things didn’t work out for us to fix our marriage, but I see the amazingly strong woman I have become. I have learned some hard lessons, I have cried a lot of tears, I have been angry with God, and run from my friends at times, but I know that in the long run the sun WILL come up, and the thing about sunrise is its always beautiful from Gods view. We may sometimes only see part of the sunrise due to fog or rain, but sunrise always happens.
The view of the first light on the horizon of the night following my separation is such a beautiful sight, but even sunrise takes time. I know that in time the beautiful colors will spread across my life and the dark season of night will be over, but until then I must just sit quietly and wait.