On December 21 I was blessed with the day off work. Despite needing to do a million and one things to get ready for Christmas, I answered God's call to retreat. So after work on the 20th, I went to Camp Lutherhaven in Albion, Indiana to spend an evening and a day away in retreat and prayer. The camp offers this at no charge. I just needed to get away and process all that has gone on in my life in the past 18 months...separation, divorce (which isn't even final yet), three surgeries (one which was an emergency), moving to a new home and starting a new job. I definitely had some grief-work to do as well as to have a time to simply rest in God's arms.
The divorce will be final soon, and I have mixed feelings about it. Dave insists on telling the kids that his having affairs were Biblically-based. Heather voluntarily told me that he said in his mind, we were already divorced when he pursued the affairs. He told her that in the Bible if a man wanted a divorce from his wife, he would hand her a piece of paper requesting the divorce, and it was done. He said that he had asked me for a divorce for over two years, and that every time I talked him out of it. Thus, because he requested the divorce, he was free to pursue other relationships.
I pray daily that the Lord would set a guard over my mouth, but I do not tolerate un-Biblical truth. When Heather shared that information, I simply said, "Heather, I am not going to throw your dad under the bus, but what he did was NOT Biblical!"....and by God's grace that is ALL I said.
He also has some rather unfair ideas of how we are to divide up some debt that we have. He makes over $90,000 a year, and I make $30,000. Yet he thinks we are going to divide up the debt equally, which I am absolutely not going to accept.
My poor van is also on its last legs, having needed numerous repairs in the past several weeks. It is my hope that when I receive half of Dave's 401K that I can cash out some of it to replace the van and roll the rest of it immediately into a 401K that I have offered through my job.
Emotionally, I have my ups and downs. I resent that I am all alone, and Dave has merrily moved onto a relationship. Heather and I went to a local restaurant for brunch after church one day, and, to my absolute shock and surprise, we saw Dave with his boyfriend. Fortunately, we were seated far away from each other with a retaining wall separating us.
I sat in shock for a few moments after we were seated, placed our order and then went to the restroom to cry. I came out and put on a brave face for Heather, who didn't really understand what was going on. I encouraged her to go say hello to her dad, and then I basically ignored that he was there. He later acknowledged to me that he was with someone of romantic interest and commented that I was welcome to talk to him in public if I saw him with someone. When he said that I was so dumb-founded that I said nothing.
Fortunately, in the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to tell the kids the truth about Dave. He is furious that I told them, but, after much thought and prayer, decided the truth could wait no longer.
Thank God I have raised kids whom I have taught not to judge. They all three feel it is not their place to judge Dave's lifestyle. They are, however, shocked and bewildered by it, and angry with him that he chose to cheat on me. He, of course, has a litany of excuses for his behavior and often tells the kids it is my fault for a variety of reasons. I have repeatedly told the kids that it takes two people to make a marriage work; it takes two people to make a marriage fail; and I am not without fault. I draw, the line, however, with his adultery.
I am desperately trying to honor Dave as the kids' father, even though it is terribly hard. I also continue to tithe in the face of impossible odds and high medical bills. I am doing my best to be obedient to God. As I was praying and meditating on this during my retreat, God led me to this important verse:
"The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17.
It is my hope and prayer that I live a life worthy of God's rejoice!