Thursday, April 16, 2009


I parked two blocks away from the courthouse this morning. I was early, and wanted to take a few minutes to clear my head with a nice walk. The cool morning air and overcast sky matched my mood. But once I started walking, little blessings popped up all over. The beautiful dogwood tree blossoms, pink and white, smelled wonderful. Bright yellow and ivory daffodils opened to the sky. A brown, fuzzy, and fat squirrel stared at me as I walked by, and when I looked up, a blackbird chirped from a tree.

God is with me, I thought. And indeed He was.

I crossed the busy intersection to the courthouse, went inside, put my bag on the x-ray machine, then made my way up to District Court, 3rd Floor. My phone rang. It was the soon-to-be ex.

"I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you today," he said.

"Thank you," I said. But then the tightness started in my throat, crept up through my cheeks, and was released through tears. "But I can't really talk right now."

"Ok," he said. And we hung up. I suppose that is our last conversation as husband and wife.

My lawyer showed up, and we went through the paperwork. "These are the questions I'll ask you," he said. Easy, yet incredibly hard questions.

The court case before ours made me shake my head. He'd violated his probation, and the original crime was alcohol-related. I remember my own ex's struggle with alcohol. Seeing this other guy have his life wrecked from alcohol just reinforced my thought that yes, this divorce was the right thing to do.

Then it was our turn. I stood in front of the judge, raised my right hand, took the oath, then sat in the witness chair. My lawyer asked me the questions. Then came the tough one.

"Do you feel your marriage is irretrievably broken?"

A moment of panic. Was it? Had we tried everything? Could we absolutely not make this work?

"Yes," I answered.

And then it was over. 10 years of marriage over in 10 minutes. I felt numb. Should I cry? Should I smile and laugh that I no longer had to endure the pain? I did neither.

As I left the courthouse, the same drab sky and chill wind greeted me. It matched my mood. And then, when I walked back to my car, I saw the dogwood blossoms...the daffodils...the birds...and I knew God was with me.


  1. I'm so sorry. Life can throw us up to the clouds in delight or pound us into the ground in pain. I wish there were words to make it better, but I've found that even when I make the right decisions, the pain lingers in the recesses of my heart--sometimes forever.

    Be extra kind to yourself right now. God IS with you.

  2. Wow Melissa. What a hard morning. I felt like I was right there with you in the post.

    Praying for you today.

  3. I bet that was hard but yes it is Spring, a time for renewal.

  4. Thanks for sharing a bit of your pain. You'd described it so well. I'm sure God will use this time to strengthen your writing--I saw the beauty of your writing shining through in that pain!

  5. My thoughts and prayers.

  6. Sending lots of warm thoughts your way. Brian's right; spring is the time for renewal.

  7. Big hugs, Melissa. I'm glad, though, you didn't feel alone and were able to see the beauty in this world, even at one of the most difficult times in your life.

    More hugs.

  8. Melissa, I'm so thankful He lifted you up, just as He promises to when we need it most.

    Sending you virtual hug after virtual hug.

  9. I am so sorry for the finality of this. I knew you had to go through it yet I am certain when it happens, it still hits hard. I am so thankful too you know God as your savior and that he knows your pain now and he will minister to you through others. take good care of yourself in the coming days-- I'm praying for you that lots and lots of joy is coming your way!

  10. Melissa, my heart is so hurting for you. Thank God for those dogwoods. I am praying for you, friend. He will never let you go.

  11. It struck me on my own D-Day that just like there's a place you get married, there's a place you get divorced. I drive past it occasionally. One day I walked in married and when I left, I wasn't. It was abrupt and deliberate even though it had been a slow build and a conscious decision.

    One of the lines of my novel is:

    One minute married, one minute not.

    I think it was was shocked me, in real life, most of all.

  12. Ah, Melissa, I'm so sorry. What a rough day.

    Be kind to yourself. *hugs*

  13. You're handling tough times well. xo

  14. Your friends are also with you.

  15. Written with beauty and grace. Take that forward with you!

  16. Best Wishes for the future, Melissa. May you find true happiness.


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