Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Locked Out

One of the things they talk about in my divorce class is how your energy is not equally balanced over the things in your life anymore. They say up to 85% of a person's energy is consumed in the emotional area, leaving only 5% mental, 5% spiritual, and 5% physical. I have really felt that over the past several months, hence barely exercising, the piles of stuff in my apt, dinners of scrambled eggs, and just feeling an inability to make decisions and feeling easily overwhelmed. I feel that I've been trying to be careful, but last night was one of those moments and I found myself locked out of my apt.
I'd like to think it was because I was borrowing mom's car so I had her keys and didn't grab mine, but anyway. I got home last night around 11 and found myself sitting on the stoop trying to decide what to do. It didn't end up too bad- I went and stayed at a friend's and then in the morning the apartment complex lady let me in when she came into the leasing office.
She knows I'm moving out and why and said she was really sorry to hear about the divorce. She said she had said to her husband, 'oh no, the cutest couple in the world' were getting divorced. It's funny to me how people even outside our lives could see that. The guy at the bank who had opened our accounts, the other day when I went to close them said, 'you guys seemed so good together'. Yeah, I thought so too.
One of the guys on the divorce care program said when you are feeling guilty about the lack of spiritual and physical energy: "You need to be really aware that these things are normal and they are to be expected. You will recover and things will be fine. It's a matter of just going through the process and allowing God to help stabilize you. Put yourself back on the right track and allow God to really walk through this process with you. The other thing to know is that this is not a quick fix. The painful reality is that you have two choices as you walk through this process. You can either have extreme pain by doing it the right way or excruciating pain by doing it the wrong way. There's no pain-free way out."
He's right. It has been terribly painful. So I am asking God to walk through this with me, and heal me. I want to do it the 'right way'.
When I came back to the office last week after the divorce these were waiting for me:
From my boss. So nice.
I had to laugh because when I went to read the card it was something like, "We have built up an excellent reputation"... and I was like, huh? why so formal? But then I realized I was reading the flower shop wording. Haha, his card said something about doors closing and opening and wishing me a brighter future. It was thoughtful.
So yeah, I really am thankful for how God has brought me through this and has surrounded me with such great, supportive people.
"Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." Psalm 30:4-5

Monday, July 30, 2012

Great Weekend

Wow, what a weekend! Over way too soon.
Friday after work the girls at work took me out for drinks, it was pretty fun. Then I met up with some friends for dinner and our Captivating book study, and then went over to another friends to watch the end of the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
Saturday had to run down to Belle Isle to pick up my triathalon race packet, did some errands, cleaned my grandparents house and went out to dinner with them, then went over to a friend's, and finally back home where my friend Liz slept over so we'd be ready for our race Sunday morning.
Sunday - race day!
Woke up at 5am, put our bikes in her truck and headed back down to Belle Isle for the SheROX triathlon. It was our first triathalon and it was really fun. The race was all women and it was a .5 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. And the course was on Belle Isle which is one of my favorite parks anyway.
The race started at 7 with the swim in the Detroit River. The bottom was kind of mucky and neither of us are fantastic swimmers but we didn't drown! Yay :) Then we ran back to the bikes and took off. Two loops around Belle Isle later, and a couple stops to raise my ever-lowering bike seat!, then we started the run. My brother had warned me to do a couple bike/run practices, which I never did, and it was such a strange feeling to transition into running. Kind of like that feeling of trying to walk after jumping on a trampoline. But anyway, we finished! Our time wasn't that great- but we weren't dead last- and we felt that was pretty good for our first try. And also considering I've swam 2x, haven't biked at all, and ran only 4x in all of 2012. So I was pleased with my 1:57 time.
The finishers!
It was great to do it together and we're already thinking of next either one of those obstacle course runs or a half marathon. We'll see!
After the run we went to a vegan/raw resteraunt for some buffet and hung out with some friends. Then I went to another friends' house for dinner. My friend Rachel is a wonderful cook and always stuffs me full of deliciousness. And makes me a to-go bag! This time she made Indian: tandoori chicken, cucumber riata, vegetable biriyani, watermelon, and peach/cherry cobblers with icecream for dessert. I was stuffed! They even gave me a birthday present, a pretty green teakettle. I was so spoiled.
After dinner we went to the Michael W. Smith/Jeremy Camp concert. It was great. We spread out blankets on the lawn and listened to a great concert.
So then came the not so good part of the weekend. On the way home around midnight I got gas and filled up my tires so I wouldn't be late to work if I had to do it in the morning. But then my car wouldn't start up again. Not more car troubles!! I'm so close to my goal of a quarter million miles, but apparently that is too much to ask the ol' saturn. Anyway. I was pushing it out of the alley and some guy helped me move it and offered me a ride home. I didn't take it, but thought it'd probably be safe. What are the odds of a murderer just waiting at the gas station for people's cars to break down?? So instead I had an extremely fast walk home. Luckily I only live a half mile away.
This morning rescuer dad drove down and we went to check out the car. We tried jumping it, he checked the battery, it was fine, and a couple other things and then we thought if we could just get it started he could drive it home and work on it. So we attempted a push start. I've only done this when there is a giant hill because you need to get it going pretty fast - but we only had a flat gas station parking lot. So I kicked off my heels and rolled up my dress work pants and started pushing; some guy saw us and came over and offered to help so he and I pushed while dad popped the clutch - and it worked!
My dad is a rockstar.
So dad traded me cars, I got to go to work and he's taking my car home to probably install a new starter or something like that.
Thank you God for such a good weekend: amazing fun friends, a healthy body, kind helpful people, my awesome dad, and being such a good God that loves me and provides.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's Over

It's over, I survived.
In some ways it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. But it was just so, so odd and surreal. Outside the courtroom me, my mom and my attorney (my boss) sat waiting. Then Andrew arrived, I waved hello. I didn't know if I was going to have a chance to talk to him afterwards so I went over and sat on his bench. I'd been preparing a 'goodbye bag' of sorts, a goodbye letter, verses/thoughts I'd wanted to share over the past months, pictures of our trips I'd want if it were me. So I gave it to him and said he was free to look at it or throw it in the trash. I told him I wanted him to know that I had really loved him and I forgive him. He didn't say much, just when I asked forgiveness he said there was nothing to forgive. But he forgave me. And pretty soon it was time to go in.
I had been really nervous about the actual court part. You're not in there alone with the judge, there are other people waiting and listening. I imagined myself to be shaky and nervous and crying and hauled away by the bailiff. In real life, I was kind of bumbling, but calm. She asked me if I wanted to participate or something and I think I said something like "I don't know, I'll just stand here." Haha, you'd think I'd be more professional since I work in law... I just didn't know what she was asking me. Then she starts asking all the questions and I stood there while Andrew rattled them off like a robot. Want a divorce? "Yes." Marriage broken? "Yes." Hope of reconciling? "No." Bam, bam, bam. Next my attorney put it on the record that I did not want this divorce, I don't consent to the divorce, only to the settling of the property. All I was asked was if I was pregnant, or had questions. My only real question was 'how can you sleep at night!?' Here I am saying I don't want a divorce and then 'stamp' I'm divorced. But sadly, that's the law in Michigan. And even more sad, if someone doesn't want to be married to you, you can't do anything about it.
So then it was over. We all walked out. And I turned and waved goodbye to Andrew and walked away.
I cried a bit in the car, but I mostly cried beforehand when I had been sitting there with my boss and mom saying how I didn't want to sign anything, and I didn't like that I felt the judge was making me. My boss explained to me the papers were just about the 'property' and so if Andrew hit anyone on the way home or later or anything, they couldn't come after me. It didn't say anything like "yes, I agree to a divorce." My mom read them too and agreed. Then I turned to her and said she wasn't the one who would have to stand before God someday. That was my biggest thing. I feel like I already stood before the only judge that matters, and vowed to Him to spend my life with Andrew till death parted us. And I could not stand before another 'judge' and say the opposite. So that's when my boss said he'd put it on the record that I don't consent and don't want this, and that was that.
My mom came with me to the social security card place, and the secretary of state for the name changing. I really had not wanted to do that alone. It was fun going with your new husband when you're all excited about getting married (as fun as it can be waiting for government services), but not so fun going with your divorce papers. The woman at secretary of state asked me if I got married or divorced, and I answered. She said, "You seem sad? Most people are happy." And again I just thought I do not understand this world!!
When we got back to my apt there was a care package waiting from my sister.
a "survival kit"
And a frame with that verse I love and am claiming over my life now.
So sweet. And I had received so many texts and emails throughout the day from people telling me they were praying for me, and for Andrew. I could totally feel God's hand on everything.
My sister had written me a letter and shared when something had happened in her life and it didn't turn out as she hoped she was tempted to feel like all the prayers and planning were wasted. And I can see how the devil would love to make people feel that way. It is hard to think God could have saved this - but didn't. And I've talked a lot about this with my mom and Stan and others. The Bible is very clear God's thoughts on marriage and what He intends, but He loves us and gives us a choice, He will not force anyone to do anything. He wants you to choose to be obedient. And when someone chooses not to, it sucks, it does, no better word - you can't argue with what God wanted. We live in a broken world.
Then I went and met with Stan. It was good. I told him I felt worried because I wasn't falling apart. Was it going to sneak up on me later? He said he wasn't worried; we've been working on this for a long time. He reminded me Andrew had told me new year's eve he wanted a divorce, and when he said it then, his mind was made up. He did come to those few counseling sessions, but he never really actually tried after new years. We knew it was coming. And I do feel a peace about it. Not happy, or excited. But a peace. I feel I mostly did all I could do. I was able to finish my books I wanted to work through: The Power of Prayer to Change your Marriage, Fighting for your Marriage, The Power of a Praying Wife book and journal (amazing). I had written, or said, to Andrew everything I wanted to say. The only thing I feel bad about is that he moved out before it was over. It was really important to me that he knew I loved him and was committed to him and our marriage until the last day. And I wanted him there, even if that meant only making his lunch and telling him goodnight. So I do feel bad about that. But I think he knew I was, even though he was gone.
And there is a peace knowing that I gave it my all. And now I can truly 'let go'. My mom said she thinks I had been holding on to a hope, and of course I had. I committed to Andrew. I meant those vows. I stood there on our wedding day and I said to him those words from Ruth, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” And I meant it. And more so I believe in a God who can move mountains and bring dead people back to life. I knew it was possible for Him to restore our marriage, so of course I hoped for it. So yeah, I didn't want it to end, but now I can let go. I can put away my marriage books and move on to my healing from divorce ones. I can pray for God's complete healing and know that He will. I can walk on the new path God is leading me on.
This might sound wierd, but I'm really thankful for all that God has been doing in my life. He has shown me how big and how good He is. He can be trusted. I couldn't do it without Him.
"This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Tomorrows the big day. And I'm scared.
I heard a song this morning and the words really hit home for what I'm going through right now:
I know it seems like this could be the darkest day you've known, But believe you me the God of strength will never let you go. He will overcome, I know
And the arms that hold the universe are holding you tonight. You can rest inside, it's gonna be alright. And the voice that calmed the raging sea
ss calling you His child, so be still and know He's in control. He will never let you go
Through many dangers, toils and snares, you have already come. His grace has brought you safe this far (and) His grace will lead you home
You can hope, you can rise, you can stand, He has still got the whole world in His hands. You can hope, you can rise, you can stand, He's still got the whole world, the whole world in His hands
And I know it's true. But it still hurts and it's still scary. I hate it. And I don't want it. But I'm trying to remember God is with me and it will be alright.
"When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?" (Psalm 56:3-4)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

One Week

Breaking up is hard to do.
I had a really good counseling session last night with my counselor. I won't share too much - but we talked about me needing to look objectively at this and see that the Andrew I knew, respected, loved more than anything, and gave my heart and life to - is gone. I don't know why or understand it, but that is a fact. And accepting this will let me be able to let go.
I continue to trust my heart to God and ask for His complete healing.
Then last night after counseling I went to my small group. We always share our highs and lows. I shared about my hard sunday and it has been just amazing to see how God surrounds me with people that care about me and having been praying for me; and although I have to walk this road myself - I am not alone.
"Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before." Jeremiah 33:6-7

Monday, July 16, 2012

Bad Day

Yesterday was a really low day. I don't know what triggered it, but it was as painful as the first few days were, and I just cried on and off all day long. Sometimes things Andrew said that hurt me me pop into my head. I try not to dwell on them, but other times the loving things he has said pop in and they are just as bad- because they don't exist anymore.
It's been 7 months now of this, the equivalent to half the total (good) time we were married. It's so surreal. I still ask myself, how is this happening? Is this really my life?
I hate this.
My new book club book worded something so beautifully, it was talking about death, but I think the same thing applies to divorce:
"It's like being in a club. A divorce club. You don't choose to join it, it's thrust upon you. And the members whose lives have been changed have more knowledge than those who aren't in it, but the price of belonging is so terribly high."
I feel like this. I don't want to be in this club. But it was thrust upon me and I have to deal with the consequences of another's decision. It's so hard.
A teary phone call with a friend, and prayer helped. But there is no shortcut through this. God will get me through, but just day-by-day, breath-by-breath, moment-by-moment. All I can do, even when I don't 'feel' it - is just trust that God's promises are true.
"I cry to you, O LORD; I say, 'You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.' Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me" Psalm 142:5-6
"In all their suffering he [Jesus] also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years" Isaiah 63:9 NLT

Friday, July 13, 2012


Last night's divorce class was on lonliness. One of the speakers talked about how it's good to be 'single' but it is not good to be 'alone'. The speaker said 'single' means to be separate, unique and whole. Alone is when you push everyone away. It talked about the road ahead drawing close and depending on Jesus. It talked about being healed and filled by Him. And taking time to be made whole in Him. That part sounds good.
I remember when this first all happened. I was laying in my bed, Andrew was gone, I felt so alone and I just laid there crying and repeating "I'm afraid" over and over like Rainman.
But I don't need to be afraid anymore.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
God has been healing me and providing for me. He has been with me. He has provided people to walk through life with me and show me I'm not alone.
I got this email from my mom the other day: YOU WILL BE OK.
I'm starting to believe it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2 weeks

2 more weeks. This is a crazy feeling countdown. It's not a fun one like up to a birthday or Christmas... but it's coming. I'm glad I'm not getting divorced today as was the original date - but I think I'll be ready in 2 weeks.
Last night I had a counseling session. I felt pretty good when I went in, but the tears crept in! I still obviously miss Andrew and I often still ask myself 'how did we get here?'
My counselor said something to me, and he told me that he was going to be careful because he knows I don't like it when he is harsh towards Andrew- but he told me that 'maybe God is saving me from a disappointing marriage.' Wow, I don't know about that. I know it wasn't all wonderful - a lot of marriage was just 'everyday life', but when I look back at our marriage I see friendship, my partner, I see laughs, adventures, and love. I wasn't disappointed at all.
He also told me this is a chance for a new start. And that I am growing, and will be wiser and stronger because of this. And yes, I still think I would rather be with Andrew than be 'strong'; but that's not an option anymore, so I guess I'd rather learn something than not have learned!
I have felt God opening doors, and providing, and laying out my new path before me. So even though God is allowing Andrew to make this choice to walk away - He is beside me.
I heard this song last night: Steady My Heart by Kari Jobe
Wish it could be easy
Why is life so messy
Why is pain a part of us
There are days I feel like
Nothing ever goes right
Sometimes it just hurts so much
But You're here, You're real
I know I can trust You
Even when it hurts, even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You 'cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul, Healer of my scars
I'm not gonna worry
I know that You've got me
Right inside the palm of your hand
Each and every moment
What's good and what gets broken
Happens just the way You plan
You are here, You're real
I know I can trust You
And I will run to You
I'll find refuge in Your arms
And I will sing to You
Cause of everything You are
Even when it hurts, even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You 'cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul, Healer of my scars
You steady my heart
You steady my heart
I'm not gonna worry
I know that You've got me
Right inside the palm of Your hand
I'm thankful that Jesus loves me so much and I am safe right in His hands.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Another Wedding Down

This week/weekend was a really good one. I only worked through Tuesday and had a really nice 4th of July with my parents in the afternoon and at a friend's for grilling and games in the evening. The next day mom, dad and I piled in the car and headed out towards Minnesota for my cousin Daniel's wedding. The first night we stayed in Wisconsin with my aunt, and early the next morning we continued on to Minnesota. I have wanted to attend as many cousin's weddings as possible. I have 44 first cousins, so that's a lot of weddings! One of the bonuses of going to this wedding was that my brother and his wife were coming up from CO to go to it too. I hadn't seen them in a whole year!! :(
It was SOOO great to see them. They are coming home for Christmas, so it won't be that long between visits again, a year is TOO LONG.
The wedding was really nice. It was small, simple and elegant.
(This was the family with 2 priests, so he was married by both of his brothers and his dad (a deacon) and another brother assisted too- so cool)
My amazing sister-in-law Michelle
My brother Joel
The newlyweds!
In a few weeks I will be returning to my maiden name. I debated about it, because I don't really feel like 'her' anymore, but it was made known to me that I'm not welcome to this last name anymore, so I'll change it back. The funny thing is that 2 of my cousins married Anne Maries - so now there will be 3 of us! Life is strange.
The wedding was good. And I was glad I was there to celebrate in my cousin's happiness.
It did make me feel sad that if God were to bless me again with a husband that I couldn't have the same ceremony. I liked my reception, but there are a lot of things I'd do differently there; but I loved our ceremony. I loved the church, the music we chose, the pastors message, our verses and vows. We spent a lot of time talking about what things meant to us and for our marriage- and in the end for it to end like this...? I feel bad that all those things were essentially 'wasted' on someone who really wasn't committed to me, and to what marriage is. I don't know if that's a good way to put it, but I feel sorrow and loss for it. Sorrow and loss for my husband Andrew and sorrow and loss over what God really intends marriage to be. One flesh bound together - not someone ripping themselves away.
Again. I don't know what God has for me in the future. I can still only choose to trust Him and choose to follow after Him one day at a time. And to trust that God can take this sin and brokenness and bring healing and new life. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 I can rest in that, and rest knowing that God says "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt." Jeremiah 31:3-4.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

3 more weeks

Well our divorce date got extended 2 weeks by the Court for some reason. So the new date is the 25th. I'm just hoping they don't extend it any more. The next week would be my birthday, and if they extended it one more then I would have to see our anniversary come and go like this.
So yeah. As much as I didn't want this divorce. I am ready.
This is not a marriage.
I have been emotionally alone since New Years. And physically alone for 2 months now.
My counselor says this is the strangest divorce he's ever seen. Where Andrew sat there and told him there was nothing wrong with me, "Anne's great", just our marriage apparently wasn't. To him anyway. To me it's still just such a mystery. I don't know what he thought our marriage was supposed to be like. My cousin asked me the other day if it would be easier if there was a reason. In the end, I'd still be divorced, but I think it would be easier to wrap my head around. I still have moments where I think of him, or remember something he once said to me, and I think "you're divorcing me now - really?!?, it's me, remember me??" I don't get it.
My counselor also said he thinks it's so unusual that Andrew hasn't checked in on me at all. He said even in the most bitter of divorces, they usually check in to make sure the other person is ok. I don't know. That part doesn't surprize me. Andrew was always a don't look back kinda guy. Plus it really hurts me when he tells me how happy and great he is doing without me.
Oh well. I continue to pray. For us, for me, for him. I have seen God's faithfulness and I feel Him moving in my life and healing my heart. I can't believe it's July already. He is bringing me through day by day. Thank you God, I can't do this without you!
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." Psalm 46:1-3

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekend Review

This past weekend was a really fun one. Friday I went to help my friend Lois pack up her townhome to move to Mississippi with her new husband. After that we had pizza, cake and ice-cream to also celebrate her birthday. There were lots of laughs and good times. But I will miss my friend!
Saturday after a lazy day of laundry and movies, my friend Liz and I went over to another friend's Erin's for dinner. Her husband grilled us chicken and we had corn on the cob and tons of various dips and desserts from Liz's business. Then Liz and I started our triathalon training by swimming in the lake they live on. That's the one thing I'm not very excited about for the triathalon; I'm not a great swimmer, I don't like being where I can't touch, I hate being by fish, and I'm afraid of drowning. Nonetheless, it was a pretty good swim and we felt encouraged that we can actually do this! After the swim Erin's husband took me for a quick tube ride - awesome! And then we all went out on the boat to watch the fireworks. Such a great night.
Sunday after church I had a couple friends over for dinner.
Rachel is a vegetarian so I get to make some of my favorite vegetarian stuff. So I made butternut squash burritos (love), veggies with Liz's basil-black pepper hummus, strawberry lime slushies to drink, and for dessert Liz's chocolate ganache cake and banana creme pie. So good! Then ended the day reading book 3 in the Mark of the Lion series. It was a really good weekend.