Today was mediation day.
I didn’t have a lot of hope for an agreement going into mediation. In fact, if someone had asked, I probably would have put money down that my “kinda husband” wasn’t going to agree to anything.
But being the Hermione that I am, I printed out copies of the proposed temporary orders, the responses, his RFO (request for orders) and my response. I of course categorized them by date and color coded the tabs, but I’m assuming that’s what everyone does. No? Just me? Okay, moving on.
Not only did I spend the night before mediation reviewing paperwork, but I spent the last half in prayer. Earlier in the week I got kicked in the gut pretty hard when my ex tried to bring his girlfriend to our parent teach conference. Yep, this fool tried to bring a girlfriend of 5 months, who is also the woman he had an affair with, to our “PARENT” teacher event at our son’s school. After getting the lawyers involved, he decided against it because “he didn’t want to make a scene.”
Yes, young grasshopper.
That’s called common sense.
It’s probably not the best decision to introduce your mistress/girlfriend to your wife/ex-wife at your son’s school event, in front of your son.
But anyway, after feeling pretty crappy about myself, my life, and my situation, I had a much needed night out with a girlfriend. Not a crazy, indulge in the pleasures of the world night, just a night out with lots of girl talk. My friend basically gave me a healthy dose of “you are a strong, intelligent, beautiful person who doesn’t deserve this crap.” Then she told me “imagine you have a white poster on the wall at home with a small, black dot in the center. The white represents all of the amazing things you have going on, and the black dot is your divorce. You can choose to focus on the black dot, and miss the blessings, or you can look at the blessings and realize your divorce is just a dot in time.”
Talk about perspective. After we talked, I really started to think about the blessings in my life. My son’s health, a good paying job, a home, amazing friends, a loyal family, and a Heavenly Father who refuses to let go of my hand. Isaiah 41:10
So the night before mediation, after all of my printing and labeling, I turned to prayer. I read my devotional, I listened to music, and I sat in prayer. I prayed that God would help me let go. That I would stop trying to control what happens in the future. When my ex tried to bring his girlfriend to our son’s preschool, I was emotionally blindsided because I was focusing on the black dot, instead of the blessings. I freaked out and lost sight of my value. I let my ex gaslight me into thinking I was crazy for not wanting his girlfriend there. I lost sight of who I am to God. So I sat in prayer and I asked God for his strength, his wisdom and his protection. I asked God to give me compassion and empathy, without weakening my boundaries. And then I let go.
I let go of what could happen, and I trusted God to work it out in the end.
The morning of mediation, I felt at peace. I was not overly emotional, or scared, just a little nervous. It wasn’t until I sat in the waiting room, listening for my name to be called, that I saw it. I looked at the faces of everyone waiting their turn for mediation and I saw the pain. Whether these people had suffered from emotional abuse, physical abuse, broken families or broken hearts, they were all suffering. I could see their depression, their anxiety, and their fear.
Our world is so perfectly broken.
Looking around I saw our brokenness, and my heart hurt. The utter tragedy is that we do it to ourselves. Our pain and suffering is self inflicted. We hurt each other out of our own desperation. As I looked around, I wondered how many people in this room know God? How many would find peace, purpose and strength in the midst of their pain if they knew the power of God’s love?
I mean, I had no idea what was going to happen during mediation. I didn’t know whether I would walk away satisfied, disappointed or upset, but I did know God was with me. I could feel his presence in the midst of all that pain and my heart cried out for others to feel it as well.
Because I know that pain. In this rollercoaster ride that is divorce, I’ve felt such pain that it has seemed unbearable at times. I’ve wanted to act out and hurt him as much as he’s hurt me. I didn’t want to honor my word, when my ex didn’t. I didn’t want to tell the truth, be fair, or compassionate when he was treating me so badly. Believe me, I’ve played scenarios over and over in my head of how I could hurt him. And I’m a creative person. But I also know, that those actions will only make things worse. By acting selfishly from my own hurt, I rob my son of the stable parent he needs right now. And I also rob myself of my character.
Sometimes, the decisions I have made are not popular with my friends and family. But they are decisions that I believe strengthen my character. If I let the actions of my ex degrade my character, than I’m no better than he is.
Funny enough, I watched the season finale of Game of Thrones last night. During the episode, Jon Snow tells a group of people that “when enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies.”
I’ve come to realize that God can speak to us in many different ways. I’m not sure if Game of Thrones is the best place to acquire Godly wisdom, but I sure heard it. I sat there listening to those words and thought, “I want that.” I want to walk away from this horrific, excruciatingly painful process proud of the decisions I’ve made. That I kept my word. That I trusted God and his wisdom, over my own.