Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I'm going somewhere on Sunday to get a divorce. I don't know where yet. It'll depend on how much energy I have after moving, and whether George is feeling cooperative. I know where I'd like to go... but we'll see...

oh, right, you have no idea what I'm talking about.

Well, I can't quite go into all the details... too much personal struggle and pain tied up in this mess.

Remember how I read the book "Angry Conversations With God" by Susan Isaacs? I just finished listening to it in audio form this afternoon. The book in both forms has been profoundly used by God on my already rather bruised heart the last few weeks.

The passage below should explain, at least a little, my plan for Sunday. (Though I'll be going alone...)

I began my couples counseling with God in the fall of 2003. A year later, God walked out. It took me nearly six months of further counseling, but in the spring of 2005, I walked back into Rudy's office with my decision.

Susan: I've thought a lot about the cost. I've come to a decision. I want a divorce.

Rudy was taken aback for a moment.

Susan: I can't ask the real God back until I've divorced my old gods: the drill-sergeant Father, the wimpy Jesus, the drive-by Holy Spirit. They're not real anyway.
Rudy: You realize you'll have to accept the real God on God's terms?
Susan: Yes. I'll have to love him for himself, not for his money or what he can do for me.
Rudy: You know, most married couples hit a stage of profound disillusionment. Most of them quit. But the ones who work through it reach a whole new level of love. And I think you're going to have that.
Susan: Okay, then, divorce me. But wait!
Rudy: What?
Susan: I just had this horrible vision of God "blessing" me with another life-torching hardship.
Rudy: Stop it! That's no second-honeymoon gift... But if he does bring another hardship your way, it will be for a good reason, and you'll know the reason. Right? Stop cringing!
Susan: Okay. Let's do this.

Rudy prayed over me. He prayed that I would let go of the old gods and allow room for the real God. He prayed that when the exes came knocking at my door (and they would, because they don't give up easily), I'd recognize them for who they were: ciphers of my old distorted imagination. And then he prayed that I would learn to recognize the real God. That I would trust him.

Rudy: By the power vested in me by the state of grace, you are officially divorced from your wimpy jackass fake gods.

I sat still for a moment

Rudy: That's okay. Just take a moment; then ask him back.

I'd been on a few silent retreats where you don't talk all weekend. The first couple of hours were always torture. But by the end, I found so much beauty in the silence that I hated breaking it with words. (Although I got over it.) That's how I felt now. Sure, I'd cried to God along; I'd even sensed his anger or sorrow. And then I'd heard him speak my name. I didn't want to sully the moment with my own imaginings. Yet I had to take the risk. After all, it was when I dared to imagine that I sensed God enjoying me.

An image came to my mind: I was walking along the bluffs toward the beach. There were flowers along the path, but the sky was in shadow, the flowers were muted, like there was a severe solar eclipse. I kept walking toward the beach and, I guessed, toward God? Soon I walked past the line where the eclipse ended. Everything beyond was full of light and color: not some fake, Thomas Kinkade neon, but real color, real light. Real water. And there, on the beach, stood my husband. My Maker. The Lover of my soul.

Rudy didn't know why I was crying. But I could see them - the Trinity. I could feel their embrace, all three of them. Don't ask me what they looked like. I wasn't looking. You only need to see blue once to know what blue looks like.

Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come. (Song of Songs 2:10-12)

(Angry Conversations with God, pgs. 235-237)