Choosing to Stay
Thursday, October 4th, 2012
Last Sunday, Jason and I had the opportunity to speak to a couples class at Greenwood Community Church. We had shared our story with them a couple of weeks ago and I had begged Jill to give us the opportunity to come back and share more with them. We love to share our story but also want to give people more. Helpful tips, encouragement, education…just something more than our story.
I’m not sure that I was at my best. There are multiple reasons. And as I have played back a couple of the comments, there is something in particular that I would like a re-do on. And since I can’t go back in time, I’ll have my re-do right here, right now.
One of the questions we received after we shared our story was surrounding how I could have ever chosen to stay, given the situation.
So I shared with the couples that I waited a long time before deciding whether or not I would stay. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly. I had a front row seat as God began to change Jason in incredible ways. But I didn’t know if these changes would last. So I waited and lived day to day, not allowing myself to come up with a plan. And Jason continued to change. And be the man I knew he was capable of being. It was incredible. The changes in and of themselves were almost enough for me to re-commit and stay for the long haul.
Another point of clarity happened sometime during the first year when I was thinking through what it would be like to divorce Jason. And at the young age of 26 or 27, I assumed that I would probably remarry at some point. And I realized: This next person would have baggage, too. Just like me. Just like Jason. Just like everyone. Indeed, this was something that I couldn’t avoid. At least I knew what Jason’s baggage was. There were no secrets between us. And there was a comfort in this.
All along, I prayed to God to give me an answer on this one. I hadn’t involved God completely in my decision to say “yes” when Jason proposed nor in my decision to say “I do” in my white dress. So, this was a second chance for me, with God. I wanted to get it right this time. And let me tell you: God made it abundantly clear. Sometime I may just share the details of this God-Moment; but for now, just know that God spoke.
And that’s what I needed to choose to stay.
And I wish I had also shared the following:
I was talking to a friend that is in one of my support groups recently. As we talked, she mentioned one of her friends from the past whom was in an unhappy marriage. She subsequently divorced, remarried, and was very happy now. And my friend was wondering…was she “stupid” or “dumb” for staying put and trying to reconcile with her husband, given her friends situation?
I understood her predicament. And certainly couldn’t tell her what was best for her situation. That’s a decision only she can make. But what I told her was this: One of the best choices I’ve ever made was to choose to stay married to Jason. Period. Even if he chooses to go back to his ugly life from the past, I know today that choosing to stay with him was simply the right choice for me.
Can I just tell you how happy (or maybe it’s joy!) my heart is as I type this out? And I’m reminded yet again of Joel 2:25 “He will repay you for the years the locust has eaten.”