Yes, thanks. Just that. That’s all I need. I said to the banker-person. Just my health savings account set up today. Thanks.
I hopped into my car and drove across the parking lot to a different bank to retrieve paperwork I needed for refinancing my house.
I made a quick stop at Biggby for a coffee. It seemed appropriate to treat myself prior to my twenty-minute drive across town to sell my wedding ring. I arrived at the parking lot, walked across the black pavement and buzzed the front door. I let myself in and took a seat as the gentleman cleaned my once-appraised-$18,000 ring. He called me back, had me take a look under the microscope and pointed out a man-made chip from when the stone was set, and advised that they couldn’t buy it. I was really tempted to cry until he caved but instead, as my eyes filled with tears, I slid the ring on my finger so I wouldn’t lose it and gathered together my paperwork. Defeated.
I drove myself back across town to a tiny little consignment shop in Hudsonville, MI. Here, I was asked how much I was thinking for it. I mumbled out my hope of $5,000. After several runs back to his computer, a call into his boss and me wiping tears from my cheeks as I explained the brokenness and loss of this past year he offered his best deal: $2,500.
Brother would be proud to know I tried. I tried a little tiny bit to get up to $3,000. Turns out, being in sales is STILL not my calling.
But there I was, choosing to sell my ring for the price offered because the idea of waiting for a higher amount didn’t feel like one step forward. And I needed to feel forward today.
I sat staring into empty space and, as he wrote the check, overhead I heard playing “it is well.” It was actually the version of the song I had listened to every single night the first two months of my divorce. Tears streamed down my face. They were tears of grief and peace. It’s the type of grieving where there is a release, a sorrow for the pain but a whisper of hope. I call it grief-peace.
I don’t know if that’s how I was supposed to feel or do it. It was slightly embarrassing when the gentleman began scrounging around for a Kleenex box that didn’t’ seem readily available. But really, I don’t know how you’re supposed to sell your wedding ring. I don’t know if you’re supposed to be angry or sad. I don’t know if you’re supposed to throw it across the room at your ex and say you don’t want it anyways. But I did my best. I let it be what it was. This week I had Bella try it on. There was something beautiful about letting her little fingers hold the very institute that brought her into existence.
Well let me ask you this, is there hope for reconciliation? Because I REALLY care about marriage? A pastor asked me during my divorce.
His words stung like a wound in saltwater.
At the beginning of my divorce I googled redemption and reconciliation. Trying to figure out the difference and trying to figure out if I was too sinny for God. It took me weeks of getting into the quiet, sleepless nights, countless tears and a deep internal struggle to find that still small voice. In the end, in my free will, I had chosen his mercy. And over and over, it felt like the church tried to whisper me lies: that I didn’t have free will, that I didn’t have a God who said he’d be with me always and wherever.
I filed for divorce knowing I was taking a step out of the boat into deep dark waters in hopes there could be more. I broke that which in theory was whole but in reality was so extraordinarily broken. I believed that God could take my shattered pieces and make them whole. Somehow.
I filed for divorce through the eyes of redemption.
But several months into my divorce, I was overcome with the brokenness surrounding my divorce. I couldn’t imagine anything good coming from it. One specific night, I climbed into the shower. The water hit my body like tiny little slaps.
STEP BEHIND ME, I screamed through the gaps of the water pouring over my mouth. I yelled so loudly my throat hurt. I was so angry and so unsure of who or what I was talking to. Was I talking to a red-pitched-forked Satan or was I simply talking to my unbelief? This is NOT too big. You hear me. This is not too big for Him. For God. THIS. WILL. BE REDEEEMED. I shouted, as my chest rose and collapsed with each inhale and exhale. Even if I don’t see it on this side of glory. It. Will. Be. Redeemed.
Trembling I slowly stepped back from the water and sat myself down on the shower bench in full surrender. The battle was now his. God’s redemption would remain my answer.
You have great faith, the gentleman said as he handed me the check.
The sun is shining, is all I could think standing there in that moment in a tiny little consignment shop in a small town of Michigan. That, and then this, this is also what I thought: That sometimes redemption looks like one small trip to the bank, one small refinance, one small drive across town, one small acceptance of $2500 when you thought it was going to be so much more, and one small choice to live. Knowing that choosing to live is worth it in the end. And that redemption is no longer in my hands but His.
He reconciles all things to him. My ex and I will someday sit down together and share a meal together and there will be no more weeping or crying or death anymore - this side of glory or the other.
He redeems all of our broken. That is my answer if ever I doubt.
His mercy a gift.
His grace sufficient.