VICTORY ON THE VINE: From Resurrection to Renaissance, The Conclusion

FREEDOM PAPERS

Three days. That’s all it took. Three days for verification of my divorce to arrive in the mail. It’s amazing how once truth enters a situation, liberation swiftly follows. Within 48 hours of talking to my brother-in-law, the wheels that had been spinning in the miry clay, had found traction.

I was being emancipated.

I hardly had time to think about what all this would mean.  In addition to still settling matters with my car, I was also completing the final steps of a project I was supervising. Things had been going well with the project…until now.  The unexpected circumstances related to having my car totaled had slowed down my productivity.

I was embarrassed.  Never being one to let my personal life interfere with work, it seemed it was now unavoidable.  It appeared that, as I was being liberated in one aspect, I was sinking in another.

Like a tow truck, my Co-Laborer hitched Himself to me, pulling me forward.

A numb feeling came over me as I grabbed the large business envelope and headed towards my bedroom. I couldn’t recall ever having seen a divorce decree; I couldn’t imagine what would be inside.  How could someone divorce another person without their knowledge? I thought. If the two became one flesh, how could someone sever their flesh to be free? Separation hurts.  Did he ever hurt like I did? I continued to ponder.

I examined the outside of the envelope for a brief while before opening it, as if it would give me some clue as to what would be inside. I stared at my name and thought about how he wrote in big block letters. I read somewhere that when someone writes in big bold block letters, they really don’t want who they truly are to be seen.

Must be true, I thought as I scrutinized his penmanship.

I had recently looked at my wedding album.  The photographer had captured our first kiss. I noticed something that day: how fake the kiss looked.  It looked like it was just for the camera.

A picture really is worth a thousand words, I thought that day.

Let me get this over with, I thought as I hastily ripped open the envelope.

Scanning the document, the first thing I noticed was that he had used his middle name to file the papers.  “No wonder I couldn’t find him,” I said, through clinched teeth.

From what I could remember, he never signed any official document using his middle name.  It was always his first initial or full name but never ever his middle name alone.

The second thing I saw caused me to go from ice cold to flaming hot in matter of seconds.

Not only did he use his middle name, making it difficult for me to find him, the divorce was final the day before my birthday, two years prior!

I really can’t find the words to express how I felt at that moment! I had been robbed of two years of my life. You cannot replenish time; it’s like feather in the wind.

My mind went back to the previous years, and how many times I had to explain my marital status or what I believed was my marital status.

I felt sick inside.  I felt like my blood was boiling.

Grabbing my cell phone I feverishly dialed the number he had called from.  The phone rang a few times. It seemed as if someone picked it up and immediately hung up.  I dialed back.  The call went straight to voice mail.

Now I don’t remember exactly what I said, but needless to say, it wasn’t pleasant. Not only had this man robbed me of my day in court and two years of quality living, among other things, but he was now robbing me of the opportunity to tell him one last time what I thought of him.

Leaving a detailed message, I screamed and yelled until I either ran out of steam or until I exceeded my message time.

Mentally drained and exhausted, I fell back onto the bed. I had stood up to leave the message waving my right hand in the air as if doing so gave my words more weight. You know how we do. (smile)

Reviewing the decree again, it said that my ex and his lawyer had made several attempts to contact me by mail and I failed to respond. I refused to even allow my mind to wonder if this was the case.  I thought about the numerous individuals we knew who could contact me in seconds. That was a lie.  I was certain of it.

Some paragraphs were worded in such a way that it sounded like I had committed a crime and was in contempt of court.

One sentence stopped me cold.  It said the union was irretrievably broken and each party could now live as if they were unmarried.

That sentence played over in my mind for many days afterwards.

Also, I couldn’t help but notice how generic the documents looked.  Although photocopied, there was no image of an official seal and there were conflicting dates stamped all over it.  Questioning its authenticity, I contacted his attorney.

Leaving a message, I didn’t expect her to call back; however, she did.

“I called you regarding a client you represented in divorce proceedings,” I said, trying to sound professional but sounding irritated instead.

“Yes” she said.

“Well, it says here that you made attempts to contact me by mail, fax and email,” I continued.

“Yes, we did” she said sharply.

“AT WHAT ADDRESS?!” I said, trying not to scream.

“We posted notification in a Florida business review journal,” she said flatly. I could tell she was used to doing dirty deeds.

“I LIVE IN MARYLAND!” I said now, really screaming.

“You could have lived in Alaska.  We didn’t have to contact you there. All we had to do was post a notification and since you did not respond, my client was granted a divorce.”

After telling her of the various ways he could have contacted me, I also told her a few choice things about her client.

She told me that she could not advise me since she wasn’t my counsel; however, she did give me a slight bit of advice before hanging up.

How grimy can you be? I thought as I sat there, totally exhausted. I know this was just business to his attorney and in some cases, business is heartless. Still I couldn’t help but wonder where this woman would wind up if she continued to help sever marriages based on lies.

ONE MORE TIME

I need to call him one more time, then I won’t ever have to hear his voice again,  I thought the following day as I dialed his cell phone.

“Hello,” he said, with a heavy sigh.

“WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME?” I yelled.

“Not today, not today,” he said sounding feeble.

What? I thought. Not really caring what that meant, I continued, pressing him for answers.

“WHY DID YOU DO THIS?”

“I can’t discuss this with you right now,” he said, sounding even more lame. After a few more minutes, I realized I was not going to get any answers, I hung up the phone while he was still talking.

RECOVERY

For the next three days. I walked around like I had just had surgery.  Family members would clear the way as I approached, as if standing too close to me would inflict more pain. I couldn’t talk and I was glad those around me didn’t really know what to say.

The first night after calling my ex for the last time, Kirk Franklin’s “Imagine me” played all night long. The words of the song seemed to drip into my soul like an IV.

I could feel the pain leaving and as it pertained to these circumstances, my old (carnal) man had died.  As one who would step out of their mortal body, and head toward heaven, I knew He was taking me to another place in Him.

I knew I had to leave behind the grave clothes of revenge.

FIGHTING MAD

“Uh huh, girl…you need to fight him back; we aint havin’ this!” I heard my friend, Chanda, say when I told her of the outcome.  I don’t think I’d ever seen her that upset. She had been through something similar.  I could tell that she was reliving her own pain through my situation.

“Hmph! I’ll even help you pay for an attorney, but you need to fight him back!”

I explained the process to her, how I would have to find a lawyer who practiced law in Florida and the complexity of a modification and appeal. I just wasn’t up to all that.

Chanda didn’t agree with my decision but reluctantly accepted it.

I could tell she lost a measure of respect for me that day.

After talking to her, I realized what following Him really meant. Trusting Him with this meant I may not be avenged. Still, it was a decision I didn’t regret.

Opening the Word of God almost immediately after talking to Chanda, He assured me I would be. He gave me three portions of scripture, confirming.

Proverbs 11:8 says: The righteous is delivered out of trouble and the wicked cometh in his stead.

 Proverbs 21:18 says: The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous and the transgressor for the upright.

Psalms 37:6-8: And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noon day. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Make no mistake about it, if someone has caused your life to be troublesome, there will be a satisfactory reparation released on your behalf. The wicked will eventually fall into the pit they set for the righteous.

To be wicked simply means you are twisted in your morals. You feel justified by your evil deeds. The Hebrew word for wicked is Ra, it means the inability to come up with good standards which will benefit. While doing a word study, I discovered there were other words and definitions associated with the word Ra.  Some other words were: hurt, mischief, misery, noxious, unpleasant sadness.

Are all people who have these qualities evil or evildoers? NO! I think it’s a true fact that if a person allows certain negative characteristics to remain in their life through pride and stubbornness, when our Lord is certainly willing to deliver us, we will produce the fruit of wickedness.

I believe that most false prophets and workers of iniquity didn’t start out that way. Through sin, hurt, misery, etc. these spirits entered in.  We are called to circumcise ourselves (Deuteronomy 10:16) and also must allow Him to circumcise us (Deuteronomy 30:6)

That’s why, throughout this blog, I constantly refer to our Lord as my Co-Laborer, as a continued reminder that we are laborers together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9).

Psalms 37 (Please read the entire chapter; it’s powerful.) constantly shows us the contrast between the wicked and the righteous. Verse 6 says the Lord shall bring forth our righteousness as light and our judgment as noonday.  After talking to Chanda that day, the Lord started showing me that when noonday comes, everybody knows what time it is. There is no denying that it’s noon; nobody can change that.  He said so it would be with my blessing!

We can rest in the fact that the deeds of the wicked will also be obvious as the noonday.

Our judicial system will accept any person’s lies, but not our Just God! Nothing escapes His all seeing eye. He will render to every man according to his works.

Please log on next week for our epilogue, The Renaissance.

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