Just months before my marriage ended, I had ticked off an item on my bucket list. I had loaded the kids in an RV and driven cross country, from Louisville, KY all the way to the Pacific Ocean and back. It was epic, with stops at Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Olympic National Park, and more. My wife and I survived 2 months in a 23 foot RV with 3 kids, I thought we were bullet proof.
Barely 2 months later, she decides to end the marriage of 14 years. I was blindsided. Just 2 years before we had moved to Louisville, I worked from home, had no friends, my whole life was my wife and my kids.
Initially I leaned on my Christian faith, but even that was unsteady and fractured. After telling me for 14 years that divorce was not an option, suddenly she’s telling me that she has justification from God to divorce me. Yet I’m believing that God was telling me something different. How can two people hear two different things from the same God?
Even before this event in my life, I was growing uncomfortable with all the judgement I was observing among people. I was uncomfortable with so many passages in the Bible being interpreted in different ways, and people judging others based on this. I observed people considering the Bible in very black and white terms, yet it all seems to be hundreds of shades of grey to me. How can people choose seemingly arbitrary shades of gray, call their version black and white, then judge everyone else as bad or good against that?
After some marriage counseling, I figured out that her reality was radically different from my own, right down to things we did and said in the past. How can we have such firm beliefs in two radically different realities and events? I literally thought I was going crazy and even began to question my own memory and sanity.
Everything was a blur for about 9 months as I flailed about trying to make sense of it all. As I struggled in a yo-yo cycle of anxiety and depression, I read tons of books, both secular and Christian. I tried real hard to find meaning in everything that was happening.
I had nothing left, no faith, no religion, no life partner, my kids were almost the only thing that gave me purpose to continue living. I had read “The Art of Possibility” by Rosamund Stone Zander a few years before, and although it’s message didn’t sink in fully at time I read it, suddenly it did at this point. Here I was, with most of what I held dear burned to ashes. Like a garden plot in the winter, it’s beauty and bounty dead and gone, but in it’s barren dirt lies so much possibility for the coming spring. It is here, that I found a new path to take.