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A lot had happened, and yet nothing, since the day she chose to walk out that blue door.

 

She’d been praying for a way out. And though she wasn’t sure if that was an acceptable request, her anger towards God had brought her to a crossroad: disconnect and don’t pray, or pray out of earnest desperation for an end. For hope and a future. Clinging to that promise felt so futile; she was being punished for making a horrible choice, wasn’t she? She knew that she had rushed her own agenda – paying no attention to what God had in store. Did that make Him angry? It must have, because he hadn’t been around. Sin separates.

 

Silent. Dark. Fruitless. A back turned.

 

It was foolish to go her own way, knowing full-well that she was marrying the wrong man. She recognized now, how reckless it had been. Looking back on those first days painted the story of the life that was to come. All of a sudden he was someone else. Who would she become? All of her words and actions created some dark angst in him that she had not seen and she didn’t know how to respond.

 

That first wave of panic hit her like a tsunami – leaving her cold, shaking, and battered. Within the first week of her marriage, she realized she had made a terrible mistake. Such a grievous loss of self, future, and any hope for happiness. She couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t tell her friends or family. She knew that despondency was crouching at her door, waiting to devour her, if she didn’t reach out for help.

 

Months of therapy. A safe place to weep and mourn for the woman she had once been. A place to be angry. But most importantly, a place that granted her permission. Permission to leave her husband.

 

There is freedom in permission.

 

The length of time she endured between getting permission and actually choosing to leave was long. During that period she experienced very little joy. But she did suffer under the burden of disappointment, then frustration. She became angry and bitter. Resentful. She had to fight off the hatred and even disgust she sometimes bore towards him.

 

Peace, however, had flooded her heart and mind the morning she left. And it had stayed by her side during the weeks that followed as she made preparations for a life alone. Alone but not lonely.

 

Authentic, unrestricted, free.

 

She began to feel a measure of tenderness towards a man that had shackled her for what felt like an eternity. Though it was easy and gratifying to charge him with the crime of what she had withstood, she came to understand he was incapable. As was she.

 

Incapable of meeting one another’s needs.

Incompetent to fulfill one another’s desires.

 

The tools with which each of them had been gifted were intended differently. Lives built with other people; likely the antithesis of who they each were. It’s impossible to carve an ice sculpture with a blow torch or do brain surgery with a baseball bat. They were not equipped for one another. And that gave them permission to leave. Permission to move forward with some good memories and many lessons learned.

 

Permission to claim that hope and a future.