my scarlet letter

I still wince every time I say divorce. Since it's not finalized yet, it'll be a while till I say ex-husband. But I'm pretty sure I'm gonna feel queasy the first time I have to say it out loud.

There are words in my now-almost-daily vocabulary that I never imagined saying with any great frequency. I feel like I'm in a John Grisham novel when I say things like my attorney, litigation, and counterclaim. But then I remember it's not a courtroom drama. It's my life.

And I just have to shake my head.

The D-word is by far the hardest though.

I feel a shameful sting in the word divorce. I hear the unspoken judgments, like What's wrong with her that made her husband leave? and She's used goods and even simply Tsk tsk.

I hear them because my heart has been that condemning of others.

My good Christian upbringing left me judgmental. Pious. Spiritually stuck-up. Without realizing it, I've looked down on those who were divorced. I've unconsciously viewed it as the ultimate failure. Practically unpardonable---not in God's eyes but in the Church's.

And now here I am, walking around with a red D on my chest for the world to see. And I feel not only the weight of others' judgment, but also the historical weight of my own.

How horribly arrogant I've been!

I hope to someday be able to say divorce without hanging my head in shame, or feeling the need to justify it with an explanation, or wincing as I hear it megaphone my insufficiencies. I hope someday my heart fully believes that my divorce doesn't define me and that I am enough because He is enough.

In the meantime, the D-word will remind me of my own need for repentance.

And that only God is judge.