That’s not to say I wasn’t ashamed, both times. I was horribly ashamed, and embarrassed – but I had it coming. I was profoundly unhappy in my marriage and was no longer willing – not for friends, family or even Jesus – to keep it going.
Excommunicated was the word I used, as it lent a hint of drama to the situation. Actually, it was a simple conversation. The minister explained that, if I pursued divorce I wouldn’t be following the church’s teachings and could no longer be welcome. I think my tears in that moment made him hopeful, that perhaps he was finally reaching me with this revelation of what I would be losing. I was saved, the deal was closed, but in truth, it never really took.
It was a bad match, much like the marriage crumbling beneath me. My relationship with Jesus was going the way of my marriage – built on good intentions, colliding with unmet expectations and finally wrecked by lies. I was breaking up with two good men – both of whom I’d been a disappointment to, and was sincerely relieved to be released from.
Church members tried to convince me, talk me out of my choice, save me from myself. Even the minister’s wife tried, but I got the sense she understood better than anyone. My precariously perched soul was finally given up on, and in the end, it didn’t seem to be hard for most of them to let me go. Nor was it hard for me to go. It never fit me – like the baptismal robe, it was too heavy, even before it got wet.