Sunday, September 2, 2012

I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:Genesis, 12:2

I’m not sure where to begin this post.  I feel pressured to nail it; to fully describe my emotions and intentions without causing you to doubt my decision.

Right or wrong approach, I’m going to start on the defensive. Its my nature to go into something I am anxious about with a defensive manner.  Forgive me if this offends you.
I came across a quote that sums up how I feel. To eliminate the negative attitude that the original quote screams, I changed the wording but the meaning behind it is the same in a sense. 

“Don’t criticize my decisions. You don’t know the half of what I’ve been through and dealt with.  There’s a reason I do the things I do, there’s a reason I am who I am.”

All I am doing is begging for understanding of this and also have faith in me that I am making the right decision.  That I did pray about it, that I did seek the scripture, and that I did talk to those with wise counsel.  Bottom line, the decision was mine to make and I had to come to peace about it before making it.  I did find that peace and it continues to flow through me in this decision.
I’m not going to go into step by step detail of how this came about; but share the highlights. I had been thinking about this choice for about 6 weeks before talking to this one special person. (This has been in the process currently for 5 months as of this posting).  I had already received some wise counsel on the subject.  There was one person I really needed to talk to about this.  Someone very special …very special to me and even more special to my three children.  I asked her what her thoughts were regarding this because what I was considering had been done to her when she was younger.  Her instantaneous reply was “Do it.  It will be the best thing you could ever do for them”.  Speaking to her was as close to walking into my children’s future as I could get.  She is my children’s older sister.

The second shining moment in my decision was when I wrote about the lawyer post.  I soon had a message from a friend.  This friend is older and so much wiser and has guided me through so much in the past 4 years.  I told her of my decision/plan and her immediate response was “Good.  I have felt that you needed to do this but it was strange enough I wasn’t sure how to approach you on it.  How to you go to someone and suggest this?”   Knowing she felt this way made me think that God had spoken to her weeks earlier so she could later give me the support I would need.
The final and confirming moment for me was when I pulled into the cemetery for my weekly Sunday morning visit.  The sun was shining down on my dad’s grave.  The ‘Dale’ faded in my sight and ‘Bauman’ stuck out so clear.  I then realized that a person’s last name is more than just a name.  It is your identity and it ties you to someone. Typically a man: father or husband.  A man that is supposed to love you and cherish you.  When a woman gets married she takes her husband’s name and it ties her to him. I wanted to be tied to the only man who ever really loved me.  I wanted my dad’s name.  I wanted to be marked and identified by the man who actually loved me.  Who cherished me and adored me.  And even though he never held my children; I know he would’ve loved them so much. And shown them he loved them.  He wouldn’t have abandoned them.  They deserve his name.  They deserve his good name.

In my reading of the Bible and putting the word 'name' into a Bible search engine, I was surprised at the number of results that popped up. (958 times in 861 verses KJV).  As I sifted through the verses, glancing over them I came to the realization at how important names are to God.  The first thing Adam did for Eve was to name her.  His first job in the garden was the give each living thing a name.  The names in the Bible have meaning behind them; an intention of what that person or place should be or represent.  Names are labels and are important to God.   

Experiencing those things truly confirmed that God was allowing pushing me to do this.  After I decided to go for it, I started to wonder if that was why God kept me in Ohio for so long; to get to the point that I needed to get to.  Doing this will allow me to truly move on, not just physically but emotionally.  It is as though God is stripping all the bad away from the past 10 years and is leaving me with the 3 good things that came from it.  
I have decided to file divorce and change my last name, along with the three children’s name, back to my maiden name.

The filing divorce is completely and totally Biblical.  Not going to go into the details of all he has done against me and our marriage…I am aware that I have readers who are a bit younger.  But trust that there are many things that Randy has done to give me Biblical allowance to file divorce.  
This was a tough decision.  I cannot get remarried because of the Bible’s commandments against remarriage/adultery. My thoughts had been how would a divorce benefit me?  I kept opening to Matthew 5:31 "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:"  I then realized that while divorce sadden God's heart and made Him weep, He knew that there were the situations where divorce was needed; closure was necessary.  I was still wrestling with the concept of me filing for divorce.  But to change my name I needed this done.  I needed the name change.  Seeing his last name attached to mine was disgusting and painful.  I didn’t want any part of it.  But if the kids wanted to keep it; I would’ve gritted my teeth and dealt with it.  Also with a divorce, I can have closure.  How do I answer the question "Are you married?  Where's your husband? Where did you meet him?  How long have you been married?  Yadda yadda yadda...."  What do I say?  "Yes, I am married but my husband has not been around in 18 months and last I heard he is living with his girlfriend???  He shows no interest in our children who now I claim as only mine."  Now I can say, "No, I'm not married" End of discussion.  This whole process, while long and mentally trying, will bring peace in the end.

I spent countless hours talking to the kids about the name change; as a group and individually. To make sure they understood completely what I was talking about.  All three were in unison: Change our name! 
Speaking to an older and wiser man his concern echoed mine: “What would they think in 10 years?  Would they be angry? Or bitter?”  Another thought was concerning the concept of labels.  We are what we are labeled.  And Riley was acting out and his excuse was “Well, the Call men act that way”.  Bad excuse because they all don’t; but was acceptable in his mind because he saw how his dad was. (Or in this case, what his dad wasn’t).

In deciding to go forth with this it puts a hindrance on the move.  The house is in the process of selling and I need to be out in about a month.  However, I have to stay in the state/county until the legal process is complete. Adds a whole new plethera of problems but it will be worth it in the end.
Because we are staying a bit longer, Riley asked to sign up for football.  It has been such an awesome thing for him.  But that is neither here nor there…the main benefit is that he asked to be signed up as 'Bauman'.  Even though his legal name isn’t that yet.  He wanted ‘Bauman’ on his jersey.  He did not want any markings of his father on him anymore.

Bauman-#2.  He chose that number because of a cousin
that has been a great influence on him. 
Riley is so excited to wear a Rittman Indian's jersey as 'Bauman #2'
Starting this post on the defense, I’m going to end on the offense by sharing my heart with my decision.  (Offense-Defense…too much football talk around here ;o)

This morning was Riley’s first football game.  As I was helping dress for the game, I slid the jersey over the shoulder pads.  I was getting ready to slip it over his head and he paused.  He held the pads/jersey in his hands and looked at the name on the back.  He sighed and smiled. “Bauman, number 2” was all he said.  I could see the peace in his eyes. 
I just wish I could somehow write and describe how much this decision has affected us.  The children are enrolled in school under their legal names, but in the classroom they go as ‘Bauman’.  Having this change, releasing the negative off of us, has been absolutely amazing. 

I stand in awe that God loves me enough to allow this, to have put this thought in my mind, to put the words in my friends’ mouths, to provide me with wise counsel.  It is as though God has taken an eraser and has wiped my slate clean.  Things that still haunted me about my abuse from Randy don’t haunt my thoughts anymore.  They have faded into a distant memory; almost as though I remember it from a close friend sharing her story with me but I hadn’t actually lived it.
I used to believe that a name was just a name and you could make it whatever you wanted it to be.  I don’t believe that anymore.  A name speaks a million words.  A name can make you feel weak and bad and dirty and beaten.  A name can make you feel good and strong and loved.  And that’s what I’m doing for us.  Please be prayerful through these steps and changes. 

1 comment:

  1. I so wish we lived closer so I could come give you a big hug :)