The Choice

How do you respond to divorce? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

When I heard the news that Allie wanted to file for divorce, I was devastated, as you can imagine. It happened when I was working at my job at Kroger at the time. Allie contacted me and I was sure I knew what it was about. I called her to just get it over with then and I only had an hour in my shift, but I talked to my manager and was still crying and said “I can stay at work, but please don’t put me in front of people.”

He was the only one then who knew what happened.

For my last day in Georgia, I had a friend who stopped by and I then realized I had misread a text from Allie and had to clear out. Thankfully, he was there as I couldn’t stop crying my eyes out. I didn’t really want to have this be happening. When my family came over the next day to pack up my stuff, I was so distraught I was of very little help.

Yet when I got back to my parents’ house, I knew I had to make a choice and I honestly don’t know when I realized it or how I did it, but I didn’t want to be constantly bawling in front of my parents for one thing. Sympathy from friends is one thing, but from parents, it’s another. At the same time, I can say as a man nearly 41 years old, I love my parents, but I do want to live on my own instead.

So I had to make a resolve. I could either be defeated, or I could win. As a gamer, I have a rule. When you play, you play to win. I decided I could either live my life in defeat or do nothing or choose to look in the face of adversity and take it on full throttle.

That doesn’t mean I do perfect. There are still times I can have hard days and hard nights where it is hard to sleep. There can still be times of intense depression. Overall though, that isn’t happening. If anything, I am just resolved.

I do still talk to the therapist I talked with in Georgia on the phone on a weekly basis. He is still guiding me. We talk about dealing with divorce, my work and living situation, and my plans to remarry. He even still recommends me marriage books and many times I still buy some and read them as remarriage is part of my plan for life.

Perhaps what you go through right now isn’t divorce, but there could be something. For me, it’s the power of choice. It’s kind of like how if two patients get a cancer diagnosis and one says “I’m going to beat this diagnosis and come out on the other end” and the other says “Woe is me”, the former is far more likely to survive based on the power of the will.

I have been given much advice on this and tried to follow it. My therapist said if I want to date again, I need to update my wardrobe, so I have already talked to my sister who is a beautician and asked for her help with this. Some have said I need to work on learning etiquette, so I am looking for resources on that too. I have got books on learning how to interact with women and read body language.

For example, as an Aspie, eye contact is extremely difficult, but I have read to just try to briefly glance into someone’s eyes. For this one, let it be both men and women. Get used to this. Then for women, when it is appropriate, smile at them. That doesn’t mean you ask them out or anything, but it does mean I work on building up my confidence there. It’s really fascinating to me how many smiles back I get.

I did say I share my Patreon more often. I really haven’t liked doing that, but I have to work to reach my own goals. I am also trying to build up my YouTube channel which can be found here, which means making videos and getting more subscribers. I work five days a week, so I try to make one on my day off.

My goal is first to move out. I either need to earn enough so that I can afford rent and everything else here, or else find a roommate, which is difficult since so many of the guys I know through DivorceCare also have kids which could make it difficult to have room for us to stay. They will also have to be someone who is friendly to cats since Shiro being with me is a non-negotiable.

Once I am out, that is when I really plan to start dating again. It is the therapy and the reading I am doing to work on my character and everything about me to make sure I am the husband I really am supposed to be someday. I also have a rule that I won’t be alone in a place I live with the girl or alone in the place she lives with her until marriage. I don’t want to risk temptation.

Also, I have plans to get my Master’s in Practical Apologetics at Colorado Christian University. I just have to pay off a class I took at Johnson University that I never finished paying for to get my transcripts. It’s going to be about $1,000. I plan to pay it by December if I have to so I can start my Master’s work. I can cover it now if I have to, but I’m still trying to save up money, especially since a financial advisor has plans for investing once I get to $10,000 in my account. After that Master’s though, I hope to get my PhD.

For fun meanwhile, I also have a friend who donates to me and part of the requirement is that some of that goes every month to cover a subscription to Final Fantasy XIV. Online gaming like this helps get my mind off of things going on and I play with many friends. If you are on there, I am Phoenix Skywing. A friend for my upcoming birthday this month also gifted me the latest expansion coming out in November.

Having these goals is important also because it means I have a plan to where I’m going. Even if I’m not sure how I will get there, I have some reason to get up every day and live my life. I want to embrace it as a gift. Attitude greatly matters.

Do I have hatred towards Allie in this? No. Sometimes, I do have anger, but I really do want the best for her. What good would it be to live with anger and hostility like that, which can be difficult sometimes? If I am seething with anger, for example, what is it doing to her? Nothing. What is it doing to me? It’s damaging me.

Instead, I try to live with the following rule in mind. The best revenge is a life well-lived. So I get divorced and it’s a horrible pain and I wish it hadn’t have happened this way. Sure. Yet if I just roll over and die and sulk in bed all day, I accomplish nothing. I might as well get up and continue the battle every day and in the end, I want to stand before God with a clear conscience.

I can also say that there have been times of wrestling with God and trying to understand what is going on, but I have nowhere else to really turn. I honestly think that if I didn’t have my knowledge of what I know through years of apologetics, I might not have made it through this or be making it through this. No doubt also, the great circle of friends I have is extremely supportive.

For all wondering also, I am on good terms with Allie’s family. I will be at ETS this year as I think I need to get myself out there and get recognized so that is a worthwhile financial investment and this year, I will be rooming with Mike. Of course, I made mistakes as any husband does. None of us are perfect spouses and as Lewis says, “We are all very hard to live with.” Still, my former in-laws know about the love that I had for Allie and that I did treat her well.

And oh yes, while I do take delight in being on the spectrum, like I said, I am working on things like eye contact more and more. I know some traits could be very annoying in a way I don’t want to a woman. Some could be hard to change and might need that female help. Allie did more to change my diet, for example, than anyone else ever had.

This is my battle and the cross I have to carry for now. It is not yours and even if you are going through a divorce, my divorce is different from yours still. However, I think my general outline of what I am doing can still apply to you whatever your cross is. Basically, it’s just choosing to live and overcome and work hard at it. It’s having some goals so that you have a reason to wake up in the morning and do something. It’s trying to say that your life is a gift and you want to live it and to enjoy the good things of this world. It’s still as a Christian embracing Jesus Christ and being faithful even when you can feel like you’re being given a raw deal.

I am not saying it is easy, but I am saying it is possible. It is your choice. I have made mine.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

The Awful Choice

What choice do you need to avoid at all costs? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

September is always a special month for me. It is my birthday month and the day for me will be this Thursday. I will be 39. No. I don’t man Jack Benny 39. I mean I was literally born in 1980.

So there is always something I look forward to in September. Nowadays also, it’s pretty easy for people to give gifts to me. Just Amazon cards and I’m good. My folks gave me a gift card to the Nintendo eShop so I could get the Collection of Mana on the Switch, my wife gave me Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far, my in-laws got me an Amazon card, my sister will be getting me something I’m sure, and Thursday night a depression and bipolar support group Allie and I attend will be having a cake party for me.

Yet with all of that, I decided to also donate my birthday to a cause and that is to stop an awful choice. September is a happy month, but it’s also a time to think about something quite serious. September is National Suicide Awareness Month.

Suicide is the awful choice, and I know about it all too well. My wife is someone who struggles with this and when I met her she had just had a suicide attempt. The worst day of my life, and nothing else ever comes close, was when I found out she had had a second overdose. Nothing comes close to that. Thankfully, she is starting to get the therapy that she needs.

When someone is wrestling with suicidal temptations, they really are not thinking straight. I meet people who had a loved one commit suicide decades earlier and they are still being affected by it. It is never something that you just get over. It leaves behind so many questions.

The thing is that suicide is a way of saying that nothing else is worth it. Evil has won the battle over good as far as the person is concerned. There is useless suffering in their lives. It’s not a shock that many times this is coming alongside of doubt in God. This is normally not so much His existence, but His goodness. Does God really care?

One can easily think of C.S. Lewis. When his wife died, he wrote A Grief Observed. There he found that the awful fear was not that God does not exist. It is that God does exist and this is what He is really like. It is easy to question God’s forgiveness and love.

This is even more so when we live in a society that tends to base everything on our emotions and how we feel. If we feel like God doesn’t care, well guess what? It seems obvious that God doesn’t care. Add in that God could do something and He doesn’t seem to and you have a recipe for disaster.

I wish I could convince anyone out there like this that that is not so. The truth is, a rational argument will very rarely overpower an emotion. Might I just urge you then to do a few things?

First off, please get a counselor. An LPC is preferred but even if simply a pastoral counselor, get one. You need someone you can talk to who can help you through this.

Second, get out of the house some. It’s so tempting to isolate, but that only makes it worse. Go out and spend time with friends and family who do care about you.

Third, if you have to, go to a hospital or some place like that. Get yourself taken care of. Don’t be afraid if you’re a Christian, or anyone else for that matter, to take psychiatric medication. Your brain can need medication just as much as your body can.

Fourth, please try to realize you are loved. Your emotions will very often lie to you about many many things. It’s hard to hear that they are, but the truth is, they are.

Fifth, if you need to, reach out to the Suicide Prevention Hotline. You have no idea how many people will miss you if you do something to yourself. You might think you are no big deal, but the truth is that you are. I would not even wish my worst enemy to commit suicide.

Whoever you are reading this, please understand you are loved as you are. Love is not something earned. It is a gift. You are a gift as well. Someone out there views you in some way as a gift.

Please don’t make the awful choice.

Please live.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Suicide Prevention Hotline can be donated to here.