Divorcing a Narcissistic God

Ours was the first hearing of the morning. The courtroom was empty. We sat, waiting for the minute hand to tick around to the top of the hour. Waiting for the judge.

“You look really beautiful.”

I looked sideways in disbelief. He was leaving us for another woman. Had told me repeatedly that he didn’t want me and had no interest in our family. What an odd compliment.

“I am really beautiful.” I said quietly. “But that’s not why we’re here.”

The bailiff walked in and announced “All rise.” Ten minutes later we left with our uncontested divorce finalized.

It was a long drive home from the little county courthouse. Lot’s of quiet road to  process. I took a right at the fork. It wasn’t the fastest way… But it would go through the wind farm. Somehow those giant white turbines had become my thinking place. As I drove, my thoughts seemed to drift, twisting into shapes and ideas I hadn’t ever put into words before. 

I thought about my marriage as a whole. The overarching themes. The big picture.

I saw this system where my purpose had been to provide emotional validation to someone else, whether through my adoration, or through my pain. I saw a system of future-faking with fake promises to get me hang in there yuck for just a little while longer… because eventually it would all be okay. I saw a system of a big person in charge, manipulating a little person to get what he desired.

As I’m finally seeing the whole truth of my 9 year marriage, God whispered to me “What do you want?” I leaned into that question. What would I want in a relationship? A picture began to form. Stability. Honesty. Room for mistakes. Safety. Honor. Respect for my human dignity. A partner to walk beside, instead of being ruled over. Free will. Mutual love. Empathy. 

As this picture of my dream man came together, God whispered “This is what I am.”

I pulled the van over onto the cracked red clay ground. I turned off the engine and sat in shocked silence. A cow watched me from behind a strand of barbed wire.

There it was. I had been seeing God as a sort of extension of my husband.

I saw a god who created me to provide the worship he craved, either through my adoration or through my pain. I saw a god who made promises to get us to serve him, then jerked them away. I saw a god who kept promising that things would be better eventually, and if I fed him with enough of my tears and cries and prayers, he would make me happy after death. I saw a god who was big and in charge, and manipulated the tiny ants below for his own amusement.

I worshiped a Narcissistic god.

I sat there with that though hanging heavily in the air. This was not who God was. How had He become this petty, legalistic, vindictive and insatiable deity in my mind?

I got out of the van. The nearest wind turbine towered over me, and made a slight whistling sound as the fins spun around. The dry August grass crunched under my feet. The cow took a nervous step sideways and eyed me suspiciously.

I lifted my hands. “Not any longer!” I said. “You are not my god. And I will not serve you. This god of lust for power and delight in suffering. This god of anger and vindication. This god is no longer in my life. I divorce you!”

Just like that, I got divorced the second time in a single morning. The flat, open wind farm was my courtroom. Old Bessie was my reluctant witness. And thankfully nobody else drove down that county road, because I looked undeniably crazy.

I got back in the van and pulled back on the old blacktop. Bessie muttered “Well that was weird.” and went back to chewing her cud.

A strange silence filled my soul. “God, TRUE God, I don’t know who you are… But I just made room for you here. I give myself to love. You will have to take care of the rest.”