I didn’t think I would ever be as publicly straight forward as I am about to be about the topic of divorce, but after sitting with the Lord I felt I needed too. For others going through the same thing, if I can offer any kind of encouragement, there is not only light at the end of the tunnel but there is gold all along the way.
I am walking out divorce with several friends, myself included. Some of them didn’t want it, their spouse choose it. Others needed to get out for their safety. In my case, I was the one who chose divorce. Almost one year ago I knew I had to get out of the marriage I was in. Let me be very clear. I am NOT here to throw my ex under the bus. My heart is to sit and talk to you about what happens when this horrific thing happens to YOU personally. Because it is horrific. No matter who chose it. The loss of dreams, betrayal for many, and so, so many broken promises which results in a broken heart that’s bleeding out from every side.
You don’t marry with the expectation you’re going to get divorced. Well, I sure hope you don’t. When you get married there are usually always some kind of unrealistic expectations but you never think it’s going to come down to taking off your ring, filing papers, and standing before a judge. But, that’s what has happened to me.
I remember when I first took off my ring. I was almost numb.
How did it come to this? How was I here? How did two people who (in the beginning) loved Jesus so much come to this place? Would I be shamed as the woman for choosing this? How many rumors would circulate about me as people tried to guess what happened between us because I chose this? Would I ever laugh again? Would I ever love again?
Everything in me wanted to crumple under the weight of this deep loss. To give up. To just let go. To not care. I wasn’t supposed to be taking off my wedding ring. All of this wasn’t supposed to be happening. I was supposed to be loved, cherished, and supported. The reality is, none of those things were true.
Your heart response to the knife gutting pain will be the very thing that carries you into your next season of life. I knew I had to get on my knees and cry out to God. He was the only one who understood the pain screaming inside of me. I could never cry enough tears to let all of that pain out. Screaming, yelling, punching things helped for a moment. But the pain, oh the pain.
Like a raging fire it burned hot seeking to destroy everything in its path. And I knew it would if I let it.
I knew I would end up a complete mess and probably an alcoholic if I didn’t respond correctly to this pain that tried to ravish my insides.
In the very beginning it was playing worship music almost 24/7, journaling 6-10 hours a day, and my friends who kept me afloat. I was texting my friends almost all day everyday for the first couple months as I grappled with this decision I had made. Thank you Jesus for sweet friends who text you at 3am as if it’s no big deal. I was trying to sort out everything going through my head and heart so I wouldn’t be overtaken by it all. After a while I found my feet again and began to be able to stand on my own. But the tears still flowed, oh did they flow. (They haven’t stopped yet btw.) Then before I knew it I was running again with new friends that pushed me to believe again. Not only was I running but I was laughing, joyful and at complete peace. I was me again, but an even better version than when I had met my ex. I am now a beautiful, laughing, crying mess. Very aware of the undeserved grace I have been extended in this process. What I have now is an unshakeable peace that overrides every fear or doubt that tries to slip back into my heart that was once traumatized by fear.
God recently spoke a phrase to me that summarized the past couple years perfectly.
“The enemy thought he was going to destroy you, instead he awoke the lioness”
I started laughing and crying all at once. The phrase hit my spirit and I knew it was truth. Where I had been beaten down emotionally, where I had every right to give up and ‘surrender’ to depression, I chose to run to Jesus and fight for my heart. I ran to the only one who could pick up all the broken pieces and put me back together as if it had never been broken. In this process I re-discovered just who I was. How had I forgotten? He created me a lioness. Fierce protector. Playful at times. But don’t you dare mess with what God’s given me, I will pounce. Funny side note: I found a prophetic word someone had spoken over me 7.5 years ago saying this very thing about me having the spirit of a lion, willing to protect what God’s given me. Of course it was lodged in a chapter of the bible that the day before I had been talking to God about- Well, let’s be honest. I told God don’t you dare send me a confirmation using this chapter cause that would just be too over the top, my heart wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of goodness. Guess what my extravagant God did 😉 Yep. He loves to give good gifts. Not only did He confirm, but He reminded me of who I was just when I needed it.
I may forget the promises spoken over me, but God never does.
Walking through divorce looked NOTHING like I thought it would though. Don’t get me wrong it hurt like hell, and it still hurts on occasion, but walking through the grieving process was different than I imagined. There was a peace through the whole thing that was what kept me focused on God and His ability to finish the work He started in me. If you’ve ever heard Rita Springer’s song “Defender” you know what I am talking about. It took every bit of me that was angry as hell, that wanted vindication, and allowed the Lord to be charge of that. Trusting that he would be my defender. All He asked of me was to sit with Him every day and give all of me and He would heal me. It goes against everything we are taught. When we are knocked down we are taught to knock the other person down, or at least spew nasty words to prove our strength, to prove our worth. When you release the need to prove anything you’re able to receive everything.
Instead, God asked me to just sit with Him and He would take care of the rest. He wanted to love me back to wholeness.
Friends, this is where the magic took place. In this place of surrender. I spent over six months in this deep pursuit. Desperate to know the goodness of God, I didn’t care if others thought I was wasting my day spending almost my entire day everyday on my knees, or on the floor barren before the Lord. Most of the time weeping as He just loved on me. Showing me where I hurt. Showing me how His faithful love that can heal that wound. I just had to say yes. It was always my choice. Your healing is your choice. God will never force you into receiving His love. He is however standing right next to you waiting for you to let Him carry you into wholeness. If you are in this place of walking out divorce I urge you to spend the time investing in your heart. Today is the perfect day to begin this journey. He is so faithful to meet us time and time again.
God kept telling me He was even better than I imagined, that the dreams He had for me were better than I could imagine. While I couldn’t quite see it every time, deep down I knew it was true. I didn’t know how but I knew it was. So I chose to believe.
I chose to believe that the impossible was possible.
As I released the pain, as I let the tears flow I discovered the beauty that is the love of God that heals every broken place. I found my source again. My living water. My hope. God was taking what should have NEVER happened to me and was declaring promises of restoration and redemption for my life. He took the deepest pain and hurt and because of my YES to the process He began showing me more places I hurt, more places I wasn’t letting love in my heart.
Instead of just picking up the broken pieces He was bringing to remembrance dreams I had since I was a little girl that I had given up over the last couple years. As He did this He showed me He truly was the restorer. He wanted those dreams more than I did. Through this process I have seen His perfect love truly does cast out ALL fear. Fear didn’t have a place in my heart any longer. Where it had made a home for so many years God showed me that not only did it not have to be that way, but He didn’t want that for me. He wanted me to know the security of His love. I now walk with an unshakeable peace deep within me that knows I am loved by God.
Friend, if this is you. If you are currently walking out divorce I want to remind you. This is my reminder too.
You have not missed your chance at love.
You are loved.
You too will love again, deeper than you ever imagined.
Just because one person didn’t want you, doesn’t mean God doesn’t.
When you choose to surrender the deepest of pains, you will be filled to the deepest measure. What happened to you was NEVER supposed to happen. He is even angrier than you are about it. God has spoken this to my heart several times and every time He does I fall more and more in love with God. Knowing He is trustworthy. The injustice that occurred to me was NEVER God’s desire. He does not want to be associated with such a horrific thing. But He never left my side through it all. And He will never leave my side as I begin this journey of life after divorce. In this journey I have re-discovered myself and I continue to every day that I say YES to this journey. And it’s just that. A journey. I have no idea where I am headed but as long as He is by my side I will dive in head first. Because He always leads well. There are so many gold nuggets along the way as you walk out divorce. I pray you are able to see them. If not, pray God would open your eyes to what HE WANTS for your heart today. I guarantee you it’s beyond what you could ever imagine.
As I finish up, here I want to say: I’m not looking for pity or sympathy by sharing my story. I honestly don’t need it. I’ll take all the prayers you have, but pity I don’t want. I have always and will always share my story with a hope to inspire and encourage. This is my testimony of His goodness. I pray that you are encouraged and strengthened that God makes everything beautiful in its perfect time. You too friend, he will restore and redeem every last broken piece if you let Him.
If you’re going through divorce and want to chat. I would love to hear your story or how I can pray for your heart. Comment below or send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.