Finding God's Healing Through The Pain of Divorce
No one gets married thinking they will ever face divorce. Yet it happens. This post is in no way glorifying divorce or the destruction of marriage. This post is for anyone who has experienced the pain and heartache of divorce and wondered if they would ever make it through. God’s healing is for you. Yes, you. Thank you, Sharon, for being willing to share your testimony with us.
Divorce is an ugly word. By its mere definition it expresses failure. It is a word that triggers such a sad emotional response that you can watch someone’s face fall at the mere mention of it. It is a word that creates intimidation in one’s heart, even in the most steadfast relationships. It is a word that some refuse to utter out of fear of being cursed by it and yes, it is a word that can cause your closest friends to slowly back away and retreat.
Yet divorce happens. For several years, I began questioning, Why do some grow together and some grow apart? How will I know? When is enough truly enough?
For anyone who has ever walked through divorce, contemplating leaving your spouse is not an easy place to sit and ponder —it is perhaps the loneliest place. Fear, ‘what-if’s’ plagued my heart as I slowly began bargaining in my head. Somewhere along the way I started to calculate the cost of being alone. The internal tug of war made me anxious. Intimidation made me defensive.
The walls I built to keep me safe, protected, had slowly boxed me in. Denial became a desperate, hopeless companion that kept me from facing the fact that this marriage of 33 years might end as a statistic. A statistic I had been fighting against for so long. I found myself in that unimaginable situation - proverbially between that rock and that hard place, fully understanding that I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t. I only knew I could no longer live this way.
For years, my marriage rolled like a summer storm over the ocean. One crashing wave would rush in and then pull back in retreat only to come again in swells and breaks from the abyss to the shore. Then the sea would again rise from calm to a tempest without warning, raging and wrecking havoc in its wake until nature could take no more. The storm would slowly subside scattering its debris and the sun would again shine as if there was never a disturbance.
But I was never at rest. There was a perpetual undercurrent and I felt it, erupting uncontrollably and then ebbing and flowing with the push and the pull of the ocean. Somehow, a storm always leaves devastation in its wake. My marriage was no different.
Please understand I am not trying to rationalize or minimize divorce. There were many victims in divorce’s wake. I simply knew something had to change. We tried counseling, but as for so many, it didn’t last. I prayed for healing, cried out for it. Yet sometimes healing and change can be the hardest when both people aren’t willing to face the mountain of hurt, disappointment, and pain.
The tension between us stuck to my soul like a second skin. My heart ached. I was slowly shutting down, smothered by the lack of true intimacy and comfort in knowing I could trust my partner. For me, the decision to leave was one of self-preservation. It felt like a choice between a life of continual blame and guilt, or a life of freedom.
I was worn out and ragged, tired to the bone. I longed for stability. I had become angry, critical, judgmental, controlling — just like him — and I was desperate for life, breath, air. I had nothing left of me to give. I did not recognize who I had become.
Yes, God hates divorce.
But I also believe for those of us who have walked through a broken marriage and many more broken dreams, there is mercy, there is healing, there is forgiveness.
I found forgiveness. I found my healing at the feet of Jesus - in His throne room, in the full protection of the Most High God. When I felt tears of shame, guilt, humiliation running down my face, His eyes revealed His grace and mercy. His outstretched arms enveloped me in His strength and power. He embraced me as He whispered, You are mine and you are right where I want you to be. Stay put and do not move.His words brought cleansing peace like a river, rushing past me gathering all its cluttering debris and murky sediment bringing clarity to my mind and heart. My answer was, LORD, help me to keep my behavior excellent. I have no idea what is to come, but I trust You!
I found healing from the burden of codependency that was not mine to carry at all, placing it all squarely on the Cross of Christ. My heart grew more grateful every day for my new freedom as I let go of the life-long expectations of fixing what was not mine to fix, of managing people and situations that were not mine to oversee, and of taking on responsibilities thrust upon me that only belonged to God. CLICK TO TWEET
I soothed myself to sleep every night with a praise song in my head and woke with a worship melody every morning (I truly believe that He sang over me all night). I confessed my need for Jesus and His guidance before my first sip of coffee every single day.
I then set my mind to serve and volunteer, helping others in their own difficult situations. In doing so, I was keenly aware that I was not alone on my journey from brokenness, as I so often thought. Sometimes, it was a relief to hear stories worse than mine so that I would rejoice over my own miserable predicament.
Despair began to lift. Lies were replaced with truth the more I dug into the Word of God, letting it fill me with a reassuring hope, challenging me to walk in faith always.
No one crossed the threshold of my home for the entire first year as I hid in plain sight. I craved God’s presence and in my solitude I never felt alone. I beheld the beauty of Nature and Creation for the first time in a long time, seeing the awe and wonder of what has been planted will grow and what might look dead will indeed come back to life in due season.
Friendships have been planted, blossomed, and flourished over these last 4 years. I am learning how to file away those 33 years appropriately. Peace has become my new normal. I wait with great expectations. I believe my best years are still ahead of me - God is surely not finished with me yet. CLICK TO TWEET
Yes, divorce is brutal, it is messy, but it is not the end. If you have gone through a divorce, please know that God will not leave you in your mess, He didn’t leave me in mine. God will not hide His face when you ask for help. He will not smirk at your broken dreams. God will not inflict punishment upon you, nor will He pick at your scabs.
There is no sin EVER committed that Jesus’ blood cannot cover. He will wash your feet, dry your tears, kiss your forehead and hold you in His everlasting embrace. He is a Healer, a Restorer, a Binder of wounds, a faithful Friend, a Rescuer, and a mind-blowing source of Righteousness and Comfort. CLICK TO TWEET
Turn to Him, who gave His all for you. Your heart and your future are safe with Him — it’s not over, yet. He lovingly tells us so. Let Him breathe you back to life. Let Him give you a double portion for your shame. He is love! Rest in Him.
I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
About This Community
Don't we all want a little peace? My heart for this community is to provide just that - a needed refuge from all the burdens that weigh us down, some encouragement and inspiration to keep us weary travelers moving forward on our journeys, and some practical advice to help each of us navigate the challenges of life and relationships. Whether in our parenting, our marriages, our faith, or the broken places in our hearts, this place is for anyone who dares to reach beyond the hopelessness that surrounds us and embrace a lifestyle of emotional abundance and peace!
About Peace for a Lifetime
In my book, Peace for a Lifetime, I share the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace. Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I've discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with myself, God and with others. Through my story and other’s stories you’ll realize that you can experience the life for which you long. You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine. You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow. You can experience peace —for a lifetime!
Peace for a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com.
Book Trailer: https://vimeo.com/155392891