You know, I was sitting here praising God for a dear friend of mine that had victory in her life over a situation. She had gone through a nasty 2 year long divorce and was finally awarded her home, for her children. But as I sat here encouraging her, I couldn’t help but think about my own life and how I too had gone through a nasty divorce not so long ago.
Now keep in mind, if you have never experienced a divorce you don’t have a clue, I say this, not to be mean, but because there are so many people that I personally encountered that “Judged me” based on my decisions. They either had never been married or had never experienced a divorce.
Let me begin with, Divorce is NOT a sin, and your not going to hell and your purpose is not voided!
I am not going to go into scripture, to create a religious debate. Although, I will tell you I’ve done many hours of research. But more importantly I’ve spent countless hours on God’s chest, listening to His heart over this matter.
I do believe that it DOES grieve Gods heart when we go through divorce. God does not want this for us because it hurts his children and it destroys families.
I am not justifying divorce. I think you should do everything within your power to make it work. That’s why I was married for 17 years. But I also don’t believe that my Father in heaven thinks its ok to be in an unhealthy relationship with someone who does not want to change, or an abusive relationship. Mental, physical, spiritual or emotional. You should never stay in a relationship that is abusive, I don’t care what the religious community says. Make sure you and your kids are in a safe environment.
If you have ever experienced a divorce, there is a certain level of shame that comes with it. Lets face it, it means you failed at something. It doesn’t always make it your fault, it just means something you tried and it didn’t work. Sometimes we experience divorce not by choice, but because the other person chose. But either way, it is still very painful, whether you wanted it or not. Regardless of who chose to walk away, you need to let go of the shame. Its not yours to carry.
Divorce is NOT for the weak. Divorce is painful, expensive, and mentally, emotionally exhausting. It takes everything you have just to go on during that time. And when I say its long, if your lucky it will take 6 months. But if you have acquired anything in the marriage or have been married a decent amount of time, 6 months is a figment of your imagination. I’ve known people that it took 3 years, 2 years and almost 2 years for me. So, if you think its quick and easy its not!
Expect a fight, You better know that the other person most likely will do everything in their power to make you look like the worst human being on the planet. Expect to be lied about, talked about and shunned. Divorce is not for the weak.
Expect to be rejected. This was a big wake up call for me. You need to know that divorce is a weed eater! You are going to find out real quick the people in your life that are genuine and adding to your garden of life and the people that are choking you out by being a weed! I lost so many people including family members when I went though my divorce. At first I was devastated, I didn’t understand how these people that I had poured my life into could turn on me so quickly. Most had never even asked me what happened, they just believed the lies that were being told. But guess what? I thank God every day for that pruning of people out of my life. I obviously didn’t need them in my life anymore, they were just a weed.
My season with them is over. So if you have experienced the same thing, even though its painful. Let them go. Don’t go chasing them down, trying to apologize. God removed them for a reason. Let them be. Who cares what they think, their opinion of you is not your business! They are a weed.
Forgiveness. Ouch this one hurts. Yes, the most important thing I learned is to forgive. I am learning to forgive the people that rejected me. God revealed to me recently that I still had unforgivness. So He is bringing those people to mind and allowing me to forgive them. Just the other morning on my walk I saw someone that had hurt me deeply, I wanted to walk around them but God said no. So I walked passed them and purposely said hello and asked them how they were. I didn’t stop for small talk, I just kept going, they acknowledged me, but as I walked away I said in my heart, “I forgive you.” I felt an immediate release from that person.
You also need to forgive your spouse. No matter what they did, Now I had said I forgive you, but God showed me there is still unforgiveness. That pain in my heart isn’t hurting them, its keeping me in bondage. So its important no matter what you experienced that you forgive them and then release them. It isn’t easy but God will help.
Now the biggest area of forgiveness, is not always with other people, but learning to forgive yourself. Again, shame comes in and tells you, your a failure. There were a lot of things I could have done different through the years, so for those things I have to forgive myself and move on. I cant keep letting the enemy remind me of my past. I repented and I have to let it go. The enemy keeps reminding me of what others have done to me, I have to forgive them and let it go. Its a process of healing.
Friends, let me tell you this from the deepest part of my heart. God loves you so very much. Divorce is not the end of your world, although it feels like it at times. It is simply now a part of your testimony. Divorce does not define you, what you have done in your past isn’t what defines you, but rather what obstacles you have overcome defines who you are!
Is God mad at you or disappointed in you because you went through a divorce or 2 or 3 even? No. Yes his heart is sad because you are in pain. But hes not mad at you. He made you. God says “before I formed you in your mothers womb, I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5 (paraphrased)
So He knew everything you were ever going to experience. He knew what you would say or do or not do. He isn’t surprised by anything that has happened in your life. Can you imagine God sitting up in heaven saying, “Wow Peter, I had no idea (insert your name here) was going to make that choice, I cant believe she/he is doing that, what are we going to do now?”
I laugh when I think about it like that. But I also praise God that He knew me. He knew the choices I would make, and He already had a plan ready for me. You see just because I made that choice doesn’t mean God loves me less or that my purpose is now voided. NO…God says that” ALL things work for the good of those who love the lord and are called according to his purpose”. Romans 8:28 (my favorite) That means that because I am his child, I repent of my sins, my purpose is still mine.
He uses everything we go through in life to help others, which is exactly why I am able to write this. Because my mess, is now my message. So friends, don’t struggle with shame or guilt. Let it go. Know that God still has an amazing plan for your life, if you will continue to trust him even when things don’t go right, His purpose will be revealed. There is life after divorce, there is hope and there is peace.
Gods love is everlasting, His grace is sufficient and his mercy is new everyday. And your going to get through this because you are so much stronger than you think you are!
Friends, divorce is not the end of your life, just a season. It is however the beginning to a whole new life, of something new and amazing. Learn from your mistakes and move forward knowing, your best days are still ahead! Despite what you may see around you.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.