God hates you. I hate you. I’ve both shaken my fists at you in disbelief and cried in shame at your feet. I’ve alternately denied your presence and let your darkness completely define me. You’ve delighted in my accusations, anger, and sorrow. You know I find you to be a despicable enemy. You’re a thief who comes to kill, steal and destroy families.
And rob me you did…
But today is different. In the aftermath of your destruction I’m enveloped in a brilliant light. What you intended for evil, God has used for good! I am filled with Thanksgiving. Great things He has done.
You took away much more than you intended… and for that I give thanks to God. As you plowed through my life, you also inadvertently ripped and exposed the hardened soil of my heart. In your treacherous wake, you left fertile ground for God’s work.
When I felt my shattered world was more than I could bear, you heaped on more pain, deceit, injustice and suffering. I remember picturing my life as a flimsy paper plate, loaded with an entire Thanksgiving feast! When keeping the plate in one piece was all I could focus on, your sinister hand dumped another load of impossibly greasy mashed potatoes. You relished the impending disaster. But God was with me and held me and my portion in His hands. He taught me of His Sufficiency — where my true Protection came from. I let the Truth sink to my heart that I didn’t have to always be strong, and that dependence and weakness were fertile ground for His love to blossom in me.
Divorce, you left me emotionally broken and resigned to despair. It was just the posture the Father needed to teach me that I am His beloved daughter. That God delights in me and always has! Those months that followed the worst you had to offer, were the sweetest times I’ve ever experienced with my Abba.
I used to be self righteous, and like the Pharisees, I didn’t even realize it. I thought divorce could never happen to someone like me… I didn’t exactly judge those who were divorced, but I thought I was untouchable: a wee bit above that. Through divorce God taught me to always be aware in our hurting world of this Truth: but for the grace of God, there go I. He is creating in me (despite my flesh) a heart of compassion, humility and gentleness.
Divorce, you filled my world with chaos and confusion. You pulled the rug from under all I held dear. Everything I counted on for my security outside of God was affected. You left me feeling abandoned, vulnerable and alone. In my emptiness I cried out to God, and He delivered. He assured me that it was true: nothing in this world is everlasting. And that He alone is worthy of my worship and my complete trust. When I surrendered more of myself, wanting to be all-in with God, His generosity overwhelmed me. He gave me a prevailing JOY which had previously alluded me. His joy became my strength, and I no longer felt I had to always be the strong one. He graciously poured His peace over me — peace that trumps any circumstance I will ever endure. A peace that passes understanding.
Divorce, the pain, suffering and guilt you inflicted almost got this best of me. I flirted with self condemnation. But God’s Truth prevailed! My understanding of forgiveness expanded to a more thorough acknowledgement of my depravity and God’s forgiveness of me through the cross of Christ. He taught me that forgiveness isn’t just a prayer offered with a willing heart speaking Christ-like words and hoping for the best. God has shown me through this and other trials what it means to truly forgive my enemies — to pray for them and eventually even love them with His supernatural love. And He graciously understands my weakness and allows that forgiveness to be ongoing when my flesh drives me to less than He commands.
Divorce, there are so many other things you blew up or destroyed in the wake of your evil path —
- My ability to be selfish and prideful — without even realizing it.
- My desire to live only for myself, my family and my own little red wagon is gone. I fight to keep knowing and loving God as my first priority.
- You robbed me of caring most significantly for those who I believe are like me — allowing room for God to show me how similar all of humanity is.
- The protective walls I had built around my heart to shut out your unbearable pain, Divorce, were demolished when you forced your way in — but that also allowed Love to enter and grow as central to my existence.
- You’ve robbed me of my fantastic glass castle of illusion. Of appearing and feeling stable, safe and secure. But God is showing me His grand but trying adventure. His plan and purpose for my life!
- I no longer embrace keeping secrets as you encouraged. God has given me so many wonderful friends and professionals to hear my story and help me along the way!
Divorce, you have lost your power in my life. God’s faithfulness is so apparent to me now — worship is more meaningful than ever, and tears of gratitude and joy have returned to my eyes.
I begged God to save my marriage. To take away the pain and devastation. I knew He COULD do it, if He desired. But His ways and thoughts are so much higher and better than my own. He didn’t wave a magic wand to remove Divorce from my life. He did however use all the ugliness to do immeasurably more than I ever could have asked for, hoped for or imagined.
After I understood that He is my first love, my all in all — I truly knew I would be ok if I was otherwise alone. But God gave me the greatest earthly desire of my heart in my husband Rob, who loves and cherishes me like none other. Divorce, you tried to destroy us both, but in reality you served to fertilize the soil where God intended to show us HIS GLORY as He accomplishes His plan.
Divorce, you tried to convince us we are unlovable. But by God’s grace you lost. Through our marriage God is teaching us more each day about His unconditional love. His grace and the Fruit of the Spirit. Even in my current restlessness, I am more content than ever before.
So Divorce I despise you still, but this Thanksgiving I thank God for all He did in walking me through your treacherous world. And I place all the remaining hurts and consequences of your storm in His capable hands — with love, faith, hope and trust in my heart. To God be all Glory forever!
Faithfully, I belong to Him!
Reader: Maybe you’ve never been through divorce, but if you’re a child of God and you’ve lived a while — He’s probably brought you through some fire. Recall what God has done and how you’ve seen His power and found Him faithful. And just say Amen this Thanksgiving!
If by chance you’re in over your head and have never fully trusted God, may I encourage you to abandon yourself to God, your Creator, who loves you more than any of us can comprehend. You are more than safe in His hands. Give Him all you think, feel and want and trust Him to bring you through it all.
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