Category Archives: divorce

A Thanksgiving Letter to Divorce

Dear Divorce,

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…

IMG_3589But 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.

IMG_3447Divorce, 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.

IMG_2954Divorce, 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.

IMG_2901Divorce, 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.

IMG_2834After 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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Taking the High Road in Divorce

IMG_1059Amalfi Coast

Can “taking the high road” and the “D” word really be in the same title? Yes, I think so. God’s high road (in divorce or any other catastrophic life event) represents the way that leads to Him. It is to accept His grace and forgiveness. To choose hope over despair and trust over doubt. To believe that through Him all things are possible, including a joyful life — even after divorce.

IMG_1072Italy’s breathtaking Amalfi Coast is a challenge to navigate even on the short straight stretches. The tight curves demand tremendous finesse, and you often feel like you’re at an impasse. The chaos makes it hard to take in the amazing views. Staying the course requires a little humor, a lot of patience and an ultimate focus on the bigger picture. My first marriage was a similarly hard road. Divorce  was the hairpin curve I thought would propel me over the cliff.

I married in 1986 and divorced in 2006 after years of counseling, prayer and trying to make it work. So far removed from anything I could have fathomed for my life, these chapters of my story were once a source of shame, guilt and defeat. I let divorce define me. No more. I no longer live under a cloud of regret. Whatever your past, you too can live in victory and look forward toward the prize.

IMG_1557In a recent sermon, I heard an interesting metaphor: Life is a like a mountain trail we’re all climbing  together.

I closed my eyes to picture the mountain. There are certainly treacherous stretches — narrow, difficult and dangerous. But the holy beauty of life on the mountain is its over-riding theme. There are awe-inspiring views and renewing meadows. Amazing sunrises and peaceful sunsets.

The gifts point to the Giver — on every step of the trail. It’s all about God: His redemption and restoration of His children — of you and me. Lamentations 3:22-23 says “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

IMG_0050No one escapes hardship — brought on by the world, the flesh or the devil. The times that are most difficult are in some ways our most beautiful, as we lean totally into Him as our only hope.

The early terrain of my failing marriage, divorce and singleness was beyond what I could bear alone. I’d rather not look back, but I remember a friend who had been through divorce graciously comforting me in my despair and loneliness. Now I have the gift of perspective to share with others passing that same rocky way.

I wrote a number of posts around divorce before many knew I had a blog. I’m sharing these links in red below with the hope they will serve as encouragement. Imagine my calling out, “Hello! I was where you are, not long ago. I know the path is crumbling behind you. You can do it, because you’re not alone. God is clearing your path and preparing a way.”

IMG_2505I remember that stairway felt like eternal hell, but now I know it was just the Refiner’s fire. I was safe; all was well. God was with me every step of the way. He’s with you. Carrying you when you can’t walk.

He was answering my prayers to change me. To transform me. To teach me to love and trust as He desires.

I want to share the redemption God achieved throughout my journey. I see His faithfulness beyond what I could have hoped for or imagined. Things I’ve learned that I just wasn’t understanding otherwise: surrender, dependence, ruthless trust, deep love.

The pain was acute. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but I also wouldn’t trade it for the world. You see, I don’t think anything was wasted. In His mysterious omniscience, God allowed just what I needed and not a bit more. He still does. His ultimate goal is for me to become more like Jesus. To allow Him to transform me. I trust that He loves me beyond compare and wants what is in my best interest — even when it makes no sense to me.

IMG_0067At times I’m still frustrated by the ongoing difficulties that enter my life through divorce. I’m the last to glamorize it; divorce hurts children and spouses in subtle ways for years to come. When I’m hurting, I often catch myself envying those who’s family life seems all wrapped up in a white picket fence — but not for long. Comparisons are pointless.  I truly feel happy for their blessings, when I remember how incredibly thankful I am for all God has done and continues to accomplish in me and my life.

Having no regrets is about ruthless faith and trust in a loving God. Then it’s about forgiving myself. Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”


Since Rob and I married we’ve encountered more rugged stretches. Maybe others intended  things for evil… but God will use them for our good! He promised. He has a plan, and everything is part of His plan A.

I’m not yet sure of the purpose in some of our hardship (and may never know), but we’re content and trusting — except when we aren’t. And those times are much shorter-lived now. We march on. Remembering what’s behind, we are grateful and trust Him in what’s ahead.

Sharing that thankful remembrance is part of a road well-travelled. Great things He has done! I think He wants us all to call back down the trail to others in a similar place — giving them hope in their darkness.

IMG_2539Below is a list of posts I’ve written around divorce. Divorce is a terrible thing. If you are in this difficult place, please lift your eyes to Jesus who will rescue you from sin and shame. He is the One who defines you and gives you Life. I wish I could talk with you in person, but hopefully you will feel His love for you in these words.

Just click on the titles below for laughs (at my expense), lessons He’s taught me,  and most of all hope. God loves you and He has plans for your life — for hope and a future. Blessings to you!

IMG_0136The divorce chapter

Recently Single

Honeymoon’s Over

Double Blow Out!

Sex and Singleness

Cheap Forgivenenss

5 Things Everyone should know about Divorce

IMG_0490Dating at halftime

Addendum to dating at halftime

Loneliness in Life Changes

God you want me to do WHAT?

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God, You want me to do WHAT?

What is God currently asking you to do that makes NO SENSE given your situation?  Are you fully engaged and with Him in it? Or did you tell Him, “I can’t?”  Are you thinking Unattainable! Inconceivable! Insurmountable! Hopeless! Or are you fearful, hedging and saying something like, “I will as soon as ____ happens?”

IMG_0597May I suggest, if you don’t hear God calling you to something WAY beyond your comfort zone and your ability to make it happen, then maybe you need a little more time being still, to listen to Him and read the Bible? He wants to use you in impossibly important ways. Your family and those you encounter day to day are entrusted to you. Only God knows how He will choose to use you.

The stories of Moses, Noah and Gideon are great examples that suggest God wants us living beyond what we can do using our own resources. He wants us living toward that which is impossible without His divine power.  It’s a zone of trust when we’re afraid, impossible odds and incredible feats. Many times the way is uncomfortable and difficult. It requires vulnerability,  humility and an admission of incompetence, so that it’s obvious that He orchestrates any good that is accomplished.

It’s also a place of great joy and growth. A place to remember He defines who we are.

Writing this blog is one such area for me. God hasn’t let up; I feel He wants me to continue writing about what He’s doing in me, despite my discomfort in sharing. It’s always scary clicking “publish.” I would prefer to live a “facebook life” where my smiling highlights reel is on display, and my backstage struggles and deficits are off the grid. Instead, God called me to vulnerability, authenticity, and the risk of writing publicized “duds.”

IMG_1929My technological challenges are also highlighted. Pink Reflections represents all the web building skills I possess. My blogging “success” so far is measurable primarily in my obedience. I thought maybe I should help it along… I  spent the morning reading the posts of a few big time bloggers — humble people with well-known names — trying to garner tips.

What I learned from my blog stalking is how very different I am from many well-known writers. They are eloquent, often educated in theology, and seemingly far along in a life of faith. They can take even the mundane details of their days, see God — and through them teach us to be more like Him.  They are inspired, prolific writers, preaching, teaching and leading conferences. They love Jesus, and He uses them to produce impressive and helpful stuff.

While I’m happy for them,  I’m also a little bit jealous of their giftedness and their blessings. Many times their words touch me beyond measure.  Othertimes, it seems they live so far outside my experiences, that I struggle to relate and apply their thoughts to my “real life.” Or — I finish reading their posts with more regrets than encouragement.

IMG_1176How ordinary I am — in my living and my writing. For a familiar moment I was doubtful and discouraged, “Does God really want me doing this?” Then it occurred to me, that possibly the typical messiness of my world is just what God wants to use. Maybe, He wants to reach someone who relates to my struggles, imperfection and mistakes, and also sincerely loves God and desires Him to transform them. Or maybe it’s all about Him molding me? He gets to define success in all His plans and purposes. My role is to say yes in faith to His call, then to work diligently with the confidence that God will do what He sets out to do.

I wish I had “gotten it” and begun my journey of surrender at an earlier age. I also wish I had the vast knowledge-base my seminary professors possess. The truth is that God didn’t create me to be like any of  them — or the singers, doctors, farmers, accountants, lawyers, builders, mechanics, engineers and countless others who do great things that simply aren’t in my tool box.

Even worse, I can no longer retain and retrieve all I once knew! It’s as if I have a mental library with bulging and overflowing file cabinets that make up my brain. Only a small amount of what I once knew fits in the file marked “immediately retrievable.” I imagine other cabinets marked  with labels such as requires a prompt, only accessible at 3 am, must retrieve hard copy, image only, and lost till heaven.

IMG_0659Today’s world keeps the information overload coming — like drinking from a fire hydrant. I’m constantly needing to make more space. These extensive files seem useless at times — like everything’s on microfish in an electronic world.

So what else do I have to offer in my weakness? My God-given, common gifts are the things people point out to me that take me by surprise. Because they are so much a part of me, I don’t recognize them as unique. My spiritual gifts are the things God gave me as His child — specifically for the purpose of edifying the body of Christ. You have gifts too. Our gifts and our faith  are all we need — in addition to Jesus — to succeed in the impossible things God created us for and calls us to.

IMG_0609God had a plan for us from the beginning. Psalm 139:13-14 says “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  God knew us before we were conceived – and He loved us.  He also has had a plan for our lives since the beginning: “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

More great news… we can start fresh each day, no matter what mistakes and regrets our past holds. In Isaiah 43:18-19 God says ““Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.” 

IMG_0603God knew us better than we know ourselves — and He loved us just the same. He uses everything to make each of us  a unique “me” and to achieve the purposes He has for our lives. That takes so much pressure off! It’s all up to Him. We just add faith and obedience when He calls us.

God asked you to do WHAT??? You CAN do it with HIM! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13) I would love to hear from you! What is God calling you to do? Please share His faithfulness in your life to encourage the rest of us.

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