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Archive for the ‘Divorce and Singleness’ Category

This week is about a real woman’s journey through divorce and singleness to redemption, joy, and a deeper love for God’s grace and mercy.   If you missed the first part go to this link:  Divorce and Singleness.  

I haven’t left all the pain of being divorced twice behind.  I don’t know that I will ever be able to do so.  But, what I have left behind is the shame, guilt and sense of failure.  What I have learned is to rejoice in a Holy God who loves me just as Jesus communicated His love to the woman at the well in Samaria (John 4).  

Single life the past four years has allowed me to spend more time in God’s word and serving ministries within the church.  I have enjoyed wonderful platonic friendships with special men in the Body of Christ.  I have been able to spend special time with my mom traveling and meeting her needs as she has aged.  There has been an unexpected freedom.  Do I miss being married?  I can honestly say, I don’t know.  I have such a full life and such a deep intimacy with the Lord God that I have questioned if that would even be possible with a spouse.  Those times of sharing that I used to enjoy with my husband, I now enjoy with Jesus Christ. 

Some probably would think me crazy, but I picture Jesus sitting near my chair in the morning as I am enjoying coffee and reading God’s Word.  I share with Him as I would a friend and I don’t hesitate to ask for His guidance and wisdom.  He has never audibly answered, but I frequently feel the connection in my heart providing the direction and wisdom or comfort offered by the Holy Spirit. 

In my 20s, singleness presented loneliness.  At this point in my life, singleness has been so full there isn’t time to be lonely, even when I am alone.  I enjoy hours by myself.  I don’t have a television and rarely have on music or a audio CD.  Rather, the rush of life professionally prompts me to seek quietness in those personal moments and when I do, the Lord God reminds me:

 You see, there were a few times when I thought I would lose my mind,

but GOD kept me sane.  (Isa. 26:3)

 There were times when I thought I could go no longer,

but the Lord kept me moving.  (Gen. 28:15)

 At times, I’ve wanted to lash out at those whom I felt had done me wrong,

but the LORD kept my mouth shut.  (Psa. 13)

 Sometimes, I think the money just isn’t enough,

but God has helped me to keep the lights on, the water on, the car paid, the house paid, etc.  (Matt. 6:25-34)

 When I thought I would fall, He kept me up.

When I thought I was weak, HE kept me strong!  (I Pet. 5:7, Matt. 11:28-30)

 I could go on and on and on, but I’m sure you hear me!

I’m blessed to be “kept.”

                                    (author unknown)

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This week is about a real woman’s journey through divorce and singleness to redemption, joy, and a deeper love for God’s grace and mercy.   If you missed the first part go to this link:  Divorce and Singleness.  

After 22 years of marriage, it came as quite a shock that my husband no longer wanted to be married to me.  We had our challenges, but we also had really good times.  We had just lived through 3 years of debilitating health challenges for me and I was on the road to restored wholeness.  Earlier in our marriage we had faced three years of physical recovery for him following a serious car accident, so we knew the rejoicing that follows restored health.  So, it was a surprise to hear my husband say that since I was healthy again, I no longer needed him and he was heading west to take a job out of state.  I was certain that whatever was wrong we could work through it.  After all, we both were believers and had exhibited strong ability to communicate and address challenges in the past.  But both must be open even if both are not willing.

I struggled with “And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him”.( I Cor 7:13)  My heart cried, “But, Lord, what do You want when both are believers?”

Once, again, I felt the strong, powerful, loving arms of Jesus as He enfolded me and drew me to Himself.  I felt inadequate as a woman, a failure again.  In Stacy Eldridge’s book, Captivating, she addresses women who wonder if they are enough.  I worked through the study of that book and realized that the “man” who loved me just as I am is Jesus Christ.  In His eyes I am beautiful.  In Him I am all that I need to be.

The past four years have been a journey in singleness and I will share more about that in the final installment tomorrow, but please for now, let me leave you with this.  In Christ you are a woman who is enough.  You are God’s daughter—the daughter of the King of Kings.  You are God’s real princess, not just a fairy tale Snow White, Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella.  Look up today and see all that God created is beautiful and that includes you.

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We are in week two of our eight story series on women who have faced tough circumstances and found God’s strength in the process.  Today our friend continues with her story on Divorce and Singleness.  Did you miss day one of her story?  No problem, just click on the following link:  Divorce and Singleness.

This week is about my journey through divorce and singleness to redemption, joy, and a deeper love for God’s grace and mercy.

Through the healing inside of me and the personal growth both my second husband and I went through as I re-married, I discovered the benefits of fellowship and friendships within the Body of Christ, the wisdom of mentors and coaches on this faith journey.  I learned of God’s grace.  When I confessed my sins (lack of trust and pride), God was faithful to forgive me (I John 1:9).  The journey was my learning to forgive myself and leave that baggage at the foot of the cross. 

This has been the journey of the past 26 years.  In learning to forgive myself, I came to understand not just that the Lord God had forgiven me, but because I knew how much God had forgiven me, I had to freely offer that forgiveness to others.  (Matthew 6:14-15)

Restoration of a healthy self-image and confidence has grown as I have surrendered myself more to the trustworthy hands of my Heavenly Father.  His grace is truly sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9) Most of all, I have learned I don’t have to be the savior and fix everything.  God can be trusted, even with my pain and confusion.  His timing is definitely not my timing, but His timing is always perfect.

Join us right here tomorrow as our friend continues to share her story about her journey through divorce and singleness.

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We are in week two of our eight story series on women who have faced tough circumstances and found God’s strength in the process.  Today our friend continues with her story on Divorce and Singleness.  Did you miss day one of her story?  No problem, just click on the following link:  Divorce and Singleness.

My personal journey through divorce has been a journey about trust, which is really the sin of pride—that “I know best.”  I am like King David when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and she became pregnant.  He didn’t turn to his Lord to handle the situation, but instead chose to try to solve it by killing her husband.  David compounded his sin. So did I.

It wasn’t enough that I didn’t trust God to work out my marriage challenges and to bring us through the valley.  I took control and obtained a divorce, which has brought its own negative consequences personally and in my daughter’s life.  I married again and everyone I know indicates that I worked much harder at this second marriage than I did the first.  They are right.  I felt that I had messed up once and God had given me a second chance to do things right.

But this second marriage had its challenges too.  The difference was inside me.  I wasn’t willing to take the least painful solution, which would have been separation and divorce again.  Instead, I drew closer to the Lord. I have grown to understand what it means to say Jesus is my best friend and the Lover of My Soul (Song of Solomon).  I fell in love with Jesus more and more each day as I looked to Him to fill the empty places inside of me that I had previously expected my husband to fill.  I learned that only the Lord God could fill the god-shaped vacuum in my heart, not a man.  I felt like the woman at the well in Samaria (John 4), where Jesus knew she had been married multiple times and yet loved her anyway.  Jesus told her the truth, in fact, He pointed out that she wasn’t married to the man she was presently with, but you don’t hear any condemnation.  In fact, He tells her that if she will turn to Him, she will have living water.  That is what Jesus has done for my heart.  He has never condemned and because of that, I find I want to please Him more each day.

Oh, Lord Jesus, thank you that while we may face consequences for our sinful actions, you never condemn us but hold Your arms out in Love to embrace us close to Your heart.  Thank you for the lessons that it is the Enemy who condemns, but You seek to redeem and restore.  Take from my heavy heart today, my confession of [insert whatever you need to share with Jesus today] and bring Your redeeming love and grace to my heart and life.  Amen

The story will continue tomorrow…see you then!

 

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We are in week two of our eight story series on women who have faced tough circumstances and found God’s strength in the process.  Today our friend continues with her story on Divorce and Singleness.  Did you miss day one of her story?  No problem, just click on the following link:  Divorce and Singleness.

Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife.                                                                                I Corinthians 7:27

As a young adult in college, I struggled with this verse and Paul’s discussion regarding singleness.  I was lonely and wanted a life-companion.  Then I got married and discovered that marriage wasn’t the “and they all live happily ever after” fairy tale that I read about in Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.  As with all relationships, marriage requires a lot of work and I truly admire those who take the valleys and the challenges and turn them into journeys that strengthen their faith and their bond with their spouse.

I couldn’t do that.  After 9 years of marriage and numerous years of pain and heartache

I struggled with this verse and Malachi 2:16.  In hindsight, I can see that I had other options, but at the time, in the midst of the pain, I believed my only choice was divorce.  Yet, I also believed that I was angering God and so, as I filed for divorce, I walked away from active participation in the Body of Christ and fellowship with other Christians.

I was ashamed, embarrassed that I couldn’t make my marriage work.  I came from a family with long term marriages and was only the second divorce in nearly 100 years.  I struggled with my private prayer time and devotional Bible studies.  I wept a lot over the loss of intimacy with the Lord.

After nearly two years, away from the church, God reminded me of his promise in Jeremiah 31:3, and I began to heal.  Slowly.  It wasn’t just about me learning to trust a man again, but also being so real before my Lord God that He would know He could trust me as I communicated that I trusted Him.  I hadn’t trusted Him to solve the challenges in my marriage—I thought I had to do so.  As I became aware of this, I had to be so transparent that He knew when I said I trusted Him, that I truly meant that I trusted Him with every aspect of my life, not just those I understood or those that were positive situations.

I spent a lot of time praying, listening, writing in journals and talking with wise mentors who guided me through the Scriptures to the healing balm of Gilead.

Tomorrow, I will continue my sharing about my journey through divorce and the joy I have come to experience in my singleness.  Please know it isn’t easy to share this journey, but my prayer is that perhaps it may offer assurance to those of you on similar paths that none of us walk these paths alone—our Heavenly Father truly can be trusted to walk it with us and to carry us when we aren’t even strong enough to walk.

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