The Christian and the Scarlet D

To the Divorced Christian: This is Not the End of Your Story

I remember the day I heard the word divorce come off his lips. It felt like the end. The end of my marriage, yes, and it was, but it felt like the end of everything.

I’d always proudly reassured myself that I’d never get divorced. I was a believer. I’d married a believer. I was committed. When we said our vows, I meant every word. I’d taken the classes about marriage and family in college. I’d read the books. I knew what to expect as a doctor’s wife. I was prepared. We could get through the hard years and live happily ever after. I was so determined.

And then, he chose her.

Divorce isn't the End of Your Story, The Christian Divorce'It felt like the end. I could no longer see tomorrow. I could no longer see to the next meal or the next hour. I could only make it to the next moment. Moment by moment. That’s how I lived.

I sat in church alone each Sunday, bleeding from the scarlet D on my chest. I’d wanted to be in ministry. I’d wanted to serve God. I’d wanted to write devotionals, Christian books… but not now. Now, I was divorced.

A Christian friend reassured me that it didn’t have to be the end of those dreams, of my calling. But I didn’t really believe her. I thought I could feel the stares of all the “good” Christians who weren’t divorced,  even those who didn’t know. Their eyes pierced me.

I knew God hated divorce. So did I! I hated every second of it, and I couldn’t shake the feelings of shame. And in that shame, I walked away from my calling, and I came near to walking away from God.

How could God love me, a divorced sinner? How could God allow this to happen? 

I questioned God. I questioned his faithfulness, his love, his truth, and even his existence. I tip toed away from God, but he never let me get too far. He kept whispering to me…

“I see you.”

However, it wasn’t until I met the man who is now my husband that I knew God hadn’t given up on me, and it wasn’t because I fell in love again. In fact, I wanted nothing to do with him for most of that time, but it was through him, that God proved His presence, involvement, and love for me over and over again.

Joe couldn’t have faked it all no matter how he’d tried. There were just so many ways God said to my wounded heart, “I see you,” “I hear you,” “I love you.” He continued. “I haven’t given up on you,” “It’s not the end,” “I’ll make a new way.”

In the early years of our marriage, that period right after the honeymoon stage, but before we figured things out, I couldn’t have foreseen God using me for anything beyond being a baby factory. Those were hard years of our marriage, but as we each surrendered everything again, God began to reveal a path, a plan. He began to give me things to write. He began to reveal hidden truths to me– and to Joe. He began to use us!

He began to make a way. He caused streams to flow where there was just desert. He made a clear path where there were brambles and jackals. We could suddenly see him orchestrating our lives together, but, now, for His purpose.

The beauty is that God is the God of second chances. He restores the years the locust have eaten. Where there are barriers, He makes a way. It is a detour, but it’s not the end of the road.

Divorce doesn’t have to be the end of everything. God restores. 

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