God Led Me Out

People of faith believe marriage is sacred. We make our vows not only to our spouse, but to God. Our vows are a lifelong commitment to love, honor, cherish…. in sickness and in health…. till death do we part.

So if God created marriage, designed it to be lifelong, and hates divorce – – would He ever lead someone out of marriage??? This is one of those questions I hope we all wrestle with. It’s an important one.

Growing up in church, I heard a strong message from the pulpit that divorce was forbidden. Needless to say, the process that led me to divorce was a fight with Almighty God. I resisted divorce for a long time. In various ways, I told God “no”. Yet, I’m convinced that God led me out of my marriage. 

Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. woman standing in doorway looking out at bright sunny day, view from behind and below

God gently helped me accept what I could not change. He helped me see that my need for safety and sanity was most important. He brought many people, conversations, and events my way that helped me sort through the muck.

One woman even slipped and said “when you divorce” instead of “if you divorce” during a phone conversation. She seemed convinced on her end that was where it was headed way before I ever was. Wise people recognize that sometimes divorce becomes a necessary step toward freedom and safety.

One Saturday morning while attending a 12 step support group meeting, I had a break down. I cried as I told the group I don’t want a divorce, but I need one. After the meeting I went for a walk and poured out my heart to God. I told Him again why this wasn’t a good idea. Then I asked 3 questions and got 3 quick answers.

1. What will happen? Answer: I will take care of you.

2. What will people think? Answer: I will defend you.

3. What about my children? Answer: I am their refuge.

Soon after that, I was matched with a pro bono lawyer. I saw a door and recognized God was directing me to walk through it.  It was time to file papers. Even then, I paused. I gave God every opportunity to set me, my (former) husband, and our family on a different course. He didn’t.

I can’t help but wonder what God sees that I don’t see. There is much — SO much — that we can not see or comprehend. I wanted our story to end in reconciliation of our marriage and family. But, God is doing a new and different thing. I trust Him.

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Advice to freshly divorced self

pen paper

The Huff Post published a blog from a divorcee a few days ago that caught my attention. I liked this post for many reasons. The author, now 8 years out from her divorce, looks back and reflects on what she would tell her recently divorced self…. if she could. It’s as if she was speaking directly to me. I’m the newly divorced self. And like me, the timing of her marriage — and her divorce — happened at the end of the year around the holidays. She knows how hard it feels. Crazy enough, she’s also a mother of 4. I want to believe what she’s saying. She’s lived it… the new beginnings, grace, wisdom, strength and hope. May I experience life after death.

Huff Post article:  8 Years a Divorcee: 8 Things I Would Tell My Freshly Divorced Self