Divorce is a two part trauma; not only are you losing a long term relationship, but you probably also feel that you’re losing part of yourself.
And it’s so in-your-face, even in the simplest ways. Like how long did you identify yourself as “So-and-So’s Wife” or “Mrs. Fill-in-the-Blank”? Every check. Every field trip form. Every doctor’s appointment. And then, all of a sudden, you stop. Stop identifying yourself that way. Stop being that version of yourself.
Stop being what felt like you. But if we’re honest, that process probably began a long time ago.
As time moves on, you’ll begin to see a glimmer of yourself as just yourself. Just you. And the most beautiful adventure begins. The adventure to becoming the woman you were meant to be, all along.
There’s no quick fix to recovering from a divorce; it takes time. But healing well is the key to a hope filled, satisfying future.
The Journey Back Home
In the days of the Bible, it was often expected that a divorced woman would return to her mother and father’s home. After losing the protection and provision of her husband, a divorced woman may have experienced difficulty in providing for herself and needed the protection and provision of her parents.
And not just because she was a woman. Not just because she had a whole bunch of kids. No, even more so because she was divorced– marked. Scarlet-lettered. Undesirable.
I know you heard that last one.
God understands the pain of this rejection so well, and in it He calls to us. Isaiah 54:6 (ESV) says:
“ For the LORD has called you
like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
says your God.”
Deserted. Grieved. Cast off. Don’t you love it when the Bible says exactly what you’re feeling?!
In the midst of rejection, God invites us to run to Him in much the same way a divorced woman would have returned to her parents. But what God offers is so much greater, because He calls us to take shelter under the banner of His complete protection to bring about total healing– physical, emotional, and spiritual.
God is Your Husband
God wants to do so much more than just cover you until the pain goes away and then send you back on your way. He wants you to deeply experience His compassion and healing in a way that will leave you fully transformed.
In Isaiah 54:5 (ESV), God reveals the kind of relationship He desires to have with each of us to bring on this transformative process:
“For your Maker is your husband,
the LORD of hosts is his name;”
Whoa, what? God is my husband? What does that even mean?
Girl, get the popcorn. This is about to get good.
Let’s start with the first part. Verse 5 identifies who God is in relation to you at the most fundamental level; God is your Maker. But more than just the One who assembled you and plopped you down in this place in time and space. He’s the One who planned you, designed you– special giftings and talents included.
(BTW, maker is a far-too-basic word. Think artisan).
He made you that you would discover and enjoy your unique giftings as an experience of His craftsmanship within you. That every good thing in you, you would know as a brushstroke of His divine creativity, and celebrate accordingly.
Kind of makes you smile, doesn’t it?
So it makes sense that a Creator who fashioned you with such loving intent would want to interact with you on the most intimate level we humans can comprehend. And the best descriptor of that is as a husband to a wife, in the context of a devoted marriage.
To take it a step farther, it’s important to know some of the reasons why God created marriage in the first place. Ephesians 5:25-26 (ESV) calls husbands to “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her…”
Read that again– that he might sanctify her. The sacrificial love of a husband isn’t just to keep the peace; it has a goal– sanctification. Simply, God charged a husband with the responsibility of walking alongside his wife in compassion and care, to encourage her beyond weakness to greater spiritual strength. Husbands are called to notice the God-ordained potential within their wives and steward it, to her benefit and those around her.
And ladies, there’s not a more fitting husband to help you move beyond brokenness to claim your God-given identity than the One who made it.
Marriage…the Way it was Supposed to Be.
Now I know for some of us, the idea of marriage doesn’t exactly paint the best picture when it comes to the kind of relationship God wants with us. From our past experiences, the imagery of marriage conjures up feelings of fear, worthlessness, and other horrors I shall not name.
But God didn’t make it that way.
If we go back the Word and look at marriage the way God designed it, marriage is the ultimate experience of safety, acceptance, and loyalty. When God takes us as His bride, Hosea 2:19-20 says:
“And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.”
When God uses words like righteousness, justice, love, mercy, and faithfulness to describe His marriage relationship to us, He doesn’t mean to the degree that humans can display (or even receive) these qualities. He offers these things to us at the highest, most unimaginable level possible.
And that means the opposites of these characteristics cannot ever be found in Him.
Selfishness? Nope. Deception? Nada. Betrayal? Never. Condemnation? NONE. His love is complete and perfect in every way. And embracing it, believing it, is the pathway to healing and freedom from any trauma, including divorce.
Now I know what you’re thinking– “How do I even have that kind of relationship with God?” In our next post, we’ll cover that and more in our essential steps to healing after divorce. If you haven’t subscribed to our mailing list, make sure you do so you don’t miss it!
How has your own divorce helped you to experience the love of God on a deeper level? We’d love to hear about it.