This is a continuation of a series every Friday where I will be highlighting the growth and healing of one of my readers, a new reader each week. These, my sweet ones, are their brave and vulnerable stories. Take heart…you are not alone. -Elisabeth
The house was empty. Before my mind could process what that meant; before I saw the note on the dining room table, I knew that something was wrong. My hand found the note and as the words swam into focus, a guttural scream forced its way out of my throat: my husband had left me.
My thoughts began to race and as I fell to the floor, all I wanted to do was die. The sense of betrayal and the loss of the life I thought I had was so complete, the ripping away of my identity as wife and as stepmom so intense that I thought death would be the only solution. However, God’s hand of protection was on me from the beginning. From that very night, when a dear friend of mine picked up the phone at 11pm and let me come stay with her so I didn’t have to be alone to a complete stranger at a Bible study later that week who invited me over —
God surrounded me with a village who supported me until I was able to once again begin to function in this new life in which I now found myself.
God also protected me from anger. I remember being hurt and feeling betrayed. I remember feeling loss and panic and deep sadness, but I don’t remember feeling anger in those first months after he left. That lack of anger and the ability to forgive and even to attempt reconciliation can only be from God. As each attempt at reconciliation was met with either silence or venomous anger, I turned to my pastors for counsel. They saw my heart in the matter and when their efforts to reach out to my husband failed, they informed me that I had Biblical grounds for divorce due to abandonment. I am so thankful that my church came around me during this time as I know that is not the case for many women. I was never asked to step down from my position as Sunday School teacher, and have, in fact, become more involved since the divorce.
That isn’t to say I left the divorce completely unscathed. I had to work through several lies that the abandonment and subsequent divorce brought up. The most insidious was that God would also abandon me because I was unlovable and unworthy. After all, I couldn’t even make my husband love me. Over the past four years, God has been steadily working on my heart, reminding me as often as I need reminding (which is pretty often) that he loves me; that he chose me; that nothing in me will ever make him turn away in disgust. On the contrary, He delights in me (Zephaniah 3:17) in a way that no husband, no matter how loving, could. The note from God is not, and never will be, a note on the dining room table stating that he doesn’t love me any more and wants a divorce. On the contrary, God penned a 66 book “note” that serves to remind me–us–that no matter how many times we leave him, he will always welcome us back.
If this sweet woman’s post resonated with your heart, please know that you are not alone. Here are a few resources for you:
If you would like to join one my private Facebook groups (difficult marriage, separated/divorced, single moms, remarried), please email me at email@example.com.
If in a difficult marriage: Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage is available as a PDF/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books
If separated/divorced: Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage is available in paperback/e-book: http://tinyurl.com/phowp95
If a single mom: Moving on as a Christian Single Mom is available in paperback/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books
If you need a nudge in your healing, I would love to work with you! Join me for one of my mentoring courses.
If you’d like to receive my free resource “Is Your Healing Halted?”, sign up here.