A woman from my private separated/divorced Facebook group wrote me recently saying that her counselor shared something with her that was unnerving:
“There is only so much healing you will do as a single person. Deeper healing will come when/if you are ever in a healthy relationship with a man who loves you.”
She said she both understood what her counselor was saying and yet it stunned her a bit and she wanted my thoughts.
If she had told me this, say, a year ago, I would’ve balked at her counselor’s words and I would’ve said he didn’t know what he was talking about, and how dare he for making her feel like her healing had a ceiling placed upon it by her singleness.
But now that I’m remarried and in a healthy relationship with a man who loves me, I can say that I agree with the counselor. And yet…
I believe that God brings us just the right amount of healing at just the right time for each of us. I believe that he could heal all of us in an instant, but he chooses not to because there is so much for us in the journey from broken to healed, so much richness and joy and goodness.
I also believe that as a single woman, I was as healed up as I could be. Sure, some bumps along the road. Heck no, not perfectly whole…none of us are. But I had come so very far…so very far. And I bet that my friend who wrote in with the question has also come so very far with Jesus.
But alas, I am now writing from this side of a wedding day, and I am in a healthy relationship, and my man loves me.
And I have to admit, though in a sense I wish I couldn’t, that almost daily he heals something in me.
The other day we were in the grocery store parking lot and it was drizzling and he said to me, “Hop in and I’ll put the groceries in the truck.” And as I sat in the truck and waited for him, I started to cry. It was such a simple act, but it was so tender, and it was so taking-care-of-me of him, and he does stuff like that for me all the time. All the freaking time. And it softened my heart a bit more in a place that was so battered for so long and it were as if his love for me stitched up that place a bit tighter.
I want to be so clear and so gentle in what I’m saying. I believe in my heart and soul that I could have remained single for the rest of my life and I would have had the great gifts of the love of my children and friends and family and I would have been affirmed through my work and I would have known deep, sweet healing and tender care from Jesus and I would have been able to live an abundant life. (I can say this because I did have all of that and I was living an abundant life pre-remarriage!)
And yet, I hold in the other hand with equal weight and truth, that there is a daily, sometimes moment by moment, healing that is coming to me in my new marriage.
You know what I think it is? I don’t think for a second that God has a deeper, better, fuller healing for those who remarry and woe is you if you happen to be single. Not for a second. I think he simply chooses other methods to bring that healing, through books and songs and friendships with both women and men and serving and in nature. I know for a fact that it was in the deepest loneliness and pain of my divorce that I experienced him in such sweet ways.
Here’s what I know. I believe that not only will God not leave our hearts unhealed, I don’t think he can. He won’t quit until we’re healed, all the way through and through, no matter our marital status. You will be healed either way.
And we all are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. –II Corinthians 3: 18
God, not your marital status, defines your life. –I Corinthians 7:17
If this post resonated with you, Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage may help you further along in your journey towards healing.