To fully understand the gravity and weight of a divorce, I think it’s important to discuss what led to the marriage in the first place. And although I don’t want to linger too much on this topic, because it still causes me pain, it’s vital and true, so therefore it must be included.
We started dating when I was 23. We got engaged when I was 27. We got married when I was 29. We got divorced when I was 31. There’s the timeline. Yes, we went to church together. Our families loved each other. We went through pre-marital counseling with our pastor. We discussed children, finances, careers, family, how to celebrate the holidays, etc. long before the walk to the altar. He walked my mother down the aisle at my sister’s wedding. I was there for his sister’s high school graduation. We were family before we were legally husband and wife.
Before I go further with this blog, I want to make it clear we didn’t jump into marriage blindly. We followed all the “correct” steps. He flew to my hometown to ask my father for my hand. We waited until we were both out of debt before getting engaged. We had seen each other through deaths, failures, and the stresses that come with life. We shared a respect and love for each other. We shared the same faith and worshipped together. And we still got divorced.
Our divorce doesn’t mean that I failed God, although that’s still how it feels. It doesn’t mean that following the “correct” steps won’t work for other couples. It doesn’t mean I was a bad wife. But most importantly, it doesn’t mean God loves me any less. And that is the good news, the lesson I am still learning.
Roman 8:37 “No, in all these things We are more than conquerors through Him who Loved Us.”
I have an ex-husband. The word itself sounds foreign to me. This blog isn’t about him, but he certainly has a lot to do with why I am writing it and it would be dishonest to not acknowledge his existence in some way. It also isn’t fair to the story to not fully embrace what he was to my life. He was 8 and a half years. He was love. He was compromise and sacrifice. He was joy. He was the future I had dreamed of, and now he is gone.
I was not the kind of girl who had every detail of her wedding planned out. I had no idea what kind of dress I would wear or what flowers I would hold, but I’ve always known the kind of wife I wanted to be for my husband. I had read Proverbs 31. I understood with absolute certainty my role as a Godly wife and I was ready for it. Bring it on! I imagined the pride my husband would feel for me, knowing that I loved him so well. A sense of peace surrounded me, I was meant for this. To be his wife. To love him. To support him.
I’m writing this to remind myself that my love for him was real. What I had to offer was beautiful and given selflessly and came from a pure place, as all gifts from God come from. The fact that it doesn’t exist anymore doesn’t lessen the fact that it did exist…and no woman should ever regret the total and complete unassuming love she gives to the universe.
Proverbs 31:30 “A Woman Who Fears the Lord is to be Praised.”
I wasn’t supposed to get a divorce. I was supposed to be married to the same man, the man I believed God had chosen for me, for the rest of my life. We would deal with our share of problems, sure, but divorce was never going to be an option. I don’t give up. I’m not the kind of gal who accepts failure, and I certainly don’t get myself into anything I’m not 100% sure I can see through. So imagine my surprise, heart-break, disgust, when I found myself signing those divorce papers a mere two and a half years after saying “I Do.”
I decided to write this blog because my divorce rocked my world, tested my faith, and changed my life. I think, especially for women, the word “divorce” has such a negative connotation. It’s something I have been ashamed to talk about. It drug my self-worth into the sewer. It was like quicksand that I couldn’t escape. BUT, the good news is that being a divorced 32 year old woman does not define me as a person. It doesn’t define my soul or my heart or my future.
This blog is the story of my marriage and divorce, but more importantly, it’s the story of healing. The story of learning how to stand up again and keep moving. The story of taking something ugly and trying to create beauty. The story of how a gracious and loving God wouldn’t let me fall.
1 John 4:19 “We Love Because He First Loved Us.”