I don’t want to be divorced!
These words flooded my mind as I stood there shocked by what my husband told me. Like a ton of bricks crashing over my body, the weight of his words was unbearable. Each utterance hurt as if a sword was piercing my heart. I wanted to escape, but I felt completely paralyzed.
As though coming face to face with a mountain lion, my instincts kicked in. My choice was fight or flight. With adrenaline pumping through my body, I bolted for the stairs to get away from this giant predatory-sized pain chasing after me.
In the safety of my bedroom, I called my accountability partner, Erin, to share the heartbreaking news. Tears streaming down my face, I knew I would not be able to handle this alone. I needed her help.
As the phone was ringing, I thought back to the weekly walks Erin and I had been taking together the past several months to purposefully pray for healing in my marriage. I was truly hopeful that God could restore us, but now it looked bleak. When she answered the phone, I sobbed as I shared that my marriage of 15-and-a-half years was over.
I will never forget that night—
It was the night my heart shattered into a thousand pieces.
It was the night my hopes and dreams for my family seemed to die.
It was the night my life turned upside down.
I could not see how I was going to get through this. Not only was my life going to completely change, but my kids’ lives would be forever changed too. All I could think about was my two children. Just the thought of them growing up in a divorced home crushed me.
That night, I cried out to God, “How are we going to get through this? I don’t even know what to do!” That evening, I began enduring the hardest year of my life.
There is something about being taken to a place of heartbreak where you have to choose either to run to God with your pain or run away from God in anger. At that moment, I chose to run to the Lord with my pain: every hour, every day or every minute if necessary.
That morning, I wrote in my journal: “God, I truly want to grow from my pain. I don’t want it to break me. I want it to grow me and help me draw closer to you. Only you can give me strength in this nightmare I am living. Only you can turn my tears into hope. I lay this at your feet. Please take my pain and help me draw closer to you, your power, your strength, your love and your comfort. Help me to teach my kids to do that too. Help me be an example to them and give me the strength for another day.”
I am not going to tell you that life all of a sudden got easier. I was facing a real storm. The waves kept crashing and the winds kept blowing. But I can tell you this: God is faithful. There is hope in your unwanted divorce. He did give me strength each day, and He can do the same for you. As I cried out to Him each morning, He met me right where I was. Heartbroken. Hurting. Devastated.
He gave me comfort when I felt alone.
He gave me strength to help comfort my kids.
He gave me power to help me get through each day.
Looking back now, I don’t know how I got through those first weeks and months. Honestly, I just started with one simple step: inviting God into my pain each day. Sometimes I breathed a quick prayer, “Help me, God; today, I don’t have the strength.” Other days, I got up before my kids and journaled. Most often, I clung to a verse that reminded me I was not alone in my grief.
Here are some verses that helped me. Listen to Him calling to you.
Scripture Hope in Your Unwanted Divorce
- Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV)
Speak this truth to yourself, “God wants me to know that I am not facing this alone.”
- My peace I give you…Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27, NIV)
Speak this truth, “God wants to give me His peace in exchange for my troubled heart.”
- Don’t be afraid, for I will protect you. I call you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I am with you; when you pass through the streams, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you. For I am the Lord your God... (Isaiah 43:1-3, NET)
Speak this truth, “God wants to walk alongside me through my storm.”
- God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalms 46:1-3, NIV)
Speak this truth, “God wants to strengthen me and help me in my times of trouble.”
- But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. (Psalms 55:16-17, NLT)
Speak this truth, “God wants me to know He hears me as I cry out to Him.”
- A favorite verse: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalms 34:18, NIV)
Speak this truth, “God is close to me in my heartbreak. His closeness shows His loving character.”
God’s truth in your mind and heart will help you navigate this storm. Keep running to Him daily. Invite the Lord into your pain and focus on His presence, not your problems. Remember He is close to the brokenhearted, and He will strengthen you during the storm.
Jodi Rosser is a writer, speaker and podcaster at Depth Podcast. Having walked through multiple heartbreaks (divorce, miscarriage, and cancer), Jodi inspires women to find hope, joy and purpose through their unexpected storms. She lives with her two teenage sons in California. Connect at jodirosser.com (get her free resources library) IG @jodi.rosser