I will admit that this month's topic is something I probably thought I'd never actually write about...at least not anytime soon. But after reading a blog entitled, "Can God Use a Divorced Person," I felt compelled to share my story. I felt this way because I thought the title of the blog that I saw was really not the smartest question to ask. Yet, when I thought about the many feelings I had as I was going through my own divorce, I could wholeheartedly empathize. [And, whether we like it or not, divorce is a reality, even in the Body of Christ.] Thus, this blog is written to serve as a source of strength to those who may be feeling guilty, indecisive, confused, or whatever way as a result of the issue of divorce. So, in response to the question, "Can God Use a Divorced Person," my answer is an absolute yes.
Facing divorce is one heckuva battle. I struggled for years before finally having the courage to make a life-changing decision. Here are some of the emotions and thoughts I struggled with:
· But I'm a minister. If I divorce, people won't believe I trust God; they won't believe I've prayed; they won't think my calling is sure.
· Preachers don't divorce, regardless of how bad they feel or how bad things get; they just grin and bear it and keep it moving.
· I come from a family that believes you should stay married, no matter what. So if I divorce, I'm going to feel like an outcast.
· If I divorce, what will happen to my children? I will have let them down; they're going to see me as weak and as a failure. I've got to stay married so I can keep my family together.
· If I divorce, not only will my kids see me as a failure, but I will truly see myself as a failure.
There were many revelations God had to give me in order for me to find peace in the midst of this terrible storm. While I will share a few of them, I will not elaborate in great detail. (That would just take up way too much time and space.) I will, however, share points to ponder so that you may take some time to reflect for yourself. I pray that these revelations and reflections will be a blessing to you:
(1) Divorce is NOT the goal - I don't know one person that enters a marriage with the hopes of getting a divorce. If there are those, I would say that this is not the norm for most people. I DO NOT encourage anyone to get a divorce under normal circumstances; do all you can to try to work it out. If you are unable to work it out, that's something that will have to be worked out between you and God.
(2) You CANNOT concern yourself with what others think of you - Only God knows your innermost feelings. Of course, there will be people from all over who have an opinion about what you should or should not do. But only you know what you've endured or subjected your spouse to. Your most major concern should be about your relationship with God. Seek peace and clarity from Him; His opinion is the only one that truly matters.
(3) People won't believe I'm a true woman of God/I won't be fit to be used in the kingdom - Romans 11:29 teaches that all gifts are irrevocable. Do you really believe every person you see ministering before the people of God --- whether preaching, teaching, singing, ushering...whatever --- do you really believe they are free from sin? If they were, they would not need to be in the church, which is a hospital for sin sick souls. We are all striving for Godly perfection, but that is an ongoing process. So do we stop serving the Lord until we get it right? God forbid.
(4) God hates divorce, not you - The Bible teaches that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). He knew we would sin because we were born into sin. But that's why we have the blood of Jesus; it cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
(5) There is a difference between God's permissive will and God's perfect will - This final revelation really helped set me free. I began to think about all the unions that ever existed. With some being not so good, I had to ask myself if God even put it together. Why did I ask this? Because the Word of God does, indeed, say, "What God has put together, let no man put asunder" (Mark 10:9, Matthew 19:6). But we must know that there are some unions that God DID NOT put together. There are some things that God will allow, yet they may not be within His perfect will. And when we operate under His permissive will, we must realize that there may be later consequences and repercussions that will have to be faced. Unfortunately, divorce may be one.
As unbelievable as it may seem, there is life after divorce. The most important thing I've discovered is that I had to maintain my relationship with the Lord; I had to have my own peace of mind, and I absolutely had to be at peace with Him. My children, my parents, my ex-husband, my family, church members, business colleagues...I had to give them all to the Lord and ask that He help them to understand where I was and accept the decision I had to make. Whether they did or not was something I could not worry about. Was I concerned? Absolutely; especially for my children. But at the end of the day, the only ones that really mattered were me and Jesus. Yes, I did include myself. I had to because if I had no peace of mind, what kind of life could I have given my children without it? I never thought I'd live to experience the old adage, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy," but I did. At the same time, though, I had to make sure I stayed within His will in every other aspect of my life. And the Bible teaches that when our ways please the Lord, even our enemies will be at peace with us (Proverbs 16:7). I pray that the God of comfort will console anyone who's facing the dilemma of divorce. Pray, pray and pray some more. God will answer one way or another.