If you want to know what the Bible says about divorce, ask a divorced person. I know because I am one, and I have those scriptures memorized.
“I will be with you wherever you go.” I would cry out to God time and time again asking him what I should do, and that’s what He would whisper.
For eighteen months I lived in absolute hell …
It was always one step forward and a hundred steps back. Thirty pounds lost, multiple counselors attempts, and all the while, two small children caught in the crossfire. My greatest fear was not financial instability or even loneliness.
What scared me the most about getting divorced was going against God’s will because you see, I was raised that way.
A legalistic upbringing of a God more concerned with sin will send you into a prison, and that’s exactly what my life felt like. I was so afraid of God and his potential disappointment if I decided to leave. So I hung on to that awful marriage for way too long, and I resented being stuck between a rock and a hard place. If I stayed in this toxic relationship, I knew I would die on the inside, and if I left, I’d be bound to a lifetime of guilt.
We tend to look at life as a series of choices. Which will you pick? Door one or door two? Which is the right door? You better choose wisely cause it’s a test! (Insert eye roll and angry emoji here!) Because that’s all a lie. In my thirty six years of life what I have found to be true is that God is behind every single door. Every. Single. One. There is no door you can open that He will not be there with you.
“God is not absent in the dark. God is everywhere in the dark.” – The Reverend Victoria Robb Powers
“I will be with you wherever you go.” Those were the words I so desperately needed to here. No matter where you are, no matter where you have been, and no matter what you do, I will be there. Divorce can be hell. And some of us feel like we made our bed and so we must sleep in it. That’s what guilt and shame do. They tell you that you deserve all the heartache. But that’s not what God says.
In Psalm 139, David is asking God where he can go to escape God’s Spirit. He then describes all of the metaphorical places we could try to run from God, but can’t.
7 Where could I go to get away from your spirit?
Where could I go to escape your presence?
8 If I went up to heaven, you would be there.
If I went down to the grave, you would be there too!
9 If I could fly on the wings of dawn,
stopping to rest only on the far side of the ocean—
10 even there your hand would guide me;
even there your strong hand would hold me tight! (Psalm 139:7-10)
In the song, Amazing Grace, we sing about being blind and now having sight. I used to think that was about the blind people Jesus healed in the Bible. Now I think it means I didn’t “see” God, but now I do. He was, is, and will always be, with us.
If you’re in the midst of divorce, or any one of life’s dark moments, look away from your despair, your guilt, your shame and see that God has never left you. You can’t escape His presence. Nothing can separate you from His love. And that includes divorce.
I’ve been divorced for almost three years now and God is still with me. He sits at my table just like he did when there were four of us around it. God never left and He never will. No matter what. And that’s something I can hang on to.
When I’m painfully lonely, when the future is unknown and unsettling, when guilt tries to consume me, and when I make bad choices, God is with me. No matter how long you’ve been divorced, whether it’s day one or you’re decades in, that truth remains. It doesn’t matter what the reason for the divorce was, or who is to blame. God is still with you. Always.
“Fear is looking into the future and forgetting God will be there.”