Okay, so how do you begin this type of blog? Divorce is such a serious issue, full of questions, fear, wounds, hurt and anger. I can remember the range of emotions that flooded me during not just one but both of my divorces. So, remembering that, I will just start tonight off with something embarrassingly funny and then come back around to the point of it all afterwards. Come with me…
To set the scene, go back with me to 2004. I had been working in ministry less than 2 years, I was about 46 years old and twice divorced. At that time I was probably fasting for spiritual discernment, as I did so much in those days because I was clarifying my freedom from any addictive thoughts or feelings that might try to sneak back into my life. I was also in the middle of a personal vow to God not to cut my hair…till I felt released to do so. It was just something of mine that I set aside for Him. It was a great time in my life and I was madly passionate about being single, healed, delivered and set free….in Christ!
Being the only full time staff working for a growing multi-cultural, non-denominational ministry, I worked many hours to keep up with all the congregation and administration needs. One of my office duties was to compile a meeting agenda for our Sunday afternoon departmental meeting that we held once a month with all pastors, leaders and myself.
Well, it was at one of these Sunday night meetings that one of the pastors began to discuss an agenda issue about a wedding that would take place at our church. It was a young couple that worked in an international volunteer ministry that was based locally. We were discussing what the couple might need in terms of a gift or a blessing, or just what they might need in general since they didn’t have an employment position with pay or benefits.
The conversation and suggestions went round the table with 30 plus leaders making various comments. I was taking meeting notes and listening to everyone else when suddenly the idea of a gift occurred to me. I was sitting next to the pastor leading the discussion and said, “I know what they probably need”! She looked at me since she knew I had spent some time visiting with them on the marriage booklet. I said, “I know they probably can’t afford wedding rings.” Surprised, pastor said, “You want us to buy them wedding rings”? Totally, innocent, I said, “Not at all – I would be glad to give them one of mine”!
Now truly, honestly – even being the leader for the singles ministry, I had no notion of how it sounded. It never occurred to me. But the roar of laughter and comments that followed my suggestion was loud and thoroughly filled with humor. I was so embarrassed! They picked at me a good long while…quizzing me on how many wedding rings I had laying around. I tried to explain that I only had two…but that didn’t sound any better! The story became an enjoyable tale. I certainly learned to laugh with them!
Truly, looking back on that night, it was funny but I knew that many of those sitting at the table with me didn’t even have any idea of the experiences I had been through being divorced. And that brings me back to today and to the point of this Life After Divorce blog. This blog is ultimately about me and about you. I want to clarify that it isn’t about the splitting up, or the dividing up, or the giving up, or the divorce process itself. It isn’t about who you were, or what you had, or what you did, or where you lived, or where you didn’t live.
It is about the other side of that when you walked into the bathroom and no other toiletries were in there but yours. It is about the family photo albums that you packed away in a box, and the wedding ring that you don’t know what to do with, and the face of your child that looks at you reflecting the face of the one you are no longer married to.
It is about holidays that come around and you would rather burn a Christmas tree than decorate it. It is about looking into your bank book that got sliced in half – and you wonder why you even have one now. It is about getting into bed at night and trying to forget the flat empty space on the other side of the bed.
It is about going weeks or longer before you feel the touch of affection from another human being. It is about sadness because you haven’t heard the words “I love you” in a long, long time. Or maybe it’s the Valentine’s Day or birthday that passes like leaves on the breeze with memories that slice like a knife.
These are just a smidgen of the experiences my friends that go on and on when you are single again. Isn’t that so? We each have our own story and experiences. But I salute you my single friend! I applaud you my Christian sister and brother! We are the holder and keeper of opportunities. You hear that? Opportunities…that my friend is the point of my story in this blog!!
I promise you that the aloneness and sorrow in the paragraphs above cease to have “controlling” power over you as you ADD Christ’s strategies to your life – and step away from your past that mocks and reminds you of who you no longer are – and I dare you to step up and believe in who you are to become.
You CAN’T change what has happened and you CAN’T get lost in the sorrow or anger in your heart. If you do, temptation can drive you to unwise decisions as you seek to fill the aching void based on your needs, fears or desires. How many singles wake up after a one-night stand in someone else’s bed… still lonely? How many jump right into any desperate relationship because you are scared to be by yourself? How many fight to hide depression? How many drink to forget the pain? How many shop to feel better? How many get high on drugs to feel like they are “all that” again? How many secretly dive into porno? And maybe how many might think life isn’t even worth living? STOP! THOSE are the devil’s way of “stealing” you so that he can fill your void and take control of your life. Send that lie back to the pits of hell!!!
I encourage you to stand up and say, “I cancel the assignment of the enemy in Jesus’ name!” I will LIVE…the way I was created to live! And DO it!
The Word of God tells us that as singles we are powerful and can do MORE for the Body of Christ than those that are married because we can choose…to give, share, and do extra for those around us. Jesus was single…purposely so…and his life was perfect. He was not lacking…neither are you. The world, many married couples, and sometimes even ministry leaders, look upon singles as being in a “holding” stage while waiting to become “whole” again once remarriage is in place. Let me assure you that…
You are the receiver of God’s “CREATIVE” heart miracles.
You are not stamped “BROKEN” because you are single.
You are “PURPOSED” to impact the Body of Christ with or without a wedding ring.
You are “VALUABLE” to serve and minister…no matter what your marital status is.
You are “HOLY BECAUSE HE IS HOLY” and are totally equipped to stand pure as a single.
You are “POWERFUL” for use by the works of His hands – enjoy that you have more time to give Him.
You are “LOVED and ADORED” every minute of every day because YOU are His.
You are “HEALED AND GOD’S BEST” if new love and a marriage covenant enter your life again.
A wedding ring or marriage will never identify you or I. God does that! The relationships we have in our lives add to our definition or identity but do NOT define us. If that is the case, any loss can make you lose your way.
Now maybe you are not yet at the place of believing or living these truths. So what!!! You don’t come to Him AFTER you’re fixed. You come to Him to BE fixed. Nothing about your life keeps you from His door of forgiveness and new opportunities! It is always open to you. You think He doesn’t know all your secrets, desires and sorrows? He knows everything about you…and His voice is always calling you to Him…ready at your surrender to cast your old life into His sea of forgetfulness so that you are free for your future . I should know…my life many times, especially after my first divorce, had to be cast in there…for real.
My single life after my first divorce had lots of pitfalls…hindsight is 20/20…but that is a story for tomorrow night.
Life After Divorce…the beginning
Patti Corbello Archer