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From “Holeness” to Wholeness

prayThe entire first year after my divorce, I could barely lift my head off the pillow. It took everything I had to get my kids to school, put together a meal, or feel any sense of hope. I think the statement “Divorce is like open-heart surgery with no anesthetic” is true. Like any surgery, the recovery process is also up to you. You can go right back out, start living recklessly, and be in the hospital again having to go back under the knife, or you can listen to and heed the advice of people who are safe and whom you trust.

I have to admit I went off-roading a few times after my divorce, and believe me, I didn’t like one moment of it. I was longing, searching, looking for a way to fill the hole in my heart, a hole that felt as big as Texas. When I walked around, I felt people could see right through it, as if I were half a person. I have to admit, my mind and heart could not fathom even the possibility of feeling whole again. It just didn’t seem possible at the time.

Unfortunately, you have to walk through the pain to get to the other side. There is no avoiding it.

I remember many times waking up feeling as if my divorce was just a bad dream. None of it was real. It couldn’t be. There was no way my marriage could be over—and yet it was. I didn’t want a divorce, so dealing with the reality was even harder to accept.

My dreams, my hopes, my life, and even my identity were tightly woven within the parameters of my marriage. Divorce was a foreign concept to me. With no divorce in my family and not knowing even one couple who had gone through a divorce, I was totally clueless how to navigate my post-divorce life. I had no role model to look to, no success story of someone who had moved on and her life had turned out okay. I just knew I wasn’t okay, and I had no idea if I ever would be okay again.

Being a positive and optimistic person by nature, this new place of despair and hopelessness was  something I didn’t want to be familiar with. I knew self-medicating, running from, or—for lack of a better word—partying to avoid my pain would not help. I had lived that life as a young girl and knew it led to emptiness. But after my divorce I spent a whole year angry at God and felt justified in my anger.

I was angry because I felt that after becoming a Christian I had lived the “right” life. I had done all the “right” things. I was a leader in ministry, dedicated to sharing the Word of God. I had a checklist of all the things I had succeeded at doing. My failed marriage didn’t make sense to me. Was there something I missed?

The Christian journey is not about a walk of performance, a walk without trials or tribulation; it’s about entrusting our lives to Christ no matter what. It took me a year of pressing through my anger, disappointment, fear, and pain to get to the place where I finally was ready to fully surrender my heart to Jesus despite the unmet expectations, the perceived failure, and the loss of my marriage and my dreams. It wasn’t easy, but I finally got there.

In the meantime, during that year, the Lord never left me. He met me in my pain. He pursued me even in my unfaithfulness.

Today, I am free from guilt, shame, agony, and the fear of the bottom falling out once again. I am free because I have come to learn that no matter what happens, no matter how bad life can be, God will never leave me nor forsake me. He has seen me through the most desperate of times, and He will do the same for you.

From THE YOU PLAN: A Christian Woman’s Guide For A Happy, Healthy Life After Divorce. Copyright © 2014 by Michelle Borquez and Connie Wetzell (Thomas Nelson, Inc.) Used by permission.

Comments

  1. 4 months ago
    Indiael James says

    Our GOD is able. Proverbs 21:1

  2. 4 months ago
    Wendy says

    My husband left a year ago this week. It seems hopeless. I dont want a divorce. I dont know how to pray anymore. He has joined a new lifestyle of bikers club. He is the president. He used to serve the Lord. Now only serves his fleshly desires. I want to stand but this heartache has paralyzed me. I want to believe God can restore and save this marriage but I dont see any change. He has taken our son with him in this life of his. Sometimes I have to pray for strength to just get out of bed. I need a miracle from the Lord.

  3. 4 months ago
    Kay says

    Hello world!

    I have never posted a single word on a chat page and I am 47 years old! I just spent the last hour reading all of these powerful messages and feeling the support from strangers in each of the hurts here. It’s very moving. I am having a hard time living in this moment also, and in a “pit” of a mess that has made question if God is hearing my crys (or screams better yet) or if he is teaching me a lesson. So…I just googled “living in the moment”….and this is what came up. Thanks for sharing and may you heal in God’s speed.

  4. 4 months ago
    Deborah says

    Thank you, thank you, thanks to all of you wonderful women of God. I cannot stop the tears as I think that my ranting about my stupid little problems brought me so much love and hope and beauty, and renewal, and healing powers. I felt God’s presence from each of you who reached out to me, and so much more from your stories, your prayers, and your love. God really does work in the most extraordinary ways. I have devoured every word you wrote to me and I will hold them in my heart always. And your words have not fallen on deaf ears, because already I can feel God’s presence working in me through you. I know nothing is solved in an instant, but I feel hope in my heart for the first time in years, and maybe, just maybe I can see a little bit of light through the dark. One thing I know for sure now is that I will never give up and if I keep walking in faith and do not faint, if I keep on praying and keep getting up even when I falter a bit, then God by His grace, will carry me through. You all taught me that. God Bless you always!

  5. 4 months ago
    Denise says

    I just read Deborah’s post. I am sorry you are going through this, nothing makes sense when we are grieving, we can feel alone abandoned and rejected but we are not. I can understand and ‘feel your pain’ Deborah in my own version. I went through a divorce 15 years ago after 25 years of marriage, one I didn’t want, never wanted, as I never believed divorce was an option or solution.. sickness and health, richer or poorer, better or worse, til death do us part, is what I committed myself to, unfortunately my spouse did not. Unfaithfulness, drug and alcohol addiction some would say were the reason. I have never believed this though. I believe we can and usually will, one and all in different ways, try to fill the hole or emptiness we will feel in this life and world. The question is Where do we turn? Who or What do we turn to? Life is hard. Jesus tells us we will have many trials, and hardships will come and go, but HE will always be with us. I too felt I had ‘done all the right things’ so why was this happening to me???? Why? why ?why ? is what I said to God for 3 years, while crying myself to sleep every night …..feeling like an orphaned child. One night while feeling such deep despair and hopelessness that I did not want to live anymore I cried out to God.. I didn’t deserve this. I heard the voice of God respond with a depth of Love that defies description : I didn’t either. And in that moment I understood that Jesus understood ….. betrayal,fear, heartache, grief, pain and suffering… He understood this as a mortal human being and though having the ability to call down legions of Angels to prevent his trials and suffering, He didn’t. Jesus walked among us, felt our pain, felt our fear, felt our loneliness, losses and all the limitations and weaknesses we feel as mortal and finite human beings. He saw it and felt it and understood it as I can not even imagine He must have. He saw with the eyes of eternity what we can not fathom… the end from the beginning. Did knowing this change my loneliness, fear, sense of injustice, or the grief for losses of home family and the legacy I prayed for my children and grandchildren? Honestly no it did not. I had to walk through the mine field of grief and loss to get to the other side, but I did not have to walk through it alone. As time has gone on I have come to understand that tidal waves of grief will come and go, birthdays, holidays anniversary dates of special events, children getting married, grandchildren’s births etc have all triggered off the sense of loss for all the hopes and dreams of the past. I don’t have a happily ever after I got remarried to my soul mate story to tell here. What I do have are the promises of the Father and Creator of the Universe that He is with me and will do what is best….The substance of things hoped for.. the evidence of things unseen. I have learned to co-exist with the harsh reality’s of this life asking for and being given the peace that passes understanding when it all feels like too much. And Joy has returned to my heart as I never believed was possible. I am learning to live in the moment I am actually in…. asking God for what I need one day at a time. The manna of loving kindness is all around me, nothing is perfect, trials and hardships still come and go, as do the days and times of Joy and Happiness. I am learning what it means to be content IN all circumstances neither in spite of or because of. I was tired and lonely last night and had a time of thinking what is this all for… it happens… but I can tell myself I am human this will pass and then ask God to do for me what I can not seem to do for myself and He does. I pray that God will bring what is needful to your heart and life Deborah. Know that you are being held up in prayer. You are loved. Amen.

  6. Right on Michelle! This has certainly been my experience as well. I have never considered divorcing my husband in the 46 years we have been together……………murder him yes…….but not divorce! :) Divorce might have been an easier route to go when I look back and see all we’ve come through but either way, God has been with me and our ‘holeness’ has turned to ‘wholeness’ by His grace! Thanks for your honest post Michelle. <3

  7. Most folks do not know that God ALLOWED for Divorce in the laws of Moses. Yep…. seems to me I never heard this teaching in the mainline Christian Churches. Just constant condemnation for those who have been divorced. God’s law to the Jewish people was that IF there was adultery in the marriage, (it was usually the man who put his wife away) with a letter of Divorce. But when Jesus confronted them (the Jewish People) on this Law, He (Jesus) told them they were putting their wives away with a letter of Divorce for Adultery when, in fact, the wife did not commit adultery, thus making her….or rather forcing her to marry another when in God’s eyes under His Law, she’s still married to the husband who LIED and put her away with a letter of Divorce. I learned this when I took a course from Trinity Seminary.. So IF there is adultery in a marriage, then it’s allowed by God that you should divorce without condemnation about it. Jesus said to the Pharisees that their wives should not remarry since they were already married to the husbands who LIED to put them away accusing them of adultery when they didn’t commit that act. So that throws out the remarriage thing……..remarriage is not forbidden IF you were divorced by the laws of Moses. You see how the mainline churches used this to condemn and destroy? DO NOT believe me………study the Old Testament laws of Moses on this and also look up where Saint Paul said that if the UNBELIEVER leaves, you are no longer bound to him. Now …on this score, he is vague on what to do if you are married to him. I guess if that happened to me, I’d stay married to him but know that I am no longer bound to him. In all these things you should pray consistently about these things. Keep in mind when Christ said to study the Scriptures how extremely important it is to do that. The WORD OF GOD is your Armour, your Shield, your Protection and Understanding. Knowledge of the Word of God will protect you from the fiery darts of Satan…which are always LIES to confuse you and confound you. So be on the alert and be knowledgeable of the Word and LAWS of the Word….Important to study the Old Testament then as you read the New Testament, you see all the fulfillments of it all…working together as ONE. We will be tested in this life, and more so as the days unwind. Read Ephesians 6 and put on the full armor of God. I hope this knowledge that the mainline churches have ignored and not informed you of (most likely they didn’t know either……ignorance and arrogance has caused much damage to the children of God)….helps you to know you are not condemned and as a matter of fact, Divorce (even under the wrong reasons) IS FORGIVEN! No where in the Bible does it say Divorce is not forgiven. See how wonderful knowledge of the Word delivers you from these lies and condemnations? Let God’s Light fill you with HIS Truths every day. Bless you all.

    • 4 months ago
      007Angel says

      Well stated, Vicki. Thank you for this insight!
      We are ALL forgiven. The question is – will we ACCEPT this forgiveness and forgive ourselves?
      God’s Grace –
      God’s
      Richest
      At
      Christ’s
      Expense

  8. 4 months ago
    Kelly says

    I found much encouragement from this story and I have always believed fighting for marriages was what God called us to do. I grew up in a family plagued with divorce and was determined to marry until death do us part. I married a man that did not have one divorce in his family and he seemed to be a wonderful match for me. Here I am 15 years later and, although I am not divorced, I am separated. Soon after our marriage I began uncovering a dark world of addiction that my husband was involved with. After forgiving and healing then feeling betrayed many times, I begged the Lord to help me make choices of love and forgiveness. The hardest decision I have ever made was asking my husband to leave because it went against everything I had told myself for years. This decision was one many supported but some did not. I know that the shame I feel now will soon turn to wisdom and while I wait I am clinging to what I know to be true and good, my Heavenly Father.

  9. 4 months ago
    Deborah says

    I am in the midst of it all right now; 5 years ago my husband “left” me, left our marriage, it was over for him yet we were still together. It was like I woke up one day full of love and hope in the future, in God, in everything for almost all my prayers had been answered and in the blink of an eye, it was over. I kissed him goodbye one morning as he left for work and he just never came home. His body was present, but his spirit and our marriage was gone. This was not what I wanted, this was not what I had waited so many years for; this was not what I had prayed for. I too thought I did everything right. Before I met him, I vowed to God that I would wait for Him to bring me a husband. So there I was, waiting, working in the church, studying God’s word; keeping busy, doing everything I thought I was supposed to do; stayed celibate for 10 years; did what our women’s ministry taught all us single ladies to do while God was working on us and working on the man he would bring specifically for each of us; waiting patiently on Him to bless me with the husband, home and family that I wanted to much. And then he was there, and we were in love, and we got married, and I was so happy that I had not just gone out and gotten pregnant or something just because I was getting older. I had done the right things so I knew God was going to bless us. I loved and honored my husband, I honored God and myself and my family, I supported my husband, we worshipped together, but in our second year together I had to have a hysterectomy. I knew it would be hard trying to have a baby at 44 years old but this was me…one of God’s faithful, so it was worth a try, right? Still not having recovered from that loss, was when I realized there was no love in his eyes, they had grown dark and cold. And it wasn’t because I couldn’t have children, I know that. Now 3 almost 4 years after I finally gave up and left him, refusing to stay in a hopeless marriage just to be his maid and cook, which he was perfectly happy with me doing, I carry the divorce papers all filled out and ready to go to the courthouse, but I just can’t seem to file them. I pray for forgiveness in my heart so that I can forgive him and move on with my life, but like it has been said, I can barely get out of bed, get dressed and go to work. I cry most nights. I’ve been so angry at God yet I pray for Him to help me, to show me the way, to give me some guidance on what I am supposed to do with the rest of my life. It is possible to feel this hurt, scared, alone, and angry, and yet still praise God every day or am I just fooling myself, and trying to fool God as well? I have refused to allow myself to lose faith, yet I feel faithless. I feel like God hates me, yet shout for joy when I hear a sermon or go to a worship service and hear that God has never left nor forsaken me. But I am just a shell of who I used to be. I moved 2000 miles away to be back with my parents and sister, who are all strong in God’s presence because I knew just being near them would keep me from jumping off a bridge. And I was right to come here; they have saved my life and they don’t even know it. They are all prayer warriors and I feel their strong love and faith around me every day, but still I am so sad and lonely, and I just cannot imagine for a second that I will ever be whole again. Just a few weeks ago I was praising God fully in a place filled with thousands of God’s faithful when Joyce Meyer came to town, and today I came to this website looking for more renewal hope from Women of Faith, because I had followed WOF for many years, and because I want to surround myself all the time with you wonderful people, hoping I can one day walk without the pain of this heartache. I have bonded myself to be a friend, mentor, and babysitter to a young single-mom friend at work, because I love helping her, and also honestly because after I hold and play with her baby for a few hours, then I can sleep for a few days through the night. But still it’s not a lot of help later when the ache comes back, the ache of knowing I will never feel the joy of having a baby growing inside me or ever having a child call me “mommy”. I study the word and my spirit is quieted for a little while, but the hurt always comes back. I try to not look back, but I can’t help it sometimes. I drive to the courthouse with the papers in hand, but I just drive on by. Ladies, I literally do not know what to do anymore. I know God is carrying me because I still wake up every day, and it’s only by His grace renewed daily I know. So I guess I am standing by, in faith and yet in tears, until my happily ever after comes. Is it a sin to want my happy ending? Otherwise, I just don’t know what I am supposed to be doing here.

    • 4 months ago
      Susan Maloney says

      I’m praying for you Dear Sister. Your story touched me and I wept.
      I wish I could take your hand and we’d run, skip,and giggle.
      Praying for Supernatural Joy. That would only be from our
      Precious Holy Spirit. May you concentrate on Who You Really Are
      In Christ. I Pet 2:9 . I’m praying more. Praying that you will not let anything, nor
      any event, nor anyone define you but Jesus alone.
      I love you,Susan

    • 4 months ago
      Mary says

      Deborah, I a,m praying for you. I know you know God is walking with you and he is crying when . You cry. He loves you. One of the hardest things In life is to,stop looking in that rear view mirror. To look. through that front windshield and move forward. You are doing so many things right. Just keep fighting for your faith and yourself. Even though you may never have children, God has placed you in the life of that baby you babysit and you can be a role model to her and give and receive love, you can do that as a Sunday school teacher You can be a mentor and to children and feel the love. It is not the same but that might help you feel loved and giving to those who need you. You can help at advocacy centers and help heal broken hearts. Who know maybe God will place you Ina family already knit together who have lost their mom and wife. We never knew. Just keep fighting and praying. May Gods peace fall upon you. I Pray for you to feel peace

    • 4 months ago
      Kay says

      Deborah ~ my heart goes out to you. I think one of the best heart healers that God uses is Him working through other people. I pray you are able to surround yourself with Christian women who can come along side you in this painful journey of growth and love on you, reassure you, listen to your heart, and sometimes even give you some tough advice when needed! I am praying for you today – asking God to fill your heart with His peace and His unfailing love (even when you don’t think it’s there or you feel like you don’t deserve it – I’m praying you KNOW IT)! HE IS IN CONTROL – rest in that knowledge. He IS working in your life, and it is FOR YOUR GOOD! Satan is the accuser and satan loves to steel our joy. That’s why the bible warns us to keep our MINDS steadfast on Him! Don’t buy in to satan’s lies that you’re a failure or that you’re worthless and things are hopeless, or that no one is ever going to want you again. Start quoting the promises of God!! You tell yourself EVERYDAY that you are a princess in the kingdom of heaven – because you are an heir of Christ! You are VALUED and TREASURED! He KNEW you before you were even a thought in your mother’s mind (Psalm 139:13-16)! You remind yourself Who parted the Red Sea, and Who poured water out of a rock in the desert for the children of Israel, Who rained down manna and provided quail til they were sick of it! You remember that Heb. 13:8 tells us that Jesus is the SAME yesterday, today and forever! That means your situation is COVERED! It did not take Him by surprise, nor is He perplexed about it! Our God is CAPABLE beyond what you think or hope for! Psalm 34:19 tells us that “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them ALL.” (Not some of them, not part of it – ALL OF OUR AFFLICTIONS!) God is the God who performs miracles (Psalm 77:14) – (but in HIS TIMING)! That’s often the hard part (being patient – Isaiah 40:31). We don’t see what’s coming down the road, so we jump to conclusions and jump into anxiety about our lives, but if we’ll just hang on to God’s promises, HE WILL REVEAL HIS WILL IN OUR LIVES!!! God ALWAYS gives us the way out of anything He allows us to go through (I Cor. 10:13). I encourage you to make a little book of God’s promises and read through them everyday! Keep your mind on Jesus Deborah! Don’t let yourself wander to the right or to the left, but STAND in His Word!! He is SO FAITHFUL and He will give you peace, comfort, love, joy, happiness, AND a PURPOSE (for He created YOU for a very SPECIFIC PURPOSE) – He said ASK Him for wisdom and He WILL give it to you (James 1:5). So just begin to ask and then WAIT PATIENTLY (no matter how long it takes) – He is working something out in you precious sister! AND IT’S GONNA BE GOOD! Much Love ~ Kay

    • Deborah,

      My heart breaks for you. As a divorced woman of 11 years, I still can’t believe I’m in the “divorce” category. However, you are not divorced. Even though you have not been with your husband for 5 years, you still cannot bring yourself to go to the courthouse and file for divorce. Apparently, your husband hasn’t filed either. I’m not saying you should get a divorce. What I am saying is that you need to make a decision what to do. Just holding on to the papers is not allowing you to move forward. You’re in a marriage that’s basically a sham and still being bound to him, you’re not free to go on. This is is keeping you in a holding pattern. I’m sure you’ve sought out professional counsel about this. Perhaps there is a way to reconcile with your husband. If you still love him, I would turn over every stone to try to make that happen. But, if it’s just not going to happen, then perhaps you can get an amicable divorce and begin the real healing process.
      Once you accept the reality of what is, then you can make the right decision for you. Only then will you be able to start re-building a life for yourself. With God ALL things are possible Deborah! Trust Him. He will work it all together for your good. Beauty for ashes, dear woman…Beauty for ashes.

      Connie Wetzell
      Co author of “The YOU Plan” A Christian Woman’s Guide For a Happy Healthy Life After Divorce

  10. 4 months ago
    Michele O'Connell says

    My divorce came from left field almost eight years ago. My father had suddenly passed away, and my husband said I needed to go and take care of my mom. So I packed up our two kids, just 2 and 5 at the time and went to stay with my mom. My husband would come visit us on the weekends, always telling me that once he got everything in order he would be joining us. One day I had to get something from our house, when I got there I realized another woman was living there, with my husband. Two days later I was served with divorce papers. During our divorce, my soon to be ex-husband would tell me that God didn’t love divorced women and if I ever got re-married I would be considered a whore in God’s eyes. What made matters worse was people from church were telling me the same things. I left church, abandoned God, and hated myself for it everyday. Then, one day I heard this little voice tell me to stop hating myself, that God does love me. I found another church, that supported me, and did not admonish me for my divorce. And I have been happy ever since :)

  11. 5 months ago
    tricia guyton says

    Thank you for sharing. I can relate to the pain and anger an unwanted divorce leaves. The shame and failure of it. Im glad to see other people heal and move on. I cant wait til i do the same. Its been two and half years since my divorce and some days are better than others. I stil have a long way to go. Thanks again for sharing. Tricia

  12. 5 months ago
    Kathy Bocian says

    Divorce is the crashing of your family and world. It was the most devastating thing I have ever went thru. Most Churches don’t want to talk about it and some won’t help you. For Christians you don’t believe it ever happened to you. It was against everything you believed in. Years later it still hurts and you feel like a total failure. You lose family and friends and dating is not like it was in the world today so you find yourself alone. I try not to isolate myself but the road can be very lonely and family can play sides. Pray. Jesus is still there for you. Get to know him in a closer way.

  13. 5 months ago
    Marcia Richardson says

    In 2005 my ex-husband informed me that he was Homosexual and wanted a divorce, this was after 9 years of marriage and my giving birth to two beautiful daughters who were 3 and 7 at the time!! I was shocked, how could I have spent the past 9 years with this man and not known he was GAY!! YIKES!! My world was rocked but the one thing I clung to was my faith. I knew that God already knew this was coming and he was waiting for me to turn to him for my hope, help and healing. It has not been easy because 2 weeks after this shock, I was told by my doctor that I had a huge brain tumor and had to have surgery to have it removed. Needless to say, the surgery didn’t go as planned and I was thrown on a rollercoaster of memory loss, speech loss, really bad handwriting, and difficulty walking. Now 9 years later I am whole, healthy, and living the single life. I don’t understand it all, but I know God is in control and will not leave me!!

    • Its very difficult to accept such situation when came sudden in life..and specially when some one is emotional personality..you have faced so many problems may be more in social also…but now you are ok..is blessing of God…your experience is for all such person who may not aware about own partner..thanks for sharing and God may with you for ever..

  14. 5 months ago
    Debbie says

    So true……………….although my divorce was over 30 years ago………..it was a horrible point in my life……..don’t wish it on my worst enemy…………….although I turned my back on God at that point in my life , I was surrounded by prayer from others………..Additionally the Holy Spirit was persistent….I remarried to a marvelous Christian 29 years ago. We have 3 adult children………..I am blessed and you do get through it with the power of Christ.