How to Embrace the Detour of Divorce

Several weeks ago, I sent out a survey to my subscribers. One of the questions asked about any ongoing personal struggles. Many of you responded crushed about divorce & aching because of the realities of a broken marriage. And my heart broke for you. Mostly for your situation, but also because I am unable to speak into that area of life. I prayed that someone would come along & be able to speak truth into the tough topic of divorce. Then, a few weeks later, Lauren emailed me & offered a guest post for Life of Scoop. What do you know – her story is one of heartbreak and divorce. The Lord works in mighty ways. It’s an honor to welcome Lauren to the blog today! 

2013 welcomed me with a torrential downpour of sorrow.

One day, quite suddenly, my life as I knew it came crashing down. Complete destruction had happened. It happened to my marriage, my family, my future, my heart, my trust, my judgment, you name it … destruction happened. My happily ever after had taken a horribly wrong turn and I was determined to get my picture perfect life back.

Surviving divorce is painful and heartbreaking. It just plain & simple hurts. There are no quick fixes and there definitely isn't easy advice. So, what does life after Christian divorce look like? Lauren shares beautiful hope & a fresh perspective in this post about embracing the detour of divorce!

I found myself the sad victim of someone else’s sinful choices. How did the man I committed my life to break our vows so harshly? This could not be real life. After all, we met at and were very involved in our church, dated for a reasonable time, did intensive pre-marital, had a happy marriage, and just welcomed our sweet daughter. These components did not add up to a man’s affair. Call me naive (because I was), but I thought my marriage was above something like this.

I have always been more of the hopeful optimist, so I didn’t quite know what to do with this newfound victim role. I felt paralyzed, with zero control. As a Type A, put together, borderline control freak, I barely recognized myself. I went from “never been much of a crier” to randomly weeping in Trader Joe’s. All I could muster up were desperate prayers, begging and pleading with God. I stood both overwhelmed by the depravity of our world and then at the same time not the slightest bit surprised. Let’s be real, as followers of Christ, the bible is clear that we WILL have trouble, but with that trouble will come a beautiful peace that trumps anything we can wrap our minds around.

John 16:33 says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

So, why are we so surprised when the hard times come? Why do we act puzzled and disgusted? Thinking, me of all people did not deserve this! Why do we go into fix-it mode and explore every angle of how to mend the difficult situation? All of the questions above described my initial reaction to what had happened.

As every gut-wrenching event of my saga unfolded, I kept meditating on this truth: “And we know God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them,” Romans 8:28. Why did my “good” look so different from God’s? I wanted my life to go back to the good God had for me before this mayhem. It was hard for me to grasp that my “good” and God’s good could look so radically different. Was God really sparing me from something I couldn’t see? Was he protecting me from the wickedness of a rebellious soul?  And the questions went on and on.

Surviving divorce is painful and heartbreaking. It just plain & simple hurts. There are no quick fixes and there definitely isn't easy advice. So, what does life after Christian divorce look like? Lauren shares beautiful hope & a fresh perspective in this post about embracing the detour of divorce!

Well, the answer to all of my questions was this: God wanted me to rest in His peace amongst the chaos. After trying to mend all of the madness myself, I finally surrendered to this gem: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still,” Exodus 14:14. He wanted me to be still and obedient in the moment.

C.S. Lewis put it perfectly, “Never in peace or war, commit your virtue or happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment ‘as to the Lord.’ It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.”

In hindsight, what I saw as horribly wrong turns, turned out to be a level of God’s character that had never been present in the rainbows and butterflies. Hour by hour, through all of the sadness and loss, I realized I had never fully experienced the essence of God’s comfort. I saw that His comfort was most fully revealed in the absolute pits of sorrow.

As time passed, my outcome was looking different from God’s, but all the while His supernatural comfort was there. Comfort that brought underlying peace, moments of joy, and overall sustenance in a time of downright grief. “I cried out, ‘I am slipping!’ but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer,” Psalm 94:18-19.

The outcome of my marriage was decided for me. My ex-husband chose his life with the other woman over one with me. I am not an advocate of divorce, quite the contrary, but sometimes we don’t have a choice in the matter. God’s good sometimes looks different than ours, and I learned to trust this truth and look forward to the greater good He had planned.

Surviving divorce is painful and heartbreaking. It just plain & simple hurts. There are no quick fixes and there definitely isn't easy advice. So, what does life after Christian divorce look like? Lauren shares beautiful hope & a fresh perspective in this post about embracing the detour of divorce!

Day by day, God faithfully showed me how I could use this difficult time to help others who had endured similar pain. I no longer wished for my former life. God taught me that many of life’s richest blessings are the fruit of sorrow or pain. He showed me that some blessings will never be ours unless we are ready to pay the price of pain. After all, redemption, the world’s greatest blessing, is the fruit of the world’s greatest sorrow.

Redemption - the world's greatest blessing - is the fruit of the world's greatest sorrow. Click To Tweet

I have been divorced for almost one full year, separated on and off for three. I will say that God’s faithfulness and goodness are not confined by the walls of divorce. God’s good is better than the life and dreams you lost. I am experiencing this firsthand and let me tell you, it’s a beautiful picture of restoration. “God takes our ashes and gives us beauty,” Isaiah 61:3. Take the time you need to REALLY grieve all of the losses that made up your former life.

Don’t rush a darn thing.

Pray for God to heal your heart and make it new again. The more time you spend letting God repair your heart and soul, the healthier you’ll be for what your future holds. Embrace this detour of divorce, trusting fully in the goodness of God’s work.

View More: McKinley is the founder of Her Soul Repair, an online community of women who are healing from the brokenness in marriage.  Her heart gushes for all things marriage and family. More specifically, she loves encouraging women who have every reason to call it quits in marriage. She is a Truth-seeker, mama to one, teacher by trade and writer by passion. Her first book, Stop Wrecking My Home, will be released in Fall 2016. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, sharing meals with dear friends, and adventuring to new places. She is most passionate about sharing the peace God can bring to even the most heartbreaking situations.

14 thoughts on “How to Embrace the Detour of Divorce

  1. Lauren,
    Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I can’t imagine how painful that must have felt! I’m so sorry! It’s so wonderful that you are using your pain to help others. I loved your words, “many of life’s richest blessings are the fruit of sorrow or pain….and God’s goodness is not confined by the walls of divorce.” Amen! God turns our ashes into beauty. Your testimony is evidence of God’s goodness. Your book looks great!

  2. Lauren, your story is such a testimony of God’s grace. My husband and I were headed for divorce 12 years ago, but God had other plans. As much as I am grateful for the restoration in my marriage, my heart aches for those that don’t. What a powerful testimony you have for others who are going through this- a hope for a brighter future! im sharing this today on all my social media today! I think this is a must read. I’m praying that God would continue to use you and empower you to be a light to those He places in your path! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  3. Lauren, Thank you so much for sharing your story and offering hope. Anyone who has dealt with a devastating loss at the hands of someone else can relate to this. And your points speak exactly to the healing process I took after the rejection of my daughter and best friend. Blessings to you as you minister to broken hearts.

  4. Hi Lauren,

    Thank you so much from sharing from the depths of your heart. I’m so sorry about your loss, but reading what God has taught you as a result has been eye opening. You’ve shared some insights that I’ll have to stew I’ve r to digest. Good stuff. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m so glad to see that you are indeed an overcome in Christ.

  5. My husband left me when our twin boys were 2yrs old. We too were Christians and involved in church. That was 14 years ago and I wish I had had your spiritual maturity. When he left, I became angry at God.

    I have matured a lot since then and looking back, I can see how Christ has provided for us and protected us. Thank you for your honesty and transparency.

    1. Shani, I’m so sorry that you experienced the brokenness and pain of divorce. How sweet, though, that Christ has provided & protected, loved & been so present for you. What a holy Father we serve! Thanks for sharing & commenting here!

  6. I haven’t gone through a divorce yet but might be. My husband and I have some communication breakdown, he has hardened his heart against God and is now romantically involved with his colleague. I am very heartbroken and struggling through my daily life. It is so hard. We are married for barely 2 years but together for 8 years altogether. I have looked up all ways possible on the net to work on the marriage but to no avail, because he simply has given up. I am basically waiting for him to serve me the paper but still holding on. I am 26 this year but felt like the future is bleak for me. Can the future ahead be good for me? I struggle to comprehend what is God’s good for me as well as compared to my understanding…

    1. Velle, thanks so much for sharing a piece of your heart here. I’m sorry to read about your situation & will say a prayer that the Lord would be glorified. You DO have a future & that future is secure in Christ, but I understand the temptation to feel like there is little hope. Pray the promises of God. Cling to the person of Jesus. Stand firm in who God says you are. And keep taking the next step in faith, sister. Sending a virtual hug your way!

    2. I have been praying for guidance from God, my husband walked out of our lives 2years now and has filed for divorce, I still love him hut the 4years we were together was very hard and I prayed many days for God to make a way where there seems to be none, them one Sunday at a pray session I surrendered it all to God, the next day he moved out, dome days ste good some days are hard dome days so depressed I can’t care for my children, but I’m relyingore on God now day by day,going to court in 3days, at times when I feel so broken I cry and pray.

      1. Charmine, I am praying for you as I type this. I’m so sorry to hear about the pain. I love that you say you’re relying on God more and more. In the midst of difficulty, it can be so hard to lean into Christ. But sometimes that’s what God is trying to teach us – that He is close to those who mourn!

      2. It’s been a year since my husband moved out but I think he emotionally left a few years ago and I was just in denia. I miss our life together but realize that he has moved on. We were married 21 yrs. He was a husband, father and a friend.

  7. I have been struggling with the process of divorce recently and struggling to be a single parent on my own. Not only financially but to be strong for my son through all the hardships. Sometimes it means the world for someone to acknowledge your hard work and that you are trying the best you can. Divorce is the hardest thing I have been through. I am 23 and have been through hardships already but divorce with a child tops them all. I wrote down all your scriptures and suggestions that you mentioned in this blog. Thank you. I hope to begin healing.

    1. Emily, I’m so thankful you found some hope here. I am so sorry you’ve had to deal with divorce at all, let alone with a child. But the Lord is near to the brokenhearted! He WILL redeem the situation. Praying for you.

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