If you’re struggling to find hope after divorce, you’re not alone. And hope is available to you—my story is proof. Below is an excerpt from a 7-day Bible Plan I wrote after my divorce. After you finish here, read the rest of the plan, either by yourself or with some friends using the Plans With Friends feature.
I remember how I felt when my husband asked for a divorce—a mixture of shock and grief. I was in a complete daze trying to reconcile the life I thought we had with the one he was describing. I could feel the life we had worked so hard to build slipping through my fingers. I couldn’t understand why. I couldn’t catch my breath.
In the days and weeks that followed, I tried to keep myself together and shuffle forward as the world rushed by around me. I began to think of myself as damaged goods that no one else would ever want. I felt dirty, guilty, and ashamed. I convinced myself that I wasn’t enough, valuable, or worthy of love, because otherwise, he would have stayed. I gave in to fear, believing that I was too old to remarry and would always be alone. Throughout all of it, I kept questioning—Is it really possible to hold on to hope after divorce?
Maybe your story is like mine, and you don’t believe you’re valuable because your spouse didn’t stay and fight for you. Or maybe you don’t believe you’re worthy of love because of what you did that ended your marriage. No matter your circumstances, those lies aren’t true. Whether you were cheated on or you had the affair, whether you were left or you did the leaving, you are precious to God. You are cherished by the Creator of the universe, and He loves you just for being you.
In the depths of our pain, God doesn’t look on us with contempt. Instead, He chooses to see us through the lens of grace and have compassion on us. Our God is bigger than anything of this world. If we let Him, He can heal our pain, redeem us, and use our past to create something beautiful.
Even though the season after divorce is really hard, with God, it can also be sweet. When everything else falls away and He is all you have, you can more easily see just how much God loves you.
Growing up in church, I’d heard about how God leaves the 99 to go after the one who is lost. But I didn’t always understand that His relentless pursuit of us doesn’t stop at salvation. The truth is, He will never leave us, and He will never stop pursuing us. As I’ve become more aware of God’s pursuit, I’m better able to recognize His presence in my everyday life and know I’m not alone.
God’s pursuit looks different for everyone because it’s specially tailored to each person. For me, I’ve always loved sunsets, especially ones that fill the sky with deep reds and oranges. When I was younger, I would watch the sunset and just be enamored by God’s creation. Now, I realize the awe I feel watching a beautiful sunset is one of the ways God speaks to my heart. It seems like His way of telling me, “I know how much you like these, and I was thinking of you.” It reminds me of His love when I need it most.
The first wedding I attended after my divorce was rough. I kept it together for most of the night—until the Anniversary Dance. That’s the one where all the married couples go out onto the dance floor to dance. Then, the DJ dismisses couples until you’re left with the longest-married couple at the wedding. It used to be my favorite part of any wedding. But this time, I went into a bathroom stall and sobbed. I had never felt so alone.
A few hours later as everyone said their goodbyes, rain started to pour down. Even though it was still daytime, the sky turned dark as night from all the thunderclouds. As my friend drove, I stared off into the distance, glad to have survived the emotional roller coaster. Then I noticed a sort of glowing in the trees. I thought they must be on fire. But when I saw they weren’t, I turned around to see where the light was coming from.
And there, through a small break in the storm clouds, was the most beautiful, red-orange sunset I have ever seen. It was only there for a moment. As quickly as the clouds had parted, they closed back up. It was so overwhelming, it brought tears to my eyes because I knew the sunset was just for me. God was reaching out to tell me I was not alone. With Him by my side, I had never been alone, and I will never be alone. And the same is true for you.
Though everyone else may fail you, God never will. He loves you with an undying passion that will never stop. No matter how far you run or how many times you push Him away, He won’t give up. He’ll keep coming after you, reminding you that you are His. He’ll never get tired of you or lose interest. Let Him love you. Let Him remind you that you are wanted—so much so that He paid the ultimate price, death on a cross, so He can spend eternity with you.
So if you, like me, have found yourself wondering questions like, “Is there really hope after divorce?” let me assure you that, yes, there is hope. His name is Jesus. And He is pursuing you—just like He pursued me.