It’s so hard to know how to write about this, really. I want to be clear that I’m not encouraging divorce. But for many, divorce has been held as the unforgivable sin … and it’s not. People who are divorced are often made to feel that there is no place in the Church for them. This is not true at all. Every one of us has sinned, divorced or not, and God accepts each of us only through the blood of His Son. There are no second-class citizens in God’s Kingdom. If your Savior and Lord is Jesus, your mistakes and sins do not define who you are. Don’t let anyone tell you that they do!
This is true of many things. Maybe you used to struggle with — or still struggle with — a sin. It doesn’t matter what it is. Your struggle will be more successful with the help of the Holy Spirit and other believers. Satan wants you to think that you can do it on your own … or that you’re hopeless. He wants to isolate you from the help you need. Sometimes, he does this through our own thoughts, fears, and shame. Other times, unfortunately, he does this through other sinful believers who reject us. Either way, this is warfare: The enemy of God, the enemy of our souls, trying to keep us from becoming what God wants us to be.
Whether it’s divorce or something else, this isn’t about whether or not you were right. This is about where you go afterward. Who are you after something like this?
The time of my divorce was overwhelmingly devastating for me. I didn’t know how to be a single mom. I didn’t know how to navigate the legalities. I was told by my pastor that I couldn’t take communion. I was sent letters and emails from people who said that they burned my books and tapes. It was horrific. I was coming out of a very deep depression and this threatened to drown me.
I remember as my daughter and son-in-law and I drove away from meeting with my pastor, we passed a pawn shop and I sensed very clearly that God wanted me to go inside. Once inside, the Holy Spirit directed me to the jewelry. I looked — not really knowing what I was looking for or even for whom — and saw a ring that nearly leapt out at me. I think it was $25, which seemed like a fortune during that time of uncertainty.
The ring had a rectangular amethyst, with two gold bands going diagonally across it. I knew that I needed to buy it and I knew that it was a gift from God to me … but at that time, I didn’t know the significance. I started wearing it, and it felt like it was a covenant between God and me.
Later — I can’t remember if it was weeks or days — I was reading Isaiah 54, this very verse, and God showed me that this ring was His covenant with me as my foster husband. Not in any sense less than a true husband, but that it wasn’t necessarily permanent (though I didn’t sense Him telling me that I would ever get married again either … and at that point, the thought of marriage was sickening to me). Further, He told me that the two bands across the amethyst were to remind me that He would protect me and provide for me — in my marriage, it had been just the opposite, so this was both comforting and hard to believe.
Aren’t these two of the things we women most long for? They say that a woman’s greatest need is for security. Well, protection and provision are major aspects of that.
I was afraid — so afraid. I had no idea where money would come from. How would I provide for my children? How would I raise them up?
When I woke up in the night, terrified about these things, my right hand found the ring on my left fourth finger and caressed the two bands. I would whisper, “God will protect us and provide for us.”
He never failed. There were a few times when I stepped out from under His protection. When I repented, He protected me again. He never failed to provide. Things were never really easy, but we did not lose our home in all those years, nor did we go hungry.
When I got a job, He taught me something important that applies to all of us, men, women, married, single: The money we earn is not really from our own hands — it’s still His provision. He provides the job. He provides the payment. And perhaps most important, He stretches that money to cover what sometimes seems like an impossible number of bills. I was never afraid to tithe — after all, God promises to open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out blessings on us when we tithe.
I learned that God knows what my family and I need … and He already knows how He will get it to us. Something I said to myself over and over at times when fear wanted to overtake me was: “God knows what I need, and He knows how to get it to me.” If I had a mantra, that was it. (I’m not sure, but I think I learned that from Joyce Meyer, though I can’t find any evidence of that. Sorry.)
There were many times that I needed the protection of my foster Husband. He was there to protect me from physical and emotional attack. He led me through legal attacks. And He was faithful to protect my children, too.
This song was a lifeline to me during some of the hardest of that time:
Isaiah 54:5 ~
For your husband is your Maker,
Whose name is the Lord of hosts;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
Who is called the God of all the earth.
Isaiah Cadre Discussion/Journaling Questions:
- What is a sin or situation you struggle with? Is the enemy somehow isolating you from the help and support you need through shame, fear of rejection, or pride? How can you tell if someone is safe to share your struggle with?
- If you’re a single woman, what are your fears? Does God promise in His Word to protect you? Can you find at least 3 places in His Word where He tells you that and write them out for yourself? What can you use as a “memorial stone” to remind you of those truths? (If you can’t find some places that tell you that, please write to me so I can help you.) (If you’re not a single woman, do you know one that you can share these truths with?)
- If you’re married or a man … does God protect you? Does He provide for you? What are some Scriptures that assure you of that?
- What is your greatest emotional need right now? Does God say anything in His Word about providing that for you? Write out at least 3 verses and put them someplace to remind you that He does!
- If you don’t know Scriptures to assure you of these things, please ask me! I would love to help you find them. I would also love to help you figure out a way to create a memorial for yourself — it may be something as simple as a rock, or it could be a piece of jewelry, or anything else that will remind you of these important truths. It’s important that you have a way of reminding yourself of this. (Remember — in Beauty for Ashes — the memorial shells Matt and Kelly made so she would have a reminder of the things God was doing in her life?)
If you know someone who would be blessed by this, please pass it on to them.
For part 1 of this series, go here.