Dear Sister in Christ,
May I be so bold as to share my heart with you from a place of deep love and not from a position of knowing what you’ve been through?
I am not a single mom. I am not separated nor divorced. I have not walked through the darkness of the night, enduring the heartache that comes when one’s marriage falls apart. I’ve not experienced the devastation of when a husband succumbs to the temptations of the flesh nor have I struggled with that myself. I’ve not lived through the betrayal of a covenant made before God nor had to fill in the gap for a father who abandons his post. While I am a child of such, I’ve not been the wife, and I would never pretend to know the depth of pain you’ve walked through.
However, I know this much:
What you’ve been through has shaped you, but it does not define who you are or your value before God.
Your broken marriage does not erase your worth nor tarnish your reputation in the way you feel it does. That’s the enemy’s accusations having field day on your heart and mind. It is not the voice of Truth.
The truth is this: It takes two to make a marriage work. You are responsible for your choices and he is responsible for his. You can not be blamed for his decisions. Not any of them. Whether he gave into his flesh, treated you badly, disrespected you privately or publicly, or abused you emotionally, physically, or spiritually.
We are each accountable for our own behavior, aren’t we?
[Tweet “There is no one fit to take the blame for someone else’s sin . . . not even you. “]
We can only humbly walk before God seeking His forgiveness for our own mess along with what’s been done unto us. Didn’t Jesus take the punishment for us all when He laid down his life for us? He bore our sin and shame on the cross. His blood was already shed for what has been done unto you and by you. There is no need for you to feel as though you should shed more, in a deprecating and defeated life, abandoning the fullness He promised to you (John 10:10).
I’m sure you can see what you would do differently now — how you might choose to sacrifice more and expect less, love more passionately and respond more gently, guard your heart more carefully and your longings more purposefully. Any of us, given a wake-up call like what you’ve been through, would also evaluate behavior and likely walk away with similar conclusions.
But isn’t that just what hindsight is about? You can see now what you couldn’t then, sometimes with a hot and holy conviction and other times in the bowed down posture of humility. It’s that healthy conviction that leads to a desire to change.
As you continue to mull over what happened and wrestle with your reality, I pray that you don’t get landlocked in regret and shame. I’m praying for your healing to come quickly and for hope to be restored in your life even in the face of consequences. I know you must journey this road of healing in your own way and at your own pace, but I can’t remain quiet and allow you to disqualify yourself from the call He’s put on your life — whatever that call may look like.
As the God of All Comfort works His grace through the depths of your soul, I pray you’ll find a place to join Him in His work (2 Corinthians 1:3).
I’m not saying that your mess needs to now be your message.
But I am saying this: You don’t need to neglect your inheritance in Christ nor forsake participating in His Kingdom work (Hebrews 9:15) just because of what you’ve been through.
[Tweet “Your mess doesn’t disqualify you from being an ambassador of His Message (2 Corinthians 5:20). “]
Whether it’s teaching Sunday School, working with youth, feeding the poor, leading a ministry, running a company, being a godly mom, or sharing His redemptive work through telling your story, there’s a place for you to serve. There’s a way for you to be a woman influence as God’s healing work redefines your life. Yes, take time to heal. Take time to recover. Take time to receive the forgiveness God has for you and to give it away, too. And then, may I urge you to boldly join God in His work for you?
Your broken marriage does not define your value as a sister-in-Christ.
Yes, being single, separated, or divorced may isolate you in ways that you hate. I hate it for you too. It may change your future hopes and dreams dramatically. It may make your life harder today, harder than you ever imagined it would be. But I promise you this, as your sister in Christ, it does not change the way I see you.
I see a remarkable, redeemable, beautiful child of God.
I see the daughter of a loving, Heavenly Father, crushed over unspeakable pain and sin.
I see your potential and purpose in this world today.
I see your value and voice and a vision for your future — one that is not defined by what you’ve been through but rerouted by the grace of God.
Sister, I pray that as you look in the mirror today, you’ll see what I see . . . what God most likely sees . . . and walk forward in that Christ-centered identity. You are needed. You are valued. And there is a place for you today . . . in my life . . . in our lives . . . as much as there was before.
With wet eyes and much hope,