Day 3: Divorce Doesn’t Have To Break You - He Calls You Beloved

Day 3: Divorce Doesn’t Have to Break You

“But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.” Psalm 52:8 (NLT)

I aimlessly scrolled through social media, hoping it would get my mind off of my own problems. But it actually did quite the opposite.

It seemed every few posts, someone was posting about their milestone marriage anniversary with smiling faces and hugging couples. Or about how God had restored their marriage in some way, or an epistle of how blessed they were to be married to such an amazing person.

Don’t get me wrong. I totally believe in the sacred covenant of marriage. I absolutely love seeing couples in love and healthy marriages lasting through thick and thin over the years. I am incredibly happy for all those who persevered through rough times together, yet through prayer and faith, knitted their marriages back together and are living their happily ever afters.

But what about those of us who didn’t get our fairy tale endings? Those whose marriages ended in heart-wrenching divorces with no answered prayers for reconciliation? Those of us who were left feeling betrayed, tossed aside, traumatized, and broken, despite our best efforts?

During the first few years of my separation and divorce, I wrestled with these questions and many more while leaning into my faith and working tirelessly to put my shattered heart and my life back together. But one day, God finally helped me realize something.

Just because my marriage didn’t work, didn’t mean I had to feel broken, and assume I would never be happy again. Although earthly relationships can add to our happiness, they should never be what determines it.

You see, I was reading through the Psalms and came across Psalm 52:8, “But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.”

At the time David wrote this particular Psalm, he was an exile from the house of God; his life turned upside down. Despair and brokenness surely filled his spirit. Yet his faith and confidence soared despite his troubles and instead of letting his situation break him, he compared himself to a sturdy olive tree. These trees are the longest-living trees on earth and can prosper for hundreds of years, living in all kinds of soil from rocky to soft. If an olive tree is chopped down, it is tenacious, having the ability to grow massive roots and regenerate itself from the ground up. They are also fruitful trees and continue to blossom, even in grave conditions, due to their stability and perseverance.

David believed that despite his circumstances, he was much like that olive tree and he could trust in God’s faithfulness to give him the strength, courage, and confidence to persevere. He didn’t understand his suffering, but knew his future was secure with God.

David didn’t let his circumstances break him but instead chose to hold his head up high, accept his reality even if he didn’t like it, understand it, or deserve it, and refuse to be broken by hardship.

Separation and divorce are not a reality anyone wants to have, but it is a reality that not all struggling marriages end in reconciliation. But the end of a marriage is never the end of our story and God’s promises for joy and flourishment are the hope that holds us together when we feel like the broken pieces of our heart and life are crashing down around us.

A broken marriage doesn’t render us broken. We have the power in Christ to all be like that olive tree and begin again from the ground up when life knocks us down. The key is being ready to be whole again and taking positive steps forward in faith to make that happen.

Dear Lord, I wanted my marriage to work, but I still trust in your plans for my life no matter what. Heal my heart and restore all that has been lost. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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