Rhoda said there were two reasons she always knew she’d get through her divorce: her parents and God. She moved back home with her parents after she was financially ruined by her ex and her parents helped her buy the home she’s now renovating. I wondered if facing divorce again and having to start over in her mid-fifties had ever shaken her belief in God. Here’s Rhoda:
I knew my own choices got me where I was in that marriage and I knew that I could trust Him to get me out of the thing and get me to where I needed to be. So NO! I never doubted that God wanted good things for my life.
I knew He would get me out of the situation I was in. And He has. And He helped me move further down the road to independence and freedom. That is exactly was has happened in the last year. It has been a wonderful personal little journey for me even though it has been painful.
I know He doesn’t like divorce. He says that in the Bible. I take Him at his word. If it is in there, I take Him at His word. He does not like divorce but He also forgives. All of those of us here that go through divorce, I know that He forgives.
That’s the way I look at it. It is not ideal and it is not perfect cause perfect would be for all of us to marry one time and stay with our mate. That is what I truly believe but in this world of ours that we live in, that’s not the way it is going to be. I do know that He forgives and He’s not going to punish us for getting divorced.
Most Evangelical churches, which is what I am a part of, they do not love divorce. No one loves divorce. It is not the ideal situation ever and there are so many different circumstances that cause divorce. I think churches now have to deal with divorce. It is a part of life and it is a part of society and family. Churches have to deal with it like everybody else does. And deal with it with love and compassion because they realize that there is a lot of hurt and pain that goes with divorce.
I don’t think that any of us go into marriage planning on getting divorced and wanting that to happen. None of us do. It is a part of life unfortunately that we all have to deal with.
My Dad was a pastor and that’s one reason why my faith is so strong. I have also watched my parents live out their faith and that has certainly transferred over to me. God is a daily part of my life. I just feel like I’m walking with Him on a different path now. Where it’s going to lead, I really don’t know. It’s that faith and trust in Him that He knows the best.
Now I’m more content to let Him lead me instead of me trying to find my own way and making mistakes. I’m trying to be the one that follows instead of taking off down the road ahead of Him. I always wanted to do that but I tended to take the lead and do my own thing too many times.
If you let God, He will definitely lead you and can take you down the right path that you need to go. So we all have to just need to listen to Him. A lot of people don’t take time to listen and read the Bible and read the guidelines for life but everything is in there if you read it. It’s all laid out there for us. We just have to take it and read it and apply it to our own lives.
We all have different paths and different journeys but He’s got the answers right there for us. It’s taken me a long time to learn all those lessons.
The Divorce Coach Says
Even though I am not religious, I can, and do appreciate the importance of a person’s faith in helping them through divorce. There are two aspects to Rhoda’s story that are particularly important. The first is not letting her divorce shake her belief in God. Clearly her faith has been an important element of her life for many years and letting divorce also change that could be devastating. The second is being able to reconcile divorce with God’s forgiveness – coming to a balance on that, I would imagine is crucial to being at peace with with your faith.
If you’re struggling with your faith and the end of your marriage I encourage you to reach out to a spiritual counselor. Start with your own faith community but if that’s not possible—maybe it isn’t supportive of divorce or maybe it’s hostile to you for another reason, then widen your circle by going to another church within the same denomination or even changing denomination. Just don’t give up your faith easily and in talking to your faith community you may help foster a greater understanding around divorce and help your church adapt to reality of our times.
Some other stories that may help you
- Vivianne is a Catholic and even though her church doesn’t recognize her divorce and she has remarried, it is the place where she finds the most peace.
- Jen discovered she was married to a pathological liar, they lost their home, everything and Jen and her kids moved back with her parents. She says in addition to her parents, it was the power of prayer that got her through the divorce.
- When Lisa ended her sexless marriage she was outcast by her family because of their religious beliefs about divorce. As tragic as that was, Lisa went on to find her own God who is much less judgmental than the God she grew up with.