Dealing with Divorce as a Believer #singleparent #divorce #hope

The Big D: Dealing with Divorce as a Believer

Dealing with Divorce as a Believer #singleparent #divorce #hope

There is something that I have wanted to talk about openly for awhile and judging from the response of my facebook question the other day, I think it is a topic we need to discuss.

It’s the big “D” otherwise known as, divorce.

Divorce is that “thing” we all heard about growing up. That “thing” that happened to “those people” but not us. Or, maybe it was that “thing” that did happen in your family and you determined that it would never, ever happen to you.

Quite honestly, I just never really thought about it much.  I had good grades, never got in trouble, I was born again at age 7 and grew up to graduate with a degree in Biblical Studies and a desire to be in the ministry.

I’ve had a personal relationship with Jesus since I was a child and never really strayed from that relationship. By all appearances, I was the last person in the world you would think would go through a divorce.

I blew that appearance when I filed for divorce in 2012. It shocked my family, those closest to me and to be quite honest, it even shocked me.  I sought after God and knew it was the right decision.

After I filed, I felt like I wore some kind of veil of shame. Wrapped up tightly in the guilt of “could I have done more?” and sealed with the stress and turmoil that comes with divorce and life afterwards.

I felt tortured by the marriage classes I had taken at church and the countless sermons I had listened to about marriage and family. Still, to this day, I can hear some of those people in my head. I’m pretty sure every marriage book I owned got sent to Goodwill the very day I filed. I couldn’t even stand to look at them anymore.

While all those emotions were flowing through me, I did know one thing for sure, I knew I was released from my marriage.  I knew and still know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God released me and I had to figure out a way to let all the guilt go.

The guilt and/or shame that I felt came mostly from other people. It was in the looks that I imagined them giving me and the conversations that I could just “feel” were taking place.

Divorce is a funny thing, you lose a spouse and a family. You also lose friends, even the ones that said they’d stick with you. It has a way of throwing your whole world upside down.

About a week after I filed, I made the mistake of continuing to hold a coupon workshop. I cried through the entire thing.  As I was teaching, it dawned on me that my whole “opening act” if you will, was wrapped up in stories about a family that was no longer together.

The bubble of perfection that I was living in had just popped. I had to explain to our children what the word “divorce” meant as they had not ever heard the word before. There were a lot of tears and there have been over the last two years. Divorce hurts everyone no matter how justified it might be however, I do firmly believe what the enemy intends for evil, God can use for good (Genesis 50:20).

I think it’s time for us to discuss this issue as believers. I do not want to discuss the issue as a statistic; I do not want to discuss it with dirty looks and judgment. We’ve all been through a lot in life as life is not perfect and people are messy yet we are the ones Christ died to save. He came for the messy, the less than perfect, the broken and the hurting.

We are those people. I am one of those people.

I’m going to step out there and start an online series of posts relating to going through divorce and thriving as a believer. I am not a therapist, please understand I can only speak from my experiences.

Two things I will preface this with however, first, I will not share the details of my story. All that does is hurt people and this series is not meant to hurt people. Second, I will delete all negative comments, accusations or hate. Life is too short for stuff like that and hurting people don’t need more pain or judgment from anonymous internet users.

In saying all of that, let’s begin. Post your questions, concerns, etc and I will start writing this series around you and what you’re going through and what I’ve been through what God has shown me. If not for anything else, there is freedom in just being honest.


  • Thankful
    Posted at 17:33h, 25 August Reply

    Sarah, I just wanted to thank you for writing this series. I have a good friend who is a believer and going through a divorce right now. To be honest, I haven’t know how exactly to respond to her other than to say I am praying for her and her kids and am here if she needs something. The whole situation breaks my heart, but I know she is doing what is best for her and her kids right now. Can you please address how other believers should act and react to divorce? I am sure you have had plenty of experiences, both good and bad, and I would love to learn to react in a way that reflects Christ and not my own heartbreak. Thank you for your honesty!

    • Laurie Hale
      Posted at 04:41h, 28 August Reply

      Go over and offer to clean the house, hold her hand, cry with her, make a meal for her, take the kids to the park. The silence and no one calling or caring is a challenge, especially if she has young children. Give a gift card to a restaurant. Send a letter every week. Go with her to talk to the lawyer. Get a group together to help with lawyer fees. Thanks for asking. I bawled my eyes out for weeks and was exhausted just trying to survive, knowing I was doing the right thing “fleeing”, but taking a hit emotionally and physically. Spiritually I saturated myself in the Word, holding on to every promise I read.
      Blessings to all going through it or having gone through it!

      • Sarah Roe
        Posted at 02:19h, 30 August Reply

        Love that advice, Laurie!!

  • Carol
    Posted at 17:41h, 25 August Reply

    So proud of you! I’ve been divorced 9 years and STILL fret over failing. I’ve very recently reaffirmed my belief in Jesus. I’m looking forward to reading your The Big D!

  • Donna
    Posted at 17:43h, 25 August Reply

    You might not want to answer – it may be too personal – but when you say “God released you from your marriage’ – is this based on emotion , feelings or years of abuse from your spouse ? I am not prying just wondering for my own situation. Sometimes I’m wondering if better for children if we did leave. Husband is bipolar and difficult to please and live with. But pride and wanting to be obedient to The Lord prevents. Also worry about being a stumbling block to unsaved family and bad example to older kids for marriage commitment

    • Sarah Roe
      Posted at 18:31h, 25 August Reply

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. When I say that “God released me” all I’m saying is that I sought after God in total prayer. This was a process of several weeks until I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could be at peace with the decision I made. This is one of those things where I would just say to seek after God and ask him for guidance. Get to a quiet place, put concerns of unsaved families and others to rest and seek God for yourself and your children.

  • Kim
    Posted at 18:50h, 25 August Reply

    I, too, found myself in a situation I never thought would happen. Through it all God has been & continues to provide for my teens & me. He has opened doors that I could never have dreamed of. I have learned that He is my provider, my strength & He has everything I need. I talk to Him all day & ask for help with even the smallest of things. He hears me, He listens, His Word encourages me & I am loved. I am forgiven.
    Focusing on this scripture has helped:
    …forgetting those things which are behind & reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3: 13-14

  • Natalie
    Posted at 19:22h, 25 August Reply

    I can feel your raw emotion. Thank you for sharing. I am at the beginning stages of a divorce. I have fought hard for this not to happen. As we both know, the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. That’s exactly what he did to my family. I am scared out of my mind to become a single mom of 2. How am I going to support them? Where will we live? Is this going to destroy my oldest? I never wanted a divorce, and I still don’t. I don’t believe for a minute this is what God wants for His kids but we live in a fallen world. He can make beauty from the ashes. Because of all my husband put me through, at first, I thought God forgot me. My faith was seriously shaken. Thankfully that stage has passed. I don’t understand any of this and I’m glad I don’t have to. God has got this and I choose to follow. God is good all the time.

  • Becky
    Posted at 21:18h, 25 August Reply

    Sarah, I’m so glad you started this series. I am now married for the 3rd (and last) time. My father (a pastor) who I was sure would be most disappointed after my first divorce was actually one of my biggest cheerleaders. He preached my final wedding, and his message was all about how my husband and I had each wandered in the harsh wilderness for many years but he had a firm faith that we’d been brought through all that for this promised land. I still believe that. God saved the very best for me and blessed me beyond anything I could imagine, despite that past.

  • Joanna Baker
    Posted at 02:15h, 26 August Reply

    Divorce is one of those things that are very personal in nature. God does release us from our spouse. When I went through my divorce over 25 years ago I could feel my soul tearing apart. Then I felt the release. I prayed a lot!!! I did not want a divorce. Now that I have been married to my 2nd husband for over 19 years I am so very grateful to God for all the things I learned about prayer and God’s provision during the hard years. I did not do everything right during my first few years of being a single parent of 3. I lost more than a husband. I lost my job ( I worked for my ex) and some of my closest friends too. God has given me everything back and several times over too!! All things do work together for good to them that Love the Lord!!! It was a very dark time and I would not wish it on anyone, but I also know that divorce has made me who I am today and I would not trade being me for anything. Thank You Sarah for being used by God to speak openly about what the body of Christ is going through.

  • heather
    Posted at 23:11h, 26 August Reply

    Hi Sara, I have been divorced for 9 years and I still feel the pain and think abt it everyday. I just want to be free of the guilt and sadness. I have prayed so much and my faith and closeness to God has grown much stronger over the last few years. I just wonder sometimes if I will ever go a day without it in my head. I am currently engaged to a wonderful man that is more than anything I would have ever imagined. He treats me exactly how a women should be treated. Thanks for writing!

  • cindy stokley
    Posted at 09:16h, 27 August Reply

    Wow I’m so happy to find this my husband and I recently split up and it’s for the best we are both Christians and the guilt I live with about this is horrible I know this is my decision I was never madly in love with my husband I married to please my daddy something I’ve tried to do my whole life it lasted 20 years and I do feel released God is the only one who knows mu heart.

  • Liz
    Posted at 17:01h, 27 August Reply

    Having been thru 2 divorces inthe last 10 years has certainly opened my eyes to society’s view of a divorced woman. It’s a lot of judging and negativity with makes it very hard to cope with. So looking forward to reading your blog:)

  • Shae
    Posted at 23:37h, 27 August Reply

    I signed my papers yesterday. I am so guilt ridden and I don’t know how to shake it. I know God is with me and has something great in store for me but I feel like I should have tried harder. My friends knew quite a bit and tell me I am crazy because I stayed and tried longer than someone else would have but I can’t help but think it wasn’t enough. I love him so much but I need to stop. My friends don’t understand bc they aren’t married. I mean getting a divorce to me is just as much a big deal as getting married. I guess my question is how do I grieve my marriage? I guess I just need some encouragement because misery loves company and I am tired of being sad.

  • Bobbie
    Posted at 13:30h, 28 August Reply

    I was not married but with my daughter’s father for 6 1/2 years. I stayed longer than I should have dealt with more than I should have and it was not til I seeked God for answers that I was released. There was pain doubt what if could I should I do I , can I , will I and all of that that comes with it being divorce or separating from one you have been with for so long. I can say God has shown me through Him and having Faith, all will work for good and everything is good. Doors open He makes ways for it to all work out for the ones who believe and trust and have faith. My saying is Keep Faith and press forward Thank God for every unpromised day and every blessing we receive weither it be big or small. Remember He who loves you fills the void and only He can. ALWAYS GOD FIRST, you will never be lonely!

  • Ronda
    Posted at 13:58h, 28 August Reply

    In May I was served with divorce papers which I don’t want. I love my husband and I want to save my marriage but some tell me you can’t over look what has happen. I have been married for 25 years he was life , my best friend and my soul mate. I’m trying to heal but it’s hard especially when he calls almost everyday. I pray everynight but the pain is still there everyday. When will it get better? Some say when I stop taking his calls.

    • Sarah Roe
      Posted at 02:18h, 30 August Reply

      Ronda- Yes, it does get better. There is hope! Focus on God, seek his guidance and direction and get ready for the amazing things God has in store for you!

  • Ann
    Posted at 18:30h, 28 August Reply

    I have been divorced for 13yrs and it still hurts. I still love my ex-husband. We were young and quick to give up. I have wrestled with the guilt all these years. I do look to God for comfort and have prayed for him to change my heart. My ex-husband remarried almost 5yrs ago. I find myself holding my breath that God would allow us a second chance; knowing that will never happen. I’ve tried moving on; was even engaged once for a bit but knew in my heart he was not the right man. How do you make your heart and head move on for good. I have so much love to give. I’m normally a happy person, full of life; but something (someone) is holding me back…and I do want to love again, be married again, share my life with a spouse.

  • Jena
    Posted at 04:23h, 30 August Reply

    Hi, my daughter sent me this link hoping it would be helpful to me. My husband and I divorced after 32 years of marriage. Our divorce has been final for 3 years. There are days I still feel like I can’t breathe. I have loved him since I was 16 years old. We both believed we were so blessed in our marriage up in til the last few years. I had some serious health issues to deal with and both of my parents became very ill and I cared for them til they died. It took a toll on our marriage. I was grieving and shut down and my husband turned away from our marriage during this time. He has remarried to someone our daughter’s age and I just don’t seem to be able to move on. I still love him very much even though I do not agree not would I live the lifestyle he has chosen. Our children are grown and we have grandchildren we both love. We have so much history together, grew up together. It has been difficult for our friends and our adult children. I go to bed thinking of him and wake up thinking about him. I miss him. He misses me. I have no desire to get involved with another man. I truly believe in my heart that God meant for us to be husband and wife. I don’t know how to do this, how to move on and let go.

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