Damaged by divorce: Restored by grace


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Christian marriages are not immune from divorce. It happens much too often. Marriage is an institution established and ordained by God. The marriage union between man and woman mirrors the relationship between Christ and His bride, which is the Church. (Ephesians 5)

My husband and I have both been through divorce in the past, but by the grace of God we were forgiven for the mistakes we made in past relationships. God brought us together and He has have given us an opportunity to serve Him as missionaries. We also try to use our past experiences to minister to others with similar experiences.

Read more about this in the article, “Damaged by Divorce & Restored by Grace“. I wrote this article for startmarriageright.com.

His Little Girl


I love the song; You’re My Little Girl by the band, Go Fish. Jason, one of the band members wrote this song for his wife. While they were still dating, she told him about her parent’s divorce and how much that had hurt her. Jason wanted her to know that no matter what she was going through or how others may hurt her, God is always there and He loves and protects her because she is His child — His little girl.

The first time I heard this song, I didn’t know the history behind it but it ministered to me for the same reason that he wrote the song. My parents divorced when I was sixteen. The pain and confusion over that event affected me for many years. Life changed dramatically at the moment that they announced their plans to divorce. My world seemed to turn upside down and for many years it just seemed to spiral out of control and way off course. I don’t blame my parent’s divorce for my world being out of control for so many years. The divorce was not my choice and it did change the course of  life… at least as I had thought it would be, but it was my own bad choices after that point that caused me pain.

I love the message of this song because it reminds me that I am a child of God. I’m His little girl, so no matter what this life hits me with, I can run to Him because that’s what little girls do when they are hurt, or scared, or confused, or sad. Daddy is always there to pick them up and wipe away their tears and daddy can protect his little girl from anything.

Throughout my life, I tried to use relationships to fill a void. In the end, these relationships caused more pain because of emotional and even some physical abuse. During these difficult years in my life, I didn’t fully understand that I had a heavenly Father waiting with open arms to comfort and protect His little girl. By the time I did run to Him, I was a frightened, emotionally damaged little girl who had lost what little self-worth I ever had. It has taken me years to learn that God sees me as His child, His little girl… the apple of His eye.

“For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye—”  Zachariah 2:8

Do you understand the message of this scripture? God is saying, “anyone who dares to touch my little girl is hurting my most precious possession”. Even an earthly dad would not allow someone to hurt their little girl, so how great is it to know that we are a child of God.

Have you been hurt by someone else? Perhaps someone you love has abandoned you in some way. Perhaps you felt the fear and pain of abuse. Maybe your spouse has betrayed you in some way. Maybe you are like me and your lack of self-worth prevents you from understanding that God sees you as the beautiful child that you truly are. If your self-worth depends on the approval of others such as your parents, your friends, or your spouse… you will only find disappointment. Only God can heal the hurt that someone else has caused and only He can love you the way that you need to be loved. He will protect you and never abandon you… because You’re His Little Girl.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2

Dear 16 year old me


206468_1063012942220_8031215_nHi there, it’s been a long time. It’s been 34 years since… well, since I was you. I’m sorry that I’ve taken so long to write but I thought it was time that I contacted you to tell you how life has turned out so far and to try share a little of the wisdom that I’ve gained over the years.

First, I want to tell you that I know how you feel about yourself and I want you to try to learn to love yourself. You really are a very special person and you have a lot to offer. Don’t sit on the sidelines so much. Try new things, take a few risks and don’t be afraid of failure. It’s okay to fall down; it’s okay to make mistakes, just don’t give up. Please stop comparing yourself to others. Learn to like what you see in the mirror or better yet, get a new mirror because you are seeing a distorted image… you aren’t seeing yourself the way others see you. Life will be much easier for you once you learn to do these things. To be honest, 34 years later, you are still working on this but you have come a long way.

I know you are hurting right now. Life seems really hard and it’s not fair. Your parent’s divorce felt like the ground crumbled beneath your feet. All the safety and security of home was taken away from you but you and your brother and sisters will get through this eventually. This event does shape your life in many ways, as does every other experience, but your feet will find stable ground again.

You will someday understand that your parents did the best they knew how to do. Try to spend as much time as you can with your momma and daddy. They will be with you for many years but your momma will go to be with the Lord much sooner than you are ready to let her go. After she is gone, you will think of many things that you want to say to her and there will be many questions you want to ask, so make sure you do that while you can.

Prepare yourself, because life is about to take another drastic change. You will soon be married. I guess you needed to grab onto something after the divorce and this relationship was convenient. In less than a year, you will be a mom… yes, soon after you turn 17; you will become the mom of a beautiful little girl.

I wish I could tell you that life is wonderful from now on and you live happily ever after, but you will experience divorce again… this time, it will be your own. There will be other bad relationships as well. There will also be some very good times. You will have another baby girl in 1984 and a baby boy in 1986. Enjoy your children. They will always be a source of joy and comfort for you.

A part of me wants to warn you of all the situations and people that will cause you pain so you can avoid them. but I know that you must travel the same journey that I’ve already traveled. You will go through times when you don’t want to face another day… but God has His hand on you and He has a purpose for you, so remember this at those times when the depression drags you so deep into those dark pits that you can’t see a way out. Remember this when you go through sleepless nights worrying about your children or about how you are going to get through another day.

Many years from now, when you are 40, God will bring you to a difficult place; A place where you will have to make a decision to either try to continue to live life depending on your own abilities or to depend completely on Him. Remember this scripture: “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11). God will use this verse during this time to speak to you. At this point, your life will begin to change in wonderful ways.

I wish I could tell you how to avoid the difficult times and to spare you so many nights of crying yourself to sleep, but if I did that, it would change who I am and where I am today. Although some parts of your life will be hard, it’s this journey which  you must travel that will make you the person that God created you to be.

This is what I want you to know about the person you will become.  Every hurt, every scar, every experience, good and bad has shaped me into the person that I am today. The journey was not always easy, but even during the bad times; there were wonderful blessings, such as my children. This journey eventually intersects with the path of a wonderful godly man who is now my husband. I know it’s hard right now to think so far into the future but just try to remember whenever times are hard that God has a plan for you and it’s worth every tear and every rough spot in the road.

With much love,

Darlene (50 years old)

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