5 Promises That Healed Me after My Horrible Divorce
- Janet Perez Eckles
- 2019 24 Sep
My house wasn’t a happy home anymore. It became a battlefield where pain, confusion and anger ripped away all traces of peace.
Drained by the heartache, I tried my best to put on a happy face and followed the daily routine. I could sort out clothes and tasks at work but couldn’t sort out what was going on in my marriage.
I grabbed my pillow, pressed it to my face, and for the umpteenth time, I sobbed my sorrow into it until I fell asleep. How could this happen to me? To us?
I asked God to give me some answers, some clarity. If He did, I didn’t hear them because all that repeated in my head were my husband’s words when he finally confessed.
He said he made his choice; he came out of the closet. and in turn, I went into a cave of shock, denial and anger.
This doesn’t happen to Christian marriages like ours. Maybe his dedication to the music ministry in our church had been the mask he wore to hide the real person inside. But how could I have been so blind to miss it?
All I could see was the cruel reality--he threw away our 23 years of marriage and chose a different life style. Sessions of counseling and my desperate attempts to hold on to our marriage all failed. He had made his choice.
And He also chose to have a plan. He depleted all the bank accounts, maxed the credit cards, leaving me as a single mom with a part-time job that put me in lists of collection agencies and a home in foreclosure.
The weight was too much. I crumbled on the floor. “I can’t do this,” I said to the Lord, “if you can take a heap of rubble and make something out of it, here is mine.”
And with my heart still bleeding, I let go and gave it all to Him. After moments of silence, His answer came, but made no sense. He said, “I will give you double for your trouble. But it will take ten years.”
"Ten Years? Lord", I protested. "I don’t think I can last ten days in this turmoil that’s tearing me apart."
But God knew my anguish and also knew the wisdom I needed. “Lord," I said with conviction, “You will be my husband, my protector and provider from now on.”
And so, our divine and spiritual union began. I committed to believe His promises in five key areas of my situation:
1. Seek First His Kingdom and All These Things Will Be Added to You
Since the journey was unfamiliar to me, I needed to figure out how to begin. God showed me how by re-arranging my priorities. The order was in Matthew 6:33. He said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things would be added unto you.”
I inhaled deep, and made my decision. Seeking Him first would be what I would do. No more waking up in the morning with thoughts of my pitiful mess. But instead, with my mouth I would first praise the Lord for what I was sure He would do that day.
In my weakness, I would lean on Him and trust He would be my strength. And to make sure I internalized that truth, I repeated it out loud. “You are my anchor. You are my fortress.”
Concerned for the hardship I faced alone, my family offered to take me and my daughter in. But I had already decided to put my trust in Jesus who would be my new everything. In my emotional wreck, He would send the tow truck of His redeeming love and repair what was broken.
He began His work and I made His word visible. I wrote Bible verses on sticky notes and placed them on my bathroom mirror, on the steering wheel of my car, on the microwave, the fridge and everywhere my eyes would land.
Instead of seeking answers in the world, I sought Him first instead.
2. God Will Provide
Like my bank account nearly at zero, so was our food supply. Bills piled higher and every day another collection agency called.
I swallowed the lump in my throat. “We’ll be okay,” I said to my daughter.
And while I sat on the couch alone, I whispered to God, “You are now my husband, my provider and You own the universe, I know You will come through for me. I trust in You.”
And to deepen that trust in Him, I repeated what the psalmist had written in Psalm 37:25, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread.”
I put myself in that promise, I embraced it and day by day, sometimes minute by minute I lived in it. And listening to praise music kept discouragement and depression away.
The melody of His promises played out one by one. Job offers began to trickle in. And in a supernatural way, He sent what we needed, and no payment for any bill was ever late again.
3. God Will Never Leave You
God said I’d have to wait ten years. A long time for me. He might as well have said ten decades. But although I submitted to His will and chose to wait, I wasn’t sure what would happen the next day, next month or next year.
I pushed away that worry about the uncertainty by dealing with the struggles of the moment. At times, I fought feelings of inadequacy as a Mom. I was alone in my effort to guide my daughter through this journey of healing after her father’s choice.
Yet, I had a choice too, the only one. And that was to teach her God’s instruction to forgive and to love her father still.
But during restless nights, I faced the enemies that fear brought. How would this painful episode affect her in her adult life?
“I can’t do this parenting alone,” I said to God. He responded in Deuteronomy 31:6 and 31:8: “Be strong and of good courage, fear not nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with you. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
With renewed confidence, I erased the enemies of fear, insecurity or inadequacy. No matter what tomorrow would bring, I faced all with courage because of His promise that I wouldn’t be alone.
4. The Peace of God Will Guard Your Hearts and Minds
At times, during the waiting period, restlessness replaced patience. I wondered if I had heard God correctly. Did He really say ten years? That doubt threatened to rob my peace. But before anxiety got too close, His Word whispered to my soul: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
Doubt diminished, and gratitude filled my heart. I thanked Him for what He had done, and for what He was doing.
That became my defense each time impatience would knock at the door. I reviewed the mental list of all for which I was grateful. I prayed, praised and thanked Him.
Then, as expected, His promise came to be: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
Jesus, my perfect husband and Lord, gave me the kind of peace that would guard my heart and mind from negative thoughts which kept me from falling into destructive emotions.
5. A Crown of Beauty instead of Ashes
The time of mourning for the loss of my marriage ended. All had changed. Captured by Jesus’ unconditional love, I walked down the aisle of life holding on to the arm of my perfect husband.
With each step, I learned to proclaim victory, triumphant victory. No more resentment of any kind, no more yearning for how life used to be. I called off all pity parties and with my desires fulfilled, my wounds mended, and my spirit restored, I welcomed my new life, complete in Jesus.
With each year passing by, I had become immersed in my business, volunteer work and church life. My passion to serve others was alive. And as I did, these words in Isaiah 61:1 sang in my heart:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
During the tenth year, and when I least expected it, a question came. “Would you like to have dinner with me?” a business acquaintance asked.
Gulp. Dinner? I wasn’t prepared, I’d never had a “date” or had dinner with any man during my ten years of waiting.
“Well, dinner, like a date?” I said, “if so, I’m not interested. But if you mean a business meeting, I’m in.
“Okay, if that’s what you want to call it,” Mark said with a grin.
I smiled at his honesty and reminded him.” …. it’s just a business meeting.”
That was the beginning of the relationship with a God-fearing man.
God added genuine love to our friendship. Two years later, before God, we said “I do” to our forever marriage vows.
And when he lifted me in his arms as he carried me through the threshold of our new home, we entered into our new life. He put me down, led me by the hand to the den, we went down on our knees and dedicated our new home and our new life together to Christ.
Joy and gratitude exploded in me. Through His Word, His truth and His promises God redeemed all that was lost.
Double for your trouble, God had told me. Yes, everything doubled-- my income, two-story house instead of one, two cars, two grandchildren, two pets and two times a million of pure love between Mark and me.
Editor's Note: Based on a true story, written with Gina's permission.
Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker and author with a passion to teach and coach you to thrive in relationships and reach personal and professional success. Learn more at www.janetperezeckles.com.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/SimonLehmann