By Glenda Lesher

My husband and I walked in to the attorney’s office with faces lined in despair and defeat.  There seemed no other way out but to divorce.  The papers were signed and we left, but then the finality of the decision set in.  I felt sick at my stomach about the ending of a marriage that had started so beautifully.  I turned to him and said, “We have made a mistake” and, looking very pale, he agreed.

Then I woke up, comforted by the warmth coming from my husband’s side of the bed.  It was just a bad dream after all.  Though we had endured many ups and downs in our long marriage, we had always agreed there would be no divorce and we were better people for making that commitment.  I slid my arm around his waist and thanked God I wouldn’t have to go through the pain of divorce… again.

You see, I have experienced the nightmare of divorce, and more than once. It is ugly, harsh, and life-altering.  My parents divorced when I was 16. Then my first marriage, one that was filled with anger and abuse, ended when my husband abandoned me and our son.  When a husband walks away from his wife and child forever, a woman feels like the life has been sucked out of her.  All that remains are hopelessness, fear, and insecurity.  What is wrong with me? What will I do?  How will I provide for my child?

I know there are many women (and men) who like me have been left in shock when their spouse no longer wants them.  He or she is tired of marriage, tells you that you are no longer loved, or hey, guess what, “I have found my soul mate with someone else.”

During the years after my divorce I had to learn some difficult lessons as God allowed me to experience more disappointments in order to get my attention and bring me to Him.  I hope others will learn from my battle-worn defeats and victories.

First, I would have saved myself a lot of grief if I had come to the Lord immediately instead of letting the hurt harden my heart. Satan loves hard hearts, because it blinds us to the truth.

Second, when I finally did make peace with God, I had to learn to experience His peace within myself (Romans 5:1). That took some time as I sought to understand God’s grace in the midst of my repentance. I learned that even though God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), He still has compassion on broken people. (John 4:7-29)

Third, I had to learn to take care of practical things… to be responsible and yet also accept help from supportive family and friends…And if you already have a degree or a job, you are light years ahead of where I was.  Trust God to guide you as you explore the opportunities of more schooling or employment.  He has promised to never leave us or forsake us and to provide all our needs. (Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:19)

Finally, I shouldn’t have dated again so quickly.  I was still too fragile emotionally to handle those relationships.  Time spent on dates could have been better spent with my son who had suffered loss too.

The scars from my divorce healed, but I’m still praying for my ex-husband’s salvation.  After 20 years, my son reconnected with him–an alcoholic wreck of a man.  In contrast, God took the broken, abandoned, and penniless young mother that I was and gave me an abundant life in Him.  Eventually, He even graced me with a Christian husband and another son.  Why? Because even though He hates divorce, He still loves me.


Taking It One-To-One:

  • If there is any chance of reconciling with your estranged spouse, are you taking it?  Don’t let pride stand in the way of forgiveness.
  • Do you have a good support network—family, friends, church, DivorceCare?
  • Are you spending time with God and growing in faith?
  • Are you giving you and your children the time and resources to heal?