Christian & Divorced: Finding Joy in a Season of Grief (The “D” Word)

Christian-and-Divorced-Seri

NOTE: If you are just joining us, you can catch up on the entire series here.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. ~ Genesis 2:24, ESV

My pastor asked me during counseling if I had started dating again. Not because he actually expected me to be dating, I don’t think. My divorce wasn’t even final. Rather, he was trying to get a handle on where I was in “the process.”

When he asked, I laughed out loud.

It had been hard to put aside my desire for a family. Bradley asked me one morning when we could get a baby like the ones at preschool, and I wanted to be able to answer him, “Tomorrow!”

I wanted a zillion kids running around the house, to put supper on the table every night, to plant a huge garden and make homemade ice cream, to greet my husband at the door every evening with a smile and a passionate kiss. I wanted to feel like the day was incomplete until he came home from work. I wanted to breathe in the scent of cologne on his neck. I wanted to be able to look up to a spiritual leader. I wanted a father for my son – to wrestle, to teach him how to fix cars, and to do the things only a father can. I still had a lot to offer. I felt like I certainly could be a better wife the second time around.

But I had zero interest in dating.

Not because I was bitter or angry with men, but because I simply wanted more of God. I wanted to be fulfilled and complete in Him.

I asked the pastor if God had a specific plan for my life – down to the nitty-gritty details kind of a plan. He said God gives us a certain gift mix and we are to work within that mix. We certainly can do other things and be successful {he is a salesman-turned-pastor, for example}, but we won’t be happy and fulfilled unless we’re working within the gifts God ingrained in us.

I thought a lot about that conversation. I took an online test through kodachrome.org to help identify my spiritual gifts. My top five were:

  • Hospitality
    “The special ability God gives to some to provide an open home and warm welcome to those in need of food, lodging, and fellowship. It involves a readiness to invite strangers to your home {or church} for the sake of the Gospel.”
  • Music
    “The gift that gives a believer the capability to present personal witness and inspiration to others through instrumental music, singing, or dancing.”
  • Faith
    “The special conviction God gives to some to be firmly persuaded of God’s power and promises to accomplish His will and purpose and to display such a confidence in Him and His Word that circumstances and obstacles do not shake that conviction.”
  • Helps/Serving
    “The special ability God gives to some to serve the church in a supporting role or to invest their talents in the life and ministry of other members of the body, enabling them to increase their effectiveness.”
  • Intercession/Prayer
    “The special ability God gives to some to pray for extended periods of time on a regular basis and see frequent and specific answers to their prayers to a degree much greater than that which is expected of the average Christian.”

I felt like I was back in college trying to discover what to do with my life. Remember the good ol’ Myers-Brigg personality test? I worried I was so far behind being 32 years old and starting all over again, yet thankful I wasn’t older. I had a new beginning and a second chance to get it right, in Him.

I told God if He wanted me to go to India, I would go to India. I had always been a Kentucky gal {and proud of it!}, but I knew I only saw the day-to-day. God saw the big picture. I wanted whatever He wanted. I prayed nothing would stand in the way of His plan – especially me!

Now, I am content to be on my own. I like that I report straight to my Creator. I don’t have to worry about the horizontal, only the vertical. I am accountable to Him alone. I can wear the “D” word on my chest because I have another word tattooed on my heart.

Love.

God loves me even if I am divorced. He loves me even if I sin, if I fail, if I get off track – if whatever.

He loves me.

He forgives me.

He promises good things for my life.

I have never liked the hymn “Amazing Grace” because they sang it at a funeral in the movie Coal Miner’s Daughter. It sounded so mournful and depressing – not amazing at all. Plus, as I mentioned, I lived a good long while with a pretty distorted view of grace. But then, I heard stanza four at just the right time, and now it’s one of my very favorite songs:

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

~ Amazing Grace by John Newton

In my past life, I was timid and indecisive. Today, I am a strong, independent woman, full of purpose. Serving a God who has reassured me time and time again that He’s got it under control.

God may choose to have mercy on me and bless me with a new family at some point. I think He would have to bring that person into my life over and over until I knew it was truly from Him. He may do that. He may not.

Either way, I will praise Him.

Jesus, thank you for opening my eyes in this new life. Don’t let me repeat past mistakes, but guard my steps and let nothing stand in Your way. You are the way, the truth, and the life.

 ACT: Answer these questions: Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? Are you using them in some way? What is your stance on dating after divorce?

To be continued next week… To read more:

Do you have a story to share about how our faithful God has brought you through a difficult season? E-mail it to Katie@KatieTevis.com for possible publication. I am humbly blessed when you share this series with others.

*Photo credit: col&tasha (Creative Commons)

About the Author

Katie Tevis

I adore Jesus, Bradley, cooking, reading in the sunshine, wearing long-sleeved gray t-shirts, writing, chocolate & peanut butter, and all things domestic. I'm passionate about encouraging women to dig into the Word. I ♥ Kentucky. Most of all, I long to live a life that matters. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

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