If you watched a close loved one suffer the deep, wounding pain of a spouse suddenly walking away and abandoning their marriage, and you watched her world come tumbling down in a thousand broken pieces, you would then have to watch her go through the pain of accepting what had happened, the anger, the hurt, and then, hopefully, the healing.
But how would that healing take place?
Her healing would take place with the love, support, and prayer of family and friends. For this healing to take place, she’ll need understanding and compassion. She is still trying to understand it herself. And she has all these emotions: rejection, shame, humiliation. She didn’t want any of this, much less the label of being a “divorced woman.”
How else would that healing take place? What role would the church body, the body of Christ, have in this journey to rebuild a life that took a steep downhill turn she never saw coming?
It took several weeks for her to be able to hold her head up long enough to face going to church… and then a few more weeks before she could mouth the words. My husband left me. He wants a divorce. The “D” word was now part of her vocabulary. She couldn’t hide it anymore. She had to tell the world and deal with the response.
She did go back to church and told a few people close to her what had happened. They surrounded her with compassion and understanding. They assigned her someone in the counseling ministry for one-on-one support. The ladies Bible study she was already part of treated her with tender care and she felt safe there. She needed that.
I watched her turn to God to guide her through this. I watched her cling to God for her strength and balm from the pain. I saw her hang in there with God and not get bitter and turn away. I watched her reach out to family, friends, and her church for the help she needed to handle this crisis.
Divorce happened. We don’t understand why God allowed it, but we are thankful that He is a sovereign God in control and has a plan for her life. I believe He still has great plans for her!
When I step back and process all that happened, I find myself grateful that when she reached out, help was there. She did not have to navigate this healing journey alone. God provided understanding and compassion when she needed it the most. I am thankful for each person that has walked beside her and lived out the true meaning of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
I know there are others who have had a completely different experience and have been hurt by the response or lack of response from those around them when going through a marriage break up. I am deeply saddened when I hear that someone did not receive compassion and understanding at a time when they so desperately needed it.
If you are in this hurting place today, can we pray for you? Can we come around you with understanding and compassion and show you the love of Jesus?
Kathy Cheek is a freelance writer with articles in various Christian magazines, including LifeWay’s Mature Living and Journey, and she regularly contributes to several online ministry and devotional sites. You can read her faith-filled devotions at her site, In Quiet Places. Kathy’s favorite subject to write about is the rich relationship God desires to have with us and how that is walked out in everyday life and every circumstance. She and her husband live in Dallas, Texas and have two grown daughters who also reside in the Dallas area.