After joining a DivorceCare group last summer, I signed up to get their year-long daily email devotionals. Some I have prompted past blogs, and I have included snippets here and there, but never really referenced them before because at the time the pain was too real to actually talk about.
Some did not apply to my situation, as my soon-to-be ex-husband has no remorse at all for what he has done. Others were very freeing and liberating, as I was given solid Biblical guidance specifically for my situation, which countered some of the things I had been wrongly taught about divorce over the years. I am extremely grateful to now be in a church home that handles divorce in a godly manner and teaches Biblical truth about it.
Now, it is almost exactly a year later, and I am nearing the end of my 365 devotionals. As my court date to finalize my divorce approaches, I realize that I am ready to begin the new chapter in my life, and that God really – AND I MEAN REALLY – has healed me, restored my joy, replaced what has been taken from me, and given me beauty instead of ashes in ways I never imagined or even though possible. I firmly believe that if God takes something from You, He will ABSOLUTELY replace it with something better.
He has done this first and foremost, through Himself as I spent hours praying and digging into His Word to find hope and comfort in the initial aftermath. Secondly, He has brought healing through my church family and support groups – coworkers, DivorceCare, my home group, fellow volunteers in Student Ministry and Media, and volleyball league – as I learned that there are people out there that care about me, and aren’t just trying to see what they can get from me that would be of benefit to them. Finally, He is bringing healing through individuals who are helping me learn to trust people again. And I am reminded, again, that God has an awesome sense of humor. But that is a story for another time.
Anyway, I wanted to share the email devotional I got today, because it is so very, very true, and I think someone else out there may need to hear it also. So I hope they don’t mind me pretty much copying and pasting it here.
Kay Arthur shares, “Having been divorced and having seen the pain and the consequences of being divorced in my own life and in the lives of my children, I can still say that there is healing. There is healing because God’s name is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord God who heals. He is the God of second chances. He is the God who turns ashes into beauty and gives us a garment of praise instead of a garment of mourning and sorrow. With God there is healing for anything, even the trauma of divorce.”
God’s healing is not a superficial healing, where the outside may look great but the wounds on the inside are still bleeding. He can heal anything that has hurt you, and His healing is deep and eternal. Believe this and cling to this hope. Allow God to turn your “ashes” into beauty and to clothe you with a garment of praise. Pray for healing.
God makes this promise in the book of Isaiah:
He promises to “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. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor” (Isaiah 61:3).
Healing Lord, through You, I have the opportunity to transform my life. I can walk forward in healing and wholeness with You by my side. Amen.