And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV
Today, January 27, would have been my 31st wedding anniversary.
That is, it would have been if I was still married to my first husband. In 1990, after six years of marriage, he decided he didn’t want to be married any longer and he walked away, leaving me with a small daughter. Out of the blue one day he met me at the door when I came home from work and said those ominous words: “We need to talk.” Nothing good ever comes after that announcement.
It astounds me even now to remember that after that terrible discussion I actually helped my then-husband pack his things. And the next night, which was Halloween, I took my daughter trick-or-treating with friends just like nothing had changed.
And maybe from the outside it looked as though all was normal. But inside I was screaming and barely holding on, brought to my knees by grief. Divorce is a loss, a death of the future you had imagined for yourself, and I was grieving that death. I had no idea how to get through the pain except to put one foot in front of the other so that’s what I did. My grief at the end of my marriage was also colored by the leftover sadness of the little girl I once was, traumatized by the divorce of my own parents. How do you get past that depth of hurt? For me, it was by pretending not to be hurt. Denial is not the just the name of a river in Egypt, after all.
I took emotional shelter at the church some of my extended family attended, and for weeks I wept through every sermon. I bought a book about how to stop your spouse from divorcing you and I actually wrote out a plan to stay married to him. (That last part is humbling to admit but when you’ve got control issues like I do, sometimes they just take over.) I was desperate.
At some point during the fallout from my divorce, I read Romans 8:28 and it spoke life to me. I found hope in those words. I chose to cling to this truth and believe that God would work some good out of this terrible circumstance.
Slowly, surely, I got involved in a local church and the singles ministry there. I started to see that being single or divorced was not the end of the world. God used the people in that group to show me that He wasn’t finished with me, by a long shot.
Within a year or two I found my rhythm as a single mother and I learned how to trust again, both in other people and in my own decision making, but most importantly in God’s plan for me. Once I started to rely on God and let Him put the pieces into place, life became simpler. After all, I’m not responsible for working things out for good, He is. My job is to love Him and stay called.
I have come a long way from those days. A long way. I’m now married to a wonderful man who loves my oldest daughter as much as he loves the two we welcomed into the family together. I can never say I wish I hadn’t married the first man because without him I wouldn’t have my oldest daughter. I also believe I wouldn’t have the marriage that I have today if I hadn’t lived through the brokenness of divorce.
Nothing is ever wasted in God’s economy. He can use it all for His glory. Even, and maybe especially, the hard stuff.
Kim Adam is overjoyed to be called His and she can see His fingerprints all over her life. The number one song on the Billboard chart the day she was born was “Hard Day’s Night” by the Beatles and this odd fact might explain why she always seems to learn life’s lessons the hard way. In addition to her other gifts, Kim counts the ability to laugh at herself as one of the most precious. Called by God, driven by a love for words and story, and fueled by lots of coffee, she tells her tales at One Rebel Heart, sometimes straight up but more often with a twist of irony and a dash of humor. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter
This is the eighth post in Testimony Tuesday: Women who inspire. Click HERE to read all of the other posts in this series. Now it’s your turn to link up your story of how God is working in your life.
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