I know a woman whose ex-husband has begun dating. This is yet just one more painful step in the grieving and healing and letting go process that we know as divorce.
And she is having a hard time. You see, she prayed for her husband to change. For twenty years. And then she initiated a divorce. And they have been apart for some time now.
And, as sometimes happens after going through the fire, this man has apparently become a new man. And she is seeing it happen. Except she’s seeing it happen from the sidelines as he moves on with another woman.
I have not had this experience so I cannot claim to fully know what she feels, but as a woman who is wired up with empathy oozing out of me and as an ex-wife who prayed for her husband and her marriage for almost two decades and as a divorcee who has been through hell and back again, I have a pretty good idea what she might be experiencing right now if I were in her shoes.
In fact, she said, “He is the man I was praying for,” and she went on to say that this other woman is reaping the benefits of her prayers.
And yet, her ex-husband has closed the door. He went through the pain of being rejected. He went through the trauma of combing through his failures. He did the hard work of grieving and healing and letting go. And he has moved on.
This is all just so hard. There are no easy answers. I swear that if you look up divorce in the dictionary, it only needs a one-word definition: heartbreak.
In this world, post-fall, we are living in a constant state of things-just-should-not-be-like-this.
I am praying for this woman’s healing and her ability to let go and move on. And I am praying for the ex-husband to handle all of this with grace and respect and firm boundaries. And I am praying for the new woman’s heart to be protected. Someone’s going to be hurt in this. It’s a shame that it has to be like this, but life is just plain hard.
So, sweet divorced one, if this is you…if you are seeing your now ex-husband doing well and moving on with someone else who gets to reap the rewards of your years of prayer, I am so very sorry. If this happened to me, it would cut deep, I know. But I want to encourage you to beg God to help you move forward, to help you trust that he is bigger, to help you have a longer view, to help you believe what Scripture says in Psalm 27:13:
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
God is not cruel. It may feel that way at times, and I understand. But ask God to remind you that he is a mystery, that the mystery is part of his beauty. And that someday you will reap different benefits, even if they look nothing like what you hoped or expected.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.-Psalm 147:3
If this post encouraged you, a good next resource for you would be Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage or Living Through Divorce as a Christian Woman.