I'm pleased to introduce Rebecca L. Mitchell as my guest blogger today. Read to the end to find out more about Rebecca and her new book, From Broken Vows to Healed Hearts: Seeking God After Divorce, Through Community, Scripture, and Journaling.
In 2012 I did something my mother did that I swore I would never do. With a devastated and heavy heart, after 25 years of marriage, I filed for divorce.
In 2009, I discovered a love letter from my husband to another woman. That began the darkest three years of my life as I tried to heal from the unfathomable, examine my own failures without taking all the blame, and salvage our broken marriage. It didn’t work—at least salvaging the marriage part. He wasn’t committed to our vows. I could no longer stay married to him.
Although my mother and I both divorced, we experienced
very different responses from the church.
Although my mother and I both divorced, we experienced very different responses from the church. Both the leaders and members of my mom’s church directly or tacitly blamed her instead of helping her, and all but one saintly woman treated her like a marriage-ruining leper. She left the church and never returned. To any church.
I’m grateful and fortunate I did not receive the same vile response. I was able to attend multiple support groups, two of which were Christian-based, where I was supported, not set aside, and loved, not labeled. Maybe it was easier for me partly because I did have biblical grounds for divorce. I’ve heard from so many women who had very different experiences.
What about marriages with ongoing verbal, emotional and/or physical abuse? What about addiction or abandonment? I believe a family’s destruction and the damage done to individuals can occur not only through divorce but also within badly functioning, intact families. Divorce can be the best choice in those situations.
No matter what the reason for divorce, even if we aren’t overtly shunned like my mom was, we often hear hurtful responses with a spiritual ring to them: God can heal your marriage; just pray in faith. God is in the business of doing miracles. We’re commanded to forgive. God hates divorce. All of these statements are true to some degree, so how are they hurtful? They’re hurtful when they heap guilt or judgement on the one choosing divorce. They’re hurtful when they pressure a woman to stay married at all costs. They’re hurtful when they dismiss the pain of a devastatingly difficult choice.
Even though I lived in denial for a long time and felt blind-sided,
God wasn’t surprised.
Even though I lived in denial for a long time and felt blind-sided, God wasn’t surprised. He worked miracles not in saving my marriage but in giving me an abundant life afterwards. I have been blessed in many ways—a more lucrative job, a fun new hobby (golf), amazing friends from a healthy Christian singles community, a fulfilling purpose in helping other women heal. Most miraculous of all is getting my book From Broken Vows to Healed Hearts published since I had no following and my middle name is Queen of Good Intentions and Unfinished Projects. God has done miracles but not packaged the way I had imagined.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken pottery. Resin is mixed with gold dust and then applied to the broken pottery to hold the pieces together. What was once a ruined vase becomes a stunning work of art with the repair of the broken parts illuminated in gold. This repair becomes part of the history of the piece, which enhances rather than diminishes its beauty.
No matter how the church responds or what people say, no matter what trauma we have experienced, no matter what we have done to contribute to our broken marriage, God is willing and able to heal. In all our heartaches, He reaches out to us, beckoning us to turn towards Him to experience His love, grace, and restoration.
He is the Master Kintsugi artist of our souls.
Rebecca’s day job is teaching English composition at a local university. While she loves teaching, she is most passionate about coming alongside women in their healing journeys. With a voice of experience, Rebecca has written From Broken Vows to Healed Hearts: Seeking God After Divorce, Through Community, Scripture, and Journaling and is currently leading a Bible study using her book.
Connect with Rebecca at
book link: From Broken Vows to Healed Hearts
I highly recommend Rebecca's book for Christian women who are finding their way after divorce.
Do you have a divorce experience to share? Have you been shamed by a church because of your divorce? Or encouraged? There are hurting people who would like to hear your story, who need to know they are not alone, and who need to be encouraged. If you are interested in sharing your story, Email Linda for guidelines: Linda@LindaMKurth.com
Free Resource Downloads
12 Steps to a More Joyful Life after Divorce
30 Things to Do When You're Single
Resources for Healing from Spiritual Abuse
As long as you are hiding from your pain, you're hiding from helping other people.
Kari Oberbrunner - Author, speaker, coach.
If you're interested in sharing your story of divorce and the response of other Christians, email Linda at Linda@LindaMKurth.com for guidelines.
Linda's memoir in progressGod, the Devil and Divorce
A Transformative Journey Out of Emotional and Spiritual Abuse