Do-Over

Aviary Photo_130595244444352172Liberty, not legalism, is what the Lord Jesus Christ offers. Freedom, not bondage. Relationship, not religion. We give up nothing for which Jesus will not abundantly offer more than we could ever hope or dream.

-Adrian Rogers

Not often in life are we given a do-over.  A second chance to get it right. When we do experience a second chance, it is definitely a beautiful blessing. 

I have been pondering that thought for some time now. How exactly does the idea of a second chance fair in the minds of those who follow a religion instead of Jesus.  What does that look like?

Back when my marriage woes became obvious, and my future included divorce, I repeatedly heard I would no longer be in God’s care or under His blessing.  It was typically followed up with that verse found in the Old Testament that says,

“For I, the God of Israel, hate divorce!” I, the Commander of heavenly armies, despise it when people wrap themselves in violence like a garment.  So guard yourselves: be true to your wife and not unfaithful. 

Malachi 2:16

The way in which some use God’s word to manipulate others is frustrating at best. As one who was manipulated, I remember being terrified at the notion and thinking that this predicament I found myself in was not one that I chose or wanted.  Divorce was the last thing I had imagined for my family.  Would God truly “kick me to the curb” because I was divorced?  Would He seriously abandon me in my darkest days?

Oh, the joys of legalism and the way it leads people astray.  For some, this kind of teaching could lead them straight down a path away from God.  Honestly, it led to doubt in my own mind and I withdrew myself from God and the church all together for a short time.  However, God proved them all wrong.

This next bit serves only as my two cents and comes only from my own experience of walking the path of divorce and walking it with God by my side.

In my opinion, there is no doubt God hates divorce.  I am confident He hates what it does to the people involved.  The heartache, the destruction, the negative picture it paints of His love and grace and everything else horrific that follows.  For me, it was the worst experience I have ever faced in my entire life and I would not wish it on my worst enemy.  Ever!  However, no matter what “religious” men say, God does not turn away His children and stop blessing them.  Instead that “God stops blessing you” statement just serves as another lie told by religious men/women to manipulate the scared and hurting.  

The more I think about it, the more I am confident that God hates divorce because there is no way He wants any of His children to endure the pain that it includes. Especially the loneliness. And He surely doesn’t want us walking alone.  I believe He hates divorce, however He does not hate the person struggling through divorce.

With that being said, divorce happens.  Whether we choose it or not, it happens.  For me, I did not file the paperwork and did not ask for it to be processed, yet happened.

Does that mean God no longer wants me and will no longer use me? According to some, the answer is yes. According to God, a gigantic resounding no! Nothing can separate a child of God from the love of God. 


But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us.  For I have every confidence that nothing- not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, height, depth, nor any created thing-can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39

Now being one who can usually appreciate the good and bad in life, my divorce allows me to say that though horrific, it served as one of the best things that ever happened to me.   I understand that may sound crazy.  You’re probably thinking this chick has fallen off her rocker, especially if you witnessed any of what took place over the last few years. But in all seriousness, it’s true.

The heartache and pain of my divorce left me with more than I could have ever dreamed possible!  Divorce caused me to search after God.  To run after Him in total surrender which brought me to a new place in Christ.  The heartache and pain brought me to a place where I finally understood His grace and His love for me and it taught me the difference between religion and relationship. Even more, it taught me faith and trust in the One who holds my entire world in His hands. 

Just because divorce entered my life, God did not leave me.  Not once. In fact, I felt His remarkable added presence during that time.  He never left my side.  Yes, there were plenty of dark and painful days, but His comfort and strength flooded my life! Because of Him, I made it through the darkest season.  But only because of Him!

I have countless regrets in my life.  A LOT! We all have regrets.  If given the opportunity, many choices in life would be done differently.  Unfortunately, certain choices just can’t be undone. Thankfully, because of Christ and His work on the cross we receive a second chance.   We can have a fresh beginning.  We can have more than we ever dreamed possible! Like abundant joy and a love relationship with the Creator of the Universe just to name a few!

 

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