March 1, 2022
Divorce Doesn't Have To Break You
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"But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the faithfulness of God forever and ever." Psalm 52:8 (NASB)
I aimlessly scrolled through social media, hoping it would get my mind off of my own problems. But it actually did quite the opposite.
It seemed every few posts someone was celebrating a milestone marriage anniversary with smiling faces and hugging couples. Or they were posting about how God had restored their marriage in some way, or sharing an epistle of how blessed they were to be married to such an amazing person.
Don't get me wrong - I totally believe in the sacred covenant of marriage. I absolutely love seeing couples in love, and healthy marriages lasting through thick and thin over the years. I am incredibly happy for all those who have persevered through rough times and, through prayer and faith, knitted their marriages back together and are living "happily ever after."
But what about those of us who didn't get our fairy-tale endings? Those whose marriages ended in heart-wrenching divorces with no answered prayers for reconciliation? Those of us who were left feeling betrayed, tossed aside, traumatized and broken despite our best efforts?
During the first few years of my separation and divorce, I wrestled with these questions and many more while leaning into my faith and working tirelessly to put my shattered heart and my life back together. But one day, God finally helped me realize something.
Just because my marriage didn't work, that didn't mean I had to feel broken, live a broken life and assume I would never be happy again. Although earthly relationships can add to our happiness, they should never be what determines it.
I was reading through the psalms and came across Psalm 52:8: "But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the faithfulness of God forever and ever." In this passage, we find David comparing himself to an olive tree. I couldn't help but wonder why he did this when he clearly felt broken and in despair, so I began to do a little research.
At the time David wrote this particular psalm, he was an exile from the house of God; his life had turned upside down. It's not far-fetched to guess that desolation filled his spirit. Yet we see his faith and confidence soaring despite his troubles, and instead of letting his situation break him, he compared himself to a sturdy olive tree.
These trees are the longest-living trees on earth and can prosper for hundreds of years, living in all kinds of soil, from rocky to soft. Even if an olive tree is chopped down, it is tenacious, having the ability to grow massive roots and regenerate from the ground up. Olive trees are also fruitful, and due to their stability and perseverance, they continue to blossom even in grave conditions.
David believed that, despite his circumstances, he was much like an olive tree. He could trust in God's faithfulness to give him the strength, courage and confidence to persevere. Even though he didn't understand his suffering, he believed his future was secure with God. He trusted in the hope promised by his heavenly Father and found joy in knowing he would not only survive but one day would flourish and be happy again.
In this one short verse, we see that David didn't let his circumstances break him but instead chose to hold his head up high. He accepted his reality even if he didn't like it, understand it or deserve it, and he refused to be broken by hardship.
Separation and divorce are not realities anyone wants to have. Yet the truth is that not all struggling marriages end in reconciliation. But the end of a marriage is never the end of our story, and God's promises for joy and flourishing are the hope that holds us together when we feel like the broken pieces of our heart and life are crashing down around us.
A broken marriage doesn't render us broken. We all have the power in Christ to be like the olive tree and begin again, from the ground up, when life knocks us down. The key is being ready to be whole again and taking positive steps forward in faith to make that happen.
Dear Lord, I trust in Your plans for my life no matter what. Heal my heart and restore all that has been lost. Give me the strength and confidence to embrace Your peace and assurance that, despite my circumstances, I do not have to live as a broken soul. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Tracie Miles' new Living Unbroken Divorce Recovery Workbook releases TODAY! This life-changing workbook, which accompanies her recent book Living Unbroken: Reclaiming Your Life and Your Heart After Divorce, comes with access to seven encouraging videos to help women heal and make strides in their journeys to recovering from divorce. It also includes a free Small Group Leaders Guide for churches that need a resource to help hurting women in this situation. Click here to order your copy today!
Visit Tracie's blog to watch a video of her sharing more about this one-of-a-kind divorce recovery program for women only, and consider hosting a small group study at your home or local church. You can also connect with her on Instagram and join her "Surviving Divorce" Facebook group for daily support and encouragement.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
John 15:9,11, "I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love ... I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!" (NLT)
What is one way you can trust in God's plans for your life today despite the broken circumstances you're walking through?
We want to hear from you and pray for you. Share your thoughts in the comments!
© 2022 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106