Shandra Lee. With Heart Wide Open. A Miracle In The Making.

That’s What I Believed by Jenn Twilley Guest Repost for Single Parent Saturday

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That’s What I Believed

A beautiful, sweet, amazing friend of mine is going through a divorce. She has gone through so much, and I am so boxing_glovesamazed at how she has come through, and how God has protected her heart, provided for her, and I’m sure there’s more… She is just an embodiment of beauty right now.

Especially when I know too well how heartbreaking divorce can be. I know now why God hates divorce. I hate it, too!! It’s horrible. It’s painful. It drudges up so much pain, hurt, embarrassment, and shame. There are so many layers that get pulled back the second you file those papers. Years of deception, betrayal, and heartache; and times of joy and laughter that make you think you’re crazy. You constantly wonder if you’re doing the right thing, and regardless of what you’re doing, you feel guilty for it.

There’s a double standard sometimes in the Christian community that we should never divorce – ever, for any reason. But we also can’t talk about problems in our marriage, sex, abuse, alcoholism, or depression.

But we have to. We have to talk about it. We have to be willing to fight. Fight for our sanity, for what’s right, and when necessary, for what we WANT. Fight for your marriage if you want it. Fight hard. But fight Fair. If you’re losing everything you love in this fight, you’re losing too much. If other people are suffering in the fight, then you’re suffering too much. If you’re the only one fighting, then you need to be prepared to go all in or sound a retreat. Winning a battle isn’t the same as winning a war.

Sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand. And be willing to stick it out.

For some reason, and I’m convinced it’s Satan just throwing stones at us, Christian women going through divorce become very isolated. We lose friends – when we need them most. Sometimes the church we’re attending doesn’t want anything to do with us. Sometimes our parents just don’t understand.

And I think that we’re convinced that God doesn’t love us anymore. That somehow, leaving an abusive, disgusting situation is far more a Heaven or Hell issue than Heaven or Hell itself. I don’t know where we get that.

Lines. Boundaries. Protective Orders. They’re all there for a reason: Protection. Protection from the unknown and unexpected to the very well anticipated.

When I left my first husband, I wasn’t sure what I wanted. I did know that I needed help, and was seeking it. I did know that Life couldn’t go on like this. Life was seriously out of control, and I had no idea how to stop it. I felt like I was a hostage in my own home.

I just knew that I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing and expect to get anything else.

I took a step back.

For me, it was going to rehab for my eating disorder (among other things) and finding a safe place. I stopped chasing things, and just let people who wanted to be in my life stay there, and those that didn’t could leave without fear of repercussion.

My marriage ended. And I was totally to blame. If I had done things differently, it would have been better. If I had been prettier, less independent, more submissive, less social, more co-dependent, anything… it wouldn’t have failed.

That’s what I believed.

And I begged God to forgive me for being such a failure. I begged God for forgiveness for all of the selfishness that I had put this innocent, never-to-blame creature that had done everything right including love me, through to the end.

That’s what I believed.

I was the screw-up. And I believed that I deserved to be punished for it.

That’s what I believed.

I’m here to tell you that God isn’t mad at you because you’re getting a divorce or have been divorced. God isn’t mad at you because your marriage failed, and you’re having to pick up the pieces. God isn’t mad at you because of your past.

He hurts because YOU are HURTING.

His plan was that we would forever be in fellowship with him; never experience pain or disappointment; never feel alone and unwanted; never be sick and feel pain.

He hates divorce because it hurts us so much.

But he doesn’t hate US. Never has.

He wants to be a part of the process.

He wants to love us. He wants to bring us into a life that can only be shown as a miracle of HIS creation.

So I came clean.

I admitted all of the stuff that I had done that really was totally, completely, and wholly my fault. It takes two to screw up a marriage beyond repair, and it really had taken both of us. We had done some stuff pretty well – and sucked the crap out of other things. He screwed up, too.

There were some very dark moments – for both of us.

But eventually, the fog cleared.


I found a new church, and allowed myself to go. Ironically, when I met The Hubs, that’s where he had been going also. We had just been crossing paths at different times. It’s this church. They’re ridiculous. They’re crazy. They love people – even me. There’s no judgment; no gossip colony; no backbiting or politics. It’s creepy, actually. But in a good way.

Find a church like this.

Get help when you need it.

Step back when you need to.

Run forward sometimes.

Run by yourself.

Take a yoga class, a kickboxing class, and a pottery class.

But really find a church. Let people love you. Don’t believe the lies that if you hold to your boundaries that you’ll somehow be missing out on “What Could have Been”

Stick to your lines. Do it. Even if you’re the only one at that line.

You’ll get a second chance at life, and it won’t be what you expect. It’ll be better. It’ll be beyond what you thought Life could turn out like. It may be with This Man – or it may be without him. If you have to hang your gloves up, you can do so knowing you did everything you could. If you screwed up one too many times, then you can say that you screwed up and you’ll never do that again.

But don’t be a victim. Be the hero. Be the one who hangs up those bloodied, torn, and worn-out gloves in your own Life – not the one who never took them out of the box.



A lovely Lady blogging over at Hope you’ll pop over and take a look. Remember Friends, God’s not mad at you. God hates divorce but there are many other things He hates even more. Dont be a victim. He wants you to live a Life of Abundant Joy. Until Next time, Be Brilliant, Be Beautiful, Be Brave, Shandra

6 Replies to “That’s What I Believed by Jenn Twilley Guest Repost for Single Parent Saturday”

  1. I really loved this special message to men and women who are followers of God, maybe another higher being, but have felt left out, unloved and guilty of choosing to move forward. One needs to live in peace; without the challenges and obstacles of an “unevenly yoked” marriages. I have been in this humiliating position, have been embarrassed because of my choice. But regardless if the reason is right. Especially the Bible says unfaithfulness is an acceptable reason, “if he/she shall leave (by being with another one outside of marriage) then let him/her leave.” But in other circumstances, like pain, abuse and that can be emotional, there is less acceptance to your “right” decision. What I don’t get when people “judge” and shun that single woman or man, is that we ALL fall short unless we are saved through His Grace. Hope you get some more conversation through comments!


  2. Gut-wrenchingly honest and beautiful! Thank you, Jenn, for sharing of yourself and for encouraging women to trust that God has got their back, even when the chips are down. Maybe even, especially when.


    1. Oh my word!!! Thank you soooo much ladies!!! God does a miracle in all of us differently, but no less beautifully. I am so blessed to have a second marriage that is beyond my dreams to a man that loves and serves God with all of his heart. Our desire is that people can move past the pain and humiliation, and truly have the life of their dreams.

      Wow! SO BLESSED!


  3. So love this conversation, Ladies.
    Kathy so True, one never knows when those emotional remembrances will choose to rise up. You’d think they’d be tired by now! 🙂
    Robin such Truth and Wisdom in your words. May understanding and Mercy with patience to look behind the “obvious”, one day be the Way of The Realm.
    Missy, it is indeed authentic and transparent therefore oh so beautiful, hope filled and encouraging.
    Jenn, so glad to have come across you and your New Beginnings Life. Can’t wait for baby pictures! XoX Shandra


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