On November 19, 1993, the week before Thanksgiving, the Lord allowed my heart to be broken. And I am so very, very grateful.
When I was a young girl, I began to daydream about the day when I would be chosen by a man. I longed to be worthy enough to be a wife. I desired to be loved fiercely and protected. I yearned for an intimate companion with whom I could share my life and dreams. I wanted an “unto death do we part” marriage.
In 1983, I married my best friend. He was everything my heart desired. I adored him. I loved being his wife. I loved dreaming with him. I loved him faithfully and deeply. I loved him more than life itself.
Then, on that dreary morning 30 years ago, my husband told me he no longer loved me and wanted out of our marriage.
I didn’t see it coming. I was stunned and fell to the floor sobbing uncontrollably. In an instant, his words destroyed my carefully constructed world. My dreams vaporized. I lost my best friend. I lost my identity. I lost my worth. I was alone, rejected and unloved.
Or so I thought.
The Lord met me in my brokenness. In the ugly ruins of my broken heart, the Lord planted hope that I would survive my husband’s rejection. The Lord began to counter my consuming fears and tainted perceptions with His Truth:
He chose me. (John 15:16)
He calls me by name and calls me His own. (Isaiah 43:1)
He loves me with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
He will never leave me nor forsake me. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
He is with me always. (Matthew 28:20, Psalm 16:8)
My identity is in Christ alone. (1 John 3:1)
He considers me worthy. (Matthew 10: 29-31)
He alone gives me purpose. (Jeremiah 29:11)
He is my provider. (Philippians 4:19)
He is my dream-giver. (Ephesians 3:20)
He satisfies the desires of my heart. (Psalms 37:4)
He is the restorer of my soul. (Psalms 23:3)
The fear of being alone and unloved had led me to compromise my values and get involved with a man who did not share my faith. That compromise led me on a prodigal journey where I lived to please a man rather than God. I lived with daily disappointment because I expected a man to fulfill the longings of my heart, longings that only God can fulfill.
The Lord said no to my desperate pleas to restore my marriage. Instead, He loved me enough to allow me to walk through a painful, unwanted divorce.
Singleness is not the journey I would have chosen. Yet it has been in my single journey where I have I experienced the Lord’s unfailing true love. He has shined His face upon me and showed me unmerited favor, undeserved grace and abundant mercy. He allows me to abide in His unshakeable peace and unspeakable joy (Philippians 4:7 and 1 Peter 1:9).
Indeed, over the years, He has made beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3) and satisfied the true desires of my heart. And I am so very, very grateful.
If your heart has been broken and dreams shattered, seek the Lord with all your heart and hold tight to Him. He is with you in the middle of the hard and messy. He will faithfully walk you through the valley. He will heal your wounds, redeem your heartache and restore your soul. In His perfect timing, He will give you new dreams.
And one day, you, too, will look back at your journey and thank God for how He works all things out for your good (Romans 8:28).
And the LORD will continually guide you,
and satisfy your desire in scorched places,
and give strength to your bones;
and you will be like a watered garden,
and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
- Isaiah 58:11