Tag Archive | divorce

Psalm 109

I praise You – I don’t remain quiet.
Wicked men speak against me – they speak lies, hatred, accusations.
I am a person of prayer. They repay me evil for good, hatred for friendship, betrayal for love.

Appoint an evil man for the evil man. Send him an accuser, find him guilty, let his prayers condemn him. His days will be few, someone else will take over leadership. His children will be fatherless and wandering beggars. A creditor will seize all he owns and strangers will enjoy the fruits of his labor. No one will have pity or mercy. The family name will be blotted out. God will never forgive him. He never thought of doing a kind deed, but hounded the poor to death. May the curse he put on others return to him.

Deal well with me. Deliver me.
I am poor, needy, wounded, fading away, scorned.
Help me, save me.
Men may curse, but God will bless.
I will extol God and praise Him for He stands at the right hand of the needy one and saves his life from those who condemn him.

I remember finding this psalm when I was recovering from my divorce. Every time I came across it, I would pray it with venom in my voice. But the more I allowed God to heal me and the more I forgave, the less venom and the more pity accompanied my prayer.

Buster Brown’s Surgery

Buster Brown was a 57-pound English springer spaniel. I worked with him as a therapy dog. I didn’t realize that I would be his first patient.

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Janet Jean: Buster Brown had knee surgery yesterday. I brought home a pretty sore puppy. He was hurting – I could see it in his eyes. He was restless – it hurt so much, he just wandered around.

God: Janet Jean had divorce surgery. I brought home a pretty sore little girl. She’s hurting – I can see it in her heart. She’s restless – it hurts so much, she just wanders around.

Janet Jean: Buster Brown, I know it hurts. It hurts a whole lot. But you see, your knee was in pretty bad shape and the vet had to go in and take the knee apart and deepen the groove in the bone and tighten up the ligaments and then put everything back together again.

God: Janet Jean, I know it hurts. It hurts a whole lot. But you see, your life was in pretty bad shape and I had to go in and take your life apart and deepen the groove in your heart and tighten up your attitudes and ligaments of faith and then put everything back together again.

Janet Jean: Buster Brown, it hurts a whole lot right now. But it’s going to get better. Every day it will hurt a little less. Every day you’ll get stronger. And I have an antibiotic and a pain pill to help. Remember how you used to hobble along on three legs? When your knee heals, you’ll be able to run better than you did before. Honest. I’m sorry you’re hurting now, but it’s for the best – really it is.

God: Janet Jean, it hurts a whole lot right now. But it’s going to get better. Every day it will hurt a little less. Every day you’ll get stronger. And I have the blood of Jesus, My Word and the Holy Spirit to help. Remember how you used to hobble along depressed and unfulfilled? When your heart heals, you’ll be able to live and love better than you did before. Honest. I’m sorry you’re hurting now, but it’s for the best – really it is.

Janet Jean: I love you Buster Brown. I’ll be here for you. Please don’t be mad at me. I didn’t do it to hurt you or be mean. It’s for your own good. It’s what’s best. I’m sorry you’re hurting. I wish I could take it away.

God: I love you Janet Jean. I’m here for you. Don’t be mad at me. I didn’t allow this to punish you or be cruel. It’s for your own good. It’s what’s best. I’m sorry you’re hurting. I’m hurting too. Let Me take it away. That’s why my Son Jesus died for you.

Janet Jean: Dear Jesus,

I see the pain in Buster Brown’s limp, in his eyes. The physical pain You suffered was so great it killed You. Buster Brown didn’t have a choice. You did. You chose to suffer and die so that I could be forgiven and spend eternity in heaven with You.

I know the pain of rejection. Rejected by a husband whom I loved deeply. Rejected, ignored by people I thought were friends. How You must hurt every time one of us goes our own way, leaves you out, misses the still small voice, forgets to say thank you. My pain is nothing compared to Yours. The prayer of Jabez says, “that I may not cause pain”. Help me to stop causing You pain.

God: Janet Jean, what else can you learn from Buster Brown?

Janet Jean: Buster Brown is always glad to see me.

God: I am always glad to see you. Be glad to see Me.

Janet Jean: Buster Brown is always so expectant, so excited about everything.

God: I expect the best from and for you. Expect the best from Me. I am thrilled to be part of your life. Be excited about everything.

Janet Jean: Buster Brown always wags his tail, even in pain.

God: Be positive, Janet Jean.

Janet Jean: Buster Brown wants to cuddle, but can’t until he’s invited.

God: Cuddle me Janet Jean.

Janet Jean: Buster Brown wants to be with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

God: Here I am Janet Jean. Come, take my hand.

June, 2003

Praise the God Who always works to restore marriage!

My heart fell in love the first time I saw him when I was a child. My heart would leap whenever he paid any attention to me through high school. My heart broke when he married someone else. My heart never found another quite like him. When he called seven years later to say his marriage was over, my heart began to have hope again. When he asked me to marry him, my heart was ever so content. Twenty years later, when he said he wanted to pursue a relationship with someone else, my heart was shattered.

Not only did the man I had always loved want to leave, the God I had always loved didn’t seem to be helping me out much to keep the marriage together. I saw my husband struggle with the guilt. As a matter of fact, he ended up in the emergency room with a bout of high blood pressure. I knew God was trying to get through to him. But when I asked my husband point blank if this was what God wanted him to do, he replied, “There are road signs”, and I knew my marriage was over. He was only reading the road signs that pointed the way he wanted to go.

I have struggled these past years. I have fought what former family and friends said before I left. I have fought my low self-esteem and guilt. I have fought Satan’s lies. I have fought my own desires and shattered dreams. I learned that God is a God of restoration. He restored me to Himself and to His family of believers. He restored my self-esteem, my finances, and my life. But every once in a while, I would ask why He didn’t restore my marriage. I wouldn’t get an answer from Him, so I made up my own. He allowed the divorce and its circumstances so that He could use me to help others. It was a good answer most of the time, but sometimes it fell flat.

A year or two after we were married I learned about June (not her real name). She was my husband’s first wife’s best friend. I learned that my husband was in love with June, but she had left him heartbroken. For the 20 years we were married, he never ran into her, but the summer he decided to leave me, she appeared at a local festival. My husband discovered he had no feelings left for her. I always wondered why God arranged that encounter. At the time, it only seemed to solidify his relationship with his new love interest.

Isn’t it amazing how dense we can be? We get so wrapped up in our pain we don’t see everything God has done, is doing or will do. Two more years later I sawe very clearly how God arranged that encounter to show my husband that he no longer had any feelings for the woman he left his first wife for. God was showing my husband that in time, he would have no feelings for the woman he was leaving me for.

I was flooded by the love of God. God did everything He could to restore our marriage. I was flooded with tears because I never saw it that way when it was happening. I never saw it that way until four years later. I had to apologize to Him for thinking and saying and feeling that He hadn’t come through for me. On the contrary, He had gone all out for our marriage.

So if you are struggling in your marriage, please be assured that God is working to restore it even if you can’t see any progress. I’m convinced that there were many other things God did in my husband’s life to show him that he was not making the right choice in choosing not to honor the covenant of marriage. If you know of someone who doubts that God cares, please share this with them, so that they may know God is going all out to restore their marriage.

As Job answered God (Job 42-The Message), so do I. “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset Your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing My purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, ‘Listen and let Me do the talking. Let Me ask the questions. You give the answers.’ I admit I once lived by rumors of You; now I have it all firsthand – from my own eyes and ears! I’m sorry – forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise! I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”

May everyone who reads this come to the point in their walk that they too can say what Job said, what I say now. Praise the God Who always works to restore marriage!

Expecting an Answer

“I am a laughingstock to my neighbors.  I am one who calls on God and expects an answer.  A man of integrity, a man of righteousness, has become a laughingstock.”  (Job 12:4, God’s Word Translation).

 “I am one who calls on God and expects an answer.”  We all call on God and we all expect an answer.  The problem lies in our expectation.  We already know the answer we want and that is the answer we expect to get. 

When my husband began to drift away from me and towards another woman, I called on God and expected Him to step in, and He did.  That problem was that my expectation went too far – I expected a specific end result – the restoration of my marriage.  I can say with absolute certainty that God did everything He could to save my marriage.  I saw God do some amazing things to get my husband to wake up and honor his marriage vows.  I saw the struggle he went through as God was dealing with him.  However, God gave each and everyone of us free will and my husband’s choice was to leave.  My expectation of a restored marriage made my divorce that much harder to deal with and caused me extra pain.  In fact, it was two years until I realized everything God had done on behalf of our marriage and acknowledged that He had done everything He could to save it.

 We need to call on God and expect Him to answer.  Our expectation has to be for Him to show up and work in ordinary and amazing ways.  Our expectation has to leave the end result to Him.  Our expectation has to be for Him to do what’s best, and not for Him to do what we want.

Buster Brown’s Surgery

Buster Brown is a 57-pound English springer spaniel.  I am working with him as a therapy dog.  He had knee surgery, but I didn’t realize that I would be his first patient.  What follows is how I comforted Buster Brown and how God used Buster Brown to comfort me. 

Janet Jean:  Buster Brown had knee surgery yesterday.  I brought home a pretty sore puppy.  He was hurting – I could see it in his eyes.  He was restless – it hurt so much, he just wandered around.  Buster Brown, I know it hurts.  It hurts a whole lot.  But you see, your knee was in pretty bad shape and the vet had to go in and take the knee apart and deepen the groove in the bone and tighten up the ligaments and then put everything back together again. 

Buster Brown, it hurts a whole lot right now.  But it’s going to get better.  Every day it will hurt a little less.  Every day you’ll get stronger.  And I have an antibiotic and a pain pill to help.  Remember how you used to hobble along on three legs?  When your knee heals, you’ll be able to run better than you did before.  Honest.  I’m sorry you’re hurting now, but it’s for the best – really it is.  I love you Buster Brown.  I’ll be here for you.  Please don’t be mad at me. I didn’t do it to hurt you or be mean.  It’s for your own good.  It’s what’s best.  I’m sorry you’re hurting.  I wish I could take it away.

God:  Janet Jean had divorce surgery.  I brought home a pretty sore little girl.  She’s hurting – I can see it in her heart.  She’s restless – it hurts so much, she just wanders around.  Janet Jean, I know it hurts.  It hurts a whole lot.  But you see, your life was in pretty bad shape and I had to go in and take your life apart and deepen the groove in your heart and tighten up your attitudes and ligaments of faith and then put everything back together again.  Janet Jean, it hurts a whole lot right now.  But it’s going to get better.  Every day it will hurt a little less.  Every day you’ll get stronger.  And I have My Word,  the blood of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to help.  Remember how you used to hobble along depressed and unfulfilled?  When your heart heals, you’ll be able to live and love better than you did before.  Honest.  I’m sorry you’re hurting now, but it’s for the best – really it is.  I love you Janet Jean.  I’m here for you.  Don’t be mad at me. I didn’t allow this to punish you or be cruel.  It will work out for your good.  It is what’s best.  I’m sorry you’re hurting.  I’m hurting too.  Let Me take it away.  That’s why My Son Jesus died for you.

Janet Jean:  Dear Jesus,

I see the pain in Buster Brown’s limp, in his eyes.  The physical pain You suffered was so great it killed You.  Buster Brown didn’t have a choice.  You did.  You chose to suffer and die so that I could be forgiven and spend eternity in heaven with You. 

I know the pain of rejection.  Rejected by a husband whom I loved deeply.  Rejected, ignored by people I thought were friends.  How You must hurt every time one of us goes our own way, leaves You out, misses the still small voice, forgets to say thank You.  My pain is nothing compared to Yours.  The prayer of Jabez says, “that I may not cause pain”.  Help me to stop causing You pain. 

God:  Janet Jean, what else can you learn from Buster Brown?

Janet Jean:  Buster Brown is always glad to see me.

God:  I am always glad to see you.  Be glad to see Me.

Janet Jean:  Buster Brown is always so expectant, so excited about everything.

God:  I expect the best from and for you.  Expect the best from Me.  I am thrilled to be part of your life.  Be excited about everything.

Janet Jean:  Buster Brown always wags his tail, even in pain.

God:  Be positive Janet Jean.

Janet Jean:  Buster Brown wants to cuddle, but can’t until he’s invited.

God:  Cuddle Me Janet Jean.

Janet Jean:  Buster Brown wants to be with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

God:  Here I am Janet Jean.  Come, take My hand.