From Broken Vows to Spiritual Renewal: A Journey Through Divorce, Prayer, and God's Unexpected GraceFeb 08, 2024
God's Warrior Woman ~ Heather's Story
As the words tumbled out of my husband’s mouth, I knew life would never be the same. I would need more than my power to walk the path ahead. “I don’t want to be married.”
In an instant, the scarlet letter I never intended to carry became my reality.
Like a sash across my chest, “DIVORCED” was yet another label assigned to me.
This one felt heavier than any I had worn before as it would affect much more than just myself. Immediately, my heart shattered for loved one after loved one as I thought of every family member and friend this would impact. As I grappled through cycles of anguish, anger, and fear I resolved this could not happen. Divorce would not be part of my story or that of my children. If God hated divorce, He would not let this happen.
God had rescued me time and time again, offering layers of life before I was even aware of His sovereign presence. As a child, I nearly drowned in a backyard pool at a family picnic. But God said no. When I was a teenager, God cradled my car (and my life) from the brink of disaster more times than I can count. In college, reckless decision after reckless decision created the perfect recipe for horrors I knew nothing about before the advent of social media. But God said no, not this one. Surely His response would be the same this time.
My mind went to the time I found myself driving up an icy mountainside praying for God to steady me as I made the dreadful climb without a cell phone or GPS signal. It was too dangerous to reverse so forward was my only option. Yet I had no idea what would be waiting for me at the top.
Would I be stranded with no communication and no safe way of escape?
I would likely freeze to death attempting to find my way back on foot as no one would know where to look for me. Luckily, that road brought me to the exact destination I needed, although the route was significantly different than expected. I did not realize it at the time, but this journey would be very similar.
After a treacherous climb into the unknown, I would once again end up exactly where I was supposed to be.
The first week following that conversation with my husband was hell on earth. The only words I could utter in prayer were one-word cries for God to intervene.
After an excruciating seven days of fasting and prayer, God finally answered with an unexpected but welcome response: “This is not your battle.” The load those words lifted from my spirit was immeasurable. In an instant, the peace that surpasses all understanding rushed over my entire being as the well-known Bible verse became an experienced truth in my life.
This unexplainable peace allowed me to lay my marriage on the altar and turn my husband over to God.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
As a Christian wife facing divorce, I did what many do. I read every Christian marriage book I could get my hands on, listened to all the podcasts, and prayed every minute of every day.
I prayed Ezekial 36:26 on repeat multiple times per day pleading with God to change my husband’s heart. As an afterthought each time I would say, “And if it’s me, change my heart too.”
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. (Ezekial 36:26 NLT)
Although I added a prayer for my own heart, it was my husband’s heart I was most concerned about. There was no resolution to my circumstances without a significant heart change and isn’t that what God is known for? God had already told me this was His battle so I could not wait to see what He would do in my husband’s life.
I continued interceding for my husband and my marriage but over time, I saw little change in this area. My circumstances appeared to worsen.
Resolutions to our circumstances only come with a heart change which only comes from God.
However, God had bigger plans. It turns out that the afterthought of a prayer to change my heart was exactly the prayer He was waiting for. Although I spent hours per day interceding for my husband, it was MY heart God was working on. It would be another three years before we would separate and divorce. However, it was in that time God continued to draw me closer and closer.
I began to start each day with dedicated prayer time, and a reading plan and played worship music during my daily routine.
I did not realize God was indeed answering my prayer for heart change, but it was mine He was remolding as I had finally reached the end of myself with total dependence on Him.
He was more concerned about my soul than my circumstances.
God used the death of my marriage to breathe spiritual life into me. I learned the more we seek God and the more we pray, the more we recognize His hand in every aspect of our lives. He’s there all along but while living in a state of comfort, we have a limited awareness of His presence.
It’s not until every ounce of comfort in our physical circumstances is stripped away, driving us to our knees, that we begin to notice His sovereign hand in everything. God knew what it would take to bring me to the foot of the cross and I am forever grateful He did just that. Perhaps the trial you are facing is exactly what He knows it will take to get you there as well.
We are certainly called to pray and intercede on behalf of others as no one is ever meant to walk alone. But we often fail to realize intercession is a tool for our spiritual growth as well.
As Abraham and Moses pleaded with God on behalf of Sodom, Lot, and the Israelites it was their faith God was strengthening. My story was no different. As I poured out my heart interceding for another, God worked on mine.
While God did not save my marriage, He saved me and I am forever grateful.
Make sure you check back next week for another Warrior Woman!
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Heather Jeffery is a Christian writer, mentor, and certified abuse and trauma mental health coach. She is passionate about empowering w omen with Biblical truth as they link arms to seek clarity specializing in emotional abuse and divorce healing. Heather believes our st ories have purpose and are meant to be shared to encourage others just as we are encouraged by those in the Bi ble. She lives in Maryland with her two teenage daughters where she also works as a physical therapist and enjoys spending time outdoors, especially near the water. You can receive truth filled encouragement by s ubscribing at heatherjeffery.com and foll
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