I remember the first time I had to complete a survey that gave the option of the following boxes:
□ Single □ Married □ Divorced
Even though I completed forms like this a million times on paper and online, the first time I had to following divorce I felt devasted. I even tried to leave it blank, but a response was required. Somehow, I didn’t even want complete strangers to know that I was in the divorced category. If you think checking a box was difficult, try saying "I’m divorced" aloud for the first days, weeks and sometimes years.
Why is it embarrassing to admit being divorced? Is there the fear of others being judgmental? Is there the fear of our testimony being ruined? I told a friend I was writing a book entitled: Divorced and Still Highly Favored and tears began to form in her eyes. I was concerned about her response and asked her if I had said something wrong. She shared with me that she still feels stigmatized by having to admit she failed at marriage not only once, but twice. Even though her last divorce was more than five years ago, the pain and embarrassment was still there.
I too remember feeling like I had let the whole world down. I didn't like having to admit I was divorced. In speaking with my current husband, he indicated it was over five years after his divorce before he felt comfortable saying the word “divorce.”
The Bible offers a remedy for our emotional shame when admitting being divorced. Read John 4: 1-42 where Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well. This woman needed water for her household but deliberately came to the well at midday as to avoid others. Jesus knew she had been married five times and took the time to minister to her to let her know she was worthy of salvation. After her conversation with Jesus, she was no longer ashamed and ran through out the community to tell others Jesus told her everything about her past. In fact, she set the record for being the catalyst for a whole town getting saved.
After encountering Jesus, she wasn't worried about the gossip and what other's thought of her. This story did wonders for me. I hope it will encourage you as well. Just because you are divorced, it does not mean that God no longer loves you or that He is mad at you. In fact He wants to go out of his way as he did for the woman at the well to redeem you.
Now, I can not only admit that I am divorced, but tell the world "I am Divorced and Still Highly Favored."
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach