When tragedy, such as divorce strikes, it often begins a new thought process churning inside you. Because you know how wrong divorce is, your failed marriage can prompt you to start wondering why it happened to you when it wasn’t anything you ever wanted. This can lead to a cycle of exponential cynicism in which you begin questioning everything you believe in; a sort of re-evaluation of your entire value system. If the one thing that was supposed to last a lifetime didn’t, what else do I believe is true and it really isn’t?
That question and more are tough questions to ask and are both good for you and dangerous. They’re good for you because you are embarking on a growth process. Asking questions and taking a closer look at what you believe can have a great impact on your spiritual life. It can help you achieve a higher level of understanding as well as a deeper relationship with God when doing so with the guidance of prayer and spiritual direction.
The danger comes when you consider these questions only in light of the cynicism that comes with being hurt. The evil one loves to lead people to despair and he knows divorce is prime time for making this happen. But the Holy Spirit seeks to inspire you with the wisdom that comes from carrying a very heavy cross. Are you open to the wisdom He wants to share with you?
Contrary to popular thought, “Life is not just a box of chocolates!” We are not like feathers randomly floating in the wind that land wherever and have no connection to anything. Those ideas are a quaint, but erroneous way of addressing the surprises of life. But, if you believe in the goodness of God, “Abba,” and His desire to lead you and help you, that old adage falls apart like a house of cards. God wants you to have confidence in Him, even when you can’t begin to understand what’s happened. He wants you to give Him the opportunity to show you how great His love is for you.
But how do I know He hears my prayers? you may be asking yourself. Is God ashamed of me because I’m divorced? Is that why it seems my prayers are unanswered?
Scripture assures us many times that God hears our prayers and answers them always (Matthew 7:7, Ephesians 6:18, Mark 11:24, Psalm 145:18-19 for example). But there’s a difference between giving us what we want, and giving us what we need. Sometimes, what we need is what He gives us. But he’ll never turn a deaf ear to our prayers, even when we find ourselves in the midst of or recovering from a divorce. God has a special love for those who suffer.
I recently heard a priest on the radio talk about being at an interfaith conference and how every time he referred to God as “God the Father” or “our heavenly Father” members of another faith became agitated by that title and asked him to stop referring to God in such an intimate way. The priest explained to them how God wants to have that intimate relationship with each of us; like a child asleep on her mother’s lap.
No matter how bad the circumstances in your life are, you should approach God with all your difficult questions and challenging situations just as a trusting child approaches his father. For when we are suffering, it is even more true that “Abba”, your Father, will give you what you need. He is waiting for your permission to help you; He is seeking that open heart that welcomes Him in and allows Him to work. Are you open to allowing God to help you?
When Christ was beginning His passion and went to the Garden of Gethsemane, He walked into the garden, knelt down by the rock and cried, “Abba” (cf. Mark 14:36). He knows how you suffer! He knows how your divorce has boggled your mind, made you doubt His love for you, and feel like you will never feel happy again. In this, your suffering and passion, approach God with confidence and affection, believing He hears you and will help you.
Count on my prayers for you and feel free to send me your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.