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13 || Living in the Psalms: When Divorce Rocks Your World

Divorce shatters lives with immeasurable force. Hopes and dreams built on years of love and sacrifice are destroyed as what God joined together is torn asunder.

Divorce rocked my world harder than any trial I have faced. The emotional pain runs so deep that—two decades later—tears still flow sometimes when I reflect on what our family went through.

The struggles and challenges we face are not always easy to understand—especially when people we love abuse and mistreat us. I wish I could say I have it all figured out, that I can connect the dots and make sense of it all. I tried for years to figure it out, to figure out why God allowed my life and my children’s lives to be turned upside down.

At this point, I don’t expend nearly as much energy trying to figure out the trials of life as just simply learning to accept them, and to accept this roller-coaster ride we call life on Earth as a tapestry woven by a perfect, sovereign God who loves us beyond comprehension.

My divorce was ugly and painful. Most are. In the Old Testament book of Genesis, Joseph is terribly mistreated by his brothers and sold into slavery. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph says, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” I claimed that verse as I walked through the agony of divorce. And truly, God has used evil circumstances to bring good into my life. He used the hurt and heartache to draw me closer to Him, to lead me to a place of dependence on Him as my hope and refuge.

About a year before my marriage fell apart, I heard a preacher who had brain cancer speak about “living in the psalms” when you face hard times. I think that may be the single best piece of advice for facing the toughest times in our lives. I began living in the psalms to help me get through each day of coping with our divorce. The psalmists express every feeling and emotion to God—love, fatigue, doubt, fear, loneliness, praise, anger, bitterness, hope, and the list goes on. Praying the psalms helped me talk to God when I didn’t have words or a voice to utter my thoughts. The psalmists’ emotions are raw, unfiltered glimpses into the human condition. I love the psalms because they peel away the pretense. And that’s what I need. A true view of how to converse and communicate with a holy God, especially when I don’t understand what he’s doing or allowing in my life.

Living in the psalms has been a lasting source of strength and hope for me, a gift from God to help me walk through difficult seasons of life. I’m so thankful that as children of God we have eternal hope, that this Earth isn’t all there is, and that we’re bound for eternity in heaven with a loving Savior who will wipe away all pain and all tears.

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