As I was sitting in church this weekend, I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper in my seat. The message was deep and hard to listen to because it was laced with truths that cut deep. I watched the other two women I was sitting with also begin the descent into the crevices of their seats. Why was this message so difficult yet so compelling? How do I process the truth spoken by the pastor, but more importantly directly from the heart of God?
Last week, I began looking at the promises of God. I explored how we expect certain routines and rituals as each new season begins. These rituals fill our senses and become the reason why we look forward to each season. We count on the promises of the season to return each year. Just like these familiar rituals, we find God’s promises to be true and constant.
God’s promises can be found throughout scripture. I have read that there are over 7,000 promises from God in the Bible – way too many to tackle here, but some speak louder to me than others and will be explored in the next few weeks. I felt that I needed to start with the promise of rest, but as I was sitting in church something else unfolded.
Truth comes often and sometimes feels like it has hit you right between the eyes. It fills you with promise while at the same time leaves you questioning how it fits into your neat box of reality. Marriage was the topic of the message this weekend as the fourth week of a series on relationships. Each week as relationships were explored, the pastor always came back to the bottom line – relationships are covenantal and based on truth and grace. As a single, divorced and widowed mom of two sons, the truth that was spoken left me a little breathless. To read a little of my testimony, click here. #Godspromises
[Tweet “Reality comes when the truth causes you to struggle inwardly to fully understand its meaning.”]
As our pastor spoke about marriage, he also touched on divorce. This was the part that had me squirming, but not in a bad way. It allowed the reality of the truth to settle deep and cause an inner struggle. I knew that more processing was needed to understand this struggle. God and I have spent a lot of time on this and how it has affected my own life. Any break in a relationship causes loss and divorce is the perfect example of this. It was hard and not the way I wanted my marriage to end, but with all that said, I value marriage and the importance of a God centered relationship and its importance for our society.
God’s provision in the midst of this struggle was the blessing of two beautiful women, who I happened to sit with (more like God ordained this meeting of the three of us) for the service. God promises that He will provide and in the moment the service ended, this became clear. Our stories are the same but also very different, The common thread is the that for this time of our lives we are single women with children.
[Tweet “God’s provision arrives in the midst of inner struggle when we open our hearts to Him.”]
God teaches us through Matthew that He will provide all we need and being anxious or uncertain will not accomplish anything. He says…
God showed up in section 200, Row M among three women who needed the gift of time and open ears. Conversation ensued and God entered our hearts as we processed, listened and loved on each other.
God provided and allowed the three of us to leave church with hearts that were not hurting from the sting of the truth, but hearts full of God’s amazing love.
How does God provide for you when you least expect it?
In grace and peace,
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Words are not cheap. And I’m wondering how much these words cost you. Telling stories like this is not an easy thing. Yet, we do it so that others will know they aren’t alone.
My best friend watched her marriage crumble and her family pulled apart. I don’t know where my head was 10 years ago when that happened, but I know where my heart is now for women who experience that kind of loss. No judgment, just pain. I can’t imagine and I am always thinking about her and praying for her ministry as a single mom.
When my dad would preach on divorce, he would begin by saying, “No one hates divorce more than the divorced.”
I am loving getting to know you and the more I do, I am sure that the name of your blog was inspired. You exude grace!
Your words touched me in such a deep, vulnerable place today and I can’t thank you enough for how they encouraged me. Being a single mom is a ministry and gives motherhood a whole different side than how we traditionally view it. There is pain in the process and pain in the healing but the truth is that in spite of the numbers that are divorced, it is still a place that our society does not embrace graciously. It is not a choice that I thought I would ever make but my story is what it is today because of this decision and my relationship with God is deeper as a result. You are blessing to me and this journey called life is only made better because of beautiful people like you.
Those lessons that make us squirm and sink in our seats are the best lessons of all! I am glad you shared your heart Mary. My husband and I mentor married couples at our church, we have such a heart for marriage, and I know so many friends who have had to divorce over the years and your story helped me understand a little more of their hearts. 🙂 Blessings!
You have no idea how much your words mean to me. It is rare to find any kind of affirmation for divorced people in the church and I have the unique situation that I am also now widowed since he passed away two years after we divorced. The decision was extremely difficult and not one that I ever thought I would choose. I love that you mentor married couples because we need people like you to build into marriages. We glorify what we believe marriage is going to be like and then many times it does not measure up to those expectations. Thank you for your ministry and thank you for being here today. Blessings!
Dear Mary, I always appreciate the sincerity of your words.
God Bless your heart.
God calls us to real and authentic in our lives and there are times when I need to then share this through my writing. It is hard for me to open up but it opens our hearts to such vulnerability. God walks along side us with all we need in these times and we need to thank Him for His wonderful provisions. Blessing to you friend!
There’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable in church (of course, it’s probably a good thing, but my ‘uncomfortable’ is usually accompanied by snot and tears). But how gracious of God to have who you needed next to you. May he continue to lead and show up where you least expect him :).
Oh I have had the snot and tears uncomfortable before but not this time. God has amazing time and provision for all of us and we need to be open to receiving and aware of His presence. Thank you for encouraging me with your words and for speaking life into my hurting heart. God is amazing! Blessed by your friendship!
I love the idea that while we don’t know what is going to happen in life, we do know WHO has it under control. We know the seasons change, even if we don’t know exactly when. There’s such an ebb and flow with this part of faith. Thanks for making me think about that tonight. And thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.
I have been doing a lot of reflecting and thinking now that I have actually retired. The beauty is that God’s grace is evident in everything and His love sees us through when the messy hits us and causes us to struggle. I appreciate you and your willingness to hear and reflect how it all affects you. Blessed by your encouragement and reflections.
I didn’t realize, but I’m not surprised, that there are 7,000 promises of God in the Bible. So incredible. Lord, give me faith to truly believe and practically rely on your promises! Blessings my friend!
Amen to your prayer! May God give us all the faith to know and hold onto His promises. Thank you for blessing me today by being here.
Isn’t it great when those “God-ordained moments” happen in our lives, Mary?! I am so glad that your pastor’s message was one that brought insight, comfort and further healing in your life. I don’t know the circumstances of your divorce, Mary, but God’s grace is covering you. Remember? “Passage through grace!” Your a living example of His beautiful redemption!
Your words bring peace and healing just in your reminder that I am redeemed. It is so easy to go back to that place of doubt and insecurity. God covers me each time I call to Him with the SOS that I need Him. Church over the weekend required that direct plea to God that I wasn’t going to be able to handle the message alone and that’s where these two ladies stepped in. It is a beautiful grace-filled moment that leaves me in awe whenever I reflect on God’s perfect timing. Blessings to you as you travel and witness the beginning of your son’s married life.
You are SO sweet to visit my blog and read it again 🙂 I can really relate to this post. Having been divorced myself, I always squirm when the message in church turns to marriage and divorce not being a part of God’s perfect plan. Thankfully, I too have a group of friends (also divorced) and we call ourselves the Perseverance Posse lol. Without them, I don’t know how I would have made it through that valley in my life. So glad you have a support network as well. Thanks for sharing from the heart!!
Bev-Your words always bless me and I love visiting your blog. The interesting thing with this story is that it was by pure coincidence that these two ladies and I sat next to each other. We happened to be serving together before the service started and we then decided to sit together. It was not planned out ahead of time but God knew… I was blessed beyond measure to have these ladies by my side. Thank you for being here and supporting me as I shared a piece of my heart.
Thank you for your story of encouragement through the Words the Lord gave the Pastor to speak to your heart.
What a blessing that He too provided “ministering angels” to sit beside you as you enjoyed loving kindredship.
The Lord is prevalent in all things. Father, give us eyes to see and ears to hear.
Your words are a salve for my heart today. I love how you referred to the two ladies as ministering angels because that is exactly what they were. God has this uncanny way of surprising me over and over with exactly what I need. I find His grace and provision to be such a blessing. Thank you for being here and blessing me with your encouragement.
Mary, it’s interesting you were going to share about God’s rest. In the middle of a busy weekend with too much to do, God gave me both a Saturday and Sunday nap. And only because of God, my list of too much to do got done more than I thought could be done in one weekend. Only through His grace did He give me all that I needed. : )
Only through grace are we given God’s provision just when we need it. I love how God always provides and sometimes gives us even more than we need such as a nap! 🙂 Thank you for being here and for sharing your own story of provision.
I’m so glad provided you comfort, He is so good! I can tell many stories about God’s awesome provision and yet still I usually forget to expect and pray for it! Thank you for your words. #raralinkup
I appreciate your sweet words, Kaylie! I honestly don’t pray enough for provision either and end up being surprised when He shows up with exactly what I need. I am certainly blessed. May we both learn to pray for God’s hand and provision in all and thank Him ahead of time for all He will do. Blessings!
Mary … I love that God had those kindred spirit sisters right there with you at the right moment. That you connected with Him and each other is one of those grace gifts. He knows what we need.
I’m kinda grateful that we’re both transitioning right now … wondering what those new rituals and routines will look like as they begin to morph and take wings.
I wonder what He has for us?
And I love that little white chapel.
I wonder too Linda, but the best part is that I know God’s got this! His timing is perfect and so I wait in excited expectancy to watch it unfold. I hope you feel some of the same amazing grace as you work through your transition. When is the big move?
PS. The beautiful white chapel is not my church! I loved the simplicity of this picture to go along with my post. I go to a mega church!!! 🙂