By Gail Armatys
I was a mom of a two year old…a little boy. My heart was full of hope for him and our family. We created a life that was picture perfect…until it wasn’t. On that day the picture crashed to the floor and the very glass meant to protect it shattered and cut through me like a knife.
Eight months later I was no longer a wife…but I was still, and would always be, ‘Mom’.
As we celebrate our motherhood this weekend, I lift up you moms who are going through or have experienced divorce. Like me, I’m sure divorce was not a part of the vision you had for your future. Yet, it became a part of your story. So today I share six blossoms of hope meant to bring blessing, new perspective, and forward momentum to your life and your God-designed purpose as a mom.
There is hope. You probably already know the best place to bring strength and healing to your life is on your knees with your bible open. But are you doing it? It took me a while to realize that what I had chosen to make my last resort was now truly my only resort. Finally, I cried out to God, opening my bible to the Psalms. There I discovered peace, love, and the strength to put one foot in front of the other.
If you are going through a divorce or even if you are on the other side of one, your greatest source of hope and encouragement is found in prayer and scripture. Have you chosen Christ as your first resort?
Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Do not be the Lone Rangerette. Call out to others for support. My family and friends were my strength during this difficult time of change, acceptance, and adjustment. I received visits, prayer, and phone calls. Notes of encouragement were sent and my yard was even mowed. Who can you call and count on for comfort and support? It’s okay to ask for help. God has prepared someone to stand in the gap for you.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God.
2 Cor. 1:3-4
As you go – so go your kids. In the initial stages of separation, my son began waking up in the night crying. To help soothe him, I would lie down with him and sing until he fell asleep. I shared this with my parents and their response was, “He will be better when you are better.” Those, no doubt, were words sent from heaven. It became clear that my son was reacting not only to the loss he was experiencing himself but to my emotions and me…even at two years old.
Like my son, your children need your assurance. They gain strength from you and your faith. Sometimes, I just had to suck it up and pretend a little…or a lot. I determined to schedule my weepiest moments for another time.
It sounds crazy because we are talking about emotions here, but I challenge you to schedule your deepest grief and anger for a time away from your children. (Self-control is key. See next blossom!) Of course, they may know you are sad, hurt, or angry – and it makes sense that you would be – you must not skip over the process of grief. But the truth is, they will be better when you are better. For the most part…that’s a decision you make. Will you make it?
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
Find your inner self-control. As a mother, you look out for your child’s best interests. You teach her about good choices in her actions and the words she speaks. You don’t stop teaching because you are in the throws of a divorce – she is always watching. In fact, she may now be more sensitive to your lessons. So when everything in you wants to criticize your ex because of what he has done or is doing – don’t. It hurts her heart. She loves him and is a part of him. Your words matter.
When temptation to disparage your ex arises, stop. God will provide a way of escape. Choose to submit to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and take the way out offered. It’s in your child’s best interest. Is there something you need to stop saying today?
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so you can endure it. 1 Cor. 10:13
Seek the blessing and give thanks. If there was a blessing in divorce, I found it every other weekend when my son visited my ex. Don’t get me wrong, I hated to see my child go but those days became a precious time for healing. I had many a conversation with God on my back patio. I treasured that oneness with Him. I looked forward to and received His guidance and peace.
Enforced visitation gave me time with God. I changed my attitude, perspective, and my life. What blessings can you name in your storm? Be thankful for them.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thess. 5:18
Remember God has a good plan for your life. Perhaps you and I got off God’s intended path for a while, but He makes our paths straight. No matter how far we wander He calls out to us. Divorce may now be a part of your story – but for you who love Him and are called to His purposes, He promises to use it for your good…and that’s just what He’s done for me.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Today, I am remarried to my best friend, and a mom of three incredible grown kids. I praise God for a brave, kind, creative, and wise son (my little 2 year old all grown up), a beautiful, joy-filled, fun-loving, and smart daughter, (actually step–daughter but I hate using that word. She’s my daughter because she has my heart.), and my youngest, a laid-back, hard-working, funny, honor-student Aggie. Most importantly, by God’s grace they all walk in the Truth. He worked for the good in my life and the lives of my children – even through divorce.
If you wonder how you are going to make it, how you’ll be the kind of mom your kids need as they grow into themselves, and how you are going to provide and care for them…do not fear. Pray. Run to Him first and often. I finally did, and what I learned was…
Jesus loves your children even more than you do.
When you call, He will answer.
You are not alone.
And…you are still, and will always be, ‘Mom’.
Her children arise and call her blessed… Prov. 31:28
- Answer the questions posed above and meditate on the scripture.
- Praise God for the blessings in the storm.
- Give your child a hug. Give yourself a hug.
- Embrace the joys of Mother’s Day!
Lord, thank you for your patience with me during this time of struggle. I praise you that you love my children even more than I do – and that you love me more than I can know. Thank you for the role you’ve given me as ‘Mom’ and the good plans you have for my life. I pray to walk with you on this path and in your peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Listen to Your Heartsong Here!
I Am Not Alone/Kari Jobe
A Bonus Mother’s Day HeartSong for You!
A Mother’s Prayer/Rachel Aldous