Cynthia: This is Cynthia with Heart of the Matter Radio, for women who want to obey God in a less than perfect world.
In Malachi 2:16 God says I hate divorce, and in Matthew 9:7 Jesus said he allowed divorce because of the hardness of the Israelites’ heart. Divorce is not a good idea, yet it happens. Women are abandoned or even abused. How can we recover when we experience this heartache?
I have today Michelle Borquez with me. She’s the creator of the Freedom Series, focusing on healing and wholeness after heartache. She is the author of Live Again DVD series. Welcome, Michelle.
Michelle: Thank you. It’s great to be here, Cynthia.
Cynthia: Now, Michelle, I even feel a little bit odd about this whole subject of divorce. I am not divorced, haven’t been divorced, don’t want to get divorced, won’t get divorced. But, there is a stigma about this. What is it about the stigma?
Michelle: Let me just say I think it’s wonderful that you’re married and you’re going to stay married, and that you are no divorced. I think that’s an absolutely wonderful thing. I tell people all the time marriage is not broken. The covenant of marriage is something that God created in such a beautiful way, and it’s something that’s such a gift from him.
Unfortunately there are broken people, and people make choices away from God. And so divorce does happen. And when it does, there is a shame that comes along with that and of course a feeling and a great sense of failure.
Cynthia: You know, there are obviously still divorces in the church, and even a high divorce rate. Why do you think that is?
Michelle: Exactly what I just said. There are broken people. I hear stories, Cynthia, every single week. Stories that will probably rock your world and blow your mind. I mean, just shocking. And it’s people saying well they just kind of changed, or I don’t even know this person. In one of the chapters in my source book on divorce it’s an alien abduction. It was just kind of a funny way of saying an alien took my spouse. I don’t even know this person anymore.
And that’s what you hear over and over, is this is not who they were. This is not who I thought I was married to. And that rejection and just that betrayal, and I’m not saying every divorce is like that. But most of the stories I hear are. It’s usually someone just walking away from their faith, and they walk away from their commitment and they walk away from their covenant. And they truly, a lot of times I hear a lot of deception.
We’re living in a culture today that with the Internet and all the different things, you really have to guard your relationship and your marriage. I am married to a wonderful man and we do a lot of things to make sure that we’re always aware and we’re always guarding. Really protecting our relationship. And that’s so important.
I think sometimes, if you’ve been married a long time, you forget that maybe. You start kind of getting loose about certain things and communication breaks down. And deception can easily, the enemy’s always looking for a foothold. He is always looking for a foothold. And if he can find one, and people don’t really understand how that deception, I mean it says he goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
And he is devouring a lot of people today.
Cynthia: Exactly. The temptation out there is so bad, because it’s so easy to access, on the Internet, all kinds of things that people should not be getting into.
Cynthia: But this presents a problem for church, and just Christians who really are committed. Because how can we value marriage and hold that very very highly, and yet reach out to that person who ended up getting a divorce?
Michelle: It’s hard. Because unless you’ve walked through that journey it is difficult to have an empathy. We can have sympathy and say oh I hope you feel better, so sorry. A lot of times we end up trying to set people up with people. I know when I went through my divorce with kids’ dad and that’s been over ten years ago, a lot of people immediately tried to start setting me up with people, thinking that was the right thing to do.
Very wrong thing to do. Do not do that. Very well meaning leaders who just thought that would be a good thing because they want to see you happy. And the fact is you’re not going to be happy for awhile. It’s a journey. And I try to explain it like this, and especially for people who have never been in that dark place. Unless you’ve been in that dark night of the soul agony, depths of despair kind of place, it’s hard to have empathy. It’s hard to really understand that kind of pain.
I really explain it like this. I get asked this question a lot. How do we reach out to people who’ve gone through this? And I would say imagine if you had a friend who was in a major car accident, and you walked into the ICU and you saw them on life support. Have the same expectations, because that’s basically where that person is. They are barely hanging on. Their whole life has fallen apart. It’s going to take them a long time to rehabilitate. It really steals a lot of years of your life. And understand and do for them what you would do for somebody who has been in a major car accident and barely is hanging on.
You bring them meals, you’d ask if they need help financially. You’d love on them. You’ve love on their children. You’d try to be a role model to their kids. You’d come around them and be community. And that’s what someone who’s gone through a divorce needs.
Cynthia: Tell me a little bit about how a divorced person feels. Because you said like you were looking on from the outside. How does a divorced person feel on the inside?
Michelle: I’ll just tell you my own story. That first year I did not want to live. It took everything I had to move forward. Every single day the enemy was saying you’re not worthy, no one’s going to love you again, look at your life, you’re a failure, you might as well give up. And those words, trying to fight that every single day for that first year, was very difficult.
I was disappointed with God because I felt like well I did all these things. You think of the list of things that you do and how much I did. All the homeschooling, leading worship, going to Bible study, doing all the things you think God’s called you. Why did this happen to me? And so there’s a lot of disillusionment and really understanding that our life is not going to be the perfect life. Nobody has promised that.
We are going to have trials and we’ll have tribulations and really coming to that place of surrender. And that’s a process. It took me awhile to get to that place where I just said Lord, I don’t understand this, it doesn’t make sense to me, but I trust you and I’m putting my life in your hands.
I think divorced people are, for the most part I would say, and I haven’t met someone who wasn’t like this, the ones who are very detached, I have met one person who said to me for me it was just like a happy ending because we had been dead for so long. I think there are situations where the divorce happened years ago and they’ve processed through it within the marriage. I think they actually lived almost separate lives and are really living a divorced life, they’re just doing it within still having that marriage commitment.
Most of the people, most of the women especially, that come to me, and believe me they come to me every week, it