“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”
-Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV
Divorce is horrible. It is a death and an official severing. Like burying the body, divorce buries a marriage ravaged by adultery. As I say in other places, it is a bad choice among other bad options. However, it is not all bad.
Divorce can be a true mercy from God. It can set free faithful spouses caught in the abusive, contemptuous relationship of being married to a flagrant adulterous spouse.
It opens up new possibilities.
And it quiets the old battles and stops the madness of dealing with the mind games of an adulterous sinner who is also rejecting God.
It ends the marriage limbo.
It is a mercy.
That said, divorce is not enjoyable. It is a wilderness experience of its own. However, God is great at turning wilderness experiences into birthplaces of beauty.
The verses I quote above were verses given to me when my divorce was only days old. I was still an emotional mess at that time. These words were helpful to me. They were God’s concrete words of focus for me.
Much wisdom is contained in these verses. They remind us to not get stuck in the patterns of the past. These words tell us to look to the Lord. And they are full of hope telling us that the wilderness is about to be seeded with streams of water.
But we are called not to remember the former things. I think this is helpful in the sense of recovering from the trauma. It is not that we forget what happened to us. I think that sort of remembering is important. What I see this as meaning is that we are at peace with our past and are open to God doing a new plus wonderful thing in our future. In other words, we are choosing not to allow past argument patterns, lies, failures, or betrayals to control our future. We have given those to God.
And now, we look to God.
We trust that He can make streams in our wilderness.
He simply calls us to let go of the past and be open to new possibilities so that we do not miss His work in our lives.
That might mean discovering your love of quiet nights alone at home. It might mean finding a new hobby. That might mean traveling where you would never have gone before with your ex. Or that might mean being open to a healthy relationship after divorce with someone that you would never have considered in the past.
Who knows what your streams will look like?
Just know they are coming.
And learn to “forget” the former things.