If Divorce Is Draining Your Heart

Sep 22, 2009

A friend of mine is getting divorced. Not her choice, which makes the fact that the choice is being made for her that much more difficult. She is being forced to grieve a loss that could have been avoided (could STILL be avoided) if one person had made an alternate choice. For months my heart has been bleeding with hers. Why? Because I’ve been there.

I know what it’s like to lose a spouse, a ministry and a dream all at the same time. And to feel helpless to do anything about it. It’s as if you’re watching your life being sucked down the bathtub drain. Desperate, you reach for remnants, attempt to rescue fragments, but they slip through your fingers and disappear into the darkness. The resulting emptiness of the drain is profound. And though bystanders attempt to empathize, there are none who understand save for those who’ve been there.

I can’t really tell you why I’m posting this, as I’m often too private to divulge these tender parts without careful consideration. However, I have this nagging feeling there is someone somewhere who is watching their life disappear down a drain and is feeling quite alone.

This is a portion of an email I sent my friend several months back. If you are the someone who is tugging at my heart, I hope the same words will bring you a little hope. Psalm 34:18. You are not alone.

“Our stories are different, but similar, and I can relate on some level. There are so many losses wrapped up in this one, and it will take some time to grieve each one. For me, it was a loss of my marriage, a dream, a ministry, some of the friends we had, my own sense of the perfect family, idealistic notions … I could go on. I’m not sure what you’re planning to do from here, but I’d imagine you’re wading through all those decisions and trying to figure out what life will look like during and after this season.

It will feel surreal for a while yet. I’m sure you will do a better job than I did at adjusting! I desperately tried to hang on to my dream, force my new life to fit the old one, and I nearly wore myself out in the process.

Now I think we’re supposed to grieve what could of been, without losing sight of the vision of what can still be. It’s tough to find that kind of perspective in the middle of all the junk. But somehow I think God wanted me to see him as beautiful … Know him as my only true lover … In the middle of the brokenness. If I could somehow discover him to be everything I’d always wanted and everything I still needed at those moments, then nothing would ever take His place ever again.

I’m just rambling now …  The short of it is: I’m sorry and I’m with you. As long as it takes.”


  1. alece

    I love you.

  2. Robbie Iobst

    “I’m with you.” Michele, I love your heart.

  3. Michele

    Each of you have been a part of the refilling of my life … isn’t that beautiful?

  4. Stacy Voss

    Thanks for your boldness to share such a difficult, tragic part of your life that I, too, so understand. Wasn’t the pain insanely agonizing, and although we NEVER would have asked for any of that, isn’t it amazing where God has brought us? He truly is our provider!

  5. Jan Parrish

    I love your heart. I pray this touches the one who is feeling helpless and alone.

  6. Jan Parrish

    I pray this touches those who are feeling helpless and alone.

  7. Michele

    Stacy, I know you understand. 🙂 Yes, the pain was agonizing but the redemption of it is beyond anything I could have imagined.

  8. Heather

    I am that person, the one you mentioned who is watching life go down the drain and feeling alone. Unwanted separation heading towards divorce, loss of ministry, loss of home, etc. Thank you for posting. Your hope, your honesty, your story points me to the One who sees all and the One who can heal. So true, only those who have been there can understand the deep severing of the heart in divorce.

    • Michele Cushatt

      Heather, you have been on my mind constantly since reading your comment here. How my heart breaks with yours! I wish I had some words that would help ease your pain. All I can say is your grief is real and profound and worthy. And, as someone who’s been in that horrible dark place and survived, I’m with you. Someday, somehow, and against all odds, you will get through this and find joy again. He will not let you go.

  9. Robin

    Michele, when you say, that your divorce was due to addiction, what , in the terms you feel comfortable sharing, do you mean?
    I am struggling too.


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