I have been praying for months about this post. Could I ever write it? When should I write it? Should I EVEN write it?
Then clarity came this last week.
Last August my husband asked for a divorce after 15 years of marriage. Let me pause and say, anytime someone tells you they have recently gone through a divorce (unless they are a close friend or family), there are two things you should know:
- By the time they tell you, they have been processing it for months. While you are in shock, they have usually come to terms that this is their new reality.
- Most likely, especially after 15 years, the marriage didn’t just “die”…..there were likely multiple rounds of “CPR” resulting in two people with “bruised chests and sore arms”.
Why am I sharing this here? I realized a few months ago it was getting hard for me to sit down and write here, in this space. I felt stuck. Because God had not released me to paint a more complete picture of the life from which my writing pours out, it felt dishonest to share just a portion of it. I always write about faith and obedience and struggle and it isn’t a complete story if I don’t write from a place of complete honesty. There is so much to this story that I will not share here – it’s just not the place. Most of my story is reserved for my friends and family and my church community. But the story I do want to share here is the complete story of what the Lord has done in the midst of suffering, loss, heartbreak, confusion, grief, shame, fear and this new unknown territory – the other side of divorce & loss…. the hard, the the messy and the beautiful…the place where forgiveness and love reside in a crazy supernatural way. This is where God is.
Barnabas Piper explained it well when he wrote about his divorce,
“And I write this for reality, to reflect what is in the world where we live. Life is brutal and hurts so much there are not words. Yet we live it. I write in the midst of it. We read looking for something because of it. And God is good in the midst of it and hope shines through the darkness of it. These do not make pain dissipate nor do they take us away from it. We still live this life, and write it. So we must plod ahead, in hope, together.”
Most people first want to know ‘how are you doing’? Only by the grace of God can I sit here an type these words and confidently, with unashamed joy say “God is good. Always. And I am good”
I am in a really good place.
But I didn’t always believe that I was going to be ok. We were separated twice in the early years of our marriage and they were the most devastating, dark, and lonely seasons of my life. I have waded through a lot of shame and fear for several years. Looking back I realized that I was believing the lie that if my marriage failed, I was a failure. That even though my eternal salvation was secure, my broken marriage would somehow break my relationship with Jesus.
I have even struggled to reconcile this unashamed joy coming in the midst of something God never intended or designed….the end of a marriage. It was in the struggle that these words made sense….
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2
Let me tell you what I do know for sure….He is the same God on this side of divorce & loss…..even sweeter, more personal and more powerful BECAUSE of the suffering. Its in walking through the valley that we get to experience the power of the resurrection.
I have never felt more tethered to my God and my God to me.
The stories to be told in this space are of a God who rescues and redeems. Those are the stories I want to tell.
So back to that clarity.
When our divorce was final I did not have a peace about changing my name back to my maiden name. I had spent 15 years being “Sprinkle”, not to mention building a business, a brand and writing a book. The idea and implications of a name change were too overwhelming and scary. “Sprinkle” had become more than just a name, it had become my identity. At least 3-4 times a week someone says “that is such a cool name” and “is that really your name?” which just kind of sticks with people. I had no negative feelings about my last name so I wasn’t in a hurry to change it. But without kids, there really was no reason to keep it except for the convenience. God was so patient with me as I wrestled with my identity being wrapped up more in the security of my name than in the promises that come with HIS Name.
So I prayed and waited for God to make it clear.
And He finally did after a lot of prayer and a lot of patience.
I have wondered the last few days why God would have me wait. I believe He had a very specific and intentional journey for me the last several months of healing and restoring my identity. I felt like He was restoring me, back to me. I also believe He wanted to show me time and time again how He has abundantly provided for me in the midst of such loss. For me this couldn’t be as simple as a choice whether to change my name or not – it was going to have to be a surrender to obedience and obedience was the only way I was going to go through the nightmare and risk of switching over ALL of my business and rebranding. He wanted me to trust that He, who created me in my mother’s womb, could handle the implications that come with changing my business name after 15 years:)
So here I am. Back to choosing obedience over outcome. God’s got this…the logistics of changing everything over, the fear of lost opportunities in the confusion, the rebrand, and the guy at the post office not thinking my name is the coolest name he has ever heard.
Obedience over outcome.
So hello, my name is Jenn Jett. Nice to meet you.
When I realized I was about to walk the road through divorce I decided that I was going to start living my “year of yes”. These are the stories I am going to share here. The stories of saying “yes” to God coming into my life and redefining what redemption looks like. And not assuming everyone wants to read them, If you do, click here and I send you all the “year of yes” crazy redemption stories.
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photo by Kristin Griffith