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It’s there in all of us women, refusing to be denied—a deep, unresolved, lingering desire for romance. We each acknowledge it on different levels and in different ways, but it’s there just the same, refusing to let up despite our futile, repeated attempts to starve it or sate it.
This especially goes for women who have been divorced, because it’s a different kind of longing than the desires of a woman who has never been married. Because this divorced woman isn’t just longing for what she wants, she’s longing for what she lost. For what she knew, and is deeply fearful she will never know again. It’s a unique brand of pain, hopelessness, and longing. The kind of pain that keeps the Rocky Road within reach and her ex’s number in her phone long after she knows better.
On top of those longings is the sting of rejection. The insecurity of a divorced woman wondering if she isn’t worthy of romance anymore, isn’t valuable enough to be given the effort. That’s when the hiding starts, the protecting of a battered heart beneath layers of bitterness, baggy clothes, disdain, unforgiveness, weight gain, eating disorders, or a cram-packed schedule. If the heart can’t be seen or caught, it can’t be rejected.
But God sees.
And He longs to catch you every time, Divorced Woman.
Our desire for romance can’t ever fully be filled, and it definitely won’t die, because it’s been engraved in each of us women since creation. It’s our reflection of the very image of God. Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;male and female he created them.
Did you know God desires romance, too? He put that longing in us to reveal His heart for us.
Author John Eldredge said, “After years of hearing the heart-cry of women, I am convinced beyond a doubt of this: God wants to be loved. He wants to be a priority to someone. How could we have missed this? From cover to cover, from beginning to end, the cry of God's heart is, ‘Why won't you choose Me?’ It is amazing to me how humble, how vulnerable God is on this point. ‘You will . . . find me,’ says the Lord, ‘when you seek me with all your heart’.”
John’s on to something there. Women desire romance, God desires us.
Can you imagine the freedom if we, as women, allowed God to romance us? The equation would be met. We would have romance, and God would have our heart—unhindered, undistracted, fully engaged.
But we live in denial of this truth, thanks to a combination of culture, society, and the devil’s sneaky and even pretty-darn-obvious attempts to convince us it’s not enough. That God’s version of romance isn’t enough. That God Himself isn’t enough.
In my new Christian fiction novel, Love Arrives in Pieces, the heroine Stella Varland tries to hide. A divorced preacher’s kid and former pageant queen, Stella decides her beauty was a curse, and that without it, she’s nothing. After all, her husband saw the real her beneath the layers of make-up, bronzer and sequins, and bailed. Her beauty wasn’t enough, but she has no idea who she is without it—and is even more afraid to find out. She dabbles in art, a secret passion, because deep down, she longs to make something beautiful that won’t fade with time.
But God has other plans for Stella. He hasn’t forgotten her, and as Stella releases the broken pieces of her heart to Him, He starts preparing a beautiful masterpiece of mosaic tiles—of beauty from the broken.
I believe in the core of my being He has that same plan for you, Divorced Woman. You just have to let go of the pieces. Surrender those broken fragments of your past, your fears, your memories, your very heart, and let Him do what He does best—create beauty from ashes.
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And in the meantime, He can romance your heart in ways that puts mortal men to shame. Who created romance in the first place? Who created breathtaking sunsets and crimson roses and wild horses and intricate snowflakes?
Ask Him to romance you. Ask specifically. And then step back and be amazed. Ask God to provide you with an inside joke—something between just you and Him that has meaning. Something that He can send you when you’re low and hurting, something that will bolster your faith in those weak moments when the fear takes over. For some, it’s butterflies. For others, it’s a particular flower or a song.
He sends me hearts. Hearts in concrete stains and in clouds and rocks and random pieces of paper appearing in my bed or on my floor. Hearts in the vegetables in my soup and in rain puddles on the ground. He has never, not once, failed to provide one when I’ve come to Him, pleading for romance.
As women, we long for that warrior prince, that hero to save us. We want to be strong heroines, we want to have a significant place in the story, but we still want that knight. Not one in shining, armor, but rather, a knight who is battle-scarred and has proven his merit. We desire a man by our side to fight for us, to be willing to go the distance to protect us, provide for us, and even die for us.
Guess what? Jesus has two battle scars and a sword-pierced side. He’s already proven His love for you by literally dying for you. It doesn’t get more romantic than that, Divorced Woman. Unlike your ex, God’s love doesn’t run out. It’s not based on conditions, performance, or physical beauty. It’s not just enough, it’s more than enough.
So step away from the Rocky Road and toward your Bible. Put down your phone and kneel down in prayer. Ask Jesus to meet you in your need for romance. He will eagerly pursue your heart—and you’ll know love and fulfillment in ways you never dreamed possible.
This article is part of our larger resource: The Christian Woman’s Guide to Starting Over after Divorce: 7 In-Depth Steps to Take Starting Today. If you’re going through a divorce or are already divorced and looking for more resources, be sure to visit our guide!
Betsy St. Amant has a heart for three things - chocolate, new shoes and sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her novels. She lives in Louisiana with her adorable story-telling young daughter, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of Pickle Pringles. A freelance journalist and fiction author, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is multi-published in Contemporary Romance. Her newest novel LOVE ARRIVES IN PIECES releases via Zondervan Fiction in June 2015. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to the Tangled soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing and can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. You can read more from Betsy at www.betsystamant.com and ww