Hope for the Abandoned A very dear friend recently shared the story of her crumbling marriage with me. She told me that her husband had come home one day and told her that he no longer felt anything toward her and was going to move out. A few weeks later he filed for divorce. My heart ached for her as she shared with me her feelings of confusion and abandonment. She said she felt used up and discarded. When her husband had originally moved out she had held onto hope for reconciliation, but with each passing day that hope got fainter as she faced the end of a part of her life that she had thought would be there forever. My heart breaks for her a little bit more every day as I watch her go through the motions of a dance she never signed up for. She had dreamed of forever, but for reasons completely out of her control, her forever was cut short. As I watch her walk through this painful time I am reminded of two things. The first one being that filing for divorce does not automatically mean the marriage is over. Wayne and I have a story that proves this. When our divorce was only a few weeks from final I put a hold on it. So, however slim that hope may be, I will continue to hope for restoration in her marriage. The second thing I think of is that regardless of whether her husband’s heart is ever softened to her again or not, her heart is able to heal from the deep wound that abandonment has left in her. When I see the pain in her eyes that I remember so well I am reminded of a time when I thought that I could never be happy again. I am also reminded of people who have been abandoned by their spouses and found healing and wholeness on the other side of recovery. My heart breaks with my friend over the deep pain in her wounded heart, but through it all I hold out hope for her that her heart can be healed, and that through her healing she will find new life. All hope is not lost. On the contrary, it is against the backdrop of the seemingly impossible that hope shines the brightest. If you find yourself in a situation similar to my friend, where you have been left alone to pick up the pieces of your shattered heart, please don’t give up hope. The situation that you now live in may leave your future looking impossible, but with healing you can experience a reversal of destiny. I was recently reminded of a quote by Beth Moore that filled me with hope when I was going through my own healing. She said, “To know the joy of a table turned, a table first has be set against you.” If ever there was a table stacked against us, it is the one set by a betraying spouse. Thankfully though, there is One who is able to turn the table back around. When our table is set to serve us abandonment He is able to turn it by showing us how He is pursuing us. When our table is set to make us feel unloved He can turn it around by pouring His lavish love out on us. There is a lot of freedom in knowing that the health of your heart is not dependent on the actions of another person. Ask the One who has the power to give you the joy of having your table turned where He is in your story. Bring Him your wounds and the places in your heart that have been left empty by abandonment. Let Him heal you and fill your empty places. Then give Him permission to turn the table around for you. You might just be surprised to see what he has planned for you. Don’t despair. The One who created you takes great delight in you, and He is more than able to take what feels like a curse and turn it into the beginning of a beautiful blessing.