Divorce is designed to destroy you. That is a very raw quote from this week’s guest, Amy Straley. But, with God’s help, Amy is an overcomer. When she married her high school sweetheart she envisioned a blissful future ahead. Instead, she endured 17 years of emotional, verbal and eventually physical abuse., before realizing there was no hope for her marriage. When she finally divorced him she expected life with her kids would transform into something better. She thought she was living a healthy life because it looked so much like what she thought was the typical divorcee’s behavior. But after going through several toxic dating relationships, looking for a man to save her, she finally hit rock bottom and landed on her knees, begging Jesus to help her find a way out of her chaotic lifestyle and into one filled with peace and abundance. She shares how those years of marriage and then singleness negatively affected her and her children and how she finally came to realize she needed to rebuild her family from the ground up. Amy is now an example of how God can bring you to abundant life in Him. She’s so in love with Jesus and knows He’s the only Savior she needs to help her find joy and contentment in her life.
This is the first time Amy has shared her entire painful story and her only objective is to glorify God through it. I know this episode will encourage you, no matter what difficult circumstances you may be walking through in your own journey.
Highlights and Quotes From Amy
“We didn’t ever learn to come together afterwards and figure out what happened… how to apologize. And so you have death by 1000 cuts.” – Amy describing how she and her husband never talked about the abuse.
“I didn’t feel like our family would be what I always thought it would be. I didn’t feel like he would ever step into that role where I could trust him. I was just finished on all levels.”
“Hurting people are attracted to one another. So if you’re hurting and not healthy, you’re going to attract other people who are hurting and not healthy and you’re going to hurt one another.”
“An indication that you may be ready to date is when you stop thinking that it’s the most important thing on the planet.”
You can find Amy’s blog, Stepping Brave at AStraley.net and on Instagram at a_straley.
Here is a message and prayer from Amy for you to pray over your children:
Oh, I pray for my children. What other choice do I have? I have not raised almost grown children before. I am a rookie, at best.
Divorce is difficult for children. It brings scars they will carry for a long time. Scars from having to live in duality, from one home to the other, one set of rules and expectations often in conflict with another set. They become referees, mediators, and live constantly navigating the feelings and emotional needs of two grown up’s who are supposed to be caring for them. But alas, it is often the other way around.
For them, trust is too much. Hope is for someone else. Love is disappointing. Best to be independent, protected from any more hurt, learning to make their own decisions long before they are equipped to do so.
As a broken up momma who encountered Jesus Christ, I have learned to lean into the Father to be a Papa to my children. I want them to recognize their own empty spaces in their hearts as spaces designed by the Father for Himself. I want them to learn that He loves, He hears, He sees, He knows, and He wants them, always. I want them to know that He can be trusted for He is faithful. I long for them to know that He never leaves and will keep knock, knocking, knocking on their hearts until they turn and recognize the One who knocks. I want them to know there is a plan, and all of that which has taken place has purpose and can be turned for good.
And so I pray.
Here are some of the verses that I have been praying over my almost grown children.
Then our sons in their youth will be like well watered plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace (Psalm 144:12 NIV).
Father establish my son firmly in the knowledge of who You are. When all else gives way, help Him to know that You will not give way. Grow Him strong, even in unlikely places. Help Him to know where His strength comes from. Sustain him and allow him to bring kingdom fruit, to your glory.
Father establish my daughter, make her strong and wise, ever seeking Your presence. Make her beautiful from the inside and out. Help her stand upon the foundation of who You are.
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV).
Father God, you and only you can save my children. You, the mighty warrior who stays close. Come and quiet their hearts with your strong hand, calm their thoughts and make them confident in who they are in You. Open their ears to hear Your song orchestrating their lives.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope for a future. Then you will call upon me and come
and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD (Jeremiah 29:11-14 NIV).
Father God, You know the plans you have for my son and for my daughter, good plans. Give me the wisdom to trust them completely in your hands, without meddling, without forcing. Give me wisdom to let them be who you have designed for them to be, to follow the plans You have set for them. Give my son and my daughter an ache in their heart until they turn to seek You. Grant them endurance to seek You until they find You. Open their hearts, minds and mouths to call to You.
I will bring him near and he will come close to me. For who is he who will devote himself to be close to me? (Jeremiah 30:21 NIV).
Father God, bring my son and my daughter close. Give them a heart of devotion for Jesus Christ. Place in each of them a desire to be near you.
May Your deeds be shown to Your servants, Your splendor to our children. May the favor of the LORD our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands (Psalm 90:16-17).
Father God reveal your splendor to my son and to my daughter. Delight each of them, revealing Yourself in ways that amaze their hearts to the wonder of You. Establish the work of their hands, weaving all things together for their good and your glory (Romans 8:28).
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the age of God (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Father God keep my son and my daughter from being blinded by culture. Reveal to them truth and give them strength to walk in it.
These are just a few of the verses that have been prayed over my children. There are so many more. Paul’s letters are full of verses about walking the Christian faith, David’s Psalm’s are full of emotional cries and pleas to the faithfulness of the Father. God is so good. He longs to bless us and our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren and so on with His purpose and holy presence.
A few resources that were helpful to me as I walked a path of redemption:
The Way of Abundance, Ann Voskamp
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Beautiful Battlefields, Bo Stern
Reading through the Bible in a year (various plans)
Listen to this episode From Abuse to Abundance: God’s Faithfulness Through Divorce Part 1 with Amy Straley
2 thoughts on “From Abuse to Abundance: God’s Faithfulness Through Divorce Part 1 with Amy Straley”
This is a story that a lot of people can learn from. It may not be an abusive situation. It could be from someone who is a workaholic or sports attic that can cause situations like this. Whether it be the man or the woman. So we need to Pray over our children and depend on God to lead them. These are great verses and I enjoyed reading them and I wish I had applied them this way before. Thank you for the story and the message you send to a lot of people. May the Lord be with you.
You’re so right, Annette. There are lots of difficult situations in marriages and they can have a major effect on our kids. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have. Thanks so much for you rcomment!
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