Healing on the Other Side of Heartbreak

Sharon JaynesForgiveness, When You Don't Like Your Story 47 Comments

I watched my friend, Patricia, struggle through more than twenty years of a difficult marriage. Her husband left three times during the two decades—once before their three children were born, and twice after. They lived through nineteen different homes in multiple cities, revolving jobs, rumored affairs, cycles of financial plenty followed by financial deficiency. Eventually, after twenty-three years, Rodney packed his bags for the last time and left. The divorce was final the following year. That long chapter was over.

I don’t like to struggle, and I don’t like to see my friends struggle. I like for life to be easy. I want all my friends to love me all the time, I want my husband to agree with my every decision, I want my bosses to think every idea is brilliant, and I want God to answer my every prayer with a checkmark.

But in truth, deep down I know that an easy life will never produce a strong woman who trusts in God with all her heart…and that’s who I really want to be.

One night Jesus was praying on a mountain while His disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. He looked down and saw the disciples were straining with the oars, struggling with the wind, and bailing water over the edge. But He wasn’t worried.

Jesus calmly walked on the water, got into the boat, and commanded the winds and the waves to settle down. And they obeyed. And the disciples were amazed.

Jesus could have simply spoken to the wind and waves from the mountaintop. After all, He was already talking with His Father. But He didn’t. He allowed the disciples to struggle. More important than relieving their staining was strengthening their faith. They needed to know who He was, not just what He did. If He had stopped the struggle while they were in the middle of it, they might have never known that He was the One who controls it all. A different perspective. A different point of view.

James wrote: 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 1:2-4 NIV). I wonder what life would be like if I truly did consider trials pure joy?    

One day I asked Patricia if she regretted marrying her ex-husband, and her answer was stunningly beautiful. “If I had not married him, I would not have the strong faith that I have today. If life had been easy, I think I would have a flabby faith that could maybe quote Scripture but not necessarily believe it. I would have grown spiritually sloppy rather than spiritually strong.

“Because I had to depend on God to provide for me and my children, especially emotionally, I know God as my Provider. Because I had to depend on God’s love for me when I didn’t get it from my husband, I know the depths of His love for me. Because I had to stand on God’s Word when the world around me was falling apart, I know the Rock on which my feet are planted. Had I not gone through those difficult years, I would not have the trust in God that I have today. He gives me life. He is my life.”

We’ve all been hurt by life and struggled in some form or fashion; no one is immune to suffering. But rather than view the pain as our burden to bear, what if we considered it a gift for growing? Healing on the other side of heartbreak is not simply returning to how we were before the rending but becoming better than we would have been without it—someone stronger, someone wiser, someone gentler. And that’s something we all want.

Father, thank You for the struggles that have made me stronger. I know there are so many lessons I would have never learned in comfort and ease. Help me to look for the lessons in the hardships of life and grow in the grace You give. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

What is one struggle that has made you strong? Click comment and let’s share. Look up and read 1 Peter 4:12-13. Even though trials are no fun, what does this passage say is the upside?

When You Don't Like Your Story

We’ve all got parts of our stories that we’d like to tear out or mark out of the narrative. I’ve got them. You’ve got them. But what if your worst chapters could become your greatest victories? What if the worst parts could become the most powerful tools that God uses in the life of others? I know they can. Check out my book, When You Don’t Like Your Story, and let’s learn how together!

Part of having a better story is forgiving those who have hurt us. Click here for a FREE Guide to Forgiveness.





© 2023 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 47

  1. I’m also a Patricia who has endured years of an u faithful, narcissistic husband. Living in a small rural community where everyone knows what’s going on Except for me I guess
    I’ve filed for divorce. Second time in 7 years. This time I’m paying for it AND not going back
    My heart is broken. I’m a mess and praying to God for strength
    Not I wanted to be going through at almost 63 years of age
    This story of your friend touched my very soul.
    The struggle is so real and terrible and every time I hear “it’ll be okay” and
    “You’re so strong” I could cry. And usually do
    I feel broken and horrible
    I pray for Gods strength and healing every day
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful words

    1. Patricia, I’m going through the same thing as i am beginning the divorce process. I stood for my marriage years ago and God did restore it, for 9 years. But he chose another woman over me again so I’m done. God is in control over it all. Trust in Him to lead you through. Learn His character and believe in His promises. Peace to you

    2. Hi Patricia
      I do not usually comment but I felt led to do so to offer a little encouragement.

      As a woman who has been there and done that I KNOW beyond any doubt that the other side is waiting!!! And yea t’s AMAZING!

      After 17 years of marriage and learning of infidelity I was CRUSHED.
      I was kicked out of my
      Home, I had no place to go with my son, I was trying to hold it together for his good and keep his life as regular as possible all while holding down a demanding job investigating child abuse allegations in New York!

      God showed up BIG TIME!!

      Today, 7 years later, I have a new home filled with peace, a certification in financial coaching, a book in the making, and a future certification as a Kid’s coach!!! My goal is to help as many women as possible going through or coming out of divorce.

      I learned that after all the heartache, sadnesses, anger and hurt-I had the option of redesigning my life!

      It’s been amazing!

      I pray that you get to design an amazing new life for yourself and that New dreams would well up inside you for you pleasure and God’s Glory!


      1. I was very encouraged by the comments here, especially yours. With God’s help, I will design a new and amazing life fit for the daughter of the most high that so am and according to His perfect plan for me. After nearly 10 years with my husband, I’m done trying to save him and giving 90 % to get 10% or so back. I am filing for divorce now and though this process has been extremely painful, it has already taught me so many lessons. The most important being that God must always come first in our lives, I have always known that but sometimes as women we can accidentally put others like our husband or kids above God unintentionally. I’ve learned that we cannot fix or save anyone else, that’s the Lord’s job not ours. We must pray and surrender it all to Him. I’ve also learned that it’s OK to put myself first (after God of course) and take care of me and my health. The road is not easy, but it comes with strength for sure. My strength is in the Lord and so is my peace and joy. In spite of everything that’s going on he has kept me that way and I am so grateful. 4 1/2 years ago, I felt the lord saying stay, and wait, obey me, so I stopped the divorce from ever happening but now it’s different…now I feel his blessing in spite of God being against divorce. God’s love for us as individual women is above his love for marriage and I have had biblical divorce grounds for years….but God’s timing is perfect and now is my time.

    3. Patricia,

      This entire devotion resonated with me (along with all the comments the other amazing women have posted) because I too endured the pain of divorce after 21 years of marriage. I, too, lived in a small rural community and know the pain of “everyone thinking they know your business”. The humiliation of a failed marriage and the lost feeling of not knowing what to do when everything you have known your whole adult life has crumbled around you. You are not alone in this journey. Many, many women have known this place and have faced this.

      I know just from reading your comment you didn’t make this decision lightly or without careful consideration. I know people telling you it’s going to be okay or that you are so strong is NOT what you WANT to hear but in my experience it turned out to be what I needed to hear. They knew something I couldn’t know it that pit of brokenness and despair … they knew God would be faithful and that I would be okay eventually. They knew that I was strong because I had the courage to take the step to end the toxic cycle that my marriage had become. And you are too. God will be faithful in your hardest moment and you will figure out how to make a different life for yourself even though it is certainly not what you had planned or hoped for. I hope you can find friends and scriptures and songs that are a buoy to you as you navigate this devastating change. And I wish you a new life filled with peace and happiness because that is what you deserve. Blessings!

    4. Patricia, unfortunely you are going through the exact same situation I am and I am 62 years old. Persevere on Christ’s Word. Never give up. Our God is always with us!! We are never alone!!

    5. Me too, Patricia, Sally, and Kimberly (and all the other broken-hearted women who fought for their marriage and lost). I am about to throw in the towel on a 34-year marriage after struggling through affair after affair. It is true that my faith has grown stronger as a result. It’s also true that the pain, grief, and loneliness are almost unbearable at times. I have to keep reminding myself that my Savior is entirely holy and yet suffered more than I have or will. He endured my sin and the punishment for it and loves me unconditionally. And HE holds my eternal joy—not my husband. The brokenness of this world is too much for me, but He has overcome the world, and He lives in me, therefore, I —and we—can do this. We can finish the race in His strength and grace and trust that He won’t waste our pain. He will use it to make us more like Him if we let Him. May we all be sure that He sees us, loves us, and will perfectly heal us in His time.🤍

  2. My daughter was murdered by her estranged husband 2 years ago in the house next door to us. He shot her 3 times, in the head twice. My 14 year old granddaughter witnessed it as did my husband from our yard as he was trying to get to her. I was the first one to find her. To say it was horrific is putting it mildly. BUT GOD. he has held me in his loving arms and taught me so much about his love. Today we go to the courthouse for the fist step in the trial. God sent me a rainbow yesterday to remind me of his promises. I trust him fully. He is always good.

    1. Oh Verna ,I’m so sorry , your story has wrecked me today 😭😭my own dear loving beautiful daughter (left 3 devastated children )departed for heaven 14 years ago after a swimming accident ( still can’t say some words ) and I thank GOD her body was found like some other families that wait a long time to find it and I’m thankful she is with JESUS 🙏for you all .

    2. Verna- praying for you and your family’s strength during this nightmare that you must be going through. May God fill every empty space.

    3. Sorry for the loss of your daughter..We lost our grandson and his girlfriend .5 yrs ago they were murdered..someone was looking for his cousin whom stayed w them now and then..it is a cold case… Praising God for his love faithfulness He gives us strength and when we yield to his Word walk in faith God will get us to the other side of grief..Hope eternal hope in Christ Again so deeply sorry for your loss.

  3. When I was younger I would make plans to accomplish many things each day. Most of those days did not included taking time to read the Bible and pray. Most of those days I did manage those normal tasks from the lists that I made. But the real dreams God had for me were only begun when I spent time with him everyday. Reading the Word, praying and planning days went much better than days without the Word and prayer. I am praying for those that want a spiritual walk to find the time and plan the day after your time with the Lord- make the time and he will make your life more full than you ever dreamed of.

  4. My 15 year marriage to my narcissist husband. I have had to leaned into God every day due to this path in life and most days even more just to get through and keep my sanity. I thank the Lord for keeping me and carrying me!

    1. I’m in the same boat. 34 years, raised 3 kids, 2 of which get married this year, and he picks now of all time to have an affair.

      But Jesus is in the boat with us. He could have stayed on the mountain but he got in the boat. I love that.

  5. I am so thankful for the struggles. I am learning to see them as a gift because of how much my faith has grown. I can look back and see how God was with me throughout the journey and I know He’ll continue to be with me through the ups & downs while here on earth.

  6. sexual abuse, substance abuse, eating disorder, self-harm, homosexuality,abusive marriage, PTSD- God is bringing me through it all, for His glory. Thank you for this article.

  7. Your words help me to remember my growth in my faith. Loss for me-losing my home and job; rejection from my children and denial of seeing my grandchildren; losing my husband to Alzheimer’s; living in a bedroom in someone else’s home-my Lord and Savior has gathered every read and helped my rise every day to the promise of His love.

  8. The struggle that has helped to make me strong in my faith is self-acceptance and self-worth: finding my value and significance in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.
    “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
    Psalm 139:14

  9. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 7 years ago. Since then I have learned and am still learning to “press on” despite my circumstances.

  10. I love and appreciate today’s reading!

    One struggle I never would have chosen was to get breast cancer 3 years ago. Right in the middle of the pandemic. So every appointment, every treatment I went into alone.

    But I learned I actually was never alone. The Lord was with me. And I realized He alone was my help and my hope- then and now. Through that experience I came to KNOW that God alone is in control. I searched for Him and came to Him like never before and found out who He is by searching the Scriptures for truth to hold onto.

    I wouldn’t have chosen that to be part of my story, but I can’t deny that it brought me to a different perspective and a dependency and desire for the Lord that I did not have before.

  11. When my 20 year old son died, I wanted to die. He had battled with drug addiction since the age of 12 and , coupled with a heart condition that was aggravated by the drugs, his heart just stopped. I know that the only way I made it through then, and continue to make it through is because of my faith in God. 15 years later I still grieve but I am stronger for having survived.

  12. God Bless every one of you as I read some your comments. I too have had many trials in fact I wrote my Testimony several years ago to share with my CBS Bible Class. It’s 3 or 4 pages long so I won’t share it.
    I have grown and matured throughout all these issues and am still going through some more. But I know where my strength comes from and I look forward to spending Eternity with our Lord and Savior! He will never leave us not forsake us. Thank you for the encouragement Sharon in sharing these stories!

  13. My husband’s recent battle with cancer. He received his last treatment in May, and we don’t yet know the outcome, and we are waiting for the re-tests to confirm. And now there is the discovery of totally unrelated issues that point to some blood disorder or another type of cancer. He is once again going through all sorts of tests and scans – and we wait for the results.

    Watching someone you love go through pain, fear, and uncertainty is tough. A friend at church on Sunday said something that helped me: do all you can do to help him: see good doctors; make good, healthy meals; make him as comfortable as possible – then let it go – leave the rest to God. Trust His plan, and trust God to do His job – don’t try to tell Him how. Amen.

  14. I had a rough start to life by being beaten by an abusive father and taped at 9 by my father’s drinking buddy. I was marked at an early age and I made a lot of bad choices well into adulthood. God finally got my attention in my 40’s and He’s been healing me ever since. I’m now in my mid 70’s and am so blessed to know God never gave up on me. I know I am His child and wouldn’t want it any other way!

  15. I’ve battled my health since 1995, I now am much better than in 1995 but there were a lot of years I was not functioning well. I held onto this verse in James 1:2-4. I really believe God used me through the tough times but now he is also using me where I’m at now.

  16. My husband has been fighting cancer for 7 years. He can’t do anything to help around the house. People say…you are such a strong woman but I don’t think I am at least not by myself alone. I just always say it’s my faith that has become strong…my faith in Jesus Christ. He gets me thru every day. P

  17. Sexual promiscuity, an affair and now mental health in my family. God led me through all of it and even though my husband and children are still walking through some of these storms, we are stronger together and more confident in our faith! One verse I lean on in the midst of storms is:
    “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”
    ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭40‬:‭1‬-‭3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  18. Thank you for the hope I feel and the great reminder that God is in control and his ways are so much more than I could ever dream.

  19. My husband’s death, selling our home, going on without him, a very difficult year. But my faith & trust in God was made strong. I leaned on Him as never before. He has given me strength & comfort every step of the way.

  20. Divorce from my serial cheating husband who left me when my son was 4 and daughter was 6 months. if not for that, I wouldn’t have found the church I have been a part of for the last 27 years and I may not have grown as close to the Lord as I have. I give thanks all of the time for that experience in my life. I recently lost my son, at 36 years old, to brain cancer. I have to lean on the Lord to get me through each and every hour. He is my refuge and strength.

  21. We all have a story, and some may be worse than others, but we all have our heavenly Father to carry us through ( If He takes us too it He will see us through it)! It not only draws us nearer to Him, but it strengthens our faith and dependence on Him! I was a single mom raising 3 children, divorced from a husband who made drugs, alcohol and other women his priority in life. I took my children to church and raised them in a Christian home. Unfortunately Satan got a hold of my oldest son who became addicted to drugs and went to prison for 15 yrs( robbing a bank to try and support his habit). As a mother it devastated me, but certainly brought me even closer to God, On my knees everyday, praying for God’s protection and to bring my son back home a changed man!
    My son has been home from prison since 2016, He got married and has a beautiful wife and my precious granddaughter( she just turned 5). They are attending church as a family! So through all our trials and tribulations, God is restoring what the locusts have stolen. Stand firm and don’t be shaken. Read Isaiah 41:10. (this is the Scripture God gave me when my son went to prison)
    Thank you Sharon for your messages and your encouragement. God Bless you all!

    Ps. I was able to forgive my husband yrs later and also he gave his heart back to Christ
    God’s timing perfect, because he died in automobile accident a short time after.

  22. Could so identify! The story is much too long to tell, but God is so good all the time! I am a retired clinical social worker and now help to facilitate a Divorce Care group. If anyone is looking for a Christian based support group, I would encourage you to look up DivorceCare.org This is a world-wide organization. There is also a Divorce Care 4 Kids.

    God does make beauty out of ashes!!!

  23. Estrangement from our oldest child which also cuts us out of our grandchildren lives. It’s been almost a year. Without God’s comfort and support of Christian friends, I don’t know how I would cope. There are still moments when the grief rises. I cling to hope that maybe one day there will be reconciliation. In the meantime, prayer, reading God’s word, and support from our friends and our other children who have also been cut out from their sibling makes it bearable. We intentionally look for joy every day.

  24. Thank you for the words of hope. After 26 years of marriage, my husband told me he didn’t love me anymore and was unhappy. He denied being unfaithful. He was a deacon and Sunday School teacher. He just rationalized that God would want him to be happy, knowing he was wrong. He left when my youngest daughter started college away. I felt guilty and ashamed. I didn’t realize the extent of his unhappiness and we had always promised each other there would be no divorce. I was blindsided. I was struggling with pain from fibromyalgia and depression which worsened when he left. About six years later I lost my job. I have arthritis and it got worse along with fibro so I missed too much work. During all of this, the Lord showed me He is my security, not my husband. I still struggle with my broken marriage. I’m glad we were married bc I have three daughters who are remarkable young ladies as a result.
    I still have my physical problems and was also diagnosed with leukemia a couple of years ago. I have to say that God has provided for me in all this time. He is always good. He uses my pain for his glory. Nothing is wasted. I continue to struggle with the divorce but I know when I hurt I am not alone.

  25. Many moments in my life had made me stronger and I am glad that God never left me and I am still being strengthened through challenges in my current season. My pregnancy before marriage, my destructive marriage to an addict, raising the children on my own, going to college while raising the kids, my divorce and subsequent bankruptcy, my challenges in my career, my daughter’s alcoholism, my struggle with codepency and running after my worthiness with my family of origin, my anxiety, my depression, and many other small moments. I have had to learn to lean into him and don’t understand always, but do know I am stronger, just need to learn how to be more dependent on Him and I think that is why I am in this current challenge. Please say a prayer for me as I am broke and not sure what to do next but asking for God’s mercy and showing me a way. Thanks Sharon for your ministry, it has helped me many a day and I pray that it continues to bless others.
    Sister in Christ, Shelley

  26. Amazing how our God works. Tonight is the eve to what would have been my 39th wedding anniversary. My husband also left 3 different times before leaving for good after 28 years. I was just thinking today of how bad it hurt at the time but how God provided and carried me through and is still doing so today.

  27. I used to have a burden before I was a born again Christian. I lost it when I read Jeremiah 29:11 and accepted the Lord as my Saviour. But then things went down hill when I got involved with a young man. The relationship didn’t last long. It was toxic and unhealthy. I fell in a deep depression and wanted to kill myself. For 11 years I was bitter and shrewd. Then I met another young man and I had confidence in myself and was “happy”. But it was unhealthy, paranoid, jealous relationship. Then he left the country and went to another country. We have a long distance relationship. My friend said to get rid of him but I want to see what he will do. The first burden was taken care of through God’s healing hands.

  28. I have had so many hard times and struggles but I would not change a thing. One therapist was truly shocked at all the really bad times I had been through yet I still believe in God. I know without my struggles I would not be the strong, compassionate, and empathetic person I am today. I would never have found my wonderful second husband. I would never have the most adorable grandson with a granddaughter coming later this year, both from his daughter. I believe, without a doubt, that things will always work out for the best in the end. It doesn’t mean the road will be easy, but it WILL be worth it!

  29. Being left by my husband, has made me stronger and rely more on God. I’ve learnt and I’m still learning to let go and let God and that prayer can change even the hardest of hearts.

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  30. I have faith in knowing He who has begun a good work in me will finish it to the end and the expected end is one of hope and a future. Dearly Beloved, You are Chosen and highly favored of the Lord. The righteousness of God. Rest in my peace. Rest in my love. I will never leave you nor forsake you. You ways are not my ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts. Rest in my love and my presence.❤️ ABBA

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