I would have been married ten years this year on November 7. The beautiful fall day we were married on will never escape my memory. But I am not celebrating that anniversary for I am the cast off, forsaken wife. The one a man left. The one God took away from me too soon.
I am that woman.
I am the one who mourns a love I once had that I fear I will never have again.
I am the one who eats and sleeps alone, no longer with someone by my side.
I am the one lacks someone to have and to hold.
I am the one who at times is suffocatingly lonely.
Are you that woman too?
One day recently after another dark night of mourning, the words of Isaiah pierced my heart:
Do not fear, you shall not be put to shame; do not be discouraged, you shall not be disgraced. For the shame of your youth you shall forget, the reproach of your widowhood no longer remember. For your husband is your Maker; the Lord of hosts is his name, Your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, called God of all the earth. The Lord calls you back, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, a wife married in youth and the cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will take you back.
Isaiah 54: 4-7
My forsakenness has taught me that we women who are cast off have a special place in the Lord’s heart. He will show his tenderness and care for us, if we accept His love for us. He has a special plan for our lives. Our being cast off is not the end of the story.
It may be the beginning of a new one.
It’s curious to me that in the past three years, as I’ve processed my forsakenness, I have encountered many stories of women saints who found themselves widowed or husbandless at some point in their lives and found their second vocation as a bride and servant of Christ.
God penetrated their being and their hearts, and used them in a new way -- a greater way.
Could it be that your forsakenness is an open door to know, love and serve your Maker in a deeper way -- to come to know a love and union that goes beyond that of married love?
Could it be that the person who cast you off, who saw no value in you, and didn’t want to love you anymore, actually cast you deeper into the heart of God? Into the heart of the only One who will never stop loving you?
Ponder these thoughts, woman of God, and be forsaken no more.