In the tumultuous aftermath of divorce, a journey often marked by pain, confusion, and uncertainty, our quest to understand our identity in Christ takes center stage. Suddenly stripped of my familiar titles—wife, husband, pastor’s wife—I grappled with a profound sense of loss and disorientation. As I navigated the wreckage of shattered dreams, I asked myself: Who am I now?

John 15:16 offers a profound revelation amidst this existential crisis: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you…” In the depths of heartache and transition, our identity eclipses earthly roles and titles. It is not contingent upon the perceptions or expectations of others but rooted in the unshakable truth of our divine calling as children of God.

The journey of self-discovery amid divorce often begins with a critical introspection, and if it doesn’t, it should. Amidst the clamor of society’s expectations and our own self-imposed judgments, there emerges a realization that our identity is not a mere label or title. It is a deep-seated aspect of our being intricately woven into the fabric of our existence by the Creator Himself. And this woven fabric is Christ, Himself.

In the wake of divorce, the temptation to cloth ourselves with the weight of imagined failures and shortcomings is tempting. I have a few journals filled with these. Charles Dutton spent nearly a decade in prison for manslaughter. He made a remarkable transition from a guilty convict to a successful actor (Roc, The Piano Lesson), director and the Golden Globe Award nominee. When asked how he managed such an amazing progression, he said, “Unlike other prisoners, I never decorated my cell.”

Read that again.

He refused to decorate his prison cell with the shackles (or titles) of his past. He understood that this would hinder his growth and transformation. After navigating a divorce, it is easy to decorate our new cell with all the opinions and words of others: failure, loss, betrayal, sinner, alone, rejected, unwanted, etc. Again, titles. It is vital that we take down all these self-made decorations! Divorce may represent an earthquake in our lives, reducing our carefully constructed plans to rubble, however, it also presents an opportunity for a metamorphosis and renewal.

Jeremiah 3:8 reminds us of God’s redemptive power, even in the pain of HIS divorce from Israel: “Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce.” Just as God remained faithful to His covenant despite Israel’s unfaithfulness, His love and grace extends to those navigating the rubble divorce.

Acts 16:25-26 paints a vivid picture of Paul and Silas, imprisoned yet undeterred in their faith, as they sing hymns in the darkness of their confinement. Even in adversity, their steadfast devotion to God unleashes an earthquake, breaking the chains of bondage and opening the doors to freedom. Similarly, in the wreckage of divorce, there is the potential for spiritual awakening and renewal.

The process of rebuilding begins with a deliberate choice to relinquish the remnants of our former selves—the titles, labels, and preconceptions that no longer serve us. It is a journey of rediscovery, as we surrender to the transformative power of Christ’s love and embrace the limitless possibilities of our future in Him.

As we sit at the feet of Jesus, allowing Him to reveal our true identity, we find peace in the assurance that our race is far from over. While the course may have shifted, the destination remains unchanged: a life defined by purpose, resilience, and unwavering faith.

It is time to lay aside the rubble you thought was you.

It is time to rebuild and re-remember who Christ says you are.

During the sandstorm of divorce,I pray you embrace the truth of who you are in Christ, confident that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion.