Day 13 – When We “Mean Well” (part 2)


Today’s post is a continuation of a story I told yesterday. If you didn’t read that first, it might help:

Day 12 – When We “Mean Well” (Part 1)


A few weeks ago I signed up for a small group bible study, and survived the first day.  There were some awkward introductions, for sure. Then the second week, I forgot to go.

I wasn’t off to a great start, I will admit that.

Early this week I get a phone call from one of the leaders.  She is very nice and says that she has missed me and hopes that I return to class this week. I state that I intend to. Then she says she saw a movie last weekend and it made her think of me. She says it is a Christian movie, and it’s called “War Room.”

She says it’s about a couple who is really struggling in their marriage and ultimately save their marriage through prayer. Even though the woman is justified in leaving her husband she chooses to work through the hard stuff.

Uh oh. I have a really bad feeling about this.

Then she says the couple in the movie turn to agape love to stay together, instead of the kind of love that the world relies on. She says that she feels like it is a powerful message for couples who are struggling, or are separated.

I really wish that was my story.  I hoped and prayed, begged and bargained.  It was not to be. I clarify things for her, in case my tearful outburst on introduction day wasn’t clear. “Well, I am divorced.”

Yes, I drop the D-word.  She is undeterred.  She tells me that God can redeem anything, and I know what she is referring to.

“I’m really sorry.  I think that God can and will heal me and my children.  I am certain my marriage is (and should be) dead as a door nail.”

She doesn’t say much for a moment.

Then she emphasizes that she doesn’t know my story, but is my husband remarried?  Because if he isn’t then there is still hope. Through prayer and faithful commitment, it is possible. She tells me to remember that my (EX)husband is not the enemy.

I thank her for thinking of me and get off the phone as quickly as possible.


I stand in my kitchen stunned. Then I do what any of us would do. I cry.

Why didn’t I stand up for myself?

Does she think I didn’t try to save my marriage?

Should I have justified my circumstances?

Is this what it means to go back to church?

Do I go back?

I do think she “meant well.”


27 thoughts on “Day 13 – When We “Mean Well” (part 2)

  1. She sounds like a busybody and a “fixer.” It isn’t her place to try and “fix” what doesn’t need fixing in someone else’s life. I love that you told her your marriage was “dead as a doornail!” You go, girl!


  2. Speechless. And those who know me know that that doesn’t happen very often. So sorry that you had to endure that. As for her meaning well, who cares! what is it they say about the road to hell?


      • I stand by my earlier comment 🙂 That “well meaning” call was incredibly judgmental and not an accidental off-hand comment…very hard to see anything Christ-like about it. I didn’t say I “wished anything on her” — certainly not — but I do believe people who use those kind of manipulative and judgmental tactics (especially under the banner of being a leader in a faith community) are not representing Christ. There is a big difference between being tactless and pushing holier-than-thou baggage on others. It’s not about this person in particular…striving to be a Christian is a wonderful thing, and no one is expecting perfection. The point is that we don’t need to accept self-righteous comments or guilt trips just because they come from someone professing to be a Christian.

        I think you got a lot of honest reactions this morning, with this online community affirming that it’s NOT OKAY for people to treat you like you need “fixing” because your marriage ended. I too am divorced…and God loves me just the same as when I was single or married. God loves you for being Dana…and so do I!

        Hang in there and keep writing! Your bravery and candor are inspirational and real.


  3. I have lived that exact same scenario. perfect words:“I’m really sorry. I think that God can and will heal me and my children. I am certain my marriage is (and should be) dead as a door nail.” Amen!!!


  4. Instead of throwing stones, grace should be extended. As you said she “means well. ” She had good intentions and you never know–her life experience may be that she has witnessed a divorced couple coming back together. That doesn’t mean she has the right to cross any lines with you. It just means she is human and doesn’t understand boundaries. Many churches have programs for divorced people. Not to get them back together, but to help them through it. Don’t let one person define “church.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A reference to The Lord’s Prayer is helpful in these situations. “Thy will be done.” As in God’s will. This isn’t about what this lady wants. Or what happened in some movie. Ask this woman to pray that God’s will is revealed to your family. It’s unlikely that God revealed His will for YOU to this woman through a movie.

    If she insists that this is God’s sign, spoken through Hollywood, you could suggest that you’ve also gotten a sign from a movie. It’s called “Frozen” and the sign was to “Let it Go!”


  6. Some denominations teach that a woman’s highest calling is as a wife and a mother, they put such emphasis on Biblical marriage, manhood, womanhood, etc. That they forgot the example that Jesus set. He treated all women, married, divorced, righteous, and sinful with the utmost respect. These teachings are the foundation for War Room and Fireproof. She is following her highest calling and she believes she can help you return to yours. Here on out, that’s her mission, to turn you from what she percieves to be the error of your ways. Note that she doesn’t care about the circumstances of your divorce or if it’s better for you to be divorced; those teachings would say that a bad marriage is better than a good divorce because with prayer or love a spouse can fix a broken relationship like in those movies. She doesn’t understand that it’s not always possible for real life to work out like the movies. Some things are beyond are human capacity to restore by ourselves and God doesn’t snap his fingers to make everything rainbows and unicorns. Yes, she means well because she wants to return you to your highest calling, unfortunately those teachings about marriage is what she’s going by and they don’t fit your situation.


  7. i don’t think you should go back. You should not feel embarrassed about your situation! You did nothing wrong! You did what was best for you and your kids! All 4 of you are in a better place now than if you would have continued to try and fix things. You need a bible study where you can feel safe and not be bullied! Love you!


  8. I would like to bang my head on the wall for you! I am going through a divorce and have heard the same exact crap. Like until he’s dead there’s HOPE! They just don’t get it. Its like they think if you give up hope on your spouse you are giving up hope in God. (rant over! 🙂


  9. Totally get and understand your feelings! I’m almost to the point of using the “d” word…never wanted to…but like you, tried beyond comprehension! But there are times that trying and praying through just aren’t enough…they can be…but the other person has to be willing also. If they aren’t you can’t continue trying with no “try” on the other side. God knows our hearts…and yes, I believe He can restore anything…but that doesn’t mean we have to stay miserable!!!!!!!


  10. Hobnailed boots and the insensitivity of a concrete plank do not a good leader make! Is this a bible study group or group cancelling sessions? Time to reconsider attendance perhaps…


  11. I agree that she means well. Does not make it any easier though. As for the church part…. Yes. Keep going. There or somewhere else. You and your sweet friend. Your presence and experience will bless someone that is or will be right where you are. Not that any of us ever wish that on another, but ….

    As to those who mean well…..

    Last year I was sitting in a church meeting for parents of middle schoolers and high schoolers. The youth pastor was going to speak to us about the upcoming school year. Plans and needs. At this time…. My 21 year old was living in his car, and had been for a year. Yes. He was homeless for a little more than a year and 1/2 and, while being off of the streets for which I am thankful, is still not in a safe and stable environment. So there I sit, when another mom stops by the table and began (innocently) to discuss dropping her 18 year old off at college the week before. She said it was “literally the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” I remember inwardly rolling my eyes, and thinking “REALLY?!” Then you should be on your knees thanking God.

    In this particular case, she did not mean to be insensitive but it does encourage me to choose my own words carefully. I am not always successful, but the Lord is refining me “in the fire.” And, no doubt, he is doing the same with you.

    Be encouraged…..


  12. Man, I get it. I really do. I have been to hell and back in my own marriage. I have been on my knees and on my face with God. I too have had other people be rude and insensitive in their ignorance. I think what is wrong with some of these comments is that some of you ladies are so quick to want to “punch that woman in the face” or to say that there “is a special place in hell for Christians like her”. To be a Christian is to literally be a Christ Follower. I didn’t know that the criteria to follow Christ was perfection and always saying the right thing at the right time. If it is, man I am in big trouble. Ladies, I don’t see Jesus in either of those comments. That woman was wrong to say what she said. She was misinformed, out of place and without tact. She does not however deserve to be slandered on this blog like that. Which of you has not said something inappropriate or insensitive or something that was just timed wrong? I have. Many times. If we are going to be real “Christian” women and “be like Jesus” then we need to understand who He really is. He is a God who loves that woman too. He is the God who can and will forgive her when she realizes the mistake she has made and the hurt she has caused with her words. He is also the God who will forgive you when you realize yours. He is the God who forgives me when I realize mine. He is a God that promises that we don’t have to be perfect to follow him. He is a God that promises if we do follow him then we will be spared from that “special place in hell”. Think about what you are saying ladies. That is a serious thing to wish on someone. Jesus died so that no one has to go to hell. God wants no one to perish. That includes women who say the wrong things. He said so. I was hoping this blog would be a place where we can see that we are not alone. That there are others that have felt our pain. Believe me I too have wanted to punch many people in the face. But then GOD REMINDS ME of how far I have fallen. That HE DIED FOR EVERYONE, even the idiots. Church is made up of messed up people. Hurting people. Seeking people. People that make mistakes. Every. Single. Day. I am one of them and so are you. Or have you forgotten?


    • Kristin,
      Yes. You are right. I haven’t had to regulate comments before, but I agree. I do not want my blog to be a negative and degrading place. While I understand the sentiment behind some of the comments, it is not constructive, encouraging, or Christ-like. Thanks for taking the time to point that out. I hope you stick around.


      • Hi Dana:) I will stick around. You are a gifted writer and a real person who has a voice and deserves to be heard and understood. I am grateful for your real expressions of where you are in your life now. I take great encouragement from your openness. I have walked a pain filled, anger filled, sad and heart broken road. I understand your pain because I have lived it, in a slightly different way. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comment. I appreciate you. You keep writing it, I’ll keep reading it;)


  13. Pingback: Day 14 – When We “Mean Well” (What now!?!) | Singled Out In Colorado

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