My Journey Through a 3 year Marriage and Divorce at 29

Bible Ring
I’m twenty nine years old. A Westmont College and Fuller Seminary graduate, born and raised in a loving Christian family. My Dad sat on the Elder board of my church growing up, started numerous International non-profits, and ran a successful family business that funded dozens more. I started my own non-profit when I was twenty five, and have traveled the world to educate and deepen my understanding of the anti-trafficking field. My life, in many ways, was picture perfect. When I was 26 I married the love of my life. But three years later I found myself divorced. The big D-word.

Our marriage was a short one but full of life. He supported my dreams by moving to Thailand with me, I supported his by helping get his music career off the ground. On the outside it seemed ideal. People often referred to us as a ‘power couple’ and I found my strength in other people’s praise. Because on the inside I was crumbling. Confused. And losing myself. After months of counseling I gathered my guts and finally admitted to myself that it was over.

I’m still healing from this, and this essay is simply one of many letters that will come from my exploration during this time. So I’m writing to you, women and men, who are a part of the church and love the church, but are struggling with divorce. You might be asking yourself if you still belong, or feeling the need to justify in biblical terms why it didn’t work. I can remember weeks of crying out to God for a miracle in my marriage. That I would fall back in love with my husband. But like many, I learned the hard way that God’s silence was not a lack of his love but rather a time for me to soak in his grace.

Divorce was not something talked about growing up. I’d liken it to the way college was treated in my family ‘we don’t care where you go, but you have to go!’ Divorce was similar – ‘we don’t care if you get married, but stay married!’. Divorce was never an option. It was what happened to those ‘other’ people.

So how dare I entertain the idea of a divorce, let along go through with it, as a Christian!?

I’ve gathered my little bullet points of touchy topics on this journey. Whether they’re questions people have asked or simply ones I hear in my head from pastor’s growing up. But here they are:

1. What happened? This is the most commonly asked question and coming from some, I pour my heart out. From others, I guard my marriage and protect it because I know the questioner is more interested in gossip than matters of the heart. In the end it’s never an easy answer. People want the black and white and unfortunately life, especially divorce, is not usually so.

2. How has the church responded? I’ve found myself very careful in answering this because I realize that for many this is a loaded question. Some want to hear that the church fired my husband (who is a worship leader at the church). Others want to hear that they’ve been a supportive community. To be honest, I don’t really know how the church has responded because I’ve stepped away to give him space in his work community. But what I do know is that our pastor has loved me. He’s reached out, offered support and encouraging words, and made it clear that I’m beautiful and loved and accepted. Furthermore, I’ve been shocked at the amount of support I’ve received from the community at large. I’d like to think that the way we live our lives is breaking down the stereotypes that most held about divorce. And that perhaps the church’s conversation as they see authentically the pain that divorce brings, even to people who live their lives in service to their creator.

3. How do you justify divorce? I don’t. I’m broken. I’m a sinner. I realized that I felt the pressure from my community to justify it and I just can’t. Marriage is hard and should never be walked away from lightly. Ever. My husband and I visited counseling for months – both marriage and personal – and both knew we were better off separately. We might have been able to make it work – stick it out – but we would have been extremely unhappy. Whether divorce can be justified or not is a complicated and long conversation that get’s into interpretations of scripture and God’s message behind divorce. But what I do know is that it’s a choice. And it’s hard. And it’s now a part of my brokenness, my journey.



4. Is it because you’re an independent woman?Truly, this is a question. Maybe just as much as my husband was independent? Like many fellow feminists I don’t see myself in the ‘traditional’ light of wifely-ness. I wasn’t home in time to cook dinner for my husband every night, nor did I rise hours before him in the morning to prepare his breakfast and join him in a quiet time. But what I did do was provide adventure, and passion, and a global perspective that (I’d like to think) he appreciated. Supposedly he was attracted to my independence – but the question is whether or not he meant it. I would surmise that it threatened him in the end.

But the question I’ve begun to crave and I think the church needs to be asking of it’s people in a time like this is different than any of the above. It’s a healthier question, in my opinion.

Am I rooted in God’s love?

In my times of prayer the only thing I ‘heard’ from God was Ephesians 3:16-19. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians to be rooted in love so that they may grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. [Paraphrasing and emphasis mine]. Was I grasping the vast extent of God’s love for me? This is a lot to take in, especially when you feel like a failure in the eyes of yourself and the church.

This journey has reminded me of our need to fix one another – especially in the church. To provide the black and white answers according to scripture and to have things fit neatly into a box. This isn’t the Jesus I know. Is it the Jesus you know? This conversation is uncomfortable and controversial. It’s open to interpretation and can cause arguments depending on how we view scripture or what stories we carry with us that contribute to our experiences. But exploring divorce – especially with those who it has personally affected – is so necessary in communally pursuing the heart of God. God doesn’t look for perfect people – we have an entire book that shows us that he loved the broken. He simply wants what is best for us. So why do we expect such perfection, and shy away from brokenness? Jesus did not come to heal the healthy, but the sick. He did not come to call the Righteous, but sinners. Jesus came for us, broken and all, and asks us to repent.

The questions people have asked me in this journey are valuable. But church, I would call us to a different question. Are we rooted in God’s love? In my community this is what I hunger for – not for people to judge me, but rather for people to continue encouraging me towards the heart of God. My desire is that my actions, my love, be of Him and from Him. There is no black and white to divorce. I’m sorry, it’s just not that simple. But there is a current we can fall in to during times of immense pain – one that the church should humble themselves to – and that is simply the love and grace of a Lord that cares for the hurting and the sick in ways that are extremely difficult for us to comprehend. So let’s rest in that confusion. Give in to it’s greatness. And daily ask ourselves if we’re living rooted in something bigger than ourselves. Even if we don’t understand it.

Rachel Goble is the President and Associate Producer of The SOLD Project organization and film. She also has a passion for the intersection of justice and the arts and is the owner of Rachel Goble Photography.

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About the Author

Rachel Goble

Rachel GobleRachel Goble is the President and Associate Producer of The SOLD Project organization and film. She also has a passion for the intersection of justice and the arts and is the owner of Rachel Goble Photography.View all posts by Rachel Goble →

  • Ed_Cyzewski

    As I look back at my parents’ divorce, you bring up many of the things I’ve been thinking about. There isn’t black and white. It’s all so painful and broken, and that’s why we need to bring redemption to these situations rather than judgment. Brokenness is brokenness. There isn’t a right way to be broken.

    • Jill

      I wholeheartedly agree with you Ed! There is no black and white when it comes to divorce and it’s important that people be mindful of that. And Rach, I very much appreciate you’re openness and vulnerability about such a sensitive topic. It’s these types of conversations that will help shift people’s negative perceptions of divorce.

  • roepete

    As a staunch ‘anti-divorce’ advocate (due to an unwanted divorce thrust upon me), all I have to say is that I fully appreciate the honesty and passion in writing this. Although I disagree with divorce, one must have compassion for those who go through divorce – whether they are the divorcer or divorcee. If someone has done something wrong, it profits no one to continually judge that person for that mistake. Many ministries are destroyed because of this judgmentalism.

    I am afraid that others might use this as a platform to file for a divorce of their own, which, as the author alluded to, is not Biblical. Maybe divorce isn’t always black and white, but as a well-known preacher would say, “Maybe Jesus meant what he said” – even when it comes to divorce.

    Many marriages fail because one or both parties are not ‘happy’. They rely on the spouse to provide that happiness and that is a recipe for disaster (like mine). When our ‘happiness’ is first grounded in something else besides God (family, job, money, etc), many times, it doesn’t end well.

    It sounds like you (the author) were suffering in the marriage. Sometimes we have to endure suffering so God can produce in us the attributes he desires (see Romans 5:3-5, James 1:3-4, et al). If the disciples knew how much they were going to suffer, they probably wouldn’t have joined Jesus. If I knew how much I would have to suffer post-divorce, I would have never gotten married. Maybe Paul was onto something his ‘not getting married’ advice.

    So, I do follow Jesus’s prescribed “Do not divorce” but for anyone who did, we then need to follow His guide of “Do not judge”.

  • billy copeland

    this is yadayada’s. doesn’t say much except.. ‘church love me!’ everyone has reasons for divorce but big deal…get over your needy self and grow up.

    • StrngeFruit

      Shame on you. Disagree, debate, but don’t degrade. Be better than that.

    • Heather

      I’m sure it wasn’t easy for the author to write this, fearing the worst as seen in the above comment. (I’ll ignore the irony of the “grow up” statement.) But, Rachel, rest assured that the commenter above is the exception, and I’m sure many people, myself included, were helped and encouraged by your article.

    • Drew

      I disagree with a lot of what Rachel wrote. However, I have found that people like Billy who throw the first stone generally have skeletons in their own closet that they are hiding. Even if the the article is theologically bankrupt, we all make poor choices and have to move on. I appreciate Rachel’s honesty.

  • JWsanfrancisco

    I appreciate your candor – thanks for sharing personally in this public space. It is hard to know how to respond with the right balance of grace and truth to beloved people in my life suffering deeply in marriage, or experiencing divorce. The more we can talk about it the better.

  • BMH

    I think it is very important for people to share these sorts of stories. Thank you for writing. I think what is missing, however, is some indication of what has been learned. In particular, I’d like to know if you have thought about what, if anything, you should have done differently before the marriage to determine that this was a poor match. Or, perhaps that’s not the right phrase, but from my own experience, with a very long dating & engagement period, I found that there have been few surprises in our marriage. It’s not been excruciatingly hard as some pronounce marriage to ALWAYS be. I say this not to rub salt in the wound, but out of a sense that there are ways to discover quite a bit about another (and about ourselves) prior to marriage that should prevent divorce. What advice do you have for young couples and singles looking at marriage now?

    • RG

      BMH – Thank you for this thoughtful response. You are absolutely right that there are always surprises in a marriage and that marriage is such a beautiful place to discover more about ourselves. I’ve learned so much about myself in this journey, and for that I’m grateful. As for advice for young couples looking at marriage, I would encourage couples to explore their own personal health. Embrace your brokenness and allow your spouse into your dark areas. Battle them together and learn from them together. Particularly for my case, mental health attributed a lot to our marital unhealth. I don’t go in to details here out of respect, but I’d be happy to share more via email.

  • Morf

    It’s easy to say that any of us should just stick with whatever choice we have made, and Rachel shows tremendous courage both in acting out her decision, perhaps with a sense of personal/emotional survival, and in sharing her story.

    In a few months, my wife & I will mark 32 years together. Was it the best choice either one of us could have made? God only knows, but we are who we are together, and we have built a small world around ourselves; it would break each of us – and many others – if we separated.

    Are we as happy as we could be? Again, only God knows, but my sense is that we are happier, healthier and probably more stable in every way than we can even recognize.

    Even if we readers knew Rachel personally, we would still not know anywhere hear enough to judge.

    Marriage is not easy, it’s not even challenging – it is flat out impossible. We might find the perfect person, but they, and we, will never stay that way.

    All I can say is, my blessings to those married, single, divorced, straight or gay. Life in a broken world will always be broken. We are called to be healers and restorers, and we have to learn what only we can learn and become God’s people in a world that hates us as much as it needs us, and our own brokenness can, if we allow it, lead us into miracles.

  • Pamela Merritt

    Jesus did not ask us to be perfect; and yet so many churches seem to require that. And if we are not perfect, we are supposed to shut up and pretend..

    This is life-denying, and that is the last thing Jesus preached. Love is voluntary. It can require the hard work of facing our own, and others’, failings, but marriage might not be the best medium to act upon them.

    In my experience, love is easy. Life, is hard.

  • kimberly

    i just want to share my experience and testimony here.. i was married
    for 6 years to my husband and all of a sudden, another woman came into
    the picture.. he started hailing me and he was abusive..but i still
    loved him with all my heart and wanted him at all cost…then he filed for whole life was turning apart and i didn’t know what to
    do..he moved out of the house and abandoned the kids.. so someone told
    me about trying spiritual means to get my husband back and introduced me
    to a spell caster…so i decided to try it reluctantly..although i didn’t
    believe in all those things… then when he did the special prayers and
    spell, after 2days, my husband came back and was pleading..he had
    realized his mistakes..i just couldn’t believe it.. anyways we are back
    together now and we are case anyone needs this man, his email
    address his spells is for a better life. again his email is

  • Brad Berky

    Good, though difficult stuff honestly shared herein. Know my thoughts and prayers are with you amidst this transitional season. Cheers, Brad

  • disappointed.


    I was tracking with you until you wrote, ‘Supposedly he was attracted to my independence – but the question is whether or not he meant it. I would surmise that it threatened him in the end.’
    That crossed a line.

    This is a one-sided article, and that was a one-sided comment, with no opportunity for the guy to respond. Granted, it would be near-impossible to write a two-sided article on your divorce, especially when it’s so recent.
    That said, is it wise or God-honoring to write about something so messy and painful in such a public way? You give so much detail about yourself and your ex; it would be so easy for people to read this and figure out who your ex-husband is.
    That also crossed a line.
    I know that there is hurt and disappointment for both people in your divorce.But this article reeks of revenge and subtle slander.This is not a good example to other people of what to do with your hurt.
    I don’t say this to shame you. I say this to encourage you to keep this conversation among trusted friends and family who will support and love you – it sounds like you have no shortage of people like that. Embrace that.
    Perhaps in time, what you are learning could be shared in a more public way.
    But this is one-sided, too public, and too soon.
    Please don’t do this again.
    There is a better way to receive Christ’s healing, without adding to the pain and hurt that you both are already walking through.

    I wish would retract this article.
    The website editors need to exercise more discernment next time.
    I am disappointed.

    Grace and Peace.

    • Nancy Collins

      The blame-tinged language seems to be part of the brokenness. But I understand what you are saying.

  • nelly

    Three weeks ago my boyfriend broke up with me. it all started when i Travel to UK to spend my holiday with my friend,i was trying to contact him but it was not going through. So when i came back from UK i saw him with a lady kissing, i was frustrated and it gives me sleepless night. I called my friend told her what happened and she introduce me to a spell cater who helped her long time ago. Which i contact him and i never believed that the spell will work so easily because i have contacted many spell casters to get him back all they do is to take my money with no result. I am happy to tell you all that my boyfriend is back and committed to me alone and he do whatever i ask him to do with love and care. All thanks to Dr Sango the great magician who helped me to restore my boy friend to Email this powerful and authentic spell caster via email now have ever known.

  • ck

    I never thought it would have been so dificult, actually I never even thought of divorse as it was not an option. There was no warning (that I saw) looking back I can see mistakes that I have done, but I was good to her and treasured her. I am not even given the oppertunity to fight for my most precious posession. I hold on to God and I am closer than a very long time, but somtimes I dont know how to continue. To those who want to judge do whatever you want, I am broken and can’t care about petty idiologies or judgement. I can feel God, I know he cares but this feels like torture (I dont blame Him, it is choices). Ultimately we commit to another person, takes two people to comit before God but it can take only one to break that, its scary how little we control. But before you point fingers, keep silent and eat your perfect cake in silence and let God heal that which is broken we might not deserve it but He is the hope for those out of hope without Him we are nothing.

  • grace what a great place for solution
    my name is grace from U.S.A
    i want to show my appreciate to DR ODUMDU for what he has done for me i still can’t believe that my lover is back to me. i have lost my man to other woman but with the help of DR ODUMDU i was able to get he back at first it look impossible when he said 48hours he will be back to me. i said let me just try him out and now he really helped me out i have my ex back with me now i so much appreciate what you have done for me if you like to reach for help to get your ex back you can reach him on or call him on +2347053319835

  • jennifer

    Amazing? I do not know how to thanks Dr Odumdu who did a spell that.
    make my husband to come back to me.he left me for the past five years, and.
    for the past five years I have been in pains, sorrow, bitterness and.
    wiping.until I read a magazine about this man called Dr Odumdu, who.
    help people to unite their relationship within two days.i never believe in.
    spell or magic, so I decided to give him a try.i contacted him.he told me.
    that he shall come back to me according to my believe.he also promise me.
    that he shall return to me within two days, i was still doubting, if he can.
    really do according to what he says, unfortunately on the third day he call.
    me on phone saying that I should forget and forgive him.that he is now.
    ready to love and cherish me, on the forth day he but a car for me to say he.
    is very, very , very, sorry, big thanks to Dr Odumdu you help me to bring.
    back my lovely husband, any body act their, having similar problem like.
    this, thinking on what to do, Email him at or call him on +2347053319835,

  • elizabirth

    everyone my name is Elizabeth,my mouth is full of testimony. i never
    believe this could have happen but Dr.anunu restored my my
    husband love me more than ever.
    my husband left me and the kids for 2
    years, i did everything humanly possible to get him back i prayed i
    even fasted nothing work out.
    i was s0 diver stated i was left with
    nothing no money to pay for kids up keep. no job my life was tearing
    apart. till when i head that he was trying to get married to another
    lady in Italy,Rome..i quickly rush and email Dr.anunu for help and i was
    skeptical because i don’t really believe he can bring him back to me
    because its too long we have contacted each other,we only comment on
    each other status on Facebook and when ever he come online he has never
    talk anything about coming back to
    me,now i really believe that there is Magic and Dr.anunu is a really
    God sent and has Magic because all these things is still like a dream
    to me,Dr.anunu told me in the first mail that everything will be fine,i
    called him and he assure me,i have so many doubt but now am happy,i
    can’t believe it my husband broke up with his Italian lady and he is now
    coming back to me and he can’t even explain how everything goes, all
    he said to me was that he want me back,i am really happy and i cried so
    much because it was just like i am born a new and am really happy and
    my entire family are happy for me but they never know whats the secret
    behind this…i want you all divorce lady or single mother to please
    contact this man for help and everything will be fine i really guarantee
    you..i have tell all my friends who are in unhappy relationship and
    they have seen solution in few days ago…if you want to contact him you
    can reach him through ( that is where you
    can get to him and i assure you it gonna work fine with you and you will
    be happy
    i am out of .words am just happy and i will be happy forever because i can never have any problem having Dr anunu.

  • jelice

    My Dear friends online, I have to give this miraculous testimony, which is so unbelievable until now. I had a problem with my Ex husband 2years ago, which lead to our break up. when he broke up with me, i was not my self again, i felt so empty inside me, my love and financial situation became worst, until a close friend of mine Lucy told me about a spell caster who helped her in the same problem too his name is Dr Perfect.i email Dr Perfect the spell caster and i told him my problem and i did what he asked of me, to cut the long story short. Before i knew what was happening my husband gave me a call and told me that he was coming back to me in just 2days and was so happy to have him back to me. We have two kids together and we are happy with ourselves. Thanks to Dr Perfect for saving my relationship and for also saving others own too. continue your good work, If you are interested to contact him and testify this blessings like me, the great spell caster email address is: you are the best among all the spell caster online I hope you see my testimonies and also pray for my family too.

    • vice

      First of all, Am just short of words i don’t know what to say, am so grateful to Dr aduga for what he has done for me. At first i thought he was a scam like two others that i worked with, but i just decided to contact him then he told me that my lover will be back home within 4days. When the 4 days completed my husband called me and said he was sorry for the frequent argument and fight, i was so happy that my husband who left me for over 2 years called me. Now we are together he can’t do without me, he always wants me to be by his side and he just bought me a new car. If you want to contact him for help, his email is dr

  • Mike Anita

    my ex-boyfriend dumped me 8 months ago after I caught him of having an affair with someone else and insulting him. I want him back in my life but he refuse to have any contact with me. I was so confuse and don’t know what to do, so I visited the INTERNET for help and I saw a testimony on how a spell caster help them to get their ex back so I contact the spell caster and explain my problems to him….. he cast a spell for me and assure me of 3 days that my ex will return to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my peter came knocking on my door and beg for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that, we are about to get married. Once again thank you Dr Trust spell, you are truly talented and gifted contact his email: ULTIMATESPELLCAST@GMAIL.COM

  • Henry Nancy

    After 8 years relationship with my boyfriend, he changed suddenly and stopped contacting me regularly, he would come up with excuses of not seeing me all the time. He stopped answering my calls and my sms and he stopped seeing me regularly. I then started catching him with different girls friends several times but every time he would say that he love me and that he needed some time to think about our relationship. But after l contacted Dr. TRUST of spell cast temple he cast a love spell and after a day, my boyfriend started contacting me regularly and we moved in together after a few months and he was more open to me than before and he started spending more time with me than his friends. We eventually got married and we now have been married happily for 3 years with a son. Ever since Dr. TRUST of ULTIMATESPELLCAST@GMAIL.COM helped me, my partner is very stable, faithful and closer to me than before. My Facebook address is paul kite

  • Paul Kite

    Hello,everyone i am from Canada i never ever believed in spell until i meet a man called dr ogala who help me cast a spell that bring back my ex-lover who left me for two years before our marriage,His spells works beyond my imaginations and today i am happily married with two kids and me and my [ex-lover] now husband are very happy more than ever before,what more can i say rather than to say thank you dr ogala for been there for me,contact him today and your life will never ever remain the same his email is, may the lord continue to use you to save people as you did to me, He is the best spell caster that can help you.

  • matta

    Thanks for making my family happy again, my father came back home and he can even take us out, something he never think of before! i wonder Dr egbenakhue are you god or what? amazing you make things happen! i will .Thank you very much. from Holland if you need his help contact email address Dr

  • vice

    First of all, Am just short of words i don’t know what to say, am so grateful to Dr aduga for what he has done for me. At first i thought he was a scam like two others that i worked with, but i just decided to contact him then he told me that my lover will be back home within 4days. When the 4 days completed my husband called me and said he was sorry for the frequent argument and fight, i was so happy that my husband who left me for over 2 years called me. Now we are together he can’t do without me, he always wants me to be by his side and he just bought me a new car. If you want to contact him for help, his email is dr

  • Jones Nicole

    This is a testimony that I will tell to every one to hear. I have been married four 4years and on the fifth year of my marriage, another woman had a spell to take my lover away from me and my husband left me and the kids and we have suffered for 2years until I met a post where this man DR OLOKUM have helped someone and I decided to give him a try to help me bring my lover back home and believe me I just send my picture to him and that of my husband and after 48hours as he have told me, I saw a car drove into the house and behold it was my husband and he have come to me and the kids and that is why I am happy to make every one of you in similar to met with this man and have your lover back to your self. His email:

  • Mark Eblen

    I think your a militant lover of self . There’s no room for another human in your life . It’s all about your happiness.


    I am PRECIOUS OTA from CANADA i sincerely wish to express my profound gratitude to Dr OKORO of for all he did for me,for taking time in his busy schedule to help me cast the spell that brought my ex-lover back to me from another woman some faw months ago it was really hard finding your email but today i am bless and happily married with 2kids,thank you for all the help i found in you spiritual Dr OKORO i am very happy that my ex is back,email


    Pualina42 USA in honest and in truth i wish to express my heartily regard to Dr OKORO of in his home there is no problem what a solution i never thought my husband will come back to me again until i contacted him for help he help me to reunite/re emerge my broken marriage of 6yrs by spell-casting today my husband is back and stick to me forever i am so happy i found a solution to my marriage problems of 6yrs and that is when i contacted you for help if he can do it for me he can also help you out in your marital/relationship problems…his email is

  • Dr.sam bola

    great spell caster
    i want to thank God for using DR MUDODO as my source of saviour after 2year of joblessness and my lover left me alone for 2 years,Have just been heart broken until i go in contact with DR MUDODO after i saw a ladies testimony on how she was helped by this same DR MUDODO,So i decided to get in contact with him and when i told him all my problems he laughed and said this is not a problem that everything will be ok in 3days time.Exactly the 3rd day my ex lover called me i was shocked and what surprise me the most was that a company i applied for over 4month called me and said i should resume work as soon as possible.Am so grateful to dr trust if you wish in contacting him or is cell number +2348079532940. He do cast the spell as following

    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) you need a divorce in your relationship
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women & amp; men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) You want to be rich.
    (7) You want to tie your husband & wife to be yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9) Herbal care

    Contact him today on:

    Dr Mudodo


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