"Gently Broken"

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By: Yvonne Mendoza

2 Corinthians 12:9, “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness…’” (NKJV)

What happens to a teenage girl who dreams about marrying a man like her father, who thanks God every night for giving her a father who loves her mom and her? What happens to her when she hears her father say, “I have to leave”? He was her everything; he prayed at the dinner table every night; he raised her to be a Christian woman who would someday marry a godly man; he was supposed to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day.

I was that girl whose daddy left when I was 16. He shattered my heart. The man I thought I knew vanished that night in December. I was broken when he left. Life changed that Christmas for my sisters, mother, and me. I questioned God. I blamed myself. I blamed others. I blamed my dad. When I was certain he wasn’t coming back, I lost it. I never imagined a dad could choose someone else over his own daughters. I became self conscious. I felt unwanted and ashamed. My faith lessened and my questioning increased. Sadness overwhelmed me everyday and affected my spirituality.

Divorce is the last thing any child wants, but sadly it happens often. How do we cope? How can we grow up knowing that this too will not happen to us? How is a broken relationship with our earthly father restored? Most importantly how is our relationship with our Heavenly Father found again?

It has been almost three years since that Christmas. Throughout the first months I came to realize that life as I knew it was no more. After a rocky start, I gave my broken heart to God. I decided this was too much for me to carry on my own. I did not know what life was like without my father, but I had to learn. When I handed my heart to God, he put each broken piece back together in a beautiful new way.

I began to see my Heavenly Father as My Daddy. He became the center of my heart and I built everything around Him. My God stayed up with me during those tear-filled, sleepless nights; He provided for my family financially; most importantly, He calmed our hearts.

The process of grieving and forgiving is a long one. Every day is another day I choose to forgive my dad. I forgave him Christmas night, yesterday and today, and tomorrow I pray God gives me the strength to forgive him again.

I began to see God the Father clearly after this tragedy happened. I discovered He’s a Father who will never leave me, who makes me feel like a precious stone hand-crafted by Him, and who gives me the heart to love the man that left me and faith to know that he will come back to God.

God is the Father, my Father and your Father. He can take any tragedy in our lives and use it for good to bring us closer to Him. In any adversity, seek Him. He is a faithful Father whom we can trust.


Dear God we live in a world of tragedies and trials. We suffer from broken hearts that only Your tender hand can restore. Lord, during hard times let us not hesitate to call Your name. We need You Lord. Help us glorify Your name and patiently wait for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Want More Love?, by Kathy Wierenga Buchanan

Do You Know Him?

Think About It:

When you go through hard times, do you grow closer to God or further away from Him?

What storm in your life has made you see God in a moving or new way?

Live It:

Seek a prayer partner to help you through any difficult time. Pray together and ask God to show you what you need to see and to make you a stronger Christian through this storm.

Tell Us About It:

What prayer, Bible verse, or inspirational quote has helped you deal with a loss or trial, such as your parents’ divorce, and has brought you closer to God?

Power Verses:

1 Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (NIV)

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (NKJV)

© 2009 by Yvonne Mendoza. All rights reserved.

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