About Dena

What do you do with your faith when you’ve walked with God your entire life and you suddenly lose everything of importance?

How do you reconcile faith in a God who answers prayers when He ignores your prayers and allows your life to crumble around you?

Dena has walked the painful journey of almost losing her faith only to find a God who relentlessly pursued her, fought for her love and affections, and faithfully restored her life. She has walked through the rejection and pain of adultery to find her true identity in Christ. She has lived the chaotic life of a single mother struggling to raise three children on her own to emerge stronger and more alive. She has learned to surrender her fears and walk in faith through the dark and lonely days to find a God who was carefully working in the silence to resurrect her life.

Dena is the founder of Dena Johnson Ministries, a non-profit corporation aimed at helping others find beauty through a broken life.

In her spare time, Dena works as a Registered Nurse. She enjoys spending time with her children, Blake, Cole, and Cassie. She loves life and wants to live it to the fullest!

To schedule Dena for a speaking engagement, you can request a speaker bio or contact her directly below.


68 thoughts on “About Dena”

  1. I read with interest your devotional about how the tornadoes in Oklahoma were likened to the devastation that was brought into your life through adultery and divorce. I, too, thought I had done “everything right” when I got married for the second time. I was active in my local church and had prayed for a spouse after many years of being single. I thought God was blessing me with a godly husband when, after dating my second husband for a year and a half, he proposed marriage. After a year and a few months, we split up after he threatened to hit me and spoke horrible lies about me and my two daughters. None of this behavior was exhibited when we dated. I was very angry at God and thought, like you, what is the use of following God when it still ends in divorce? But God in his beautiful love for me, pursued me faithfully, even when I wasn’t faithful. I am now serving the Lord again, this time with a great realization of just how much God does love me! Thank you for your story, it really hit close to home. I know I’m not the only woman this has happened to, and as painful as it was/is for you, it made me feel less alone to read your story. Thank you again for sharing.

    1. I am so glad that God could use my story to encourage you! I have found that there are many of us out there who have suffered similar devastation–men and women alike. As angry as I was, I now look back at how sweet and tender He was to relentlessly pursue me. When I felt so unloved and unloveable, He was fighting for me–pursuing me because of His jealous love for me. I now look back with such tender memories of that time, to see the undying love He had for me. As I continue to travel this journey, I have found a new depth in my love for God, a new intimacy that I had never experienced before. As horrible and painful as it was, I have gained so much more than I ever lost! God is good–ALL the time! I am so glad that you returned to our Savior who loves you so! Man will fail us, but God never does. He is completely trustworthy!

      1. I hope it’s okay to recommend an amazing book called “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas. I haven’t the time to say anymore about it but it’s premise is: what if God intended for marriage to make us holy, not happy? Not passing judgment on either of you ladies or condoning such horrible behavior as that listed above, just that some of the stories in there reminded me of you both and it’s an amazing read. Probably a more valuable read for singles!

      2. I am familiar with the book. It is a great read, one I would certainly recommend. I agree completely that marriage is designed to make us holy more than happy–a statement I have used myself for many years and one that I believe I even used in my recent article on purity. My heart was to have my marriage restored–to take a good marriage and make it GREAT for God’s glory. Unfortunately, that offer was rejected by my husband. God has chosen to use the struggles of recovering from adultery and divorce to make me holy–and it has been an amazing journey! In God’s perfect will, I would still be married and we would have an amazing testimony of God’s redeeming power. Because of man’s free will, that did not happen. Instead, God has chosen to give ME an amazing testimony of His redeeming work–even though my marriage did not succeed! He truly makes ALL things work for good to those who love Him!

    2. There is a British scholar that has done some great study on DnR. His name is Leslie McFall I highly recommend all to at least read his take on what the bible teaches about the covenant of marriage.

      1. I’ve been able to read a few portions of McFall’s work (a very small portion as Algebra seems to be consuming my every non-working moment this school year). I will never argue that either side has weak arguments. However, both are successful at proving their interpretation by using scripture. As I just said to someone else, I know people who can justify ANY action using scripture so we have to be very cautious. We must take it as a whole and not use any one passage to defend our position. However, even when we have diligently studied and prayed over it, even then we must be cautious about forcing our interpretation (man-made tradition) on others because we simply cannot claim that we have complete understanding this side of heaven.

        One issue I have with many of those who claim divorce does not end a marriage is that they cling to the KJV of scripture. The KJV was authorized by King James (meaning he had the final day on the translation). There were also far fewer documents (I believe 70 something vs 400 something) used in comparison to newer translations. And, many older scrolls have been discovered and used in modern translations. So, it stands to reason that modern translations are much closer to the originals.

        Regardless of where one stands, I continue to argue that we MUST extend grace to others who desire to follow God just as much as we do. Perhaps interpretations (man-made) are slightly different, but we live under a covenant of grace and not law thanks to Jesus Christ.

    3. Hi Dena, I came across hearing about you through something you wrote on Crosswalk and when I saw the word “affair” in the title, I just had to read it. I experienced the pain of my husband being adulterous for many years in my marriage, not only with 1, 2, 3 or 4 women, but with many! Even with prostitutes. I served the Lord unequally yoked for 13 years and in those 13 years these things happened. I didn’t find out Until 15 years into my marriage. He hid it very well and I fully trusted him which is the sad part of why I was betrayed. I forgave him and we are still together but he refused to attend counseling after this. I believe the Lord has healed me but I still don’t understand why God allowed this and what good can come out of this mess. I am at the place now where I am trusting God even though I don’t trust my spouse. Thank you for what you do. I’d love to meet you one day.

      1. I’m so sorry for all you’ve walked through. Have you changed? Have you experienced a new intimacy with God.? Has your husband changed? Have you found a new passion to use what you’ve been through to help others? Is your husband still cheating? Is he willing to do whatever it takes for the rest of his life to regain your trust and save your marriage? If not, there’s a good chance he’s still cheating…or certainly that he doesn’t want to do the hard work of dealing with his inner demons.

  2. I wanted to thank you for your article today. On June 13 2013 my wife left for the same reasons and I am going through those same emotions you have described. It is encouraging to read that there is hope on the other side Thank You

    1. I must start by saying I am so sorry you are going through this. But, not only is there hope, but there is tremendous joy and the sweetest relationship with God! It is a long, hard journey, but God will provide for your every need. Seek Him with all your heart. Lean into Him. Run to Him. He will be faithful and true, and you will be much richer and stronger in faith in the end! Prayers for you…

  3. Well add me to your list of readers who also is going through a painful divorce because my husband left me for another women. I knew 4 years ago in the summer the wind started to shift and the following summer he pursued a life long friend and she was very eager to participate in his pursuit. As you can well understand the last 3 years have been a painful walk. It is close to the final stages of the divoce. God has change me into a better person and am so blessed. Still hard to believe that what would have been our 40th anniversary and the birth of a 4th grandson, life as grandparents growing old together isn’t in the cards.I believe divorce is one of the most destructive things a family goes through and seeing it as a tornado coming through a town helps me understand why it is so devastating to everyone involved fro children to grandchildren, family and friends. Than you for sharing. I believe God has said the same things to me and continues to lead me. There are moments each date that I struggle with the outcome but I do believe God is there always. Without Him, I would be lost.

    1. I am so sorry you are going through this pain, but I love your attitude! God can do so much in us and through us in times of trial and pain! He is so good! Yes, I still find myself shaking my head, wondering how my perfect life ended up here. The day this piece was published on Crosswalk would have been my 20th wedding anniversary. It seemed rather ironic to me that I should have been celebrating with my husband; instead, I was celebrating with God, knowing that He is using these trials for His glory.

      I have come to the conclusion that God truly hates divorce. However, I don’t think it’s because of the breaking of the covenant relationship between two people (although that does break His heart). I think God hates divorce because it causes so much pain to those involved and causes collateral damage to those nearby. God doesn’t want to see His people suffer. He wants them to enjoy abundant life! I am just so thankful that He rushes in to be near to the broken-hearted and to scoop us up into His loving arms. Where would I be without Him!

      Prayers and blessings to you!

      1. The covenant does not stand between man and woman alone it is a trt cord covenant with Christ in the middle when we take our vows we are taking them with Christ in the center. The broken covenant is broken with Christ as well. The sacred is ripped from it.

      2. Yes, Linda. My husband broke His covenant with me and God. However, I did not. God chose to set me free after years of spiritual, emotional, and mental abuse. He never wants His children treated with contempt. My ex-husband’s sins against me and against God do not mean that I sinned.

  4. Hi, Dena! Praise God for women like you! Your story seems to be talking about me! You see, My
    “husband”, I hate to even call him that, but we are not divorced yet, walked out on me for another woman, his second cousin! You see, I was a Christian when we married. I accepted Christ when I was only a child. However, he was not a Christian. We met when I was sixteen, and he was twenty three. I am now sixty three years old. We were married forty four years, and had two beautiful girls. I raised them in a Christian home, in spite of him. They both accepted the Lord as children, and now have four beautiful, God-fearing children of their own! I praise God for them! They are such a blessing! He was very hard to live with, but we loved and prayed for him continually! I have always been a good wife to him and lived a Christian life before him. During the forty seven years that I have been with him, by God’s grace, he has never even heard me say a curse word! I truly love the Lord, as do my girls. I had no idea what he was doing! He has been with her for probably years, while living with me! He even brought her right to my front door, he and she both called me names, and are still harrassing me. During the time that I first found out, I didn’t want to live. I felt that my whole life had been a farce, yet I couldn’t go forward either. He left me with all the bills, just walked away! My heart is crushed! My girls and grandchildren’s too. They hate him now. I was actually ready to committ suacide at one point! I regret it so badly! I scared my girls and grandchildren to death! But God has always been here, right beside me, walking me through it, carrying me most of the time. I thought I knew him, and he loved me! I have NEVER been hurt so deeply! I know that I will never get over it! I am now on anti-depressants, and that is helping a lot! But God is the reason that I am still here. He is still carrying me some days, when I think that I just can’t go on. Thank you for the support, just when I needed it! God bless you and your family!……Shirley Price

    1. Shirley, I am so sorry for your pain! As I read your story, I relive the early days of my story. I know the hurt and the pain. I understand the thoughts of suicide. (It was my children’s faces that prevented me from seriously considering it. I knew they needed me.) Just recently, I wrote an article for my blog/Crosswalk called “Picking up the Pieces.” In it, I compared the recent tornado devastation in my home state of Oklahoma to the storm that wrecked my life–forever altering my life. However, God has taken the rubble of my life and is making something beautiful–something better than I ever dreamed possible! I have spent my entire life walking with God (I was a pastor’s wife), but my relationship with Him today is beyond anything I ever dreamed possible!

      If I could say one thing, I would say surrender. Surrender your hurt. Surrender your anger. Surrender your hopes for the future. Surrender your fears. Surrender everything to the Savior! He will be totally trustworthy. He will be completely faithful. He will heal you. He will restore you. He will give you the ability to forgive. He will give you new life–one so much better than you ever dreamed possible!

      You are in my prayers!

      1. Hi Dena,

        Thank God for a woman like you. I read your article “How To Have An Affair”. I felt God’s Spirit while I was reading it. I’ve been married twice and divorced twice. My second divorced was devastating to say the least. I didn’t see it coming. I’ve been a Christian for 16 years and God is still working in my life. God Hates Divorce because it causes so much pain in the family period. It’s like a domino affect. My Mom and Dad Divorce when I was 13 years of age and they were married 23 years. It affective all of the children and grandchildren for years to come. I was vulnerable after my divorce and started dating someone who I thought would make me happy. Well I moved to another city with this man thinking that all of the pain would go away. I knew I was going against God’s will and I did it anyway. This man promised me that he would marry me as soon as we get settle in our new home, new city. Well that never happen, the Lord showed me that I was never to marry this man, or to live with him. God is so good-:). God is helping me to move forward, yet I still live in the same household with this man. God is helping me to start to Live and Take Care of myself. I felt like I didn’t want to LIVE AGAIN. So much Pain. I’m praying and searching for a job, so I can move out of this man home and continue to Grow in Jesus Christ. The more I run to Jesus Christ the more I continue to feel safe. His words are Truth and Righteousness. I will continue to seek God’s face continually, until he calls me home to be with him. Amen-:) Dena Thank You For Sharing and Caring!

      2. Barbara, I am so sorry for you pain, and I can truly say that I understand completely! I was so angry with God when my marriage fell apart! I found myself running directly into the arms of another man. Fortunately, God in His mercy spared me from allowing the relationship to continue. I was looking for security in Him instead of finding it in my Savior.

        As I began to return to God, I found the most gracious, loving relationship with Him. It is so much sweeter than before my trials! He has been my everything through the darkest days of my life (see I Know My Great I Am from September). God has restored my life completely–made it even better than I ever dreamed possible! Now, I am–by the grace of God–using my experiences to encourage others. God can and will do more than you could ever ask or imagine!

        Hang in there, and allow Him to do a mighty work in you–so He can do a mighty work through you! God bless!

  5. Hi there, I’m a 19 year old student I just read your article on how to have an affair and was so encouraged by it. I struggle with temptation in my life pretty much every day and get so depressed when i mess up and am inconsistent.

    Your article was extremely encouraging and I totally agree with all the points you listed, especially when it comes to thoughts. “Every action has its genesis in a thought” i pray God will help me meditate on Him and His word daily.

    Thank you so much for writing the article.

    1. Andrew, Let me commend you for recognizing the problem now while you are still young! Our culture is so saturated with sexual messages that we must make a conscious effort to flee–to flee every impure thought and action. I wrote an article on purity in July (see Archives: Living in Purity in an Impure World), and I talked about the personal steps I am taking to guard my heart and mind. I would also recommend the book Every Young Man’s Battle by Fred Stoker and Stephen Arterburn. There are a number of books in the series that give they whys and the hows to living purely and becoming the man God intended you to be.

      I also want to encourage you to remember that Satan is the accuser of the brethren–not God. God’s intention is to convict you to draw you back to Him, to draw you to encourage you to repent of your sins. It is Satan who is condemning you! Shut him out by the power of the Holy Spirit that is alive and well inside of you!

      Please know that I will be praying for you to stand strong, to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, to become the man of integrity and purity that a godly Christian woman would love to give herself to in God’s time!

  6. Thank you for sharing your heart willing to follow Christ no matter what. I have had a similar experience and I am truly thankful for my divorce. God knew what it would take to bring me to my knees and begin to fully surrender to Him. My life is so much richer and filled with joy than before. Yes, there are times of struggle and suffering but through Christ I am more than a conquerer! God has promised me a new husband, and I know that I know that I know He will do this. Only it won’t be a different man than my covenant husband. It will BE my husband that will be changed through the power of God. He, like me, will be changed in the twinkling of an eye to start his journey of full surrender to Christ. My situation looks impossible, my husband has refused as well. But the best part is God has said it will be so, and since I know that God changes the hearts and minds of kings, this will be done. It just may take a while longer and there may be even more uncomfortable circumstances to encounter and walk through with My Lord. Don’t give up hope on our covenant marriages. God is healing them and bringing them back from the absolute, breathless, dry bones of Ezekiel dead. Please visit http://www.rejoiceministries.org to see just a glimpse of the hope God has for the abandoned, cheated on, left behind spouses. He is truly a might God!!

    1. I love your heart and your attitude! God changes the hearts and minds of kings. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the Lord directs His steps. So many scriptures remind us that He has power over every aspect of life. Hang in there. Cling to the promise He has made. Remember that He is the God of the Impossible! God bless!

  7. My life was a very small, comfortable circle in which I felt quite in charge. Saved 4 years after I married, I prayed, pleaded and cried as I waited for him to believe and give up addictions. His decision to divorce me destroyed my circle, my dreams, my life as I knew it- my identity. It forced me out of my comfort zone, stretched me just to the breaking point and showed me how little control I actually have. What was a homeschooling mom of 20 years with no work history and no college education supposed to do? Fear crippled me. Surrender was the only option- to give in to the molding, reshaping, and redefining. …I am out in my community for 48 hours every week now, with the opportunity to meet people at some of their lowest, scariest, loneliest moments. I entered paramedic school because God told me to; He held every door wide open for me to walk through. The success rate for this type of program is very low-someone like me had no business trying to even enter. Rigorous and grueling, it weeds out those who cannot handle the job. Only 1/4 of my original class finished. I never expected to make it through the first semester. But God. He made me valedictorian and gave me a scholarship and a full time position with my hometown agency. Being brought so low and being humbled so completely removed every shred of self worth and freed me from the bonds of thinking I have life figured out. Systematically, gently, and skillfully, the pile of debris left after my identity was decimated began to transform into a vessel of compassion and help for hurting people. Pain became sympathy, while God’s victory became hope to offer others. Thank you for your Godly insight, scripture filled words, and your willingness to allow God to use your pain and tragedy to help all of us.

    1. But God… That is becoming the battle cry of my life. Just when I thought life was over, God stepped in and did an amazing work. Thank you so much for sharing your story, for sharing how God resurrected your life from death and redeemed it as only He can! God is so good…all the time.

  8. Dena,

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! For your article in Crosswalk, “3 Beautiful Truths Every Divorced Christian Needs to Know.” This is the FIRST article I’ve read regarding divorce that spoke directly to me and completely expressed the same thoughts, emotions, hopes … that I have. I am recently divorced after 30 years and the pain is indescribable … as you well stated. Thank you for your honesty. It’s always encouraging to know that we are never alone in our pain. Daily the Lord shows me His love, grace, compassion, gentleness, provision … and all that Psalm 91 describes … “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in HIM I will trust.”

    1. So glad could use my words to minister to your heart! There is no greater joy than to know that my pain is not in vain, but that he is using it to comfort others. I’m so sorry for your pain, but so excited that you are experiencing his tender mercies, new every morning! I know that as you surrender daily to him, he will heal your hurts and draw you closer to him. Great is His faithfulness!

  9. I just read your article on Live It Crosswalk. I do agree that adultery is a reason for divorce according to the bible. I’ve also read in cases of death, adultery and if your spouse is a non-believer, the believer can remarry. In the article you mention Rahab, Ruth and King David’s marriage. All 3 were single or widows at the time. When King David married Bathsheba, she was also a widow as well as Ruth. Hence, in all 3 examples that you used, it was permissible for them to remarry or marry for the first time according to scripture.

    I just want to say how enlightening your article is for us married couples. It’s hard to understand how divorcees feel. I pray that God will eventually take the pain away from your life. It sounds like you are still hurting a lot like any normal wife would feel and sound very defensive. Although, it was your husbands choice and decision.

    1. I have found many who ascribe to a very legalistic view of remarriage, saying that only if the spouse is dead can one remarry. Ruth was a widow and absolutely had a right to remarry. Rahab was clearly living in sexual immorality, and yet God, in his extravagant grace, wiped away her past and blessed her with a marriage. David and Bathsheba started in adultery and compounded it with murder. And yet, God in his grace blessed their union. Why is it that God can’t wipe away past divorces and bless a second marriage? It simply doesn’t add up.

      As for me, I am healthy and happier than ever before! However, I see ugly, condemning, judgmental comments, and a righteous anger and indignation rises up within me! You see, I am blessed with a strong Christian background. I can withstand the attacks. I know where I stand with my Savior, and nothing man says can change that. But, I hear from people every single day who can’t go on because of the guilt and shame of divorce. They struggle to reconcile their past with the God who claims to love them. They want desperately to move forward, but they are mired in the condemnation of those heaping legalistic chains upon them. That’s why I write. That’s why I take the ugly comments.

      I told God that I would take this journey, but I needed him to do an amazing work in me so he can do an amazing work through me. I asked him not to let my pain be in vain. Oh, how he has answered those prayers! I want to scoop up every soul pouring out his or her heart to me, telling me of the hurt and brokenness. I want to wrap them in my arms so that I can be the arms of Christ. I want to shower them with the extravagant love and grace that God himself has poured out on me. I want to comfort others with the comfort I have received.

      For every ugly comment I receive, I receive ten others profusely thanking me for pouring out grace on their lives, for helping them to make sense of the hurt and pain. And for that, I am eternally grateful that my pain can be used for his glory.

      1. All I have read posted by denacyd has rung true. I feel like Elizabeth when she told Mary that the child in her leaped at the sound of her voice. The holy spirit in us confirms the truth. Thank you soo much Dena for setting your face like flint to be about your Father’s business – embracing the cost as great gain! Can’t wait to meet you!

  10. Hey there,
    I’m a man who is in an abusive relationship.20 years & counting. ..infidelity is her tool of psychological abuse. I knew before we married she was a loose cannon but wanted to raise her son, then 3, with some sense of stability & “in the way he should go”… Now he’s grown & married , on his own. Not sure he treats his wife like I taught him but, I tried. Anyway, just wanted to encourage you & you all. Keep doing what’s right & you can’t go wrong. If you honestly don’t want a divorce, don’t talk to lawyers. …it’s their bread & butter. Keep the faith regardless! !!! Your stories encourage me, just knowing I’m not alone. ….

    1. Paul, you are definitely not alone! It saddens me to hear so many stories of infidelity and abuse. And yet, it brings such delight to hear the stories of the faithful, striving for the abundant life in spite of their problems. What an amazing man you must be to hang in there for the love of a child! I am certain your reward will be great! Thanks for the encouragement!

  11. Hi Dena,

    I’ve been searching for you in my madness of divorce as a Christian woman! Where can I find you on facebook? I would like to have your articles to hand! Xx

  12. Thank you for your article. I am a husband who has been married 23 years. My wife has not worked for the last 6 years, and we have been living beyond our means. I took my responsibility of providing for her and my two children seriously and worked a lot of hours and started some side businesses. The stress was overwhelming, and lack of support at home caused fighting last year. I reasonably expected that she would go back to work. Well after throwing me out of the house, she has a job, and uses the kids against me. I am no saint, but I am not as bad as made out to be either. Funny thing last year at this time her parents and my kids were saying what a great dad I was. Now I am evil incarnate – what a difference a year makes. I have been praying, saying novenas, praying, and rather than seeing some improvements, or signs or graces, I do not hear anything. The one constant I hear and read over and over (even in AA), is that we are to love like Jesus loves us. Show mercy as He showed mercy to us. A tough order. Less me, more Him. I struggle to hear His will. I desperately want to stop this pain, Thank you for writing.

    1. Walter, I am so sorry for your pain. It is amazing how ugly divorce can be. I, too, had a great relationship with my in-laws. I called them the day I kicked him out, told them they were always welcome in my home. They haven’t spoke to me since, other than to accuse me of causing the break up of our home. I’ve just learned to let God be my defender–and he’s done a great job of bringing the truth to light.

      I don’t understand God’s ways, but I know he is near the broken-hearted and heals our wounds. I know that when we surrender, he changes our hearts and steps into our circumstances. I know that he is always faithful to his chosen ones. Let him have his way in your life. You won’t be disappointed!

  13. I just found your blog and already it is such a blessing to me. I am recently divorced after a 21 year marriage with 3 beautiful sons. My marriage had always been good and we were that family and couple that others would say they wanted to be like. But somewhere along the way my spouse went from being the man who believed in “till death do us part” to “I’m not happy so I want a divorce”. That is literally the only explanation he ever gave and even that was through email while he was in the middle of a deployment. In 2 years since starting the process, he has not once told me in person or even by phone why he wanted a divorce. He wouldn’t even tell me in person that he was unhappy. When we were together, he always seemed like his old self and that we were on our way back to being that strong, christ-centered couple, but then he would be alone and poof he would decide to divorce again and without even telling me he would file and refuse to even talk to me. It all came as such a devastating shock to me and to our three teenage/young adult children. The boys and I have come along way over the last two years since this began but I still struggle with the loss and the loss to my boys. It’s so difficult for them to see the man they once saw as the greatest dad on earth to someone they don’t even know and have a hard time respecting his choices. My heart constantly breaks for them.

    I can so relate to not really fitting in anywhere at church. Most of my friends are married and they have their own spouses and families to focus on and I also think sometimes seeing me is a reminder that even the strongest marriages can fall when someone takes their focus off of God and the sanctity of marriage. I am busy with my children and work but it doesn’t take away the loneliness I feel deep in my soul. My relationship with Christ has grown so much stronger through this and I do have so many amazing blessings He’s shown me over the last two years. It’s been amazing to see Him work even when it seems everything is falling apart. But there are days where I feel as if I’m starting all over again and that I haven’t really learned anything. Thank you for sharing your story and by doing so being one of those blessings.

    1. Even five years out, I sometimes find myself wondering how I ended up here. It’s a surreal situation, one that was never supposed to happen to me. And yet, here I am. I am finally reaching a place where I (normally) see far more blessings from my pain than I do the pain. But, it can still hit at times.

      I think we have to see our ex-spouses for what they are: trapped in a web of deceit by the deceiver of the brethren. Somewhere along the way, they quit abiding in Christ. They were ensnared. It is truly heart-breaking.

      At the same time, we have to focus on our kids and cling to the amazing promises God has made us about our future! It is a tough road, but it is one filled with immense blessing! Praying God will wrap you in his arms and let you know that you are not alone! God bless!

  14. Thank you for great insight i received from your sharing of Jacob’s wrestle with God! I’m deeply blessed! My prayers to God for His abundant blessings upon you, your family and your ministry.

  15. Hello Dena, not sure how I got here but I believe we are to meet. Things are pretty tough for me right now and darkness seems to be prevailing in my life right now. I sent you an email detailing my story, please read it and respond accordingly. I think your words of Godly wisdom are God sent so keep ministering because WE are listening.
    …joy in the morning!

  16. I’ve stumbled upon your blog via Facebook, and wow, your story sounds so familiar to my own! I am a single mom of three beautiful girls, and trying my best to raise them to love Christ, and walk in His ways. So tough. I struggle everyday with this. Ever since I separated from my husband I just don’t feel We fit in anywhere in the church. But we go anyways, and I think my kids are better for it, but I miss that connection. The one that I used to have when I ‘fit in’ as a young married couple. People wouldn’t hesitate to embrace you, invite you out to events, and just accept you. People are afraid to approach me, afraid to have their children interact with mine, and heaven forbid talk about their father…awkward!
    I would love to receive updates from your blog!! Sounds like it may be just the encouragement I need:)
    Your sister in Christ
    From Ontario, Canada

    1. Isn’t it amazing how you can fit so perfectly one minute and in an instant be an outcast? Then, add time and money constraints on top of not fitting in and there’s nowhere for us. It’s a tough road. But, I wouldn’t trade this life I have today for anything! I continue to cling to God’s promise of restoration and redemption! He has so much more for us…an extraordinary future where we will shine bright! He is the perfect father to our fatherless children, using the trials of this life to draw their hearts to him from an early age. Hang in there, sweet friend! He’s got this! God bless, and welcome to this journey!

  17. I’ve just spent the last hour or so reading your blog entries. Thank you! It seems that God is using you greatly! My husband left 6 months ago. He was a pastor too. We have a three-year old little girl whom we adopted at birth. It’s been a painful process but God is working. I am fighting tooth and nail not to be another statistic. I have been reading a booklet called “How to Save your Marriage Alone.” It’s been encouraging. I know that God’s will is for marriage, but have no judgment for those going through divorce! Stupid free will 😉 Would you pray with me that God gets ahold of my husband’s heart? I have seen progress, but we are definitely not out of the woods yet! Thanks 🙂

    1. Oh, you got it! I still struggle with the collision between free and God’s sovereignty. Know that you are in my prayers!

      Lord Jesus, I lift my friend to you today. I pray that you would pour out your love and power in her life. I pray that her husband’s heart would be softened, that you would show him the deception in his heart. I pray you would draw his heart and affections back to his wife and child. I pray for your healing to be poured out over this marriage, that they would drown in your grace. Above all, I pray for a renewed relationship with your for both of them. In Christ’s name I pray, amen.

  18. I read your wonderful blog about praying for your children. I printed it off of FB and made all kinds of notes on it, but now I want to copy it and share it with a friend. How do I find your original, or access where you have it. And is it okay for me to do so. I am not selling it, just want to bless folks, as you do. Thanks for sharing, it has been wonderful for me, a great grandmother, to help me to pray for my families.

  19. Wow I read all these stories and I did it a little back wards in life, I had my first son at 17, his dad was 24 and we were suppose to get married until he found I was pregnant, and then he tried to give me money for an abortion, but I don’t believe in those, so he left and I started raising our son, not planning on meeting anyone, but I did not drive, and my neighbors had a friend that visited with them all the time, and he just happed to be over there and my son was 6 months by now, so I have done over a year on my own, and I asked if he could give me a ride to my mom and dads because I paid my mom to baby sit while I worked, and it was snowing and I did not want to have to walk him over there and then to work in the snow, so I was staying there, and that is when my husband asked me out on a date, well that was 34 yrs ago and we have been married for 33, now however I am 52 and it would seem the Lord is going to call me home early, there was a time when a nurse over doses and killed my dad, that I had quit praying for about 7 yrs, he I became disables about 8 yrs ago, and last yr finely got my DR to listen to me when I could not breath, I have been telling her for a couple yrs, but when I was sitting my Oxygen was ok then it got so bad and I was at her office again and I had to stand I was in so much pain and the minute I stood up my oxygen dropped and then she was throwing on the nebulizer and looked at me and said I think we waited to long, hmm to long for what, well lets try COPD and the other one that is worse but I cant spell worth beans, but the lung DR is letting me die now, but I know GOD is the one that says its time.

    1. What a testimony, Penny. God redeems all things. I am so sorry you are suffering through COPD. I have cared for many with lung issues, and it is heart-breaking. I pray that God gives you strength and comfort and that you are surrounded by love and support. I pray that his mercies will flood over you. I pray his perfect peace surrounds you and your family every day.

  20. I just read your blog about Divorce and I wanted to tell you it encouraged me greatly. I went through a divorce six years ago that I never wanted or asked for. Even now I still feel such loss in my life. I was a pastor and I now struggle trying to fit in at Church. No one understands unless they’ve been through it. My hearts desire is to write and minister. What you said, “Lord do a mighty work in me, so that you can do a mighty work through me,” really touched my heart. Thank you.

    1. Oh, how I understand everything you just said! I’m sitting here at my computer, writing about the strange feeling of going from pastor’s wife to… Don’t even know where I fit in the church any more. But the best thing I ever did was to start writing, to follow my dream. God has great plans for you! Follow your heart. Let God open doors and be amazed at his grace!

  21. Dana. Wow. Thank you. I found my heart getting bitter with God again and I read your article about How Wrestling with God will change you forever. I know our God is not some Creator who just created everything and let the earth turn on it’s axel alone. I know His hand guides all of us, and that He cares so much that He is involved in every detail of our lives, from ministry to the bathroom! Yep all of it! My mom forwarded me your article after I knelt in prayer and felt a running water like rain over me, then my mom said “Hey Jess, check this out”. And it was a word directly from His mouth to me. God bless you my sister in the Lord. I know He already has blessed you but I pray abundant blessings overflowing from here on out for the rest of your life that you have so many blessings you cannot contain! I love you my sister of the faith and thank you for sharing your heart for our God and Father!

  22. Ms. Dena,

    I Truly Appreciated Everything You Shared About How God Is Using Your Divorce To His Glory. My Now Ex-Husband Initially Left Me For A Man, And Then He Ended Up With A 15 Yr. Old Girl Who He Married When She Was 16. Before He Even Married This Girl, We Were BOTH Pregnant With His Children At The Same Time. I Gave Birth To His Firstborn Son, And She Gave Birth To His 2nd Son. He Now Has 5 Children After 3 Failed Marriages. He Brutally Beat ALL Of Us, And Our Children As Well. He Is Not Only An Absentee Father In The Lives Of His Children, He Has NEVER Paid A Dime In Child Support To Any Of His Children.
    When I Went To Go Before The Judge For A Legal Separation, The Judge Gave Me No Choice But To Tell Me We Were Not Getting A Legal Separation, But He Was Making Our Divorce FINAL That Day…Due To The EXTREME Amount Of Abuse To Our Infant Son, And 6 Month Hospitalization For 6 Months In The NICU At Children’s Hospital.
    My Divorce Was VERY HARD On Me Then, And It Is Till Hard On My Son And I Today. Having Come From An Amish And Mennonite Background & Community…Divorce Is The Biggest TABOO Among My People! Without Using The Words…They Essentially Shunned My Son And I.
    I Was Given A One Way Ticket By The Judge To Move To The Other Side Of The State And Essentially Hide Out Till My Son Turned 21. We Had No Family, No Church, No Car, We Lived In A SAFE HOUSE For About 8 Months Till They Helped Us To Get Our Own Place.
    I Know When I Married My Now Ex-Husband, That God Had Sent Him To Me, So I Couldn’t Understand Why, When EVERYTHING Was So Good Between Us, And Why, When We Had Just Found Out We Were Pregnant, And Had Just Started A Business Together…Why He Would Just Throw It All Away?! 🙁
    I Am Still Single 19 Yrs. Later, Because I Made A Promise To God, And To My Son..That God And My Son Would Take Precedence Over Any Relationship. I Kept That Promise And I Am Not Sorry…As Some Would Say #NORegets. Life Has Been Hard As A Single Parent…Because Outside Of God, I Have Done It BY MY Self! I Have Been Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Brother, Sister, Aunt, And Uncle…All Rolled Into One…On Top Of This Is The Fact That My Son Is Extremely SPECIAL NEEDS In A Medical Way. But God Has Never Left Us Without Food, Clothing, Or A Way To Keep A Roof Over Our Heads, And The Ability To Pay All The Bills In The House. For That, I Am Truly Grateful To God.
    Thank You So Much For ALL That You Do For People Who Have Walked In Your Shoes As Well As Mine. Thank You So Much For Being Such An Encouragement…Like A Beacon In The Night. I Look Forward To Following Your Blog And Hearing More From You.

    1. Thank you for sharing. Your story, while absolutely heart-breaking, is also such a beautiful testimony of the goodness and grace of our Savior. I am so glad you have found the beauty in your broken life!

  23. A friend sent me your story. I felt like I was reading an autobiography. (except my ex husband was not in ministry). I am an RN and met my Husband at Oral Roberts University. I know God spoke to me and confirmed many times that this was the man God wanted me to marry. 14 years and 4 children later (after more tears prayers and sacrifices than anyone could count, He chose to leave. Leaving me to file for divorce. Soooo much of your response and your determination to hold on to the author and finisher of your faith, rings true and echoes what has been in my heart. Alas I have many things to work through yet and haven’t found the avenue of expression other than to let my words and attitude be a light for those I serve (bothe at church and as a home health – private duty nurse) and my children. There is much more to my story, but for now, I want you to know I believe you have been God’s provision of support and comfort and encouragement in a way no one else could have been. Many blessings as you continue to press on.

    1. And, when we are faithful in little (our every day life), He expands our territory! Nursing was my ministry outlet for many years in the midst of my hurt and pain. No greater place to share the love of the Father! Are you still in Oklahoma? Perhaps one day we can meet!

  24. I also could use a mentor. My life was interrupted 3 1/2 years ago when my husband left me for a woman he previously had a relationship with. I could never understand why because he talked about her so bad but when she left her husband, he pursued her. It still hurts. But God has been with me every step. I too feel that I do not fit in to my church. Focus is more on married couples. I would love to speak with you more. thanks

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