Divorce and Healing

Denise Hildreth Jones has written a staggering journal of the first year following the loss of her marriage. Here’s a peek from Flying Solo: A Journey of Divorce, Healing and a Very Present God:


“Grief has no etiquette. It is slobbery and mean. Obtrusive and inopportune. Smothering and rude. And it had taken up residence in every cell of my body…. Every part of familiar was gone….

“Flying solo isn’t about being alone; it is about living a life that may hurt at times, wound at times, betray at times; but it carries an incredible, unobstructed view of heaven and an opportunity to discover God in the middle of it.

Day 1

“What do you wear to get divorced? That’s the only thing that kept running through my mind…. Today I was looking for something that could be thrown away. Today I was choosing an outfit that I would never wear again, because it wasn’t an event I would want to remember.

“The mirror that ran from countertop to ceiling refused me the opportunity to avoid myself. I looked. My expression was foreign. How do you not know yourself? But I didn’t. The look was so sad, so utterly sad, that I diverted my eyes away from the mirror…. What had begun with words of life spoken more than 13 years ago was today going to be pronounced dead. And part of me felt like I would die too. I dressed in quiet.

“When evening came, I slipped off the clothes I had worn to court that morning and put them in a bag to take to Goodwill…. Then I put on a beautiful outfit, fixed my hair, freshened my makeup and headed out to my favorite restaurant in Nashville for a big dinner with my family and friends.

“[After dinner] all eight of us cruised into Shoney’s, and for almost two hours we belly laughed. I mean, we laughed from the deepest part of us. And for a few brief moments, I forgot that this had been one of the most horrible days of my life….

“I flipped off the light and climbed into the bed. Sadness swept over me…. ‘Thank You that I can feel You tonight. That You’re here and You’re mine. I’m going to need You a lot. I also need You to help me hear You when You speak and to keep my heart tender to Your tug. Don’t let any bitterness settle in me, and please let Your grace continue to be as present as it has been each day, especially today. Thank You for today.’

Day 2

“As I began to pray this morning, I spoke these words out loud and with as much determination as any decision I had ever made: ‘Satan, you may have stolen my marriage, but you will not rob one more day of my life.'”

(The rest is in the book.)

About Ben Unseth

Executive Director at Project Understanding (2014-2017), social service agency in Ventura, CA
This entry was posted in Hypertext: words that point up and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Divorce and Healing

  1. Ben Unseth says:

    Thank you, Denise, for opening your heart. Besides offering beautiful prose, you have given me the fit of understanding.

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