Wildflowers from Winter: Hope after Divorce

I became acquainted with Shannon Milholland after posting on Suite T, the blog for Southern Writers Magazine. She is an amazing woman with an amazing testimony. I trust God will use it to encourage many hearts today.  

God Speaks Through Our Pain

I stared at the ceiling through eyelids thickened by depression. I would get out of bed but only for the sake of my two little girls. The smell of the beach clung to everything but I most assuredly was not on vacation. If anything I needed to take a vacation from this new life I was starting as a single mom.

I navigated the streets of a city where I knew not a soul to my new job. The only conversation I’d had that morning was with my kids. God and I were no longer on speaking terms. I blamed Him for the current state of my life.

The silence was deafening.

Just before it was time to leave for the day, a coworker stopped by my office. He wanted to check on my pencils and make sure they were adequate. He wasn’t just interested in my pencils, if you know what I mean. Daily visits followed as he checked on the whole entourage of my office supplies. Never had I known someone more diligent in their position.

In no time I heard the office gossip. He too was going through a divorce. Somehow God allowed me to peer behind his happy façade and see the pain within his heart. During one of these ordinary visits, I heard the whisper of God in my heart to share Him with this stranger.

This was a ludicrous idea! What would I tell him? That a God with whom I wasn’t currently speaking wanted to have a relationship with Him. Absurd!

But His voice was unmistakable.

Deep within I knew God was with me. He hadn’t shut off our communications. He still cared and I did have a well of hope – a hope I could share with a desperately lonely man.

I summoned courage I didn’t know I had and offered, “Look, I’m not trying to pry into your personal life but I want you to know I’m going through the same thing you are. Even though these are the hardest darkest days of my entire life, I still have hope. If you’re interested in having hope in your life, I’d like to tell you where you can get some.”

My offer hung in the air like an unwanted visitor.

I didn’t know it at the time, but he had been sitting alone in a vast empty house night after night fingering his weapons and considering his options. He had no way out. One lonely night he stumbled across the Bible his grandparents had given him as a little boy. He cracked the pristine spine to no place in particular and cried out to God for help. God sent the most unlikely of help. God sent me.

Six months offer he accepted my offer of hope, he accepted Jesus’ offer of forgiveness. Six months after that he offered me a diamond ring.

When I had the least, God offered me the most.

When I loved Him the worst, He gave me His best.

When I stopped talking, He shouted His love in a whisper.

Scott asked me to marry him and my two little girls to be his daughters. Within three years of marriage, we were blessed with two more girls. Out of our greatest pain, God grew a marriage, a family, a home abundant in love.

God spoke through me so eventually He could speak to me. He speaks through our pain.

Shannon is the author of Jesus & My Orange Juice, a fresh-squeezed oasis for ordinary living. She finds joy among piles of laundry and miles of carpools and delights in leading others to this place of contentment in life. She recently wrote the free 30 day prayer guide PrePrayed: Preparing for Life’s Events. She is also the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine where she shares her arsenal of secrets about how to be successful in the sometimes intimidating world of social media.

As a speaker, Shannon is straight forward about her own struggles. She is a compassionate advocate fighting for victory in the life of her audience with a message of hope and encouragement.

When not writing she enjoys her favorite job of wife to Scott and mom to four daughters from preschool to high school. 

Let’s Talk: Do you know Shannon? Say hi. Introduce yourself. And tell us about a time God spoke to you. 

Do you have a story you can share? Don’t miss out on the Wildflowers from Winter blog hop on May 4th! Click on the link for details.

I’m over at Shannon’s blog today, talking about the importance of a listening posture.

38 thoughts on “Wildflowers from Winter: Hope after Divorce

  1. Beautiful testimony of God in action. I’m so glad He doesn’t stop talking to us when we stop talking to Him. And when we can only see the ugliness of today, He is leading us toward a beautiful tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your story.

     
     
    1. Cheryl, love this – “when we can only see the ugliness of today, He is leading us toward a beautiful tomorrow.” In fact, I’m going to tweet you right now. 🙂

       
       
  2. These stories have been so powerful!

    Shannon, I love how people can enter into our lives and we have no idea the significance they’ll have later. Thanks for sharing here today!

    ~ Wendy

     
     
    1. Wendy, you are so right. I sometimes wonder about the possibilities that might have passed me by when I wasn’t tuned into His voice. His grace is so abundant!

       
       
  3. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story, Shannon!

    Katie, thanks for posting these. So amazing!

     
     
    1. Jessica, it is such a joy to be here today as I make new friends and celebrate the goodness of the God we serve!

       
       
  4. Beautiful story…such a picture of God turning a hard time into something wonderful. Love it!

     
     
    1. Melissa, He is the Master of my mess. I never get tired of telling Him how great He is! 🙂

       
       
  5. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I love how God works. Thanks for sharing with us and may God continue to bless your marriage and your children. God is good….all the time.

     
     
    1. Melissa, you are so right. He was good on the day my husband left me. He was good on the day my divorce was final. And He was good on the day I said I do to my unexpected new husband. Thanks for visiting with me today!

       
       
  6. Shannon, I am so touched by this. I too hear God at inconvenient times and I do NOT want to do what He says! But in my obedience, God works an abundance of grace. It’s mind-boggling. I’m so happy you found happiness again!

    Katie–thanks for this beautiful series!

     
     
    1. Jill, this is stunning – “In my obedience, God works an abundance of grace.” Tweeting that, my friend!

       
       
  7. Wow. This story is just…amazing.

    Nice to meet you, Shannon. Thank you for sharing your story. God has done great things and will do great things through you and your story.

     
     
    1. Lindsay, you are so right. God is the author of my story. Since then I’ve learned to offer the pen to Him without reserve. He writes the pages of my life – every line of pain & beauty through the filter of His grace.

       
       
  8. Shannon, you are an amazing testimony of God’s faithfulness even when we are faithless. Thank you for sharing so vulnerably and honestly. You give hope to anyone who is going through a difficult situation.
    Hugs!

     
     
    1. How is it I have to wait until September to see you? You are precious; I treasure your heart!

       
       
  9. Hi Shannon!
    God is so good at speaking to me through my own personal pain. He is healing me and setting me free, from myself mostly! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing a piece of your life with us today! You bless me! ~ Blessings, Amy

     
     
    1. Amy, God is with you in your pain and I am cheering you on as He sets you free!

       
       
  10. Sabrina

    I have known Shannon since Junior High. Who knew that down the road in cities far about that God would use her life to speak to exactly what I needed two days in a row.

    Love ya Pea Dink!

     
     
    1. Sabrina, you’ve known me long enough to know what a miracle God’s done in my life. His grace is so abundant. Only He could take an ordinary girl like me and do something so extraordinary through her. XOXO

       
       
  11. I love this, Shannon! Thank you for sharing <3

     
     
    1. Heatherly, so thankful for your visit here today! Have you ordered Katie’s book yet? It is unbelievably good! Reading it will improve your writing. It’s already impacted mine!

       
       
  12. Shannon, WHAT a moving story! So glad you followed that “still, small voice” and spoke up to the man that’s now your husband.

    There are a couple of times when I should’ve spoken to people about something, and I didn’t, and they died unexpectedly. So I promised myself I would ALWAYS listen to that quiet voice and say the hard things (or the nice things!) while I had a chance. We just have no promise of tomorrow!

     
     
    1. Heather, this is really insightful. When He whispers, it’s His timing for me to act. Thanks for sharing that!

       
       
  13. Shannon, what an amazing testimony and love story. Seriously, it almost brought tears to my eyes.

    I love this:
    God spoke through me so eventually He could speak to me. He speaks through our pain.

    I’ve had a few moments of raw anger with God over circumstances that were too scary or painful to deal with. One such time was during my hubby’s unemployment. It wasn’t just the job loss, but so much more in our world that seemed to be crumbling to pieces all around us at the same time. I couldn’t understand how we had gone from this picture perfect life to an absolute chaotic mess {almost overnight!} Anyway, what I have found is by writing with the intent to encourage & help others going through the same thing, I actually heard God more. I grew more and He healed my pain, while humbling my heart. I believe that was HIS main mission with UnEMPLOYED Faith.

    It warms my heart to know another special nugget of your life. 🙂

    ~Rosann

     
     
    1. Rosann, you know what I think is so cool about God? He truly loves my honesty. Unlike people who ask how we are and don’t want the answer or who get offended when we share our heart, He longs to connect with us on that intimate level. I know He treasures your honesty! XO

       
       
  14. Shannon, what a moving story, one beautifully told. I’m so sorry for what you went through, but I’m thankful the Lord used it for good. How like Him to choose you, a person who needed Him desperately but had shut the door, to open it for another. And not just any other. Nope. The Lord compelled you to reach out to the very man He wanted in your life. You were obedient, and now you’re living amongst the wildflowers after your winter. Love that!

     
     
    1. Keli, isn’t that just like God? He gave me what I didn’t deserve and could never earn. Now I pick wildflowers from the field of my life daily.

       
       
  15. Oh, come to Katie’s blog and cry. Again….

    When my mom was 23, with a 3 1/2 year old, a 2 year old and pregnant with my sister, her husband left her for his pregnant girlfriend. Long, SAD, story short…she remarried when I was 12. We adopted him. He is my Dad, not my step-dad, no, he is my DADDY. Until then, I had my Abba Father. I never once prayed for my biological father to come back. And I don’t think I prayed for a new dad either. I just prayed for someone to love me and understand me. My dad is my rock, he is a lovely person and a pillar to those who know him. He is the finest Christian I know. He embodies grace and forgiveness. He was born near where Jesus was born. He has walked where Jesus walked. If I could have picked a dad, I’d have picked him.
    Shannon, sometimes when God gives us a do-over, it’s so that we understand the difference between what we think we want, and what will be wonderful.

    My dad broke his engagement to a woman who didn’t share the depth of faith that he wanted in a wife. Then he married my mom.

    The funniest thing? The two women shared an office and sat side by side for 5 years! My mom heard ALL about my dad and didn’t meet him until after he’d broken up with Miss X. God has a sense of humour! Office romances are special. 😉

     
     
    1. Thanks for sharing your sweet story! Love how love blossomed for your mom and dad. God knew you needed a Daddy and your mom needed a husband. God gave you both gifts – precious!

       
       
  16. Linda L

    Hi Shannon–what an amazing blog post!! I shared the part toward the end to encourage my friend who is going through cancer treatment and it doesn’t look good. What is a blessing, however, is that he has come back to the Lord after a period of falling away, because of God’s whispers to him.

     
     
    1. Linda, five years into our marriage Scott was diagnosed with cancer. He has now survived three different forms and will be running in the Dash for Dads half marathon this Saturday. He isn’t a cancer survivor; he’s a cancer thriver! Thank you for encouraging your friend with our story!

       
       
  17. What a beautiful post!!! And kind of romantic the way God brought them together. Thank you for sharing.

     
     
    1. Jessica, my heart still goes pitter patter. God has abundantly blessed me! Who knew a guy in love with office supplies could be so fantastic! 🙂

       
       
  18. Shannon, what a wonderful, uplifting testimony of God’s love. Even when we think He’s silent–He is there working behind the scenes to offer something better. Thanks for sharing your story. Mags

     
     
    1. Mags, love this “He is there working behind the scenes to offer something better.” So true. So beautiful!

       
       
  19. Shannon, I never grow tired of reading and pondering your story of faith and love. The Lord is truly mindful of us even when we think we least deserve it.

    Katie, thanks for guest posting Shannon.

     
     
    1. Thanks, Becky Jane! So thankful you’ve found Katie’s site. You HAVE to read her new book – it’s phenomenal!

       
       

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