The New June Cleaver
By Lynn Campbell Tolbert, She Speaks Graduate

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’”
Jeremiah 29:11(NIV)

I had always considered myself a modern day version of June Cleaver. Although I never wore an apron or had the perfect hairdo (I actually preferred my blue jeans and flip flops), it was the heart of June that I loved. She loved her family. She honored her husband. She mothered her children. She managed her household. Though her perfect life was a little unrealistic, she did inspire me.

I certainly don’t claim that I was the perfect wife, but never did I think that after twenty years of marriage, most of which I spent as a pastor’s wife, I would one day find myself divorced. Now I’m starting over while raising two teenagers. Well, there goes my June Cleaver dream!

What do you do, though, when the June Cleaver dream still lives deep within you, but your circumstances have dramatically changed? I remember sitting in church, opening the bulletin, and wondering where on earth I belonged in the activities. I thought the Lord’s plans for my life were to support my husband in ministry and for us to raise godly children. There was nothing screaming out in the bulletin: Divorced? We want you! I truly felt like that absence of acknowledgment of the growing divorced population meant we just don’t know what to do with you and don’t have a place for you. It was an incredibly lonely place to be.

I clung to today’s key verse from Jeremiah. I reminded myself of God’s promises: that the days ordained for me were written in His book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16) and that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). As I remembered God’s truth, I wondered how could I ever doubt that even in the midst of the most horrific pain in my life, He still has plans for ME … plans to prosper ME and not to harm ME, plans to give ME a hope and a future. This is a promise from my perfect Husband- God! He has been diligently planning our future together.

Are you in this place I’ve described? Are you wounded and hurting? Do you ask yourself and God, How could this have happened? Are you wondering, What now?

Grab onto to God’s promise and don’t let go. You are chosen by God. He is calling you into an intimate relationship with Him…the Perfect Husband! We may never know why such painful ordeals take root in our lives. However, we can be sure that it is possible for us to rest peacefully knowing that He does have great plans for our lives.

As people inquire about my future plans, I get so excited! I tell them that I am living proof that God’s Word is true! The work that He has done within me is amazing. He has transformed me! I still do many of the same things I did before. I still make chocolate chip cookies for my kids and their friends when they come over. There is still a little June Cleaver in me. God, however, has given me a new heart, a new spirit, a new mind, a new purpose and a new life. I wouldn’t wish what I have gone through on anyone. But because of the change in me and new purpose in my life, I am incredibly grateful for what God has done in me and hopefully will do through me.

God has a divine purpose for everything He allows into our lives!

Dear Lord, in the midst of our pain, help us find You. For those of us who are walking this difficult path grant us peace, joy and strength. Help us to find who we are in Christ. Help us to know You as our Perfect Husband. And as You comfort us, help us to comfort others with what we have received from You. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Related Resources:
P31 She Speaks Conference

Blended Families by Maxine Marsolini

God’s Purpose for Every Woman, written by various P31 Speakers with
General Editors Lysa TerKeurst and Rachel Olsen

Application Steps:
Read His Word daily. But, don’t just read it, meditate on it, memorize it, claim it and apply it to your daily life. Strive for obedience in the little things and the most difficult commands.

In your pain, will you seek God, strive for obedience and all that pleases Him?

Power Verses:
Isaiah 54:5-6, “For you Maker is your husband – the Lord Almighty is His name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit – a wife who married young, only to be rejected,’ says your God.” (NIV)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am reading this book the five love languages and it is awsome! For your next relationship dont get offended im telling everyone tell your freinds too! God bless

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do not let any body to tell you you can not serve the Lord, because you are divorce!. This is the time the Lord will use you the most, because, now, you will understand the pain, in divorce, in others.

Blogger crackedpotmom said...

I am going through a divorce from a pastor/husband. Encouragement from God's word is essential!!!!
Thanks so much for being that vehicle.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a leader in a single adult ministry and a single mother myself I loved your devotion today. God has a beautiful and unique plan for each one of us, divorced or married. As single women we feel lost and deeply hurt but God can heal us and mold us into an even more beautiful and usefull vessel for his ministry. My prayers are with you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today, as I struggle with a marriage that is heading in the direction of divorce, wondering how my kids (9, 13, 24) will cope with it, wondering how I will manage financially, will it affect their marriages in the future, I thank you for reminding me of Jeremiah 29vs11

Blogger Paige said...

I know your pain. I too, am searching for significance after being divorced from a 21 year marriage to a lay-minister. God has worked in my life and is continuing to refine me. He has given me an assignment to "stand in the gap" for the healing of my marriage. In man's eyes, my marriage is dead, but my Lord is the God of reconciliation and resurrection and my marriage covenant is being honored by myself and God. For man, this is impossible, but I am able to endure because nothing is impossible with God.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMAZING! Though I am not going through a divorce I have recently been waking up and thinking - uhhhh - who am I supposed to be today?! And find myself asking questions like, "Okay, Lord, what are you doing?!" Thank you for your honesty and openness! What an encouraging reminder for us all!!

Blogger Unknown said...

I have been divorced for seven months and even had a trip to the crazy house, but God picked me up and has healed me and continues to everyday. My getting a divorce was about being obedient to God. After a year of infidelity, God told me it was time to move, I didn't want to but I did and he is making me a person I didn't know existed. He is touching me in ways I didn't know possible and I talk to him like he is my husband, owning my own house there are often times when I say God help me with this and he does.
Tomorrow I am starting to lead the Beth Moore study on Daniel in my home. God is showing me where I can serve him. Whether we divorce for the right or wrong reasons, God loves us, forgives us and will provide for us. The scripture in Is. was where God led me this morning and then it was on here today. I really needed it!

I have lots to say about this, but I won't because I don't want to be a blog hog.

I was single until I was 34. When you're an older single Christian, it is often difficult to find where you fit in at church as well. I understand where you're coming from there.

My mom and dad divorced after 42 years of marriage. I'm very sorry for your pain.

Final comment, I am a Christian working mom, and I also have a hard time finding where I fit in my faith community.

I love everything you wrote.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am going through a painful separation to be a divorce. I stayed in a marriage 30 years begging God for at least 25 0f the 30 years to make my husband a man of God. It did not happen.
Today I got the verse Jere.29:11 from a friend in an email just before I opened your devotion. God keeps telling me I am worthy and He loves me but it is hard when you have been rejected for so long. I love your devotions. They are Holy Spirit inspired. Thank you for all of your comments today.
They certainly lifted my spirits.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this devotion! I ran into this same verse from Jeremiah about 4 times yesterday (Monday). I am in a different situation than most of you. I made a major mistake in my marriage and am doing my best to forgive myself and remember that I'm worthy through God. My husband forgave me. Maybe b/c he did this so easily and Jesus-like is it so hard for me to forgive myself. Regardless, I am definitely having a hard time finding my place in the Christian world. Thank you for reminding me that...regardless of where you are coming from, He has a plan for you. Today is my first day of visiting this website and I already feel truly blessed. Thanks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a single 37 year old, and have been dreaming of the day when i will get married and start my own family. Recently I was diagnosed with breast cancer. With chemo and long term hormone therapy, my hopes of finding the perfect husband, let alone having kids of my own, were dashed.

Thank you for your devotion, reminding me that my plans are not His plans, and that my perfect husband is already found in Him.

While I learn to accept my illness, and the drastic change in my life and my plans, I pray that I will find peace in God and my new place in Christ.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotion came at the right time for me. Shortly before I received this my accusing memory came back to haunt me. Feeling doubtful and shameful of my divorce, God led me to His Word for His guidance. You could say we had a "one on one". I felt refreshed and blessed to be in His presence. I know how you feel, Lynn. God works in all of us-no matter the situation. Thank you for your encouragement. It shows me that I'm not alone.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for you devotion. The journey of pain, healing, divorce, guilt, forgiveness is an ongoing one. I have been divorced for 7 months now and just when I feel like I am getting a grip again the waves of betrayl and pain come crashing again. I am daily reminded of God's GREAT faithfulness and His love. As an exhausted mother of 3 cherubs under the age of 7 I need daily reminders to stay in His word--it truly is the place of healing and hope. Blessings to you and your children on your journey.

Blogger drl59 said...

I am in the same place. Married for 22 years to a pastor, who decided one day (well actually he had it planned for 6 months) to tell me he wanted a divorce. He left me and my children (17 and 21). I am losing my home, but, I count it all a loss, for the sake of the cross. Jesus has been faithful, and he is my Husband and the lover of my soul. The divorce has not taken place yet and I am still in the process of filing (he has broken the marriage covenant) and I want him to just not be in my life. The betray is just awful. I feel for you all.

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