No one gets married to be divorced. Those are the words of Mpho Mashishi who at a young age met her prince but soon discovered that life is not all champagne and roses. Mpho, like so many Christian women experienced Divorce: a death of a marriage and the death of a dream. And when her life and dreams crumbled before her very eyes, she turned to the Only Source that she knew: God. Our Glorious Heavenly Father, showed up and helped her to focus on building herself up and getting healthy in body and spirit. Today, Mpho has found inspiration and support for making the next chapter of her life even better. And instead of finger pointing, she offer honest words of hope for women facing this crisis. Here is our heart to heart interview with her.
Inside Woman Online: Tell us about your journey. How did you get to know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour?
Mpho Mashishi: I was introduced to Christ by my aunt (mom’s younger sister). And it has been an amazing journey for me and I have never looked back. I forever thank God for her. She is an amazing woman of God.
Inside Woman Online: In your own words, who is Jesus and why is He important in your life?
Mpho Mashishi: Jesus is a friend to me. Jesus is my Comforter, my Refuge and Strength. He is important to me, and in my life for I have seen him doing wonders for me. He always takes me out of situations I never thought I would come out. And always provides for me in my wilderness and making me strong.
Inside Woman Online: When you met your husband, how did you discern God’s will that he is the one?
Mpho Mashishi: Honestly, I did things my way. I don’t remember a time where I included God in all of that at that moment. I loved him (husband), followed my heart and got burned. I never prayed about it, I just wanted to be with him, even when I realized I wasn’t that happy and hurting most of the time.
Inside Woman Online: How long you were married for when you started experiencing problems?
Mpho Mashishi: Our problems started off even before we got married but I always thought it would change and that I would make it work. But man, did I just fool myself. When we got married, it was problem after problem and fight after fight.
Inside Woman Online: When you realise that you are at a point of no-return, who did you go to for comfort?
Mpho Mashishi: I went home to my grand-mother, since my mother is late. I later realised, I have been neglecting God, as in praying for my marriage, my children and all that was happening. I went to God, cried out to Him and started working more on spending time in reading the Bible and talking more to God.
Inside Woman Online: During the difficult time in your life, what was going through your mind?
Mpho Mashishi: I wanted to die. A lot happened, I was depressed and lost. I wanted to prove to the world I can make it work, but I was miserable, unhappy and hurting. But the thought of my children being without me, made me fight and be a better parent.
Inside Woman Online: When we are going through hard times, it’s hard to connect with God especially when we thought we were in His Will. Did you feel like God has let you do down?
Mpho Mashishi: The other way round hey, I felt I’ve let God down. But I know God is not like men, He still loves us and appreciates everything about us in the midst of everything that happens. I know for sure, God has always been on my side, even during those tough times.
Inside Woman Online: In hindsight, do you think your marriage could have been saved?
Mpho Mashishi: I think so. I think I was young and naïve. I thought weddings were like walking down the aisle and living happily ever after as a princess with a prince. But truth is there is life after the wedding, and that is marriage. Marriage is a ministry. My ex-husband and I were both bruised souls and we could not just relate.
Inside Woman Online: If you could go back in time and talk to yourself before marrying your ex, what would you say to yourself?
Mpho Mashishi: I would tell myself to put God first in everything I do. Pray more learn to forgive and love just as Christ loves us.
Inside Woman Online: They say there are lessons in every pain. Do you agree and what lessons are those?
Mpho Mashishi: True. I learned that no one is perfect and that one should never look at the other person for their happiness, but look at God and everything else will fall into place just like in Matthew 6:33.
Inside Woman Online: Do you ever blame yourself for this? Have you healed?
Mpho Mashishi: I did blame myself, but I had to quickly pick up the pieces and heal and move on. I have been healed and I have learned to forgive my ex-husband and my past. I am looking forward to the future God has destined for me.
Inside Woman Online: How is your faith in God helping you to live a joyful life?
Mpho Mashishi: God has been a Father to me, my children too, a provider to me and my source of strength. The joy of the Lord is my total strength. I never stop praising Him.
Inside Woman Online: How has your view of Jesus changed?
Mpho Mashishi: Jesus is a friend I never had. I realized I would be so totally lost without him. I need him more, each day.
Inside Woman Online: How important is it for people to have a spiritual family and emotional support system during this time in life?
Mpho Mashishi: Because that’s the only place where you can get support through prayer and counselling. Prayer is important and talking helps and heals.
Inside Woman Online: Do you think women are treated differently from men after divorce?
Mpho Mashishi: In our society yes! You get labelled, they call you names etc. But God is God and He is good. Even when the world insults you, He still makes you shine. I know God hates divorce, but I am sure He never wants one to put up with abuse and hurt. He gave us wisdom to use it.
Inside Woman Online: How do you cope with the loneliness of divorce?
Mpho Mashishi: It can get lonely. It can be challenging too, especially if you trying the dating game again. It’s tough, but I’m trusting God for a man who will love me just as Christ loved the Church.
Inside Woman Online: Will you every marry again?
Mpho Mashishi: Yes I will. Marriage is good. I can still do it.
Inside Woman Online: What would you do differently?
Mpho Mashishi: I will put God first. Pray hard and submit to my husband without looking at his faults or comparing Him or anything of that sort.
Inside Woman Online: And what about being a single parent? Is it far more challenging?
Mpho Mashishi: It can get tough too especially the provision side of it, but God makes it all possible.
Inside Woman Online: What did you tell your kids about this new setup?
Mpho Mashishi: My daughter especially because she couldn’t make sense of it, kept asking about where daddy is, and it was just hard having to explain we moved out and that we won’t be staying with dad anymore.
Inside Woman Online: If you could speak to someone struggling with the thought of divorce right now, what would you say to help?
Mpho Mashishi: I would say… they must let God help them through this and make sure they talk to someone; it can be a friend, pastor or counsellor. But they need to talk to someone and not keep things to themselves.
Inside Woman Online: What advice would you give to a woman who's newly divorced?
Mpho Mashishi: I know it’s tough, having to start a new journey on your own. But God is there and things will be tough at times, but many times you will rejoice in celebrating your womanhood and the woman that God made you to be. We do not marry to get divorced. But sometimes painful situations lead to such drastic measures and decisions.
Inside Woman Online: And to the single ladies what do you say?
Mpho Mashishi: Marriage is beautiful. Do not be discouraged. Marriage is designed by God and He makes all things beautiful. So put God first, trust in in Him and let Him teach you to become a great woman to your husband and household.
Inside Woman Online: What do you say to the women who want to live more authentically for God while having fun?
Mpho Mashishi: Love yourself, respect yourself and celebrate who you are in Christ. Have responsible fun. Guard your heart and soul, stay rooted in the things of God and enjoy your relationship with Christ daily. Talk to Him, inform Him and see what He will do for you.
Inside Woman Online: What do you want written in your gravestone that will sum up your life?
Mpho Mashishi: I would like to be remembered as a woman who loved God and was a living testimony of His grace.
Catch Mpho Mashishi every Saturdays on Radio Pulpit from 9am-11am on Local and International Gospel show. You can listen to radio pulpit via AM657/DSTV Audio channel 882.