In Spite of Myself by Melinda Olsen

by | Mar 21, 2024 | The Love Offering Guest Blog Series

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 NIV


I still don’t know what it was about that particular morning in January 2001. I dropped my two oldest off at elementary school as usual and my youngest with the neighbor who watched him so I could complete my 4-5 hours of freelance work. But today, instead of going straight to work, this time, I walked into the house, went to my family room, laid face down on the floor, and literally begged God to take my life. 


Truth is, that wasn’t the first time for me to ask God to please take my life. It was just the first time I completely let go in absolute brokenness and surrender and laid all things at the foot of the cross. My marriage had been rocky from day one, and our home life reaped the consequences of that undeniable truth. 


To the outside, we looked like Ken and Barbie. People would even make such comments, but inside our home, there was a lot of controversy and fighting. It always felt like there was a spiritual battle going on between me and my then-husband. I know now there was.


What’s strange is that, prior to my marriage, I was a strong, independent, and confident woman. How had I gotten to this place, on this day, 14 years later, where I thought my sons would be better off with another mom, that my husband deserved a better wife, and that overall, I was the reason for all the unhappiness and struggles in our home? 


Truth is, I didn’t get this way overnight. It happened gradually. I now know how the enemy crept in little by little, using my past sins to convince me that I deserved to be mistreated, that I would never be good enough to be anyone’s wife, let alone the mom of my three precious sons. Enter Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), where my faith became personal and grew to depths I could have never imagined. 


In spite of me, God, in all His goodness and faithfulness, was still pursuing me through BSF. He was fighting the enemy for me while doing something new for me. He was making a way in the wilderness for me. He was waiting for me to surrender to Him fully and to stop trying to “fix” my marriage and family without Him.


That January 2001 was the beginning of freedom from the bondage the enemy had trapped me in for too long. Two days later, I discovered that our marriage troubles and the stress and tension in our home were due to more betrayal and baggage than I could have ever imagined.  


We are not promised an easy journey in this life, only a safe landing at the end for those who give their life to Christ. Do not assume God cannot or will not use you because your life is messy. His sweet spot is in the messy middle. I am a new woman with a ministry serving women broken by divorce, trying to move on.


Life looks nothing like I thought it would, but God faithfully used those years in the wilderness for my greater good. He can do the same for you.


You have a purpose. Trust His process.



About the Author:

I am Melinda Olsen, a one-time divorcee and single mom of three young sons (now grown men). I am remarried, and we have a crazy blended family. I am a wife, mom, stepmom, bonus-mom, grandma, step-grandma, and bonus-grandma. See what I mean? I am no stranger to all the challenges that accompany divorce or parenting, nor am I a stranger to the challenges of blending not one but essentially three families.


I have the honor of working with divorced women who want to move on with life, are ready to heal, and are longing to see what’s next for them. We work together to create habits that build strength and confidence, empowering them to live life to its fullest! I have the privilege of walking alongside women who are where I once was, and we develop and strengthen the skills and assurance that are often lost during a marriage or sometimes through the process of divorce. I know this journey. I have walked it.


Our stories might not align word by word, but I would bet they overlap in more ways than not, and I am here to tell you there is hope. Through the power of my faith, the support of family and friends, and my community around me, I have overcome many obstacles. I know you can too, and I want that for you!


Connect with Melinda:





I’m Rachael Adams

I’m an author, speaker, and host of The Love Offering Podcast. My mission is to help women find significance and purpose throught Christ.

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