Divorce Happened, Now What?
In my last article, I talked about the things I wish I knew before I married and divorced. I spoke mainly from a proactive point of view, and I would like to now talk about the reactive side. If you are a divorced single parent, living for God, holding down the fort – YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I see you, and more importantly, God sees you!
It’s not easy leaving a relationship, especially a marriage, but sometimes it is necessary. I know it hurts, but perhaps you’ve made the first step toward God’s best and I am proud of you! I say this all the time – DISCERNMENT is key. Some of us are able to work things out and reconcile. Some of us decided to divorce for various reasons. Whatever the situation, God loves you and your ex-spouse, and the two of you will get through this.
The Effects of Divorce on the Whole Man
When it comes to physical touch or proximity with others, dealing with the impact of divorce doesn’t always hit you right away. Depending on the person, some of us can be alone without being lonely, and if you have kids, you’re never alone anyway. At first, it’s nice having your space and not having to consult with another person on things. After a while, it gets old and if you don’t have a good support system (friends and family), you have to be careful to guard your heart and not allow the devil room to come in and tempt you.
If you fall to sexual immorality, don’t allow guilt and condemnation to rule over you (Romans 8:1). Repent and allow God’s grace in your heart. If you start down that path, it is a long road back. My advice is to be transparent with your leaders or someone you trust who is submitted to God and who can be an encouragement to you along the way.
Divorce is an emotional rollercoaster. There will be good days and bad days, which is to be expected. If you don’t control your emotions during this process, you will drive yourself crazy. If you can afford a therapist or have access to one through your company’s insurance, I highly recommend the guidance of a professional counselor.
I believe all emotions were given to help us experience the fullness of life and to express ourselves during the experience. But, we have to be careful not to allow our emotions to override what God said and what He is doing. Emotions change in every situation, but God remains the same (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8).
There is nothing wrong with feeling sad, but don’t let sadness change your perspective on God or make your heart bitter.
Give it to God and allow Him to heal you. God knows that some of the things He asks us to do hurt – He doesn’t expect you to act like it doesn’t. But, He wants you to take comfort in knowing that His will is what’s best for you. He wants you to trust that on the other side of obedience is greater peace, joy, and life!
Spiritually, you may be fearful or ashamed before God. You may be feeling like you failed Him or ruined a blessing. I want to encourage you with this scripture, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16)
Receive this Word in your heart and let go of the guilt! God loves you so much and while knowing all your flaws and sin before your body was formed, He prepared a Lamb of salvation.
God is the Restorer of Your Soul
Don’t be discouraged! Some of us were never even supposed to marry the one we did and we are reaping the consequences of making that choice while fighting to get back to God’s original plan. Some of us now regret not allowing God time to heal the marriage. Whatever the situation, never doubt His perfect love for you which you could never mess up.
Whether you’re at the beginning of your divorce or have been divorced for years, it is a journey. Going from married to single isn’t easy, but God says His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). Lean on His Word and cry out to Him for peace and comfort and He will supply your needs according to His riches and glory (Philippians 4:19).
I want to remind anyone who is struggling with an unreasonable ex to be strong and wait on the Lord, vengeance is His (Romans 12:19). I know it can be hard to not “get even”, it’s petty season, and everyone wants the last laugh, but don’t do it! Maintain your integrity and serve God. Your ex is either really hurt, acting out, or they’re just crazy. But, no matter what their motive, only God can change them.
If there are children involved, you may need a mediator, someone who would allow their home as a pickup/drop-off spot, and the two of you needn’t see each other at all. God will give you the wisdom to navigate this separation.
For anyone who has bravely left an abusive marriage or relationship, I love you and I am so godly proud of you! I truly thank God for you! Sometimes the Lord trusts us with tragedy so that we can teach others to overcome. Whatever your story, just remember the Author knew the end before the beginning. This is your time and you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!
So, What’s the Play Call?
Take things one day at a time and don’t rush your healing (Philippians 4:6).
Join a support group, go to counseling, or maybe start a blog! Whatever you do, allow yourself room for expression and connectivity with others who are in the same boat, or better yet, who have overcome the boat. It’s important that we embrace community during hard times and not fall for the trick of isolation.
Remember, God is not mad at you. He loves you dearly.