Find Healing and Hope after Divorce
- Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Ask God to renew your mind. Pray for the wisdom to discern what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to your broken marriage. Own what's real and let go of what isn't real. Clarify what parts of your circumstances can be changed from what can't. For the things you can't change, change the way you think about them. Make a list contrasting what you want from what you truly need. Open your heart to the journey in front of you, and walk forward, gaining confidence with each step and not looking back.
Don't let your former spouse's rejection define you; embrace God's deep love for you. Ask God what you can do today to grow into the person you want to be in the future.
Broaden your vision. Ask God to give you a vision for every area of your life - your job, where you'll live, new friends, etc. - in three months, six months, one year, and five years from now. Dare yourself to behave as if you believe that something great is going to happen in your life. Put yourself in a position that makes it possible to happen. Be confident that God will complete the good work He has begun in you.
Let go of whatever holds you back. Get rid of things and emotions that keep you stuck as you head for greater healing. Physically let go of things like clothes and furniture that remind you of your ex-spouse. Emotionally and mentally disengage from places, people, and possessions that played a part in your former marriage by allowing them to take on a different meaning.
Be persistent in your efforts to heal. Rely on God' s power every day to help you endure and overcome loneliness and fear. Know that you are going to make it.
Decide to thrive. Reject a poverty mentality and embrace an attitude of generosity toward yourself and others. Decide to be enthusiastic about life and all its possibilities. Say "yes" to opportunities instead of assuming you couldn't do something. Be kind to others as often as you can and watch joy come back to you.
Embrace the new you. Ask God to help you trust Him, yourself, and other people who are trustworthy - despite whatever betrayals and abuses you may have experienced before. Know that your present and future can be radically different from your past. Seek to grow in God's wisdom. Take risks to grow deeper in your faith. Consider doing such things as writing a book, returning to college, or going on a blind date, as God leads you.
Help your children. Expect your children to be angry about the divorce, and establish a safe zone for them to vent their anger. Be prepared for tough questions. Answer briefly and age-appropriately. Do as much as you can together: chores, play, naps, and creative projects. Make affection a daily habit, even if your children shrug it off.
Accept that you can't control what your children do with your former spouse. Minimize changes in your schedule, neighborhood, and church. Make your dating a low priority at first; allowing your children time to adjust. Affirm and reassure our children that the divorce is not their fault. Try to be the best parent you can be. Make time during the week just for each child. Take good care of yourself, so you can better care for your kids. Allow your children to be children; don't expect them to be your caregivers. Make yourself available to your kids at all times.
Models the values you talk about, such as fairness, honesty, and forgiveness. Don't speak negatively about your children's father in front of them; if you do, apologize. Surround yourself with people who reinforce your values and will support and encourage you in your parenting.
Look for the humor in life. Enjoy life as much as you can and make time to laugh on a regular basis. Understand that humor has healing power because it decreases stress and releases healthy chemicals in your body.
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