The searing emotional pain. The numbness that comes over your soul. The uncontrollable anger. The despair, depression, and bleakness that permeates everything you do. These are just a few of the things that I experienced after divorce. Nothing seems normal. Everything is turned on its head.
Even though I felt alone, I was not alone. Millions of people experience the same things that I did. But did that matter to me at the time? Heck no! I wandered and groped my way along trying to find my way out of the maze that was my shattered life. In fact if it was not for the grace of God sending me a dear pastor/brother/friend from the other end of the theological spectrum, I am not sure where I would be today. God has a very unique sense of humor. He sent a Southern Baptist pastor to minister grace to a broken Pentecostal pastor.
Please allow me to share with you some of the things I learned that helped me get to the place where there truly is life after divorce.
Whatever you do, do not hop out of your marriage and into another relationship. You have a huge emotional hole in your heart, and I will guarantee that your emotional need will fool you into believing you have met the right person, will satisfy your heart, and will solve your problems. It doesn’t! Take it from someone who learned the hard way! You will get a quick fix, administer a band aid, but you will not heal, and when the relationship fails, which it will inevitably do, because no person can heal a heart or fill that emotional hole, it will do more damage to your already hurting heart. It will just re-open and further tear you up.
Face the emotional pain. Instead of trying to just ignore it, or believe that time will heal all things. Deal with it. Time does not heal wounds like this, it only gives you time to get used to living with the pain. You become desensitized. If you do not actually deal with the pain, it will sit waiting and festering until something reminds you of it, and it comes once again to the top and overwhelms you.
Get help! No one is an expert on divorce recovery when they first start the journey. You are a novice and you have no clue what to do, or which direction to follow. There are many good divorce recovery programs out there, but the one I was led to, and the one that worked for me was Divorcecare. It is not the type of course where you shout and dance and do the Pentecostal jig (sorry to disappoint my fellow Charismatics and Pentecostals, not everything is glory to glory) but rather it is a program that will lead you through the valley of the shadow of death. It will help you worth through the stages of inner healing and recovery. It will make you cry, mourn, and do some major introspection if you do it right, but in the end, you will find that the grace of God is so much bigger than divorce.
Finally, and I say this to both sexes. Deal with yourself. It takes 2 to make a marriage work and it takes 2 to make a marriage fail. Instead of focusing on what the other person did wrong, (that is between them and God) focus on what you did wrong. I have found that until you deal with you, and you get to the point that your heart knows it needs forgiveness from God, and receives that forgiveness, that healing does not come. Somehow healing is blocked until we deal with our heart’s need to be forgiven. I think that is why James talks about links forgiveness of sins and healing together in James
“13-15 Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out.”
Is there life after divorce? Yes! But only if you allow God to do what He does best. Heal the brokenhearted! Someday you will be ready for a relationship, in His timing. I am still waiting for that timing 10 years later, but I have to be honest. I have such a great life now, and I have come to such a place of contentment, that I don’t need someone to be happy. I am happy in Jesus! And that is the truth.
So no matter when your divorced happened or why it happened, there is life after divorce. Hear the words of the Prophet Isaiah in Chapter 61, a Messianic prophecy fulfilled in Jesus.
“2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
3 To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.”
Now that is something to think about!