What holds you back from thriving?
What keeps you from moving forward after your divorce?
Getting past your pain?
If you struggle with your healing, months or years after your divorce, this is for you.
Remember we are discussing thriving after divorce. But in order to thrive, you need to move past the pain. Pain that will keep you in bondage to those in your past. And keep you from the healing that you deserve.
These are 3 steps you can take to move past the pain… to thrive after divorce.
1.) Process through your past (and pain)
I grew up hearing things like don’t look at your past because you’re not living there anymore. Or just leave the past in the past. But what those people didn’t know is, that kind of thinking keeps people stuck in their dysfunction. In order to thrive, and to be emotionally healthy, everyone must process through their past. Some, like me, had to go way back to childhood and see where I had developed, what my therapist called “normal behavior” for relationships. But it was never normal or healthy. So processing through my past helped me to see where I was seeking unhealthy relationships and calling it love.
Processing your past is not easy. Sometimes you have to dig up very deep wounds and hurts that you thought you’d never experience again. Often feeling those same feelings from those hurtful times and experiences. But remember those wounds keeps you trapped. Digging it out is like cleaning out an infection. You need to process it all so that you can learn how to be a healthy survivor and thriver.
Find a licensed abuse counselor to help you process through everything, let go of the pain, find healthy ways to live, and embrace the future. She can probably help you develop boundaries with those in your past that keep you from dealing with your issues. Because honestly, that is how dysfunctional families survive. But you plan to thrive!!
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. – James 5:16 NLT
2.) Embrace the divorce
In order to grow from your divorce, you must accept the changes. My divorce happened. Your divorce happened. Fighting it will keep us stuck with no way to move forward. Waiting for your ex-husband to come back – especially if he is now married to someone else – will not help you to heal, let go of the pain, or move forward.
It takes two people to make a marriage work, one person to break a marriage, and two people to heal it. If one person has moved on, and you’re still waiting for God to reconcile your marriage, it’s time to let go, my friend. As hard as it is to do, you must accept that you cannot save that dead marriage. Not by yourself. And you cannot make someone change their abusive ways. Yes, God can perform miracles… but what if the miracle is that now you can live in freedom from your oppression? And peace in your life? What if the miracle is in your future?
Nothing is certain. Let go and move on.
Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise. Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what He has made crooked? Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life. – Ecclesiastes 7:10,13-14 NLT
3.) Live intentionally
One of the ways I live intentionally is to wake up and read my Bible first thing in the morning. I want to put God first every single day. Sometimes I get up, take my supplements and Lupus medication, grab a cup of my favorite green tea… and then read. But even on the days, I’m so busy that I forget, I do get into The Word at some point.
But I try very hard not to forget. Because I can feel it when I miss my morning reading. Not only am I running around, I feel anxious, my insecurities start to make me feel worthless (something from my past that I’ve had to work through), and I’m easily triggered when I see someone else is irritable. My intentional daily reading keeps me connected to the vine.
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. – John 15:5 NLT
Other ways to live intentionally are to practice self-care, have a more organized life (keeping a set schedule) and home (keeping a peaceful home), and trusting God with your future (and your past) when you are feeling uncertain. More on these topics in the future.
Healing is not about perfection… it’s about progress. Each step you take is another step in your growth and healing, so you can move past your pain, and embrace this season of divorce.
Many days growing and learning in Him,