Divorce is one of the hardest things women survive through. I write a lot about that. I’ve walked that path both alone and with others. I shared my story.
But I’d like to take a short detour to share how to thrive after divorce. The next posts over the next few months will be on this subject. I want to help guide you through the surviving and learn how to thrive.
We often gain a new perspective about marriage… and life… after divorce.
Is life only about getting married? No! The strongest healthiest people can be unmarried and still be happy thriving in life.
Life is not over. Actually, it is a new beginning. Time to get closer to God. See yourself through His eyes. Get to know His love for you. Get to know yourself again. Do the things that bring you joy. Run your house with peace. Share your story with others who may need to hear they too are not alone.
That’s how God can redeem all of your pain and hurt. Locking the truth inside pretending it never happened is not only unhealthy but it is really unfair to the others in this world who need to hear your story. You do not need to write a blog like I do, but someday when your life is better again and you notice someone else needs a shoulder you can simply say, “I’ve been there, many years ago. I can relate to those tears. And I’m here for you.” You can share how God helped you to make it through those hard times and how He has worked things out (after divorce). That will bring purpose to your pain – because divorce is not going away. God will use anything to bring His children closer to Him.
Before you get there…
What do you need to thrive after divorce?
1.) God’s Healing (Jehovah Rapha)
“Rapha” means to heal or restore. Jehovah Rapha means “the Lord who heals” because He heals His people’s physical, emotional, and spiritual hurts. Only God can heal your heart. Nothing here on Earth can replace healing from Your Father. Always seek Him first. He will heal and restore you. Then, God will redeem it all.
As much as you may want to be alone in your struggles and your grief, you need people. You need community in order to heal. To bounce ideas off of and to pray for or with us.
First, you may want to find a Christian therapist to counsel you through these hard times. Or if you’ve done that but you still have struggles, you can also seek a life coach or mentor to guide you further.
I suggest you sign up for a local Divorce Care class (they have a kids program too). Or you could call your local domestic violence shelter to see if they offer group meetings. You could start a private Facebook group with a select few who are willing to walk you through this difficult time. Or search and join one already in progress with lots of members who have been through divorce healing.
Side note: When seeking “community” to walk with you through divorce or another huge struggle, it’s possible to stretch not-so-close or new friendships to a breaking point. Make sure to have many friends or a bigger group of people that you can depend on, instead of one person who bear all the weight. (Many of us have learned this the hard way.)
3.) Feedback & Accountability
We all need really good, honest friends – or mentors – who are willing to tell us the truth. Just like you’d want someone to tell you that you have food on your face (or spinach in your teeth just before a job interview), we need someone that we can trust to tell us when we’re going in the wrong direction or share where we could improve. We could be in bondage to something or someone and not even know it. An honest mentor will tell us those hard things because they love us that much.
Feedback can sting sometimes, but we must also have the heart to hear them (as well as their heart for us). This helps us to be self-aware of where we can keep growing and learning. If we don’t listen, accept, and respect their feedback, we won’t be able to learn from our mistakes, grow, and thrive after divorce.
Finding a few really close friends that will be this honest with us is hard, I know. Pray for guidance and the help to find healthy, Spirit-led friends. More on this soon.
Okay, if you know me (or my writing), you knew I was going to say this, right? 😉 But seriously, if you don’t learn healthy boundaries, you’re not going to thrive after divorce. You’ll be dealing with resentment, anger, and loads of disrespect from the people around you. Hard to heal your heart with all that inside.
Boundaries often seem harsh to those who don’t have them nor do they understand them. Boundaries are not about being “nice” or “friendly” to toxic people who take advantage or try to hurt you. A big red flag to stay away from someone is if they don’t respect your boundaries. Those who are healthy understand and appreciate boundaries.
Boundaries are just another way to get emotionally healthy after divorce. Find out if you need better boundaries.
Lastly, you need courage, to find your way through all of the pain and healing, and to take huge steps that stretch you but build your confidence. Courage is a bridge to your healing. And God will give you the strength to handle whatever comes your way.
Be strong and courageous my friend! God’s got you… and He wants you to thrive after divorce.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. – Proverbs 31:25 NLT
I also put some of this information in video form. Check out this video and my YouTube Channel for more helpful and encouraging mentoring advice.
Many days growing and learning in Him,
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