I don’t know about you but I like to see how things are going to go before they happen. I want to plan out my future, decide all the details way before they happen, and then start planning it all out. I have a hard time just being still… and breathing while waiting for God.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the power to see the future… and I’m guessing you don’t either.
And as much as we try to make our own plans and set our course in a certain direction with a set outcome, no one really knows what will happen.
You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. – Proverbs 19:21
Divorce is just such a time that we’re faced with the harsh realization that our lives can have some life-shattering detours and unplanned heartaches. Divorce can be scary and stressful. The uncertainty can cause tremendous fear and anxiety.
Fear exposes the limits of our present capacity. – Christine Caine
There will be times when it seems like God’s plan is not working. Fear can come and cripple the mind as it exposes our limits and lack of control. You may feel like this is definitely not God’s path because nothing seems to be going right, things are not working out, and in fact, things seem to be getting worse.
Often while going through the trial of divorce, your lawyer will tell you to expect things to go a certain way, expect you’ll get a certain amount of money to live on, or your soon to be ex-husband will say he is going to do this or that, only for it all to be heading in a totally different direction later.
This uncertainty can cause us considerable anxiety. And we can fear what horrible things will happen next.
We can fear the court judge, as he or she holds the power to decide custody of the children and all financial decisions that will affect you for years to come.
Anxiety is about control. Our need to control what is happening in our lives (that income we think we need or the custody that we know we deserve) and in our environment. Those who don’t face much anxiety have 100% control of their own lives, their finances, and their future.
Most divorced women (and especially single moms) don’t have the luxury of being able to control every aspect of our lives, so we get to face anxiety instead.
I get anxious when my Internet is not loading and I have online work I need to complete. I get anxious when I don’t receive child support that I usually get or when I usually get it. That’s usually when I purchase groceries so we have to get by with what we have on hand until then. I feel anxiety right now knowing that my van needs some major repairs and I have no idea how I’m (or God is) going to pay for it.
The outcome of our lives is unknown. And just like Job, we want to control and understand it. If we knew that outcome and we understood the purpose for all of this then we wouldn’t be faced with so much anxiety.
We often need to remind ourselves, God is in control! We can let go knowing, that just like all the things before this, God’s got this too!
Conquer fear and anxiety with courage.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela
Job faced a life-shattering detour yet he still had reverence (a healthy fear) for God. Even when Job’s character was questioned by his so-called friends, Job was courageous as he stood up to them and told them how he tried to live his life (Job 31 – His protest of innocence). I know I can relate to that.
Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety. – Job 11:18 NLT
Job was rebuked by God when he wanted to know why (Job 38). We often want to know the reasons for lives biggest hurts and trials. But often God doesn’t offer us the answers to those questions.
If you want the peace beyond understanding you must give up your right to understand. – Bill Johnson
We just need to keep trusting God as we keep our love for and the healthy fear of God – by following His path before us and His commandments – like Job did.
Also, keep a heart for God like David.
Read through many of David’s Psalms as he faced uncertainty with courage and strength as well.
Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
with every breath they threaten me with violence. Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. – Psalm 27:12-14 (Read all of Psalm 27)
In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the Lord!” But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help. Love the Lord, all you godly ones! For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes the arrogant. So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!” – Psalm 31:22-24 NLT (Read all of Psalm 31.)
God is building your case.
Since I started coaching women going through a divorce, I have shared my personal story of those dark days with my clients. I even wrote about my 3:00 am anxiety-laced weeping and wailing at God during my divorce in my book, You Can Survive Divorce: Hope, Healing, and Encouragement for Your Journey. I felt like God had left me to fend for myself against my ex and the apathetic lawyers.
I wasn’t the one who was lying to the family court, hiding money, and frivolously spending money taking women out on dates (while married). Yet, it was my character that was being smeared both to family and friends and in the court documents.
What I had no idea at the time was that God was building my case. I couldn’t see into the future to know that it would all be worked out, that I would be taken care of, and I would be protected from further harm, so I battled with fear and anxiety as I worried about the future. All I could do was to hold tightly to God’s promises, knowing that God knew my character, my heart for integrity, and my reverence for Him.
In the end, God does work everything out. And we can conquer our fears and anxiety with courage and strength knowing that no matter how bad it looks now, or even how much worse it gets, that God is on our side building our case and preparing the way.
Hope is knowing something good can and will come out of something bad.
Keep holding on to that hope! I know I am!
Many days growing and learning (to face our fears),