The drive home from the courthouse was harder than I anticipated. After months of counseling, hard conversations, and grief-stricken prayers, my 16-year marriage had legally ended. I gripped the wheel and felt an odd combination of sadness, finality, and stillness. Although this was never what I imagined as an eager young bride, I had found myself among the 50 percent of Americans whose marriages end in divorce.
What do you do when the primary relationship in your life ends? How do you begin to build an identity apart from your martial one? How do you begin to build a life again?
Although God is clear about the pain divorce causes, He still loves His children immensely. Just as we comfort our earthly children, God is strong enough to handle our pain, our heartbreak, our anger, and our disillusionment after divorce. Divorce will bring you to your knees, but it is not the end of you. The key is to bring everything to God — every messy, painful, brutally honest emotion — and lean into His mercy and grace.
Three Tips for Starting Over
Divorce is a death. Allow yourself to experience grief. There will be days when you are blindsided with grief and days when you feel total peace. All of these feelings are part of the process. God promises He will be with us and hold us close to His heart (Isaiah 43:1, Isaiah 40:11). There is no better comfort than His presence.
2. Find your (new) identity.
Starting over means learning who you are outside of your marriage. This can be difficult in a world where relationship statuses and pictures of happy couples saturate our social media feeds.
Remember, we belong to Jesus before and after we belong to anyone else (Ephesians 2:10). The marriage ended, but your story is far from over. You have a new beginning and a new life (2 Corinthians 5:10).
3. Seek support.
We are called to bear each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Reach out for godly support as you rebuild your life. Participate in counseling if needed. Divorce is messy, but God will place people in your life who are willing to roll up their sleeves with you (Romans 12:4-5).
God is with you. He will hold you. He will strengthen you. He will not leave you.
And that is a relationship status that will never change.
Rooted Groups and/or Divorce Care are great places to find support. Find a group based on what you like to do, or connect with others who are working through life after divorce. We also have counseling support if you would like a one-on-one setting. Learn more here.
Article courtesy of NewSpring Church.