Divorce: “Total separation, break, disunion, dissolve, bring to an end, disappearing gradually, breaking down that which was put together.”
I lived in a different world over six years ago. I was a mother of four beautiful little boys. They were my joy. Since I was fifteen years old I had prayed that I could be a wife and a mother. All I ever wanted was to live in a perfect little world with the house and white fence, dog, happy kids with two loving parents.
I married Kenny at age 23. Friends and family only saw what I wanted them to see – “my perfect world” – but that was not the whole truth. As time passed by my life seemed to be closing in on me. I had been married for almost 11 years to a man who was very emotionally, spiritually and physically abusive to me. Many years of counseling, work shops, teachings and medication had taken place over the years.
Not all days were bad. There were happy times, good memories, and a few months at a time of everything going good, just being happy with our four beautiful boys. There were also very dark times filled with arguments, struggles, loss of many jobs, fighting, bruises, tears, fear, weight loss and suicide attempts that filled almost eleven years of my life and the entire lives of my boys.
I came to a place where there was nowhere to turn, nowhere to go but forward. With the help of my grandmother praying for me on her death-bed – praying for me to be set free and move forward – I was able to push forward with everything inside of me! I felt like I had been in a big body of water going deeper and deeper, growing darker and darker. As time went on I was totally surrounded by darkness.
Then one day I pushed forward with all that was in me to push to the surface of the dark waters, gasping and exhausted. I pushed through to breathe and finally see clearly for the first time in years. I had left my world of abuse that had enclosed me for all those years. I was free!
I stepped out of the veil of darkness, leaving the place that had imprisoned me for many years. I thought at this point I’m free, I’m done, this is it. NO, not exactly…. Divorce is still divorce. Divorce is a breaking, a DEATH of those things that will never be. You still have to go through that. Yet, there is healing after you break free. Here are the steps that I took to overcome the darkness and move into the amazing light that God had for me.
Step 1) ALLOW YOURSELF TIME TO MOURN. The coming together, the union of two to make one has been separated, torn apart. It doesn’t matter at this point how you got here, who left, affair, abuse or growing apart. Divorce is divorce – one being destroyed to make two again. There is a death that takes place. We human beings mourn death. It is part of the healing process to move forward. This is a part many overlook, especially friends and family. Don’t try to skip this part!! The emotional part of you and your children must have time to heal.
Step 2) LET GO OF ANGER. The anger that grows inside of you is for those things lost from your past, present, and future. The thing that can no longer be because of a death in your life. The bible says be angry and sin not. Express your anger in a healthy way. Anger that is held in is like dry rot, it will destroy you from the inside out.
Step 3) FORGIVENESS. Forgiveness has a purpose – to set into motion the quality of excellence to one’s being – Spirit, mind, and body – the fullness of all God has for us, what we are created to be. This will start by first forgiving YOURSELF. Remember, you don’t have the power to forgive it must be God forgiving THROUGH you. (see Post on Forgiveness) You may need to walk this process out for years – that is normal. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Each time the hurt and memories begin to surface simply say “I cannot forgive ____, but God I allow you to forgive him/her through me.”
Step 4) LET GO OF FEAR AND ANXIETY. Those things that attack your mind whisper lies about your past and the fear of the future. Your biggest attack is the LIE that YOU choose to believe. Fill your mind with truth of God’s Word. Truth is the only thing that will break lies that have taken root in your life. Antonym for fear is courage. Pray daily “Lord give me the COURAGE to do what is right.”
Step 5) COURAGE. It takes courage to move forward into a place you have not been before. New direction. Proverbs 3:5 & 6 is the verse I read OUT LOUD daily. My prayer was “Dear Heavenly Father, I don’t understand, but I choose to trust you with all my heart and all of who I am. I have an ear to hear your voice and I will follow you and not try to figure this out. I choose to love and believe You with ALL my heart. I will follow You.”
Step 6) LEARN TO RECEIVE. Living in an abusive place meant receiving much pain, hurt or mockery. Good news – there is a place where receiving can be GOOD. Mercy is not CONDITIONAL. Mercy is divine favor and grace that is freely given. I now understand that receiving is TRUSTING someone else and this will take time. Know that in time you WILL begin to trust again. It won’t happen overnight – but if you allow yourself to trust, one person at a time, God will give you the grace to once again grow.
Friend, push forward to that place God has for you, above the dark waters where you can finally breathe and see clearly. Take heart, take courage for all that is waiting for you. I pray for your COMPLETE healing of spirit, mind, and body. You are deeply loved by your Heavenly Father.