Heal the Heartache of Divorce

For anyone who has suffered through divorce and would like to heal through their faith, I highly recommend Rose Sweet’s A Woman’s Guide to Healing the Heartbreak of Divorce. I think it would be applicable to men, too. Though the book holds much more wisdom, here are some excerpts from the ends of the first few chapters where the author asks,

“What does our fear say?” and, “What does our faith say?”


“What does our fear say?” “What does our faith say?”
God as healer: No one will help me through the turmoil. I’m scared, I’m hurting, and I just know it’s going to get worse. I feel all alone. My Heavenly Father is always there. He knows exactly what I need and he will help if only I will look up through my tears and call out to him. Whether I whisper or scream, he will hear me, any day, any night, any time at all.
God as our caring parent I can’t see any future happiness… ever. I doubt this pain will ever end. Nothing will make the hurt or emptiness go away. I’m   doomed to feel like this forever. God knows the plans he has for me, a future filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) The pain will end, if I let God help me.
Loss I have lost everything I ever held dear. I have lost everything that I need, that any [person] needs. I will never, ever get it back, and I am doomed to a miserable life because of my divorce. In losing these   things, God is asking me to draw nearer to him. Sometimes those things actually prevented my being closer to him. Stripped of all I hold dear, he can clothe me in his pure love and   prepare me for even greater gifts! All I need to do is trust and wait, even though I don’t feel like it right now… and that’s okay.
Shock and Denial This can’t be real. It isn’t happening. I don’t believe it. I’m afraid to believe it. I don’t want to believe it. My denial about any area of my divorce is secondary to my denial about God’s love for me and his promises to heal my heart, no matter how bad it ever gets. I need to learn to let go and start to trust him.
Rejection I can’t keep letting people reject me. It hurts too much. I’ve got to keep trying to get them to like me, accept me, agree with me, and love me. If they don’t, I have to find a way to manipulate or control   them so I can get what I need and deserve. I’m so tired of all this. My denial about any area of my divorce is secondary to my denial about God’s love for me and his promises to heal my heart, no matter how bad it ever gets. I need to learn to let go and start to trust him.
Anger People are going to keep hurting my kids or me. I’m   going to have to fight to get what I want. I don’t deserve this! I want life to be different; I want life to be fair. Life is not fair… but God is. People will try to hurt my children and me, but I can learn to protect myself and I can teach the children, too. I can change my attitude and let go of the anger. He can show me how.
Depression I’m afraid that life will only get worse. I’m often afraid that I will never be financially secure or loved, or that life will be easy again. What if I have to work hard for the rest of my life or never have the things I wanted, hoped for, or dreamed of? What if no one wants me? I feel powerless, hopeless, and angry at the same time. My Father knows my needs. He never would allow me to go through dark times without the comfort of knowing he’s right there. He’s got all the tools I need to get through this tough time. I can acknowledge my feelings as temporary and every day take one step toward his outstretched hand.
Guilt I’m a failure. I know all the areas in which I was wrong but it’s too late to go back and fix them. I’m tired of trying to make up for my mistakes to others, but I guess it will never end. I know God must hate me; why else would I feel so miserable? God does not   hate me; he loves me! He hates where I have failed, but he forgives and forgets. I can take a lesson from him and let go. I can choose to own my genuine guilt, let go of false guilt, seek forgiveness, and move on. I can bathe myself in his living water.
Fear Among a million other things, I’m afraid of being hurt, used, abandoned again, taken advantage of, getting ripped off in court, losing the kids’ loyalty, having others believe the lies, having to work too hard, being alone, and not being forgiven by God. Sometimes I am outraged with fear; other times I am paralyzed by it. My Master is right here, all the time. I have nothing to fear. If I do feel afraid, I will examine   my fears and take any necessary action. Then I will let my fears pass, knowing that my emotions are temporary   and fleeting, but God’s faithfulness stands forever.
Loneliness My fear tells me I will be stuck in this painful place of loneliness forever. I’m afraid I will never have anyone to lean on, to love, and to love me back. I’m worried that I will become even lonelier in my   old age. What if no one ever wants to marry me? What if no one ever even wants to love me? I know I was   created to draw close to my Heavenly Father and rest in his arms. My loneliness is temporary. I can take some steps to help the situation, and I know he can help me with the rest of my feelings. I will go to him and not wallow in self-pity.
Grieving I don’t want to grieve any more. It’s too big. It’s too   painful. I’m sick of it. I want to move on. It doesn’t feel good. What will people think if I’m weak with grief? Why can’t I just avoid it? I’ll be fine, really I will, won’t I? I know God has given me tears for a reason. He designed me to grieve so that I could heal. I will not be afraid of the pain, knowing he will give me his grace to get through it. After all, God’s people wept. Jesus wept. I am not alone.

On this solemn Good Friday, day of Jesus’ passion, remember Joy is coming!

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. (1 Peter 1:7 NLT)


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