Divorce can be much like a tornado, quickly ripping through your life with a path of destruction. It affects you, your family, your friends and those around you. It can effect you financially, spiritually, emotionally, physically. It is easier to clean up the physical damage caused by a storm than the emotional damage caused by divorce. But it is possible to heal. To look to the future with hope. Some useful steps and ideas taken from Dr. Jim Talley’s book “Life After Divorce” that can help you to rebuild your life are:
Search for Stability
People search for stability in all the wrong places. New relationships, drugs, alcohol, or over work can only lead to dissolve a person’s moral value system. The ‘quick fix’ approach is like novocaine for the heart. It wears off fast. Looking for answers these ways are like searching for fish in the desert. Seek out a church in your area that might have a divorce recovery support group or offers pastoral or professional counseling. As long as your battery starts your car you won’t need help, but sooner or later your energy will run out and you will need a boost.
Set a Stabilization Plan
When a person has experienced separation or divorce they need to gain custody of themselves. During and after a divorce our energy distribution falls totally out of balance. As much as 85% of our energy can be diverted to dealing with the emotional upheaval. This leaves only 15% to deal with our mental, physical and spiritual demands. It might take up to five years to return to a more balanced expenditure of your personal energy. Without an intervention plan you can suffer what is called an emotional collapse (or emotional exhaustion). It’s like running your car engine wide open, but being in neutral. A “self” stabilization program that can help you through the recovery process should include the following:
The next important factor is that you search for emotional support from friends of the same sex. Emotions can be fueled by loneliness. Opposite sex friends can lead you down the road to relationships. Quality intimate friendships with the same sex provides you with the emotional stability you need and fills the aloneness void.
This means you build a support system to help get through the tough times. Build relationships with your family. Typically, people alienate themselves from their blood family. Most are willing to let bygones be bygones, and be there for you in your recovery process.
For most individuals going through the process of a separation or divorce, you find out in a hurry that you immediately double your overhead with two living facilities and you have not increased your income. You need to drop your standard of living anywhere from 20 to 40%. This means that right away you have got to get down and give up some things and get to a cash flow basis. Get real creative. Maybe by moving in with a roommate you can cut your overhead. Alot of things seem to be necessities when they are really not.
Reset Our Expectations
Controlling your expectations is the key to controlling your anger. You need to reset your expectations to what you can control and deal with. You cannot force other people into your expectations. Recovery from divorce is a slow process. Measure your personal progress in inches not in feet.
As you attempt to recover from your divorce, the most important step you can take is to turn to God to help in your healing. He can help you deal with the hurt, loneliness and emptiness that accompanies divorce. He can also forgive your sins and help you get a fresh start on life.
All divorce is rooted in sin. It may be that someone has sinned against you by initiating divorce. If so, remember that God does not hold you accountable for the sins of another person.
It may be you have wrongfully divorced your mate and are now living with the consequences of that sinful choice. Even so, it is important to remember that God loves you and wants to forgive you for your sins.
Keep in mind that all of us commit sins. Whether you wanted the divorce or not, you have committed sins that separate you from God. It is important for these sins to be forgiven so that you will be able to have full fellowship with God and benefit from His healing in your life.
God’s love for us is so deep that He sent His Son Jesus to earth to pay the price for our sins. Through His death on the cross, Jesus removes our sins forever and allows us to receive God’s full forgiveness. Because Jesus rose from the dead, He is able to give us a fresh start on life now and for eternity.
Receiving God’s forgiveness is not automatic. There are some very important steps you must take to be forgiven and receive God’s gift of eternal life:
1. Confess to God that you are a sinner. (“God be merciful to me a sinner.” Luke 18:13).
2. Ask God to forgive your sins.
3. Invite Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord.
“Savior” means that you rely on His death on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins.
“Lord” means that you give Jesus control of your life. The Bible says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9.
Consider where you are spiritually. God can help you get your life back on track.
If you would like to invite Christ into your life, here is a prayer that may help you as you talk to God: “Dear God, I come to You, confessing that my life is out of my control. I acknowledge that I am a sinner and that I need Your forgiveness and help. You sent Your Son Jesus Christ to earth to die for me because of my sins and to give me a new life. Come into my life Jesus and help me stabilize from this day forward. In Your Name I pray, Amen.”
Now that you have made this step, plan to search out a church that can be of support to you. If you would like more information to find a divorce recovery group in your area call 1-800-489-7778.