A Letter of Hope to the Divorced (From Someone Who’s Been There)

Jan Walker

My eyes filled with tears as I scrolled through the Facebook news feed. Yet another couple was celebrating their anniversary. “Can’t believe it’s been 20 years since I said ‘I do’” the post read. “More in love than ever!”

I felt the painful wound of divorce tear open once again. Why didn’t I get my happily-ever-after? What is so wrong with me that I can’t be loved? I did all the “right” things and everything still went wrong! This isn’t how I planned my life!

There are times when you’ve done all you can do to save your marriage, but it still ends in divorce. I know the feelings of guilt, shame, loneliness, and disillusionment because I have been there. Love never gives up, right? Doesn’t the Bible say that? How did this happen? What happens when “happily-ever-after” shatters?

The reality is marriage is not always a clear path with a guaranteed outcome. What do you do when you’ve done everything Jesus told you to do, but your spouse is hard-hearted like Jesus describes in Matthew 19:8? How do you recover?

The death of a marriage is not the end of what God has planned for your life.

The death of a marriage is not the end of what God has planned for your life.

4 Tips For Moving On After Divorce

1. Forgive Your Ex

Forgiveness cuts the chains that bind us to our past. We have a choice to live in anger or live in good. Is it easy to choose forgiveness? No. It is a daily (sometimes hourly) battle. But the Bible promises the fight is not ours; it is God’s (Exodus 14:14).

We must choose to rid ourselves of the rage and anger of broken promises that chain us to the past (Ephesians 4:31-32, Proverbs 20:22, Romans 12:17-21).

2. Forgive Yourself

Lay out your marriage before Jesus. Take responsibility where you need to, and ask Jesus to work on the areas in your life that need healing.

Psalm 32:5 tells us that Jesus releases our guilt when we confess to Him. Receive the grace He offers, and then grant yourself kindness and compassion (Psalm 103:12, Psalm 32:5, Romans 8:1).

3. Bring Your Pain to Jesus

The Bible assures us He is close to the brokenhearted and those whose spirits are crushed (Psalm 147:3, Psalm 34:18). Divorce is one of the most painful events you can go through. We are not meant to carry the pain alone.

4. Find Help

Recognize this is an extremely vulnerable time. Seek wise counsel and encouraging godly friends you can confide in (Proverbs 3:13). If you have children, allow others to help you in daily activities so you can have time to recharge. You can’t do life alone!

While divorce can devastate the very foundation of your life, God still has a unique and magnificent plan waiting for you. We would love to pray with you and support you as God turns your anguish into anticipation. Visit the Care Room after a Sunday service.

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