When I got the phone call ending our marriage of twenty years, it was like a grenade went off in my face.
A gentler way of saying that is that I was shocked and stunned. Disoriented. And when that happens, you need help right away because you’re not thinking “per usual.” And you’re definitely not yourself when this occurs.
If you’re going through a divorce right now, here are four simple things that will help you keep your wits during this traumatic season.
1. Go to Church
Assuming you’re a Christ-follower (or if you’ve been away from church for a while and are now looking to God for help), don’t dismiss this for its simplicity. If you start consistently going to church, you’ll realize internal benefits and find help with the next three simple things. And if you don’t have a church in mind already, find one that’s Bible-solid. Locate one focused on caring for and reaching people.
2. Find and Join a DivorceCare® Support Group
You’ll immediately see you need the content once you check out the issues featured during the group experience. And you’ll need the people – to realize you’re not an isolated sufferer. Plus, you’ll discover that the group leaders have been where you are. They get it. They get you. They’re also living reminders that there can be life after a failed marriage.
3. Serve Others – Simply
Find a simple serve role in your church. They have plenty. Focusing on others, even a little each week, will encourage you. As you help others, you’ll feel valuable. Connection with fellow volunteers with whom you serve will be a bonus. And yes, even if you’re a single parent, this is still a good idea – short of having triplets…maybe. Typically, there’s a childcare ministry for your kiddos while you serve, as well.
It’s possible the simple serve is not for everybody. But it should be checked out by more of us than we might believe. As a single Dad of teenagers back then, I can’t tell you how much it helped me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
4. Try to Avoid the Majors – major decisions, major purchases, other majors
This is where the grenade burst metaphor best applies. It’s not that you can’t make the majors, and it’s just that you’re not in the best place to pull the trigger on them, in a way you’d like to – in a way, you will be better able to make good majors, down the road. Unless you must make immediate majors to protect you or your family, give yourself permission, space, time, and freedom – for now – to make majors later.
When you look back, you’ll see, as I can now, that simple was best. You’ll be amazed at how – as disoriented as you were – by keeping it simple, you got through ok. You’ll be grateful to God for the supportive experiences and people that have been prescribed here.
Equipping Pastor for Men’s & Recovery Ministries