Time to Move On

 

When my ex-husband walked out the door into the arms of another woman, my ego tanked.  I felt rejected, abandoned and overwhelmed with two little kids and my family shot to bits and pieces.

It was difficult—at best—to keep the self-defeating thoughts from taking over.

I was shaken to the core and everything I believed about love and commitment and Christian marriage now seemed naive in the face of betrayal.

Looking back, I can see that in the mess of divorce (or a break-up), these emotions are a NORMAL part of the grieving process after a relationship suddenly ends.

The death of a relationship—from divorce, tragedy, or a break-up—leaves us with a bag of emotions we aren’t equipped to deal with.  Anger, sadness and self-criticism can overwhelm us if we focus too much on the what, how and why it all went wrong.

While it’s natural to go through a season of deep inner self-reflection and grief, we are at risk of staying in the bitterness if we don’t forgive, accept and move on. 

At some point, we must confront the death of the dream—acknowledge our loss—and begin to plant the seeds of hope for not only recovery, but FULL restoration.

Here are some tips to move you past the pain and into the vibrant future God plans for you:

  1.  Accept your emotional highs and lows as a normal part of the end of a relationship.  Remind yourself “this too shall pass.” My emotions aren’t the truth but an indicator of my heart and its brokenness and need for the great Healer. 
  2. Love Yourself. God, in his infinite grace, “first loved us” so we could extend love to others.  You are a valuable and worthwhile person.  No man or woman defines your identity.  You are complete in Christ alone.
  3. When you get dumpedexpect to feel rejected.  If you are the dumper—expect to feel guilty.  Find a Christian counselor and work through the facets and failures of this relationship BEFORE you jump into another one.  Remember, you will go into the next relationship with all of your same problems unless you start to deal with them now.
  4. Discover who you are.  Now that you are on your own, figure out how you like to eat your eggs (remember Runaway Bride?) and what brings a smile to your face.  Explore new hobbies, rediscover old activities and embrace the life God blessed you with.  For example: my ex-husband had a bum ankle and many of my favorite activities like roller-blading, tennis and skiing had gone by the way side because he couldn’t keep up.  It was time to pull out my equipment, reclaim my athletic MOJO and head to the mountains and the beach!
  5. Create Community!  Find a group of like minded friends and believers to do life with.  Check out the Point at Mariners Church (shameless plug for my hubs), get involved with serving and initiate relationship. Finding people who understand and support you is like an energy drink for the soul.  We need Jesus with skin on and God gives us one another to carry each other’s burdens and cheer one another on.  Find your team!

Last, if depression and rejection are too big to handle alone, please seek counseling and support.  Divorce Care, Celebrate Recovery, and many other groups will help you through the initial pain.

Your divorce or break-up is not who you are. You are not a victim.  This is one more experience that can help you grow into the person God created you to be!

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