I have come to realize that the biggest gains in life are the result of significant life trials. The heart-wrenching, soul-shattering experiences seem to propel me into a deeper understanding of myself and life.
We ask for help and seek understanding. These experiences are being connected along a powerful journey towards heaven. The Bible tells of inevitable hardship and spiritual battles that we will encounter over and over in our lifetime. We are also encouraged to lean in to the Truth and seek God always. In fact it is through our journey and our relationship with God that we are able to find our worth and our purpose as defined by him.
Our growing forward experiences can be summarized in Ephesians 4:14:
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. – Ephesians 4:14 NLT
Gifts of Divorce
The gifts of divorce, or any hardship, are plenty if we are open to receiving. During a recent conversation with therapist and coach Leesa Landry, I was reminded of the importance of defining our self-esteem and self-worth to protect ourselves against beautifully-packaged-destructive situations. Ephesians describes a transformation from immaturity to wisdom – a transformation that transcends all earthly understanding and places us in our God-given purpose.
Leesa spoke directly on how to focus on the journey, not the result, to reveal your gifts of divorce. As you begin your journey, here are 4 ways to deepen your own transformation:
1. Speak truth to your soul every day.
As you brush your teeth in the morning, or after washing your face in the evening, whisper wise words of positivity, growth, and truth into your soul. Look directly into the mirror and recite affirmations, compliment yourself and your day, and spend time daily in God’s Word. You must protect your thoughts and this begins with positively programming your thoughts.
2. Make a list of what is important to you.
What is important in relationships, with your career, in your family, in your faith, with your health, and for your future? These are guiding behaviors, values, and principles to use as you decide if a relationship, a career, an opportunity, or any decision regarding your well-being is protective and in alignment with your purpose. In fact, when you decide to not negotiate these behaviors and principles, unexpected benefits will be revealed. Examples include:
- I will not refer to my first husband as my “ex” but as “my former spouse”
- I will not speak badly of my former spouse publicly or to my children.
- I am enjoying my life and will seek more opportunities to meet new people in a safe place.
- At least one parent will be at every child’s event.
- I will be at every parent-teacher conference.
- I will volunteer for one school event or field trip every year.
- I will read to my children every night.
- Spiritual life is important to me. We will attend a couple’s Bible Study together.
- I expect respect. If I feel uneasy, I will trust this is the Holy Spirit prompting me to take immediate action to protect my well-being.
- I will set healthy boundaries with open communication.
- I will seek the guidance of a Christian friend to pray and support me as I follow God’s lead for a new relationship.
During a recent conversation with Kathleen, the creation of the list of values and principles guided her to the relationship of her dreams. She was not influenced by clever words or flashy promises. Compromise was not a value on her list.
In Leesa’s situation, her list of values and principles led her out of a relationship and defined the career of her dreams – a gift of divorce as she lovingly refers to her experience!
Sally also found that reinventing herself based on what was important to her brought much happiness into her life and a surprise career in health and wellness.
I also discuss the significance of determining and following expected behaviors, values, and principles in my most recent book, It’s My Time.
3. Define what is better in your life as a result of the divorce.
Are you free to explore new hobbies? Have you found a new career? Do you have better relationships? Have you learned more about your uniqueness, your needs, your desires?
4. Surround yourself with a supportive community on a similar journey.
Open up to new friends hand-picked by God to be in your life! We were meant for community. My recommendation is to be selective. Use your behaviors, values, and principles list. If you have not created your list for supportive friends, now is the time to create it. Examples may include:
- My friends seek Biblical truth in their own lives.
- I am seeking friends who are open and honest.
- I can trust my friends to support me in the ways that keep my eyes focused on God’s plan for my life.
- We enjoy life together in prayer, in travel, and with hobbies.
If you are open to an online community, join us in LoveLife Again. We are a dynamic group of women who are growing forward together in life after divorce.