How do you suggest finding confidence in yourself, in the future, and in marriage after going through a divorce?
Dear Looking Ahead,
Going through a divorce can be a very difficult and challenging process and a deeply painful season in life. Know that it is normal for the emotional and relational pain to feel overwhelming at times, especially if the divorce is rather recent. Strong emotions like anger, sadness, and grief often create deep crevices of doubts and disillusionment. My advice is to start by finding a group of healthy, caring people to connect with—friends, family, counselors—as you process through this journey. Many divorcees feel as if they have lost more than just a partner—with growing uncertainties related to their self-esteem, their connections to others, and their perceived closeness to God. Take heart and encouragement—you are not alone, and such feelings are normal experiences during the grief process. Scripture promises us that God never leaves us nor forsakes us (Deut. 31:8, Joshua 1:9), and is a constant help in times of need (Ps. 46:1, Heb. 4:16). Perhaps the most helpful advice is also the most straightforward: time does heal, and the hurt will pass. Isaiah 43:18-19 says this: “Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”
How encouraging to know that in our dry times God makes rivers in the desert, and in the chaos he makes roadways in the wilderness. I pray this is true for you. Stay tuned for a few more ideas and advice in a blog coming soon.
Christopher Grace serves as the director of the Biola University Center for Marriage and Relationships and teaches psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology. He and his wife, Alisa, speak regularly to married couples, churches, singles and college students on the topic of relationships, dating and marriage. Grace earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in experimental social psychology from Colorado State University.