Holiday Divorce Resources

For so many people, this time of the year is not the most joyous. It brings back memories of bitter times and causes them to dwell on the past and current pain in their lives.

Sometimes, it is just too much.

Please, don’t just click and move on from this post or scroll too quickly. Take just 5 minutes to give yourself a real chance to get some help for how you may be feeling.

I want you to know, PERSONALLY, that you are loved and there are people that honestly and truly will be there for you. If you don’t know who that is in your life right now, take a few minutes to consider anyone and everyone who has told you this; “If you need anything, be sure to let me know”. If they truly meant it, reach out to them. Tell them you need someone to help you, even if you just need them to listen to you dump.

I want you to know, PERSONALLY, that God loves you with an everlasting love. He doesn’t care where you are right now or what you think about your situation. He just wants to love you. Take a few minutes to just tell him anything you want.

Don’t worry. You won’t hurt His feelings. He will listen. He just wants you to be real, raw, and fully honest with Him, no matter what.

Say it out loud. Talk to Him verbally, just like you would if someone is physically standing in the room with you. Yell. Scream. Cry. Blame. Just let it out. Don’t stop until you get it all out.

You may be saying, “I thought this would give me a list of places and organizations where I could reach out for help.”

I just did. Real people that love you no matter what and a God that loves you no matter what will do far more for you in the long run than a phone number or a website. These may help jumpstart your healing process, yet they will only go so far.

Don’t worry. I will have a few at the end of this post.

Nothing helped me more than having a cryfest with my lead and associate pastors at my local church to start my healing process. Getting to sit with my brother on the steps to his house just pouring my heart out to him allowed me to keep moving forward a little bit at a time. Talking to a friend who just allowed me to bend his ear whenever I felt like it, did wonders for my soul.

Don’t miss out on these resources. Years down the road, you will see the immense value of these friendships and relationships for what they are; human resources for the soul.

Did I have thoughts of suicide when I was at my weakest points? Yes. Was I ever serious about them? No.

Most people experience the same thing, but you soon realize that there are more than just a few people that will forever be devastated by losing you.

If you are seriously considering suicide, please stop and contact someone immediately.

In the US, contact 911 or 1-800-273-8255. You should only be on hold a minute, but someone will be ready to talk to you as soon as possible.

If you are not in the US, here is a link to international phone numbers that you can call right now.

If you would prefer to chat with someone via chat, visit ChatNow or Anthem of Hope. Both of these can help with many different issues. They are free and totally anonymous.

If you are in need of fully Christian and fully clinical professional in-person mental health needs, visit this link to Honey Lake Clinic. It is the #1 Christian mental health clinic in the US!! If you need real help with Christian and medical professionals working together, I would seek them out.

For those that need to find a local church where they can connect with people near them so they can develop new and life-giving relationships, consider this website from the Association of Related Churches. ARC is a Christian organization that is non-denominational that works together as a group to help grow life-changing and life-giving churches is over 600 communities all over the US and even some overseas.

There are numerous Christian reading plans available at Bible.com. There are too many subjects and plans to even try to tell you about them. Just take a look. They are free resources and I highly recommend the YouVersion app for your mobile device to make it easier to read.

If you are interested in the two reading plans I have there, check out the links below:

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
Divorce to Healing: 31 Days of Healing and Wholeness — http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
Divorce to Healing: Survive and Thrive —  http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

In the event you just want to share your story or a comment to this post, feel free to share it below. I do my best to respond to each and every comment. I would love to know what is on your heart and mind during this time of year or any time.

Reach out if you need help.

You are loved. You are special. You were fearfully and wonderfully created God.

Be blessed!!

Comfort in Suffering

Everyone grows tired of the same old attempts to make us feel good when we are going through the most difficult times in our lives. For the most part, they mean well. Does it really feel like that to you, though?

If we are being honest, we want to believe that “everything will be alright” and “time heals all wounds”. At 2AM in the morning when you can’t sleep and have been crying your eyes out, these words ring less than hollow.

The meaning behind those words are saying, “I care, but I don’t really know what to say or do.” In the end, they mean well and really do care for you.

Unless they have gone through what you are going through or are a professional counselor/minister, anything they say may not give you any sense of relief or comfort.

When I learned that almost everything I can say or do for someone going through a divorce will not provide much help, it set me back a little bit. It caused me to rethink my approach when it comes to advice and direction for divorce healing.

To those of you who have read my previous blog posts or I have been blessed to help you in person, you know those words. I will share them later in this post, for those that need them.

Today, I saw a video that I had to watch twice. It is a video from Celebration Church of Jacksonville, FL. They produce a weekly video to compliment their daily bible study called The Whole Story Reading Plan. It is in partnership with The Bible Project and an amazing way to gain a fuller understanding of the Bible.

In this weekly video titled “Comfort in the Mystery“, I gained a fresh perspective of the Book of Job.

We all know the story (or do we?). Job was a good man that God allowed to go through suffering. Man, did I learn some things. From a guy who has been a Christian for over 25 years and heard numerous sermons on Job, this was eye-opening.

The video is about 30 minutes long. When you are ready and have the time to process it, feel free to watch it (posted again below). Watch it fully a couple of times, like I did.

(Disclaimer: You may be confused by some of the things said, if you have not deeply studied the Bible. Just listen for the application of the Word, paying attention to how God’s Word provides comfort in and through suffering. I will refer you to the book Supernatural by Dr. Michael Heiser for information on what be new or confusing to you.)

Hopefully, you will feel encouraged that God knows what you are going through and desires you to be whole, not just healed.

He has the answers to your questions. He has the salve for your wounds. He has the hands to mend your broken heart.

I promised you earlier that I would share with you what I say to those needing comfort and direction in times of divorce.

If you are looking for answers, I don’t have them. If you want me to tell you it will get better, it will eventually. If you want to know how to fell or how to act, beats me. So what good can I provide?

A continually, fully surrendered, honest relationship with Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior that is growing each and every day is what you need. Simple as that.

It is not hard, yet extremely challenging. It is not easy, yet it is exceedingly fulfilling. It is not warm and fuzzy, at least when you start. It is not confusing, as long as you remain obedient.

I have not had one person tell me that the above has not worked, if they honestly surrender complete control over EVERY area of their life and follow Jesus with blind and growing faith.

Don’t kid yourself. What you are going through is real life!!! Guess who gave you that life? God did and he does not make mistakes.

He is the only one who knows exactly what you need, when you need it, and how you need it. A true and honest growing relationship with Him will provide the peace, wisdom, and knowledge needed as you process from divorce to healing and on to wholeness.

God knows. God loves you. Let Him love you the way He wants to love you.

Get to know Him.

Be blessed!!

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

There Was Jesus

Such an amazing song to encourage those that need some encouragement right now.

The lyrics are listed below. Be blessed!!

There Was Jesus


Every time I tried to make it on my own

Every time I tried to stand and start to fall

All those lonely roads that I have traveled on

There was Jesus

When the life I built came crashing to the ground

When the friends I had were nowhere to be found

I couldn’t see it then but I can see it now

There was Jesus

In the waiting, in the searching

In the healing and the hurting

Like a blessing buried in the broken pieces

Every minute, every moment

Of where I been and where I’m going

Even when I didn’t know it

Or couldn’t see it

There was Jesus

For this man who needs amazing kind of grace

For forgiveness at a price I couldn’t pay

I’m not perfect so I thank God every day

There was Jesus

On the mountain in the valleys (There was Jesus)

In the shadows of the alleys (There was Jesus)

In the fire, in the flood (There was Jesus)

Always is and always was

I never walk alone

Music by Zach Williams and Dolly Parton performing “There Was Jesus” (Official Music Video). (C) 2020 Provident Label Group LLC, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Psalm 23: Divorce Translation

It seems even those who don’t know the Bible have heard at least parts of this passage of scripture. It is one of the most popular and encouraging group of verses quoted and paraphrased every hour of every day somewhere in the world.

I would like to share this version with you. I will quote a verse and then translate it for those needing the hope and encouragement you need now during the divorce healing process.

Psalm 23:1 ESV

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Translation:

Jesus is watching over you. He is looking out for danger and possible attacks against you. If you have Him, you have everything you need to get through this. Don’t think another relationship will give you true peace. It won’t fill that God-shaped hole inside of you.

Psalm 23:2 ESV

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

Translation:

Jesus will make you rest. He will cause you to take time to be refreshed. He will make sure it is a place still full of life and nourishment (grass and water). As a lamb, you need a safe place to pause and regain your strength. Jesus will allow you to see the lush, green grass between your toes and the mirror-like surface of the freshest water you have ever seen.

Psalm 23:3 ESV

Translation:

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Jesus brings back your soul from the place of brokeness. He fixes the shattered pieces and puts them together again. He will be your ever present help as you make decisions that will affect you and your family from this day forward. It will be a path that glorifies Him as it brings forth transformation in you.

Psalm 23:4 ESV

Translation:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.

Jesus will calm your fears of what is to come as you choose to walk with him through this valley in your life. Though it may feel like you are near death and being haunted by an evil shadow, He is right there with you. Hold on to Him, because He wants to hold onto you. His rod is an instrument of protection from harm as it displays His strength towards the enemy. His staff is the way He guides you, lovingly rescuing you from those places you seem to find yourself in that are not good for you. Those give you a peace, knowing how much He loves you in those ways.

Psalm 23:5 ESV

Translation:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.

Jesus is creating a place where you will feast upon God’s blessings while others will be able to see His goodness towards you. He will flood your heart and mind with an abundance of peace and joy as you commune with Him at His table. There will come a day that you will be able to help others from the overflow of His goodness in your life. Your healing will flow out to those around you because of what God has done in you.

Psalm 23:6 ESV

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Translation:

Get ready for the rest of your life!! You will experience a life where people will see God’s goodness and mercy flow out of you wherever you go. You can experience the life God has for you, as a son or daughter of the King in His house full of love and peace. As you stay in His home, you will.

Don’t let your emotions and self-image cause you to stray. Wolves are waiting for you to be isolated and wounded. God will come to your rescue. Just call on Jesus and rest in Him. He is your shepherd.

Be blessed.

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

The Next Chapter

(Please read all the way to the end)

God is always writing a new chapter in our lives. Our life story is being written by an author and creator that already knows how the story will end.

Do we know how it will go?

Of course not. We are living that story and you can’t see into the future. While we can do everything we can to invest, change, grow, and learn to become what we believe is our better self, many things go into the next chapter.

I used to think I wanted to know my future. The older I get, the more I realize that I would not have chosen that future. I wanted to be a rock star. I wanted to see the world. I wanted to have things and be someone that is nothing close to what I have or who I am now.

Saying all of that, I would not change one thing in my past because of what God has done in and through my life to bring me to where I am now.

Do I have regrets? More than I can ever count? Do I wish things would have been different? Only if I would have what I have now, know what I know now, be as blessed as I am now, and know that through everything, God has been faithful to bring forth wholeness to me through it all, in spite of me and my failings.

So, why are we both taking a moment right now to acknowledge the turning of a page in our lives?

Our story is not made up of only a couple dozen chapters. It is a complete rendering of our life on earth. It has many characters, plot twists, and shocking events. It includes love, pain, joy, loss, life, and death.

It is a record for all of eternity that you exist. You matter. You are a part of human history and God’s story.

While most lives will never make the history books in our schools or the shelves of our libraries and Kindles, it still is being written. It is still there. It will always be there, even if nobody ever sees it or reads it.

God has a place for our story. He is recording our daily lives, knowing how it will end. Yet, He is letting us co-write it.

We know that God gave us a free will. There are consequences and results from every decision and action for our whole life. This is our part of the story writing.

Think of it as a REAL (not psuedo-real) reality show. As you go through voting people off, back-stabbing, helping your teammates, lifting others up, and striving to be your best, God is putting pen to paper on your story.

How do you think God goes about recording your prayers to Him? Is it like you talking to Him for advice on how to handle a situation or relationship? Do you ignore His subtle and sometimes abrupt requests for just a few minutes to spend time with Him?

Since He knows the whole story, I wonder if we see how advantageous it would be to ask Him about His plans on how our story should go. God has a best plan for us. It is up to us to come into alignment with that plan in order for Him to give us our best life.

How would our life story change if we asked the One who knows how the story ends? How would being obedient to His calling and direction affect our selfish and simplistic look at our lives? Could we see our life actually is a vital part of human history?

What is your next chapter?

Will it be full of disappointment, pain, and selfishness to the point of destruction at the hand of substance abuse, suicide, or just giving up on life and letting things happen?

Will it be full or a restoration of your self-image, a renewing of your mental well-being, and a testimony to God’s redeeming work in your life?

Take a moment right now to decide how you want the next chapter to read. Set a few minutes aside to quiet yourself and honestly talk to God.

Tell Him what you are feeling. Be honest. If you can’t be honest with yourself and others, at least be honest with Him. He loves you and is on your side. Let it out.

Ask Him what this next chapter looks like. It may amaze you that He wants to write about the healing and wholeness He has for you. He is wants to marvel that this will not be a chapter in your life that will look back to the other chapters already written but looks look forward to the life story to come.

Picture yourself at a Panera (where I am right now enjoying a hot Orange Mint Herbal Tea) sitting across from God himself. He has a pad and paper in front of Him and has a nice pen in His right hand touching the paper. On the top of the page reads “The Next Chapter”.

He looks at you with excitement in His heart, wondering what you want written down. His eyes are filled with a love you are just now starting to understand. His voice asks you softly, “My child, what is next? How do you want this to start?”

What is your response?

 

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

 

The Space Between

The word liminal comes from the Latin word ‘limen’, meaning threshold – any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, a season of waiting, and not knowing.

Author and Franciscan friar Richard Rohr describes this space as:

where we are betwixt and between the familiar and the completely unknown. There alone is our old world left behind, while we are not yet sure of the new existence. That’s a good space where genuine newness can begin. Get there often and stay as long as you can by whatever means possible…This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed. If we don’t encounter liminal space in our lives, we start idealizing normalcy.

These thresholds of wondering and not knowing our ‘next’ are inevitable and most are incredibly disruptive. Yet, these spaces are required and necessary for growth that precedes your healing.

From the point where you take that leap of faith until you land on solid ground, it can be scary. It can be lonely. It can be confusing and exhausting.

It is ALWAYS a testimony.

This is the place that scares us. This is the place where our comfort zone has been left for the unknown zone. This is where fear and faith collide to do battle for the future of our life.

Look at the person in the picture above again. Notice a few things about them:

 

They are looking forward —

Unless you are a diver or playing around near a pool, you look ahead when you leap. You are  seeking a place that is in front of you.

Have you ever wondered why God put our eyes on the front of our head? Yes, to look forward. We have to strain to see behind us without a mirror. It should be a struggle to focus on what is already behind us.

God wants us to look at what lies ahead instead of what lies in ruins behind us. You can’t change the past. You can only learn from it and move forward.

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

They are heading somewhere —

There is movement away from the past towards a new present. A decision was made to embrace change. They trust where they are heading will be better than where they have been, a place of pain.

There is a hope, a desire for more than what has happened to them. A sense of a new beginning that can only happen when they step out in faith.

But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

 

They are not where they used to be —

The space between is not the place of your past. You are not there any more. Rejoice in that!!

You are now residing in a new space. Liminal space is temporary, just like where you may be living right now.

A nice big house may have become a small 2 bedroom apartment either with your children or all by yourself. The house may be the same, but your family may not be there with you.

A negative change in your physical home can become a welcome change in your non-physical home. Your soul can be at rest with His Holy Spirit no matter where you live,  in a mansion or in a rescue shelter.

He lives in you. Seeking Him and welcoming Him into your new ‘home’ will mean a closer, more life-giving relationship with the God who will never leave you nor forsake you.

10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly,

 

They are above where they will land —

It seems a little odd, but do you notice in the picture the person is higher than where they will end up on the other side? Why is that?

First, it takes strength to jump out in faith. You need to know that God will be your strength and will give you the power to propel away from your past to land in your future. Go for it!!

Second, you can’t just crawl off the faith cliff. You will fall straight down. The person above put physical, mental, and emotional energy into moving out from their past. You can too.

Third, where you are headed will be a foundation for your future. It will be the solid ground where you can stabilize yourself for the journey ahead. Count on it.

13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

 

Will everything be perfect from this point forward? Of course, not. Will everything work out? I hope so. Will it be difficult? Probably. Will it be worth it? DEFINITELY!!

When you thrust your whole being upwards towards the God who created you and loves you, the picture above is where you will be. You will be closer to Him, away from your past, above your problems, and heading towards a solid rock where your new life will begin.

Be blessed!!

 

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

 

 

 

 

 

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