One

Don’t worry.

I won’t ramble on about all the sayings with the number 1 in them. You have probably already heard them. If you haven’t and are divorced, you will shortly.

For some reason, I just felt led to write about this number. It is just that; a number.

You could say that numbers come in all shapes and sizes, but that would not make sense. Unless of course, you are looking for a crazy one for your next Powerpoint slide or Instagram story.

What struck me is why this number can mean the best, the first, and the chosen. It can also be a lonely and depressing number when you are divorced or looking at your account balance.

When you have done everything people tell you to do and yet you don’t feel like you are making progress, what then?

Has counseling, group therapy, and well-meaning friends/family dragging you out of the house seemed to leave you feeling no better than before?

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who has been devastated by divorce, has been where you are. At least for a time.

How long that time is varies from a day or two to years. It all depends on the 1.

What am I talking about? The number? 1?

As a Christian, of course it all comes down Jesus. He is our #1. But that is not where I want to end it. You have heard or will hear all of that, so let me take another look at the number 1.

I think about those who have tried everything and feel stuck. Is that you?

You don’t feel like you have healed at all. You may even feel worse now than when this tragic season started for you.

It is like that book writer trying to start a masterpiece and all you see is an overflowing trash can of crumpled up paper in the corner. (Back when people used typewriters.)

Now what? How do I start? What next?

1.

Ok. Here comes the best advice I can give you after 30 years of experience involved in either my own divorces or ministry to those needing answers:

1.

Come on, Brent. Give us something….. I am sure this is what you are thinking. And I would be too.

Let me explain what I feel led to share with you.

1.

Breath.

1.

Thought.

1.

Prayer.

1.

Action.

Got it?

1.

Just quiet yourself and take a breath. God has blessed you with another one. Slowly breathe in and out.

You are alive and breathing, so God can and will use you. He has a purpose for you being here and in the situation you are in. Everything else at this moment doesn’t matter. Close your eyes and just slowly breathe for a moment or two.

Job 12:10 ESV

10 In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind.

1.

Take a moment to clear your mind of all the thoughts causing you to feel down, depressed, and anxious. There is a thought in there that wants to rise up and it is being choked off by negative thoughts.

When you quiet your mind and think of peace, what do you think of? The wind rustling through the trees on a cool morning outside? How about the whooshing of the waves slowly crashing on a quiet beach as you relax in a chair staring out at the ocean? Does staring at all of the twinkling stars overhead on a clear dark night make you feel like all of your cares are gone, even for a moment?

Philippians 4:8 ESV

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

1.

Take a moment to thank God for His love for you. He loves you with an everlasting love. Nothing that has happened to you or any perception you have about yourself can even come close to what God thinks about you. Yes, you!!

Pray a simple prayer. No agenda. No desires. Just pray that God reveals to you how much He loves you. Ask Him to show you. Ask that He touch you so you can feel Him all the way to your soul. Just spend a moment with Him. Nothing more than that. All of the issues you are dealing with will still be there, but this is your time with the One who created you.

Don’t rush it. Be honest. Pour out your heart to Him. He will listen.

Jeremiah 29:12 ESV

12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

1.

Just do 1 simple thing today. Just 1. Something you have never done before.

Scream “JESUS!!!” at the top of your lungs. Drop and do 20 push-ups. Open the blinds and look for a bird or butterfly. Start reading that book you bought 4 years ago. Grab your Bible, close your eyes, and just start flipping through the pages until you feel you need to stick your finger on a page. Read that chapter. Find a podcast you have never listened to and listen. Call that friend you have lost track of who is on your mind.

Do 1 thing. Something. Move forward.

God will honor your movement towards healing.

In John 5, you can read the story of a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. I could never imagine the pain and shame this man must have endured over his life.

Jesus came and asked him “Do you want to be healed?”. The man did not answer with a yes. He explained to Jesus that he had nobody to help him into the healing pool. We can argue if it was an excuse or just the man frustrated with his situation, not knowing what to do. That is not the point.

Jesus didn’t talk down to him or make him feel less than worthy.

Jesus said to do something. “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”

Sermons have been preached about so many points in just these few verses. I am not going to preach to you.

Just do something.

Ask God what He wants you to do. Then do it.

John 5:9 ESV

And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

1.

Just a simple action, an honest prayer, a peaceful thought, and a breath from your Creator.

You may never see the number 1 the same again.

What is your 1?

Be blessed!!

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
(over 175,000 downloads to date)
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If you would like to support this ministry, feel free to purchase a copy of my book or donate below:

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

Paypal: http://PayPal.Me/brentpapineau3

Venmo: @Brent-Papineau

Any purchase or donation would be a huge blessing. Love you all!!

Are You Ready?

There will come that day when you are ready to move on from the pain, the hurt, and the past. You will be ready to get back in the race.

Your life has not gone the way you imagined it. I don’t know of one person who started dating with the plan to get married and then get divorced. Doesn’t happen.

So what now?

Romans 8:28 ESV

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

This verse doesn’t mean everything in our life is good or even that it will be easy from this day forward. What God is saying is, no matter what, if you love God, things will work out.

God can make something out of nothing. Think back to Eden. He created Adam out of the dirt and Eve using Adam’s rib.

So, how do you think God will use you to help others going through what you have gone through?

If you are not at that point in your healing, that is ok. There will come a day when someone will come to you and need your advice or encouragement. You will feel unprepared and probably have no idea what to say.

Take it from me…..you will be able to help them. Even if it is just to have a listening ear. You are further down the path to healing then they are. Be open to being a helping hand.

When my wife and I had led a few marriage groups at our church, we felt maybe we were to do something else to help others. My wife, being a single mom before we met, felt led to help other single moms. Since I had been divorced twice before, I was starting to have a heart towards men and divorce.

Guess what? God gave us the perfect blend of both of those desires: DivorceCare.

Our church was needing a couple to facilitate this new curriculum. We received a call from one of the pastors asking us if we would be interested.

It is interesting how God had already warmed us up to helping others in a new way, but never saw this coming.

I listened to the pastor on the phone and asked if they could hold for a few seconds while I talked to my wife. I looked at my wife and said, “They want us to lead a new group called DivorceCare. What do you think?”.

She looked at me at said, “I guess we are doing it.”. We didn’t have to think twice.

Now when we started, we felt so unprepared.

God was with us every step of the way. From a lady in our first group who had just moved to our city a few months before and been divorced for over 10 years (Yes, 10!!) still dealing with anger to other people that would eventually become life-long friends, we just took it one week at a time.

It felt good to see people come into the group broken and hurting, yet seeing those who chose to stay in the group for the full timeframe coming to a new place in the healing process.

This is my story. What will yours be?

Will you be someone who leads a group eventually? Will you be a listening ear to that co-worker that is struggling at work because her marriage has fallen apart? Will you hear of someone having problems and feel led to pray for them to get healing and find peace.

However that looks for you, be ready for it. Use the breath God gives you to bless others in your own way and with His spirit leading the way.

I was blessed today to get a direct message from a man who read this blog and felt like God has given him a desire to start a blog as well. I was overjoyed to share a little of the knowledge I have gained over the last 7 1/2 years. I encouraged him to just get started.

You can get started, even if you are not fully healed or fully ready. Ask God to guide you in a simple way to be a blessing to someone else, even if it is in praying for a person struggling with the effects of divorce.

As you take your eyes off of your situations and help others, you will be amazed at how God takes care of your situations while you are not worrying and stressing over them, even for a few minutes.

When you are ready, take the step. Have a caring and encouraging word for someone. Offer to sit in a group and offer your thoughts. Maybe help co-lead a group. Start a blog our YouTube channel about your life.

Be a blessing to someone else as God continues to love you and heal you.

Be blessed!!

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
(over 180,000 downloads to date)
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

If you would like to support this ministry, feel free to purchase a copy of my book or donate below:

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

Paypal: http://PayPal.Me/brentpapineau3

Venmo: @Brent-Papineau

Any purchase or donation would be a huge blessing. Much love!!

Connect

I wanted to thank each and every one of you who has visited this blog and connected with us. Little did I know how far this would go and where God will take it next. Podcast? Vlog? Hang tight and see…

I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to connect with us on other sites, not just on the blog. If you haven’t already, feel free to become a part of the Divorce to Healing family at these sites as well:

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/divorcetohealing

Instagram: instagram.com/divorcetohealing

Twitter: twitter.com/Divorce2Healing

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCox7eYFebPqHWs7mZyx405Q

Chaos

Is this how you are feeling right now?

Does the world inside of you match the world outside of you?

Have you ever wondered about the reason for the question “WHY?”? Is it just a 4-letter word that is so beyond that it lost a letter?

The question of why is not the subject of this post. The cause of fear, anxiety, and confusion IS.

Chaos is caused by many factors, both external and internal. Divorce, abuse, economic factors, political systems and many other reasons are not the actual chaos. They are only the result or fruit of chaos.

It was before Facebook and Twitter. It started before television. It was even around before the invention of the printing press.

Evil. Evil causes chaos.

Wait….. it can’t be that simple!!! What about X, Y, Z, etc…?

Is it a red demon named satan standing in front of people stinking of burnt flesh holding a pitchfork?

I guess we could go in a hundred or more different directions, but in the end, it is evil at some level.

Better yet, let’s describe it as anything coming against the peace that surpasses all understanding that God gives us through His Holy Spirit.

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Chaos is not what God is about. God is the answer to chaos.

I would say that the vast majority of you reading this are not a source of chaos. Most if not virtually all of you are being affected by chaos in a negative way. You are reaping the fruit of chaos. For that my heart breaks.

Remember, people being used by God’s enemies, are not the cause of the chaos. God’s enemies are the source of the chaos. They choose to use people because we live in a physical world and they need a vehicle to control to cause their chaos.

Ephesians 6:12 ESV

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Your ex-husband/ex-wife/stbx (soon-to-be-ex) is not evil. They are being manipulated in some way and at some level by an enemy of God.

God created us with a free will. How we allow our free will to be controlled by internal and external forces is our choice, just as those being used to bring forth chaos.

The answer to the “WHY? question may never come. I know that may be a hard thing to hear, but chances are you either will not get the answer you desire or it will just be a lie anyway. Just let it go for now.

We get caught up in the fruit of chaos and forget to choose a different fruit; the fruit of peace.

Philippians 4:4-9 ESV

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

First, God tells us to rejoice in Him. It is hard to rejoice in the situations and people around us, but we can choose to lay that aside and find joy in Jesus.

Second, people will see that you are being reasonable and able to think about your relationships and what is happening with a sound mind.

Third, God says not to worry about things. He also wants you to come to Him with those in prayer, whole-heartedly giving thanks and honoring Him as you lay them out at the feet of Jesus.

THEN, after you do these things, it says that God will give you that peace that surpasses all understanding. If you don’t have that yet, keep repeating the steps above until you do.

After you can honestly have a Godly peace, one that you can feel all the way to the depths of your soul, then comes the hard part.

Verses 8 & 9 give you the recipe to maintain that peace. God will always give you peace, but when we follow the instructions in these verses, peace stays with us. That is what you want, right?

Verse 8 says to think about these things:

Whatever is true (to God, not in your own mind)

Whatever is honorable (to God, not you or any person)

Whatever is just (according to God’s descriptions, not yours)

Whatever is pure (in God’s eyes, again, not our own)

Whatever is lovely (what God finds love in, not what we feel like love is)

Whatever is commendable (what God would give you a verbal pat on the back for)

Whatever is found as excellent in thought, word, or deed (something that God thinks in an excellent way towards, like an action or thought you have about anyone else)

Whatever is worthy of praise (God actually is always worthy of praise in every situation, so I guess always)

Verse 9 says that when you have learned (been made aware of and acknowledge), received (actually believe and have decided to embrace), heard (hearing AND UNDERSTANDING BY DOING, not just reading and listening), and seen (saw demonstration of those actions of faith through the testimony of others); this is what God wants you to practice the rest of your life. THEN, the God of peace will be with you.

It sounds like a lot, I know. It seems like a daunting task, but it really isn’t. It just takes a real choice to seek and find peace. The other option is to stumble around life until you get to the point where you are ready to truly have the peace you desire.

A person can’t give you peace. A huge divorce settlement and a fat bank account can’t give you peace. A new relationship just to bandage wound can’t give you peace.

God is the God of peace.

You want peace.

Tell Him.

Be blessed!!

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

If you would like to support this ministry, feel free to purchase a copy of my book or donate below:

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

Paypal: http://PayPal.Me/brentpapineau3

Venmo: @Brent-Papineau

Any purchase or donation would be a huge blessing. Love you all!!

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