So you had a husband. After a divorce, the gaping hole left by your former partner is not only hard to ignore, but harder yet to fill back in.
Truly healing from the heartbreak of divorce starts with shifting your thoughts away from the man who was your earthly husband, and turning your heart to the Lord, who desires to be your Heavenly Husband.
(If you’re so confused right now by this “Heavenly Husband” thing, we talked about this beautiful concept in our last post on going from hurt to healing after divorce. Go here if you didn’t read it yet– you have to).
Closeness with God is an exceedingly precious experience because God’s love is extravagant, beyond anything any man could offer. What’s more, our God doesn’t just want to completely heal you from your divorce (as good as that is). No, His desire is even greater– that you would discover a brilliant new life as the woman He made you to be all along. The woman He made you to be before the divorce.
Before the wedding.
Hold up. I know what you’re thinking– “Heavenly Husband? How do I even do get close to God like that?” We’re going to break it all down in our 5 Essential Tips to Heal from Divorce.
It All Starts with The Heart
The battlefield of your marriage has left your heart wounded and scarred. Healing from divorce starts with bringing your mangled heart to God jus as it is, so He can heal it by filling in those wounded places with His peace.
Philippians 4:7 (ESV) says “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This verse tells us that knowing God brings an unexplainable peace (something every single woman is desperately searching for, amIright?). But even more than that, closeness with God allows you to experience a safety that can shield your mind from all the ugly things that try to take you down, whether from within or without.
I know you know what ugly things I’m talking about. Doubt. Rejection. Anger. Shame. Self-loathing. Fear of the unknown.
And as you begin to heal, you will begin to see the value of your mended heart, as scarred as it still may be. The peace you experience in the Lord becomes too precious, too good to let just anyone come back in there and tear it all up again. In that confidence you will grow stronger, and you begin to see yourself as God sees you.
And then, with the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit, you actually start to become her.
But taking that busted up heart to God is just the first step on your journey to healing. Each progressive step involves developing a connection with God that not only fills in that gaping hole your ex-husband left, but transforms you into the most wonderful version of yourself.
5 Essential Tips to Healing After Divorce
While the idea of God as your Husband might be hard to wrap your mind around at first, it’s important to note that knowing God in this extremely personal way is not unlike the process of developing a healthy human relationship. To develop that connection, here are our 5 Essential Tips to Healing After Divorce:
Get to Know Each Other. So you wouldn’t just marry someone you’d never met (unless for some reason you had an arranged marriage but go with me here). Start off learning about the God who loves you so much by reading Scripture daily.
If reading the Bible is a new thing for you, don’t stress. You can pick a translation that gets the heart of the message across (like the New Living Translation) and it will feel more familiar, like reading a book.
BTW, you don’t have to start at Genesis. King David had a heart for God and could write a love song like no other, so consider starting in the book of Psalms. You can easily read a psalm (or even half of a psalm) each day and get on the fast track to understanding God’s love, mercy, and compassion for His beloved children.
Being an active participant in your study time will help you connect with the Word and discover what the Lord wants to reveal to you. Have a pen handy so you can underline words that stand out to you, star key passages, jot your thoughts down in the margins, or even journal in a separate notebook. It’s up to you so do what fits you best!
Talk. Regular communication is key to discovering another person (and who we are with them). Depending on how you grew up, prayer can seem like this thing that can only be done in special places, at certain times, with particular words. But God wants to hear from us, just like we would talk to a friend. So start out by just talking. The words (and the tears) will flow.
Tell God what’s going on. Tell Him what hurts. Tell Him what you’re thankful for. Tell Him what He means to you.
Ask Him to show you what He wants you to see. Ask Him to help you know it when you see it. Ask for patience to do things His way (and the heart to actually do it). Ask Him for what you need.
Pray throughout the day, whenever you think of it. Whether you’re feeling up or down. Oh, and pray out loud. You’ll be amazed at what you experience when you hear your own thoughts and prayers, in your own voice.
Spend Quality Time Together. Just like you’d go on dates or special outings with a person you’re getting to know, you can enjoy time discovering life with God. Think about the hobbies, interests, and abilities that you enjoy– many of these are things God has gifted you with in the first place! If you are a creative person, make time to craft, write, or play music. If you like being outdoors, make a habit of going on regular hikes. If you enjoy getting involved, find a way to serve a cause you care about. Not only will you reconnect with your own giftedness, you’ll reconnect with the God who planted these interests within you in the first place.
Involve Others. “Submarining” is the practice of disappearing when you are in a relationship, spending ALL your time alone with that person. It’s not the best idea for human relationships and to be honest, it’s not exactly the way God designed us to know Him either. Fellowship with members of a spiritual family is a critical way we experience the Lord’s love and healing in our lives. Find a church community that you connect with and get involved. Get yourself a mentor that you schedule regular chats with. Meet often with group of wise Christian female friends that do life together and support one another.
Commit. When you’re dating someone exclusively, you’re not in the “options open” space anymore. You’re committed. You devote thought and care to that particular person. You consider their feelings when you make decisions. The same is true with God. He wants us to walk with Him, share life with Him. Whenever you start to feel distracted or depressed, go back to the previous 4 steps and consider where you can dig even deeper to help you reconnect with God.
I know it seems like a lot but don’t stress. Meaningful change can happen, even just one step at a time. Try adding just 1 or 2 things to your routine this week. When you do, I PROMISE you’ll find yourself craving more from the God who holds no good thing back from those who seek Him, and the rest will follow.
What habits have helped you to discover your unique identity in Christ? We’d love to hear about them!