By: Tess Worrell
Divorce–whirling through lives like a hurricane, it alters relationships, redistributes finances, and reworks parenting. Bottom line–everything changes. And people, well, we don’t like change. We cling to the familiar. We’d much rather do what we know–even if it hurts–than face the unknown. How do we cope, then, with the inevitable whirlwind of change now? Especially that part of going life alone.
Find your focus. Change overwhelms because we don’t know what is going to happen. As we face the unknown, it’s much easier to focus on what we fear than on the good that may come. What if I can’t make it financially? Can I really take care of the children by myself? How do I cope with being alone? As fears swirl, change seems to bring only ruin.
It can be different.
If you are a person of faith–find your focus, and your security, in who you are in Christ. He has promised to provide all you need. Call on Him for wisdom on how to steward what He is giving to meet your needs. He is the ultimate authority in parenting. Turn to Him for answers on how to raise your children–on a moment-by-moment, challenge-by-challenge basis. He is constantly present. Rest in His promise that you will never be alone. The God who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good walks this path with you. He’s there to guide, to comfort, to encourage. He also already knows the ultimate destination for your good and every step to get there. Focus on Him, and fears will fade. If you aren’t a person of faith–and as a second step for those of faith–create a picture of what you want from life.
Given that change is coming–define what you would like to happen.
- When your children are 25 years old:
–what do you want them to be like?
–how do you see your children relating to you and to their other parent? To their spouses and children? To the world?
- Where do you want to be when they are grown–financially, socially, vocationally?
- What steps can you take now to accomplish this vision for the future?
While still challenging, focusing on a vision makes the change seem less like a punishment and more like an opportunity to achieve your most important goals.
Take one step at a time. Insecurity comes when we don’t know how to do Step 47 while standing on Step 6. Focusing on the big picture encourages and brings hope–but only if we don’t get overwhelmed by the steps to get there. Lay out a plan for getting to your goals. But, don’t expect to know how to do every step or to have the energy now for the entire process. Keep the end goal in mind while living in today’s part of the plan. Ask for today’s provision of energy, insight, and focus–and you will use today to move toward the ultimate goal.
Granted, there will be days that don’t quite live up to the vision. Days you know you blew it with the kids or undermined your financial plan with an impulse purchase. Mentally review what tripped you up, look for better strategies, then go to bed and take tomorrow afresh.
Accomplishing today’s step gives the courage and insight to move to the next. If you steadily proceed from one step to another, adjusting as needed, you’ll have the insight you need for Step 47 when you get there.
Get support. When mountain climbers start their ascent, they rope themselves to a buddy and hire a guide that knows the route and how to get around the challenges. Climbers know they will need to the help of others to make it to their goal. As you begin your ascent to a new life, include buddies and guides to help you get there.
Friends walk beside you to share the journey. They offer encouragement for the rough spots and help ease the load when it become too heavy. They also help celebrate the victories as they come.
Guides offer their expertise to lead you through the journey and conquer the challenges. They can include: financial experts to advise on budgeting, counselors to help interpret emotions and frame responses, attorneys to inform legal decisions. These are all examples of the variety of support you might need to work through the changes and get to the life you want.
While many think divorce means going it alone, it shouldn’t. Gather the support you need to find the security you crave. Divorce brings change. It doesn’t have to bring insecurity. Find your focus; take one step at time; and get the support you need. These will move you through the changes to a secure future–one designed by your hopes and goals.