“Thanksgiving. How are we supposed to handle Thanksgiving?” Those contemplating or going through divorce often dread the clash between their ideal image of Thanksgiving and the reality they live.
Trying to reconcile the two leaves people angry, sad, or emotionally disconnected. Most would rather ignore Thanksgiving than face it.
Ironically, their greatest comfort may come from embracing the day.
Divorce brings huge loss. But, divorce also offers huge opportunity. If those facing divorce can pause to see all they still have or can achieve, Thanksgiving gratitude flows as a healing balm.
The sense of loss diminishes as hope rises. Even divorce can bring opportunities for good. These include:
Opportunity to rediscover authentic self.
Many websites and books exalt divorce as the gateway to personal freedom and fulfillment. These can seem gaudy and even repulsive as they proclaim the joys of divorce. Yet, they sell well because they hit an underlying truth.
For many, marriage became a trap. Instead of a secure, intimate union with a spouse who accepted their most naked self, without shame, marriage became a place where people lost themselves. They morphed into someone else to please or accommodate or to keep the peace. Marriage became the place to hide.
This Thanksgiving, those facing divorce can give thanks for the opportunity to reconnect with the person God designed them to be.
People living a false self can’t connect. With their own identity. With other people. With God. Coming out of a relationship that demands falsity opens opportunities. Opportunities to receive God’s affirmation at their deepest level and to ask Him to redeem His design within them.
Opportunity to walk closely with God into better life.
As people turn to God for redemption of the unique child He created, they also find opportunity to more fully submit to His guidance. Singleness opens the door to fully respond to God’s leading. Independent from spousal pressures or disagreement with God’s direction.
Divorce impacts everything–finances. . .work. . .parenting. Those struggling to cope know they need help. Strength. Hope. God steps into their lives to guide. To strengthen. To bring hope.
Poignantly, people sometimes discover the chance for the greatest growth in their walk with God inside the worst transition of their life.
Opportunity to serve others.
Life after divorce offers the chance to serve others. One former client became attached to another family about six months after her divorce. When their toddler was hospitalized for several months, she brought meals. She took the older children to her house to do homework with her kids. She organized neighbors to complete yard work. The family said they felt too big a burden. She responded, “I don’t have a husband to care for. That gives me more time to invest in others.”
While her divorce was initially devastating, she had rediscovered priorities uniquely hers. And acted on them. She found joy in being more available to others than she could during her marriage.
Divorce and holidays make strange bedfellows. Yet, Thanksgiving turns thoughts toward all the blessings to enjoy. Even in divorce, people can be grateful. For the opportunity to reconnect with the unique person God created. For direction. For the chance to use the rest of life to serve others.
If you are facing divorce and need support, call 317-344-9740 or email info@TheResolutionCenterIndy.com. We help you settle the legal issue. More importantly, we help you transition well to the next stage of life.