“During these difficult transition times, you have to begin again to define clearly who you really are.” Sheldon Kopp in Blues Ain’t Nothing But a Good Soul Feeling Bad – Daily Steps to Spiritual Growth
Life transitions are challenging. They require a redefinition of who we are. We become a mother and that means redefining ourselves to incorporate our new responsibilities. When a last child leaves home for college or for his or her own independent life, we have to readjust. We get a better position at work and we have to make changes. Those are expected, welcome transitions. But when we suffer a disaster like the loss of life as we know it because of divorce, we are like someone whose home has been destroyed in a tornado.
I believe that a midlife divorce that we didn’t want is the biggest challenge that most of us will ever have to face. Your life right now is a big giant ball of change all in one seemingly horrific disaster …. the divorce. Picture your house being totally destroyed with almost everything you hold dear gone, and that is close to what you may be feeling. This disaster makes you figure out who you are and especially who you are going to be moving forward.
As in any disaster, you have two choices after you sit in the rubble and moan and sob for awhile. You can stay in the ruins and whine and complain and be an eternal victim. You can find a hole and crawl in.
Or you can start picking up the pieces and getting help to rebuild. You can start taking stock of the things you still have. Your life. Your health. Your mind and imagination and people who love you. Your talents. your job. Your church. You can find other survivors and band together to help each other. You can eventually start looking at books with house plans or checking out the paper for places to stay. You can cut pictures out of magazines of rooms you like and colors you identify with and spaces you might enjoy in the future.
Disaster relief starts with your decision to rebuild. You must grieve. Cry. Mourn. Throw things if you want. Those are necessary for the process. But then you must start thinking about your new life. You have choices to make. Don’t just sit in the trash pile. Get up! See what God can do with you now. Right now you have an opportunity to build a life that is brand new and beautiful in ways you can’t even imagine yet. Mourn the loss of some of your cherished possessions, but grab this opportunity to define clearly who you are. Show the world your brave and beautiful and undefeatable spirit. You can be an inspiration to everyone around you. Otherwise you can just sit in the rubble and feel sorry for yourself forever.
“God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble. And so we need not fear even if the world blows up, and the mountains crumble into the sea.” Psalm 46:1-2 (The Living Bible)