Most women going through divorce simply want some encouragement to hope that they will not always feel like they feel in the beginning.
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Four years post divorce, I can now recognize the great value of a life lesson learned as a direct result of the incredible pain of my divorce. It is about Hope and how vital it is in life.
Prior to divorce, I was not aware that my ability to Hope and my understanding of its importance were weak and under-developed. I thought I was smart, rational, intentional. I considered myself a planner; I determined what I wanted to accomplish, created goals and a strategy on how to accomplish them. I was also a doer. Once I had a plan, I was focused and energetic, and would set about to make my plans happen. I relied heavily on my intellect, abilities and drive. There is nothing wrong with this approach to life. But, I have discovered through divorce, that it is not always enough. I had done my best in all the things I believed were “right” for me – completed advanced education, worked hard, built skills, earned a good living, saved money, was honest and authentic, a loving and devoted daughter/ wife/ sister/ stepmom/ friend, a disciple of Christ… Certainly nothing wrong with that list. But I can see now that in the past, I looked at Hope with arrogance, perhaps even a bit of distain. I didn’t Hope for change, that was too insubstantial. I prided myself as a person of action, I created change. I didn’t really need Hope, I had more important abilities than that. But, during the consuming and searing pain of my divorce, I was unprepared for the loss of my focus and drive as primary strengths to move me through my pain “efficiently”. Without those tools, I didn’t feel powerful enough to actually create the new life I needed. Crisis required me to accept change imposed upon me, and resulted in me needing to initiate additional changes. But for a while, I could not seem to muster the abilities, energy and focus that I had relied upon prior to divorce to now initiate the action I needed to create change. Instead, my debilitating pain had rendered those attributes in me impaired. This was my first serious encounter in life of the incredible need for Hope. I knew cognitively that life would be good again, eventually. But when I couldn’t feel that, I began choosing to rely on Hope to sustain and strengthen me in the meantime . I Hoped that I would be able to rely upon my other attributes again, but I didn’t know if so, or when. So when I saw the movie “Tenderness” recently and heard this quote, I am grateful that I now know how vital Hope is in life. “ … there are two kinds of people: those who chase pleasure, and those running from pain… pleasure helps you forget. But pain, pain forces you to hope. Tell yourself this: this can’t last. Today could be different. Today something just might change.” Not by choice, but by necessity, I can say I have gained the ability to rely on Hope and on Trust, in God, in others and in myself that by moving forward, even one tiny step at a time, and by knowing that today does not have the final word, change can and will happen. Hope gave me the strength I needed to keep believing, keep trying until change slowly began to happen. Now I am able to choose to use my “efficient” tools of intellect, focus, drive … but I can also choose to incorporate the critical elements of Hope and Trust in much greater doses too! Thanks be to God.
Suzy developed Midlife Divorce Recovery as a safe refuge for people healing and surviving the overwhelm of divorce. Starting her first RADiCAL support group in 2003 she's been helping women navigate the journey of divorce ever since.