Divorce Recovery Week 4- Facing My Depression

Divorce Notes Week 4

FACING MY DEPRESSION

Depression often is manifested as a deep sadness

What is depression?

  1. our response to loss
  2. It is normal
  3. It is a healing emotion
  4. It is complex

Symptoms of depression

  1. Sadness
  2. Apathy
  3. Desire to isolate
  4. Mental fog
  5. Lack of energy
  6. Suicidal thoughts

Causes

  1. Hope deferred
  2. Anger
  3. Feeling worthless

Overcoming Depression

  1. Take care of your body (use of antidepressants and counseling may

be  appropriate.

  1. Get/accept help from others
  2. Control your thinking/ meditation can be helpful
  3. Discover the Bible/ Read scripture

GOD’s Message to You: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned: struck down but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9pic1

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Week 3- Divorce Recovery- ANGER!

WEEK 3- Divorce Recovery

In Divorce, there is a lot to be angry about!

  1. Betrayal by the one who is closest to you
  2. Hurt by lies
  3. Loss of dreams, plans and possessions
  4. Debt
  5. Loss of Reputation

ANGER IS LIKE KUDZU…IT GROWS FAST AND CHOKES OUT EVERYTHING ELSE!

Anger

  1. Sometimes you should be angry (but do not sin)
  2. When is it appropriate? What is the cause and how can I respond?
  3. It is evaluated by GOD

Unhealthy Anger

  1. Violence (you can’t kill em, even if you want to)
  2. Suppressing it (suck it in until you pop)
  3. Passive-Aggressive Behavior- (let’s act nice but be mean underneath)
  4. Getting Revenge (isn’t that a TV show???)

Healthy Expressions of Anger

  1. Release inappropriate control (your spouse didn’t listen to you when you were married and they won’t listen now)
  2. Avoid high conflict situations
  3. Exercise (burn that energy)
  4. Remember that GOD is our model…remember how kind God has been to you.

GOD’s message to you: “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the Devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4: 26-27

Week 2- Divorce Recovery …” How Long Will I Live With This Pain?”

WEEK 2- Divorce Recovery

You may ask “HOW LONG WILL I LIVE WITH THIS PAIN?”

  1. Will I  Ever be Happy Again?
  2. I Can’t Stand This!
  3. Where do I Go From Here?
  4. I feel literally TORN from my spouse, my dreams, my life….

Grieving Your Marriage

  1. Don’t avoid it
  2. Don’t rush yourself
  3. Take a personal inventory
  4. Take care of your body

Roadblocks to Recovery

  1. Stuck in your past ( you don’t live there anymore)
  2. Being unsafe (you don’t have to test the waters)
  3. Making divorce your identity (divorce isn’t your name)
  4. Numbing pain (drugs, alcohol, sex, work…don’t solve it)
  5. Unnecessary sufferings (pick and choose what works for you)

God’s message to you: “the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion….Isaiah 61:1-3manalone

Why Do Churches Treat Singleness Like a Problem?

“Don’t worry, you’ll find the right man,” she said to me (for the third time) just before shoving me into the dreaded gaggle of single ladies waiting for the bouquet to be tossed.

“Well, what if I don’t,” I asked. “What if I never meet the one? What if I never get married or have kids or ‘settle down?’ Will you still value me?”

It’s a question I have been faced with numerous times in my thirtysomething years: If I remain single, what will that do for my ministry, my growth, my friendships and my relationship with the Church?

Sadly, no matter what I come with, all options seem to be saturated in placating words, pitying eyes and aggressive attempts to set me up. But here’s the thing, in almost all arenas of life, I actually like being single (save for when attempting to recover my comforter after washing the duvet, move a dresser or play tennis). I have chosen it, for now at least.

If I remain single, what will that do for my ministry, my growth, my friendships and my relationship with the Church?

I get to do what I want, when I want, how I want. I am not embarrassed if I sleep until noon on a day off. I spend my money where I want. I can walk around my house in ratty clothes if I want—because I am not trying to impress anyone. When I have popcorn and string cheese for dinner, nobody cares.

Can it be lonely at times? Sure. But it’s also freeing.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I do wish to be un-single one day. I do want to have children, and I am not opposed to dating. I am not rejecting all potential relationships and I love the concept of marriage, I really do.

Marriage is a beautiful picture of Christ’s love; it absolutely is a gift. I am thrilled when people I love get engaged, and I’ve honestly never been to a wedding where I didn’t cry. I have incredible examples of marriages sprinkled all over my life. I am a sucker for a good romantic comedy.

Marriage is a beautiful picture of Christ’s love; it absolutely is a gift. But marriage is not God’s only gift.

But, marriage is not God’s only gift.

And it is not the central focus of my life’s trajectory, either. Though, to my disappointment, it feels like until finding “the one” becomes my top priority, I may never fully fit into the mold many within the Church long for me to embody.

At the age of 29, I was turned away by couples-only small groups, told by the attendants—some of my closest friends—that we were no longer in the same stage of life, then placed in a group with recent college graduates. I was once implored to get further involved with the church I was attending and after choosing the prayer group was told it was off-limits, as praying with a married man could cause him to stumble. Oh, and I’ve been told that I will not truly know what it means to love until I am married with children.

Recently, a friend confessed that for many years she was dying for a life partner, because her pastor told her this was the only way to heal previous wounds. She eventually got married and within only a few years, she was divorced.

While much of the New Testament speaks of multiplying the Church through community, missions and outreach, it seems like we have a greater focus on growing the faith through marriage and procreation.

“The church disillusioned me,” she told me, “life didn’t get better, instead I was my same broken self. And while I should have gone to counseling, I turned to my husband to fix me, to heal me and that was a huge mistake.”

While much of the New Testament speaks of multiplying the Church through community, missions and outreach (and even implores people to stay single), it seems like we have a greater focus on growing the faith through marriage and procreation.

Think about it like this. If you were to get married around 25, be married for about 40 years, lose your spouse at 75 or so and live to be 90 years old, you’d still live almost half of your life single. That’s a significant amount of time! We as the Church need to recognize that although being married is a beautiful thing, so is being single—neither position trumps the other in matters of value or authority. We are blessed to have diversity of experiences among us.

Paul says it likes this in 1 Corinthians 7:7–8:

I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.

Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/why-do-churches-treat-singleness-problem#VqWD37aZpEgxmxWX.99

Divorce Recovery – Week One

WEEK 1- Divorce Recovery

What is happening to me?

Effects of Divorce:

1)     Emotional instability- “I’m losing my mind”

2)     Shame- “I feel judged”

3)     Low energy- “So tired”

4)     Stress and anxiety- “Wear and tear”

5)     Confusion- “You can’t function”

a)     Why won’t the pain end?

b)    Why do I still love my ex?

c)     Why do I feel relief?

6)     Accepting what is happening isn’t easy

a)     Don’t deny pain

b)    Don’t start a new relationship

c)     Reset expectations

GOD’s Message to You- “I am …despised by my neighbors- even my friends are afraid to come near me. When they see me in the streets they run the other way. I am ignored as if I were dead, as if I were a broken pot.” (Psalm 31:11-12 NLT)

Divorce Recovery (revisited) #1

Divorce Recovery 101

I   th have noticed a lot of interest in Divorce Recovery and Divorce in general and will BLOG on said topic for the next several weeks. I welcome your imput. I will also attend and audit a DivorceCare support group and share the basic ideas. Also, check out past related topics….I will forward 3 of the more popular to start off….

1.  – WHY EVERY CHURCH NEEDS A SINGLES MINISTRY:   Have you noticed that most churches cater to the “traditional” family. You know, Mom, Dad and the 2.2 kids. And, these persons should be ministered to! But, what about the 50.5% of the population who is not married? That’s right, over half the population is unmarried. And, most don’t go to church. It would seem that churches that want to succeed in evangelism would seek out the lost…….

     Of course, there are rational reasons to avoid the unmarrieds

  • Many unmarrieds are “needy”. Especially, single mothers and widows. Too much trouble. Funny, the Bible (James 1:27) calls this pure religion.
  • Financial strain. (James, again, 2:1-7) condemns this thought process. And while some unmarried individuals are short of cash…..remember, Bill Gates was a BILLIONAIRE long before he married.
  • Kids of single parents are difficult and undisciplined. Yes, this group needs more mentoring. Couldn’t you be part of the solution? After all, the church is to save the lost.
  • What about “shacking up”. Yes, alot of people are co-habitating without marriage, even raising children. And, yes, it’s not in God’s plan. But, providing support, encouragement and understanding is in HIS will. Only with patience and a good example will Christians make a difference to the unchurched.

2. ARE YOU ANGRY ABOUT CELIBACY?

I am a product of the seventies. “Broadway” Joe Namath, the bachelor quarterback, thanked the girls of NY for never being alone. We watched Charlie’s Angels (Farrah), Rockford (for the action) . Mini skirts, spin the bottle, Love Boat, Betty and Veronica, Ginger and Mary Ann (the girls had Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy) and James Bond. Later, disco and dirty dancing. It was the sexual revolution. Women’s lib said, “men are only good for sex, women can work and pay their own bills”. Men cheered!!!

Then I started going to church. Yes, in the 70’s, “I found It” I graduated high school in ’78. I learned that a Christian had a list to keep. Don’t drink, Don’t smoke (the worst sin because you were destroying the temple) and don’t have sex. “So, how far could you go before you are sinning?” I liked church and had good friends, read my Bible, told others they were going to hell because they didn’t believe what I did…..

My Dad threw me out of the house at 16. Didn’t need me to tell him where he was going, I guess….I finished school, joined the Army, and straddled the fence. See, I had failed to keep a perfect list. Quit church and got involved…over and over and over….then at 32: divorced and hurting (with a hurricane to rebound from also) I went back to church and discovered repentance and forgiveness. Not a list!

I was alone (emphasis on alone) for 5 years. It was the best years of my life. I traveled. Went back to school. Came and went as I pleased. But, I did miss the intimacy of sex…..And yes, I was a bit angry about the urges and temptations that I was having to learn to live with. What about you??? Yes, many of you are more independent (my brother just went to Finland with friends-couldn’t have done that married). But what about celibacy?

3. THE DAY LOVE WALKED OUT THE DOOR: I have heard the punch lines! “My wife left me for another woman so I held the door for both of them”  “My husband was a fighter, not a lover”  ” He said he was going hunting. Seems he found women out in those woods”  ” She said she liked the Eagles….”

A lot of tragedy and pain in a divorce. Loss of time, money, relationships, security, homes….Hopefully, one day the punch line will be funny!