Thursday, October 15, 2009

Divorce—It Takes Time

One of your best allies for dealing with the separation or divorce of your parents is time. The old proverb, "Time heals all wounds," contains a nugget of truth. The Bible says it this way: "Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning" (Ps. 30:5). Accept the fact that it will take time for you to get over the tragedy in your family. You need time to process the jumble of feelings and thoughts. You need time to talk out your feelings with mature, compassionate Christian friends and leaders. As the weeks pass, your sorrow will diminish and your life will return to a fairly normal pattern. Give time a chance to work for you by not expect­ing the pain and confusion to go away too soon.

The pain of your parents' divorce may be so great right now that you wonder if you will ever get back to normal. Keep these keys in mind as you trust God to get you through this difficult experience:

Let your sorrow be expressed. God designed your emotions to help you vent your disappoint­ment, anger and sorrow. Don't stuff your feel­ings inside. Let them out so your heart can start healing.

Allow others to comfort you, support you and encourage you. God's design for healing your heart includes involving other people. Let loving family members and friends comfort you, encourage you and care for you in practical ways.

Give yourself time to grieve. Moving through the stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance—may take weeks or months. Be assured that, as time passes, things will get better.

Allow God to use you to comfort, support and encourage others. Your experience of receiving comfort from others has uniquely equipped you to help others in sorrow. It may take time, but you will have an opportunity to pass along com­fort, support, and encouragement to someone else who is struggling with separation or divorce in his or her family.

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