Grieving is caused by a loss of someone or something you loved. It is the realization that something that once was is no longer. I have never experienced heavier grieving then when my husband told me he loved someone else and walked out.
I have had friends disappoint me, dealt with loss of loved ones, and faced unemployment. However, when the most sacred relationship of intimacy and commitment ended, it shattered my world. There were pieces of my life and heart everywhere and I was on public display. It was, to put it mildly, awful.
I am sure you have read articles or heard people share the five steps of grieving. Can we review them? They are:
You may not have defined your feelings this way, but these five stages will happen as you move ahead. If you resist working through the grief it will only make your grieving last longer.
I am so thankful that God’s heart beats with ours when we are in relationship with Him. Psalm 34:18 says that,
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
So how can we get through this grieving stage? REALITY. I am a firm believer in living in reality. This concept was something that my counselor drilled into me. If we don’t live in reality we get stuck in denial. Women who walk around like the cartoon character, Charlie Brown, sadden me. Life was a chore for Charlie Brown and negative things always happened to him. You’d always hear him say, “Good Grief” in a defeated voice.
Most of us have been treated unfairly yet we have a choice about how we will react. I see many newly divorced single Moms living in a state of negative, stinkin’ thinking. They feel that they are the victim and feed off that mentality. There is no accountability for accepting the trauma. They are in a state of stuckness!
I am so inspired by women who have ‘taken the bull by the horns’ and decided to move ahead with a healthy determination. You CAN get unstuck, but to do that you have to let yourself grieve. Here are three things you can expect from grieving:
1. Grieving is painful and requires hard work. Instead of slouching around and blaming everyone and everything, I encourage you to grab hold of the future. Taking a look at reality is painful. Grieving is hard work. It means walking through those five steps.
I want you to know that as you work through these steps in positive ways, you will feel stronger. I had to deal with these steps. I had so many ‘if onlys’. I dealt with depression and was on medication for a time. As I was walking through these fabulous five, I learned so many lessons that have helped me become the Linda I should be.
“We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us, and we are knocked down, we get up again.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, CEV)
2. Grieving makes you a Conqueror. As you accept the process of grieving as a true reality in your life then ‘high five’ yourself because you are facing life head on. There were times when I was so exhausted. Was I angry? Absolutely. I had to re-focus and realize that the past was the past, and I didn’t want to be a Charlie Brown. I wanted to be a Conqueror.
My relationship with God made it possible. He gave me the grace to control my anger and show me that I could do anything with His help. We have a bright future in this life and in the life to come. Romans 8:37-39 says,
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Boy, isn’t that so much better than living in defeat? God is on our side. He will guide us and protect us because He his love is perfect.
3. Grieving is a step toward Freedom. At the end of the day, I believe all of us single Moms want freedom. Pain and feelings of defeat can be a part of our life. That is reality. Choose freedom anyway! We have the choice to be a Charlie Brown with a dark cloud over our head, or a woman with purpose.
Our children will be processing their own grief. How we heal and deal with ours will speak volumes to them and their process. As we take the fifth step of grieving, acceptance, we choose a more positive outlook. We don’t have to accept what happened to our family, but we accept the new future.
I had to accept that there is injustice in life and in my own family. From the pages of the Bible, Job is the perfect example of someone who lost everything. He grieved and questioned but he was able to say, “We bring nothing at birth; we taking nothing with us at death. The Lord alone gives and takes. Praise the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21, CEV)
Grieving is a step on the road to healing. Don’t be afraid of it. Acceptance of this reality will help you move ahead with your children.
Where are you in the process of grieving? It isn’t a race but rather a process of your heart and mind. If you feel you are stuck spend time with a trusted friend, or a counselor so you can keep going ahead. It is worth it. I had wonderful confidential friends and a counselor that helped me. The bottom line is that we can have all the help at our fingertips but if we don’t choose to heal, then we will be in the ‘good grief’ mode forever and it will overtake us.
My heartfelt desire is that you choose freedom! Life is short and in choosing freedom we can experience life to the fullness despite the injustice of divorce. I often think of Corrie Ten Boom and her sweet spirit despite her horrific past. Write your own story of reality for you and your kids. God will be there to help you every step of the way.
Father God, please help us to choose freedom. Grant us peace, comfort and healing. Give us courage to move through our grieving process. Thank you that we can count on You. In Jesus’ all-powerful name, Amen.
There is HELP, there is HOPE, there is HEALING!
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