divorced women, emotional abuse, financial abuse, financial freedom, finding freedom after divorce, forgiveness process, forgiving your ex, GateWay of Hope, generosity, hope, Leslie Vernick, making wise decisions, mental abuse, sexual abuse, single moms, single women, starting over single, the established church, toxic relationships, trust issues, types of abuse, verbal abuse, ways to focus
Who knew the alphabet letter of “F” would contain so many fabulous words for women Starting Over Single?
This is a word and a concept that becomes more important as we march into this new arena of life.
As we begin to experience the freedom of Starting Over Single, we may realize for the first time how deeply in bondage our marriage kept us.
We now have the freedom to make all our own decisions, based on what we need, want or feel God wants us to do.
We don’t have to squelch any of our giftings just because the “wasband” didn’t like them or thought he should be the brains and muscle over everything we valued.
We now have the freedom to choose the church that cares for single moms and their children rather than some sort of social club he wanted to attend.
We enjoy financial freedom without any type of abuse regarding our credit cards, our checking accounts or our investments. We begin to realize how much power is attached to finances and wish we had known years ago how much we would currently need. We would have finished that degree, kept our own savings in a secret account and/or invested more wisely.
But we’re not looking back in regret – we’re moving forward.
Many women who have lived in spiritual, emotional, financial and sexual abuse now realize how much the lack of freedom has cost them.
But now – bless God – they have the freedom to be who God created them to be and it feels so good !
One of the main action steps where I help my SOS coaching clients is in the area of focus.
When we first walk through the divorce journey, we have so many new responsibilities, so much paperwork and hundreds of things on our to-do list. It’s easy to lose focus.
But gradually, some of those documents go away and much of the pain eases. We begin to think more clearly.
In fact, once the “wasband” is out of the house, the source of the pain is gone so our mental faculties begin to heal.
And if we’ve suffered through mental abuse, we are now free from that demon.
Focus becomes a strength and we begin to function more efficiently.
We also begin to learn some of the coping skills for increasing in focus:
- Mental games that sharpen the mind
- Puzzles which also become a family game night
- Proper nutrition which takes away the sugar fog
- Certain medications which help alleviate attention deficits
- Keeping lists that become helpful tools
As we move forward with increased and sharper focus, we gain more self-confidence. We begin to see how our lives are improving.
Okay – read this carefully: Forgiveness is a process and even when you forgive, you do NOT have to trust that person again.
Did you get that? Most of us have been taught we have to immediately forgive. We’ve also been taught if we no longer trust, it means we haven’t forgiven.
Basically, we’ve been shamed into unhealthy choices and toxic relationships.
Forgiveness is a process to work through, not a one-step-solve-all-the-problems medication. It may involve journaling, months and even years of therapy, tiny baby steps and huge leaps of healing. It is different for each of us.
Some of the layers of forgiveness will lie hidden deep within our souls, so they don’t easily come unhinged.
The important fact is to make the choice to want to forgive. If we don’t take that step, then we can easily slip into anger, bitterness, depression and even self-harm.
Just make the choice, tell God you want to forgive and ask him to help you with the process.
Parts of forgiving my “wasband” came more easily than others. I could forgive some of the things he did to me because I knew they originated in his own pain.
But when I considered what he did to our son – that process was much more difficult. I finally had to say, “God, I can’t do this. You’ll have to forgive him for me.” Then I had to let it go.
Even now, almost 20 years later, I am still working through some of the forgiveness process.
Never allow yourself to step back into an unhealthy relationship because you have chosen to forgive. You do NOT ever have to trust that person again.
Counselor Leslie Vernick has written a wonderful article on this subject. Check it out here: http://leslievernick.com/grace-forgiveness-erase-negative-consequences-amends-making-serious-sin/
Freedom, focus and forgiveness – fabulous “F” words that help us move forward in healthy ways as we are Starting Over Single.
How have you dealt with the issue of forgiveness?
©2016 Starting Over Single