Bible, Bible verses, bonding with children, divorce, finding a healthy relationship, finding yourself, forgiveness process, GateWayof Hope, God, healthy relationships, hope, leftovers, living intentionally, single moms, single women, starting over single, Sunday naps, vision boards
We’re almost to the halfway point of our alphabet series. What are some of the “L” words that encourage us as we’re Starting Over Single?
Although it has few letters, “Let” is one of the most important words in the English language. It implies a freedom and independence that can encourage us as we journey through divorce.
“Let” is also a key word in several Bible verses and principles:
- Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
- Let the peace of God rule in your hearts
- Let us love one another
To “let” means we give ourselves permission for some type of action that will bring about a positive change.
Let yourself think about a vision board. What will your life look like one year from now? Five years from now?
Let yourself have some type of fun once / week.
Let your body take a holy nap on Sundays.
Let yourself relax now that all the legalities are over and you’re on your own.
Let peace wash over you now that you’re away from the abuse.
Let yourself dream about that novel you want to write, about that new car you’re saving for, about the cottage in the country where you want to settle in.
Let yourself believe that life will be better because God has a good plan for you.
Let go of the negatives and focus on the positives of your new life.
As we move forward, a leftover can be something positive to build on.
Although we may have leftover sadness and leftover emotional baggage, we don’t have to focus on the negative aspects of divorce.
What is left over now is the best part of ourselves. We are now free to pursue our true selves and be all God created us to be.
We are left with our incredible children who we can build a bond with, stronger than before. They will grow up to be survivors because of what we have experienced together. The mother-child bond cannot be broken, and the emotional umbilical cord will stretch years down the road.
We have the opportunity now to address any leftover baggage – to begin the forgiveness process. This is a journey with several types of triggers.
But confronting denial and forging ahead, we can soon take those leftovers and make them into something good – a strength and a courage that will serve us well.
Just as we take the leftovers of a meal, chop up the veggies and make a nutritious soup or an omelet with hidden ingredients – so we can chop up the past and use what we have learned to make something even better.
We now have the privilege of using what we have learned – our leftovers – to bless another woman, to mentor a young woman who is going through divorce, to encourage others who are Starting Over Single.
Leftovers can be effective ingredients that build a foundation for the future.
You’ve probably read or heard the guideline about jumping into a new relationship. “Give yourself one year for every four years of marriage.”
So if you’ve been married 16 years, divide that by 4. Then wait those four years before you invite a new relationship or give your heart to another man.
Four years? Doesn’t that sound like a long time? Not really.
Most of us will spend about two years going through all the legal sludge and custody arrangements of the divorce.
Most of us will spend another two years in counseling, trying to heal from what happened.
Many of us won’t be ready to even consider another relationship for more than four years, and some of us will completely rule out future relationships with another man.
The scars run deep and the wounds take a while to heal.
Some women will jump into a new relationship too soon, before they’ve had a chance to heal, before they’ve worked on their own core values, before they’ve learned the joy of being independent.
Many of those women either marry the same type of man or look for the exact opposite. Neither course is wise.
Healthy women attract healthy men. And the healthier we are, the easier it is to spot men who are dangerous and deceitful.
We also need to work through our own forgiveness process or we won’t be able to have a healthy new relationship.
We can’t keep blaming all men for the failures of one man. We can’t stereotype one entire gender.
Good men DO exist, and if we wait a while – grow, strengthen our core values and live alone for a while – we’ll know ourselves better and we’ll know what type of man we want.
Then, if we choose, we can step into a new relationship with a clearer focus which will give us a better chance of making it the second time around.
So if you want to find a love that won’t betray you, let yourself work through any leftovers and emerge with a positive outlook for your future.
But in the meantime, learn how to love yourself well. With or without another relationship, loving yourself will help you thrive.
What are some of the leftovers you’re working through?
©2016 Starting Over Single