bird watching, divorce, divorced women, doodling, GateWay of Hope, God, happiness, hope, journaling, joy, justice, penzu, Post-it notes, Psalms, scrapbooking projects, sharing joy, single women, singles, starting over single, vindication
As we continue our series of alphabet letters that affect Starting Over Single, let’s look at some “J” words.
Many of my clients come to me with the phrase, “It just isn’t fair.”
That’s true. Life is not fair and the side effects of divorce are also not fair.
We may have worked hard so the hubby could get extra graduate degrees, but when it was our turn – the financial struggles of divorce kept us from meeting our educational goals.
We may not be the one who wanted the divorce, yet it was thrust on us and now we’re dealing with the after effects.
We may have tried everything in counseling sessions, meeting with accountability partners and praying our guts out. But the “wasband” didn’t do his part for the sake of the marriage.
We may have lost jobs, lost our homes and lost the respect of our ex-laws all because of his choices.
It isn’t fair.
And we can sit around and complain about the injustice of it all, or we can choose other options.
Certainly, we can fight for our rights with a credible and determined lawyer. We can set healthy boundaries to protect our hearts and the hearts of our children.
But we can also hang on to the One who is always just and will be our vindicator.
“Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked” (Psalm 43:1).
At some point, everything will be made right. Justice will happen, and we will be vindicated.
Keeping a journal has helped me process through so much of life’s twists and turns. Some women think they can’t journal because they aren’t writers.
But journaling can be a fun process and a great way to use creative skills.
A journal can be just making some bullet points or it can be an elaborate scrapbooking project. It can be doodles, sketches, Post-it™ notes or scraps of paper. It can be photos, art work, coloring – anything you want it to be.
Anything that helps you process the issues around Starting Over Single – anything that helps you feel better and work through some of the emotions.
You can even journal about all your emotions – the good, the bad and the ugly. Or try an alphabet journal, dealing with the key words or key emotions you’re feeling.
And you can check out some of the online journal sites such as: penzu.com.
If you have children, buy journals for each of them so they can get their feelings out and on the paper. Make sure everyone in the family knows a journal is a secret place to find emotional safety. Nobody reads anyone else’s journal without permission.
A journal is a practical tool to help us work through any sludge leftover from the divorce.
So take advantage of the positive benefits a journal can bring you.
One of the definitions of joy sounds like this: “Happiness is because of circumstances, but joy is in spite of circumstances.”
We all want joy to be a byproduct of our lives, the abundant feeling of knowing we’re on track with our goals and moving forward in life.
After divorce, we may have lost our joy – for a time. But joy is one of those qualities we can regain, and God can certainly restore the joy in our souls.
Just being free of a destructive relationship can restore joy. Or sometimes – making a change can trigger joy: a new place to live, a different job, a stylish haircut.
We may have to seek joy and find our own definition for how it manifests in our lives.
I find joy sitting on my deck and watching the birds fight for the seed. My bird-watching book helps me identify the different species and when I discover a new visitor, I feel joy.
Another place of joy for me is sitting at the piano and playing through some classics or a new version of an old hymn.
The purr of my cat brings joy, and warm hugs from my son.
Every time one of my clients meets her goals, I share her joy. Every time I sell one of my books, joy bubbles up.
For you, joy may be more of an ethereal experience – or maybe it’s connected to a particular action or memory.
Share it with us. What brings you joy?
©2016 Starting Over Single