Monday, December 26, 2011

Step 1: Let go of your past

This is your new life - love it or hate it. “It is what it is.”  We cannot change the situation regardless of how much we cry, hate, argue, complain to everyone we know, drink, party, stay busy, overeat, try to rationalize, go to counseling, etc.  The faster you stop the madness of trying to fill that empty spot, the sooner you will be on your road to recovery and wondering why you ever wasted so much time wallowing in your sorrow.  Your kids will be better adjusted for it as well and will able to heal quicker too.  Life will have disappointments, but you are not the only one who has gone through a divorce.  Your story, to you, is the worst of them all, but we all have our own stories every bit as painful.  I am not going easy on you here, ladies.  It's time to put on your big girl panties and get on with your life.

During my 1-year separation from my ex-husband and well into the year or two that followed, I adopted a “fake it until you make it” attitude.  I did everything I could to control my emotions in public and around my children.  Please don’t be the woman who emotionally throws-up all of the yucky details of your ex-husband and your divorce to a stranger, or more importantly around your children.  Women (and men, for that matter) who share personal things with strangers are kind-of sad.  Don’t you think? We usually avoid those people the next time we are around them because they wreak of negativity.  Furthermore, throwing-up on a non-Christian will yield responses like the ever-so-popular, “You need to go get yourself a boy toy.”  A boy toy?  That could be what got you into your divorce to begin with!  Was your ex-husband someone you shared too much too soon with (physically or emotionally)?  Did you have sex with him before marriage?  Have you ever thought that this non-Biblical behavior set your relationship up for disaster before it ever really started?  Let’s get real here, ladies, and take some ownership for our failed marriage and/or relationships.  Maybe he had an affair, but can you see where maybe, just maybe, you compromised your values that set the stage for some of this in the first place?  When relationships don’t start with God at the center, we cannot expect them to end with God in the center.  Some couples come to God together during marital struggles, but those are exceptions.  Let’s make a commitment to have Christ-centered relationships from here on out?  Shall we?  And the advice we take should ONLY come from Believers.  There is not a shortage of advice out there, but if it is not Biblical advice – run from it like you butt’s on fire!
So, how do you let go of your past?  Let’s start with what the Bible says in Philippians 3:13. “… but I focus on this one thing; Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”  Of course, that is easier said than done, and the enemy looooves to remind us of our miserable, painful past.  God doesn’t want us to hold on to our past.  The following verse (v.14) in Philippians states, “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”  That ultimate prize is Heaven, but there is so much beauty while we are still on Earth to enjoy in the meantime.  Talk to God in prayer more than you talk to others.  He will bring you comfort and peace.  You must first find that peace in Him; otherwise you will go through friends who want to hear your story over and over and therapy like nobody’s business!
I have an ex-boyfriend that gave me this advice that I want to share with you.  Think about your problems, your troubles, your worries, your regrets, your mistakes… and mentally put them in a suitcase(s).  Now, pick up those suitcases (I needed a trailer for all of my suitcases) and haul them to the cross.  Imagine a cross like the one Jesus died on at Calvary.  Now, dump those suitcases at the foot of the cross and walk away.  Don’t look back.  Just give them to Christ and walk away.  He wants your worries and your troubles.  I go through this mental exercise daily with anger, worries, regrets, etc. 
One of my very dearest friends taught me this really cool mental technique that she called “Think Stop.”  When you feel yourself going down that ugly path of your past, picture a great big stop sign blocking that path.  Don’t let yourself take one more step.  Have another positive thought that is your go-to happy thought to switch your thinking to.  I know that old pitiful path is familiar, but it not bringing you one step closer to moving on.  So many people like that old familiar path as dark as it is. I did too.  Give yourself a breather to experience a fresh new path. 
I hope of few of my words, thoughts, ideas, touched you in some way.  Dear Sisters, don’t let your past hold you in bondage to the future that God has planned for you.  It takes time.  I know.  Remember – I’ve been there too.
Please feel free to share your thoughts!



  1. Jen, you are such a strong woman! I love your blog and will be reading it faithfully!!!!