Posted by: Lisa on Apr 09, 2009
Happy Good Friday to you all! As we commemorate the suffering and death of Christ today, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you about my own divorce experience and how I found ways to see the positives about my situation.
When my ex-spouse left almost 16 years ago, I was devastated. I was suddenly overwhelmed with extreme emotions; anger, shock, sadness, disillusionment. For the first few weeks afterward I felt quite dazed and numb. Later, I began to ride the merry-go-round of revolving emotions as I tried to move forward in life. I was an emotional wreck for several years afterward and it was primarily due to the fact that I was angry with God. I was cold in my relationship with Him and although I still attended mass each Sunday, it was very difficult to do. I wanted to know WHY! Why did you let this happen, God?!
It wasn't until I set aside my anger and embraced my faith that I began to find some answers. And I realized something profound... my divorce was not part of God's plan for my life, but honestly, my marriage was not part of His plan, either. When I looked back at the relationship I had with my ex-spouse both before and after we were married, I realized how I never once asked God if marrying my ex was what He wanted for me. I made no spiritual discernment whatsoever. I simply got lost in the self-centeredness of my own plans. I regret that mistake like none other.
From that point on, when the pain of what had happened was difficult to bear (which was pretty much every day) I would visit Jesus on the Cross in some way; sometimes at Church, sometimes in silent prayer, but always placing myself at the foot of the Cross and laying my suffering at His feet. I was weak, sad, and lonely, and the only real consolation I found was there with Jesus as He suffered for me.
Doing this helped me see that there were good things happening as a result of my divorce, primarily, that I was now free to practice my faith without hesitation. My former spouse was a Catholic when we married, but I typically went to Mass alone on Sundays. He had a difficult time with my desire to practice my faith and told me at one point that if he knew I was "that Catholic" he never would have married me to begin with. But now, I was free to be as Catholic as I wanted! And believe me, after years of feeling at such odds with Christ, I welcomed every opportunity to practice my faith, and did so with joy.
There are many other "silver linings" to the black cloud of divorce that I found along my journey of healing and probably the most significant one is the gift of forgiveness. I have been able to forgive myself for the terrible mistakes I made, both during my marriage and after the divorce, and I have been able to completely forgive my ex-spouse, something that I used to believe was impossible. It's a great and freeing feeling to release that burden and I have prayed for his well-being and that of his wife and childen for years.
Today, which is also my ex-spouses birthday, I pray you will bring your sufferings to Christ, whatever they may be, and that He will grant you the consolation and peace you seek, as well as helping you to see the "silver linings" of your own situtation.