Category Archives: Feelings

EX-periencing Hope

“Sometimes we’re afraid to hope for a life free of hurt or pain.” – Celebrate Recovery Bible Daily Devotional Day 3

Personally, I haven’t gone through a divorce. Because my son’s father and I split when I was early in my pregnancy and I was so very young, I didn’t experience the hopelessness that can come from a life torn apart. However, I have gone through break-ups (later on) that have left me feeling like I was never going to find someone to share my life with.

In weddings, many say that two become one. Well, in order to be two again in the case of a break up or divorce, you have to tear the one to make two. Take a sheet of foil and tear it in half (freehand). Did you come away with two whole pieces? No. You got jagged edges and areas that need to be smoothed. When you have jagged edges like that it can be easy to feel like there’s no hope. For those who have been betrayed by their EX’s, I can see how painful this is.

Here’s something to remember though: You are still one whole person without the OTHER person. You still have a life to live. You were a person before the marriage and despite the pain you may be feeling, you’re a person now.

So where do you find this hope? It sounds trite doesn’t it? “Just have hope.. blah blah blah”

For me, it was believing in God and that He would bring me a husband that cherished me. For me, He brought me one not to complete me but to complement me. See, my hope didn’t come from the man that God placed in my life. It came from believing that God would place him. Not only that, but I believe that God will heal all of the pain in these relationships (my and my ex’s, me and my husband’s ex). I believe it will exist.

Do you believe that you can live a life free of the hurt of your past relationship?

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Ex to the Power of 0

I can recall many-o-occasion where I felt completely powerless over my circumstances. I lived a single-girl life, had a child and here was my ex moving into a relationship that I wasn’t a part of. Add to the fact that I was emotionally unhealthy to handle our interactions and you had one powerless chicky. Although, tell me at the time and I felt like I had all the power in the world. I had the kid full time, so I got to call the shots, right?

Well, that’s actually wrong.

It’s so easy to fall into this trap that I have any sort of power over my ex in who they become, how they behave or how they act in their own home. It’s easy though to feel powerless when I worry about the small details like: Is my child getting fed at appropriate times? Are they being paid attention to? Are they being cared for (the way *I* would do it)?

When it comes down to it, I really need to figure out where my pride comes into the mix because while I’m all stressed out and trying to exert my power over my ex (futilely I may add) I am failing to EXamine one big point: Me. I’m so busy pointing out what they are doing wrong, I am not seeing my own issues.

I had someone throw it back to me once as they were complaining about my Ex. “Well, they don’t feed the kids dinner until 8p.m.,” they exclaimed (looking from a response from me). In that split second before I responded, I realized that I too had not fed my child until late in the evening several nights in a row prior. So what was the big deal?

This is co-parenting and your job is your house – not theirs. Big issues? Ok, get to the heart of those but still, you can’t control the other parent. You can only control yourself.

Here are some things to think about this weekend:

Are you being too proud to admit your own shortfalls as a parent?
Can you ignore the coparent’s minor issues to focus on your own?
Can you admit you’re powerless over your Ex and whatever issues you may perceive?

When old hurts EX:ist

When you’re embroiled in a battle (big or small) with your Ex, how much of it is an attempt at retribution for the pain you’re feeling?

If you’re the one that has been left, cheated on or hurt intentionally, then I can see the easy trap of wanting to just hurt them back. Unfortunately, what I (and many I have seen) do is I leave my hurt unnamed and go after some other battle in the hopes of healing that wound. What happens instead is new wounds are opened or 100 more are revisited and the initial pain I was seeking help for (albeit in a non-productive way) gets left open.

How can you stop that cycle?

Well, one of the first things I have learned is do not deny that pain you are feeling! Now that’s not something you give to your kids or your Ex. Give it to a trusted friend. Name it. Say it out loud!

I AM FEELING……. (hurt), (mad), (abandon), (disrespected). Need help? I found a good list HERE.

Let’s start today!

Tell me, How are you feeling?

When you need EX:amination.

Take a trip with me.

I’ve been amongst a community of people for just over a year in a program called Celebrate Recovery a Christ centered recovery program. In the back of the CR Bible there is a 30-day devotional with some great questions at the end of each day that I will be applying to The Factor of Ex. Fasten your seat belt because I am expecting that God will use this in an amazing way!

I look forward to the conversations!

I <3 EX

Matthew 5:38-42 (NLT)
Teaching about Revenge
38 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’[a] 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. 40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile,[b] carry it two miles. 42 Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

As a Christian, I am not exempt from the desire to retaliate upon those who I feel have somehow wronged me or someone I love. In fact, in the verse above, Jesus talks about that exact thing. In the Old Testament, the law of “eye for an eye” is talked about several times. Those who know that verse can be awfully confused when they come to the book of Matthew and see that Jesus says, “If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.” Does this actually mean that I am to not defend myself? Really? I was told once that I was a waste of a human being. So what do I do? Do I continue to allow that person to berate me?

Now I believe that God wants the best for all of us, he doesn’t want us to hurt and what I hear from that verse is not a renouncement of self-defense but a heart of “don’t hold a grudge”. For many years, Hubby and I walked through this world of constant frustration and anger at our ex-spouses. Now, obviously I can’t speak for his journey, but I know that mine was filled with days of calculating the “right” thing to say to “get them” for what they said to me. I held so tightly to the principal of the matter that I couldn’t even see that I was poisoning myself with the constant bitterness and distancing myself from God when I chose to focus on that anger.

So then what does He go on to say?

Teaching about Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’[a] and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies![b] Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends,[c] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Love your enemies?! Are you freakin’ kidding me? Doesn’t he know what so-and-so has done to ME?!

Well of course He does. He knows everything. His son was nailed to a cross. His son was beaten, mocked and persecuted. He knows. Beyond this verse, where Jesus instructs us to pray for those who persecute us – nailed to the cross, Jesus forgave. (Luke 23:34)

So how do we apply it? How do we take this teaching and example and use it in our time and our lives?

I think really, at the core of it, is to just start by realizing that just like he forgave us… we need to forgive them. We don’t forget, we still set boundaries. We forgive our children if they steal from us, but we don’t leave our money out in the open.

Next, we need to realize that we don’t deserve forgiveness – but we were given it and given it unconditionally.

Lastly, we need to see them how God sees them. He made nothing ugly – everything is beautiful in his sight.

I’m not a biblical scholar… and I might have this all wrong, quoted the wrong scripture.. applied it funny. But really, at the end of the day, what is easier for you? To continue to live in a state of frustration, anger and rage at those who really aren’t really affected by those feelings or to just release them and forgive?

I don’t know who said it… but they said, “Unforgiveness is the poison we drink hoping someone else will die.”