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!

Top Posts 10/23-10/29 & 9/30-10/29

Top Post of the Week: D.U.C.K. the E.X.

Top 3 Posts of the Month:

1. Children ^divided by^ Ex
2. EX +1 = Enemy
3. American History Ex

Which of these spoke to you? How? If they didn’t, why not?

Thanks for reading!