The loneliness after divorce can be isolating, but dig a little deeper and you might find that your feelings are shared by so many others. Take a loss of hope post-divorce, for instance. Sometimes a lack of hope feels like it’s synonymous with the word “single.” So many women come up to me week after week in singles ministry struggling with this emotion.
Here are some of common questions you might ask yourself or a mentor after a bad breakup or divorce:
- “Does God care about my loneliness?”
- “Does He see my heart’s desire to be in a relationship?”
- “Does God care that I am losing hope?”
If these questions are feeling uncomfortably familiar, there’s no need to keep it to yourself. Here’s how to focus your feelings and find hope in God, even in your loneliness.
Loneliness After Divorce Can Create a Shadow
The fight to regain joy after divorce is a journey and an ongoing process you will have to work hard for. The ache of going to bed alone night after night without a husband or sitting alone in church watching couples hold hands can be overwhelming. We begin to think there is something wrong with us and hopelessness spirals into depression. Facing the fears and doubts alone makes healing even more challenging.
I remember sitting in my counselor’s office after my divorce begging him for reassurance. Will I ever experience a happy marital relationship again? How do I handle the nagging insecurity of being a single mom? The counselor would gently smile and point me back to Christ, reminding me of God’s love and how God knew, more than anyone else, the desires of my heart for family and home.
Refocus On Christ
About eighteen months after my divorce, the fog slowly lifted and hope resurfaced. After too many bad dates to count, I threw up my hands and surrendered to healing instead of running from the pain by avoidance or dating to feel better. I finally stopped looking for a husband replacement and started focusing more on Christ and His will for my life. I leaned into my calling as a mother, provider and minister of Jesus. And when, many months later, I eventually put myself back out in the dating realm, I was a different person.
When our focus shifts from a man-hunt to a God-hunt, the aching loneliness in our souls is replaced with a new sense of freedom. God wants you to operate in this freedom as a single person and he wants to use this freedom to build the kingdom. He has called you and set you apart to serve “regarding the things of the Lord.”
Determine To Choose Hope
In 1Cor. 7:34, Paul recognizes the unique opportunity single people have to focus their time, talents and energy on serving the Lord. Now, as a single parent, this might mean focusing on raising your kids. Maybe it’s having time to minister at Divorce Care or using your unique gifts to serve others feeling the loneliness of divorce. Either way, God does not want you wasting your precious moments focusing on your heartbreak. He wants to use you and help you find joy in community which will, in turn, create the connections of friendship and bonds of acceptance your heart truly desires. Choosing hope is a decision to focus our hearts on something bigger than the pain.
About a year later, I met my husband working in the church bookstore. Our first conversation was a feisty debate about a seminary book we had both read. If I had not pursued the things I felt called to (service and attending seminary), I never would have transformed into the type of person to attract the love of my life. My husband was drawn to the woman I had become – one who had walked the painful road of divorce and came out on the other side stronger and closer to God.
If you’re struggling with being single again, ask yourself:
- Do you have a sense of calling and a mission for your life?
- Do you have a passion that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning with a smile?
- Is there an area in your life that God is urging you to pursue?
Hope is closer than you think. Maybe it’s simply a decision you need to make right now.
Continue the healing – try reading 3 Faith-Friendly Ways To Prepare Yourself For Christian Dating After Divorce