Being divorced, single again, and with two or three children is no picnic. Of course there is all the work that goes into child custody issues, realigning your finances, reconciling your divorce with your religious values, (for example, I was raised in a church that taught divorce for any reason at all brought God's judgment and if you were to ever remarry, after any divorce, anyone except your first 'wife' or 'husband', you would go to hell!) and figuring out how to do family as a single man or woman.
However there is also the process of reintegrating back into the social world as a 'single again' person…this time without the identity of being 'Karen's husband' or 'Frank's wife.' This time you are truly once again 'on your own.' Sarah (43, single with three great children) sent me an email, (not her real name of course) asked about dating. Where do I go and what do I do?
She wrote in her email, "I wanted to ask you if this is a mistake on my part. I placed myself on my church's singles site, have been talking to someone and he wants to take me out on Friday. He is divorced…his wife cheated. I am scared. He will drive 3 hours just to take me to a movie and possibly out to eat. I want so bad to go and want so bad to make up an excuse. That is what I do because I am scared. I have been single, and would be okay …but it is lonely and would be nice to have a friend… one to go to a movie with etc. … as for dating, what if I actually miss out on a most wonderful guy? 'Cause they are few and far between. I enjoy laughing and smiling, and people see a change in me at work and church and that must count for something. Single and enjoying it? I enjoy being alone sometimes. I don't have to answer to anyone. What else is so great about being alone?"
What am I to do when I am lonely? My inner core beliefs (my faith) give me the ability to see beyond the realities of my circumstances. And the 'truth' about who I am and my innate value to God re emerges as a certainty to remember, reflect upon, and to ponder as you wander through this world.
Here is the truth! God built into you to have a special friendship with someone. You are probably not breathing if you don't need an intimate, affectionate, transparent relationship with someone. And think about this: filling this need begins with Jesus. It is neither pedestrian nor in poor taste to say that Christ has everything you could ever want in a special, intimate friend. Jesus seeks your friendship. He wants a tight, up close and personal relationship with you. You are amazingly special to Jesus. To Jesus you are not commonplace nor unappealing nor ugly. You are incredible to Him. No matter what others see as your personality quirks or physical flaws, He likes you. He has reserved a place in His heart for you that no one can fill but you! (Don't miss this point, go back and read it again!)
His love is not fickle -- He will not ditch you because He is bored with you. Jesus has deep affectionate feelings for you. When you are down, Jesus cares. When your life is a thrill and you are filled with joy, Jesus celebrates with you! He is God Who feels and shares your happiness and sadness. He is involved in every aspect of your life. You can be intimate with Jesus. No one but no one knows your most intimate thoughts and feelings like this lifelong companion. He is so glad when you share your inmost private thoughts with Him. You can let Him in on your dreams and longings and know that He understands what you mean. Whatever part of your life is under stress, Jesus is available to listen!
There is little doubt that the turmoil surrounding a divorce and the commotion concerning 'being single' again, may dislodge certain truths from within your heart. However, here is one certainty that should be remembered. Your identity and your security must come from within. As you continually realize that your authentic self (the Christ within you) is in fact your source of personal identity and security, your sense of self will become more 'solid' and more durable.
By the way, enjoy the movies and dinner on the town...