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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Positively Opportunities for the Divorced

Divorced during Holidays---Opportunities for Change

So, how was your Christmas?  Isn't it amazing how much activity goes into celebrating such a solemn holiday?   I had a pretty good one this year, got to see most of the kids, enjoyed some nice music and worship times, and some really fun times of gift giving/receiving.   Hopefully, you found time for some meaningful worship time, some meaningful family time, and some ways to experience joy in all the hubbub.   

I don’t know about you, but I have thought a lot about those poor folks in Connecticut, Oregon, Colorado and now, Pennsylvania, who lost loved ones in rampages and had to celebrate Christmas with an empty spot at the table, too.  And frankly, I’d rather go through the experience of the difficulties of divorce than to suffer what those folks, especially those parents in Connecticut, have suffered.  

Tough as divorce can be, there are things that are tougher, and those of us who have experienced the ravages of divorce need to remember that during our frustrating times.

It is a good thing to know, that though much of life changes, and sometimes, even your marriage status due to divorce, the meaning and power of Christmas remains.  Perhaps some of you went through a difficult divorce year, dealing with frustrations of managing split schedules, feeling the loneliness of those hours when children were celebrating elsewhere while your home was empty and maybe, just maybe, even dealt with the hardship of finding your motives and meanings twisted and misinterpreted due to influence by an angry ex.  Many of us know those kinds of things (and more!).  But if you experienced any of that this year, I also want you to observe a couple of other things as well.  First, have you paid attention to the time you DID have with your children?  This Christmas especially, you know there are families such as those up in Connecticut who would give anything to have had even ONE hour with their children on Christmas!  Don’t allow yourself to get so focused on what did NOT go well that you lose sight of the things that DID go well, and the time you DID have with your children and loved ones.

Secondly, I would encourage you to also focus a bit on those hours the children were elsewhere and you were left to yourself.  What did you do with that time?  Were you at some other kind of celebration or worship time?  Did you spend some of that time with other friends or family members?  Maybe it was your time to clean up the house after the gifts, or to read over the Christmas cards that came, or do a few odd jobs that have been waiting your hand, or maybe even just to relax a bit while watching a ball game or to read a good book.  While your Christmas may have changed, those changes that feel so much like loss, also create opportunity for change to do something new or fresh.  So don’t only consider those changes as loss, recognize that the changes also contain the gift of opportunity, and so maybe you were able to do some things this Christmas season that you would not have been inclined to do (or even able to do) in other years.  Let those be something you celebrate as well.

With those things in mind, you have the same situation about to occur again in the upcoming New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  Things may be different, but that different may include some positive opportunities as well.  As you look forward to New Year’s Eve, realize that it, too, is a holiday that can be tough for those caught in divorce….especially around midnight when people are giving their spouses a New Year’s kiss.   However, it can also be a time to start something fresh, something  If that is you, think that you can create for yourself in the form of new traditions and taking advantage of new opportunities.  Instead of waiting till midnight on Monday to be caught off guard, begin now to think of ways to celebrate in fresh ways. 

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