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Friday, November 22, 2013

A New Way to Look at Giving Thanks... after Divorce....


We are quickly approaching the American holiday of Thanksgiving, a day originally set aside for the people of the United States to stop and give thanks to God for all the blessings we enjoy.  It is a day of good food, family and friends, and some families still know that God is the one we are to thank, though many have lost that understanding.  When one has experienced divorce, Thanksgiving, like every other holiday, is impacted in ways that can be very difficult for parents and for children. 

Ephesians 5:20 tells us to be thankful in everything, which would have to include divorce.  That can be a hard thing to do.  Apart from difficult memories that may resurface of holidays gone by, there can also be the nightmare of trying to shuffle schedules to accommodate children, family, in-laws and ex-family members.  You may or may not see your children on this holiday, though you once could count on that.  Sometimes the mere process of children growing up into adults with their own families and lives impacts the celebration, other times it can be impacted by juggling schedules or by an interfering ex.  However, I do think that there are things to be thankful for, even after a divorce, and thought I’d make a little top ten list for your consideration.

           10)      In this time when all too often news reports tell about households in which one divorcing spouse kills the other, and maybe the children, and then themselves, you can be thankful that you came through your divorce alive and well.  It doesn't always happen.  Give thanks!

9)      If you have children from your previous marriage, be thankful for that.  Though it adds to the complications of divorce, children are a special blessing, even in the most difficult times.  There are many couples who would give anything to have a child of their own.   Give thanks!

8)      You may have experienced great upheaval, having to move, finding ways to make ends meet, managing a household on your own.  If you have a place to live and food to eat, Give thanks!

7)      While divorce radically alters the course of your life, and takes away many things you once held precious, it also gives you the opportunity to start fresh, to make some new and better choices.  Give thanks!

6)      Though you may have been crushed, bruised, devastated and broken, you are still a person of worth, and may, in fact, be rediscovering parts of yourself that have long been forgotten.  Give thanks!

5)      In many cases, your marriage may have been a miserable place to be, unhappy, criticized or put down, sometimes filled with anger and disappointment, often leaving you feel lonely and unloved.  You no longer have to endure that on a daily basis.  Give thanks!

4)      This Thanksgiving, you have the opportunity to create new traditions that are meaningful to you, and to make the meal any way YOU want it to be!  Give thanks!

3)      Odds are, though your divorce has been difficult, you have found that you have some family and friends who have stood by you through it, and let you know you are loved.  Give thanks!

2)      Perhaps you have remarried, and found in that marriage the kind of spouse you always dreamed of and a kind of love you have never experienced before.  Give thanks!

And, most important of all…

1)      Though you have experienced the loss of the companion you expected to be with your entire life, there is one Companion who will never abandon you, no matter what life may bring your way.  Give thanks for the God who promises to never fail you nor forsake you!

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