GOAL: Through all the grief, hurt and readjustment in this season of our life, we will continue to grow our personal relationship with the Lord. By Bobbi Reed
Through life’s challenges, it sometimes can be difficult to continue to trust God. This may be especially true after going through a divorce and all the heartache/grief that you encounter. You may have to ask yourself, “am I angry at God”? Am I blaming God for “allowing” this to happen to me? What is my new season going to look like? I know I am not comfortable with change? Where will my kids and I get support?
If you are mad at God or asking why this happened to you, know that it is common to feel this way. You have just been through an emotional roller coaster, and are still grieving. Even a few years later, there will be some questions, hurt and feeling of lost at times. I believe the first place to start in answering all of these questions, after going through this kind of loss, is to ask yourself what kind of relationship do I have with God? Do I even believe in a personal relationship with the Lord? Is that even something that was even taught to me when I came to know Christ? What does a personal relationship with Christ look like?
Doing an analysis of your relationship with the Lord will show you many things. It will first show you where you are in that relationship; am I just starting, maturing in it or have had one for many years. Doing this analysis can also show you what your beliefs truly are. Do you believe that the Lord loves you and cares for you unconditionally? Do you believe that in His love for you that He is truly looking out for your best interests? Do you totally trust Him with your life; your present and your future? Do you understand and stand on faith? Do you surrender everything in your life to Him? Do you only give certain things to Him while trying to constantly control others?
I know these are a lot of questions. They are necessary for you to really look at your personal relationship with the Lord, and what your beliefs are about your faith. It really is a good place to start. If you can look at your relationship and see what it is based on (the Word, experiences), how far it has grown or needs to grow, and what your true beliefs are, you will see where you need to go. You cannot see where you need to go without assessing where you have been or what you have previously done in your life. I know that at this time you may still be processing the loss and all that is wrapped up in it. You still may be grieving, going through the different stages which can take some time. While it can take a long time to process through all these stages of grief, we will need the Lord and our relationship with Him throughout all this.
We are not to lean on our own understanding; God tells us this. Many times in life things will happen to us and we will not understand them. We will try to figure them out, sometimes over-analyzing and spending way too much time on it. When things happen unexpectedly, ask God “what is my lesson in this”? I am sure we can easily figure out what someone else did wrong in our lives. It is much harder at times, to figure out our part in it and be accountable for it. The best place to start when something bad happens, is to go to God first. Ask Him what he is trying to teach us and how is the best way to handle our disappointment and anger from this situation. Ask Him for His wisdom and discernment in this situation. Ask for His direction on how to best handle it. We will be into our emotions in the beginning but as we continue to seek direction from God, He will speak to us and lead us in the right way. He will help the hurt in your heart, if we let Him. He will fill the empty places in our hearts with His unconditional love.
Faith is something that many times is a belief in things that are not seen. We can build our faith by knowing God closely and watching Him provide for us and others close to us. It is harder to believe in something that we have not been through before or never seen in someone else’s life. Even if we have very little faith (like that of a mustard seed), God can use that faith to build up a belief that everything will be alright. Many times God turns evil things that happen to us into good things, or great lessons. Many times the harder the challenges are in our lives, the stronger and wiser we get. We have to choose to be open to growth and knowledge, so that the Lord can continue to change us for the better. He knows what lies ahead and what we need to learn. We are constantly evolving in our character as time goes on. It is unfortunate that at times we must learn lessons from heartaches, but many times these challenges are the best teachers. Definitely the lessons learned during the challenging times are easy to remember.
We know that if we chase after the things of the world, ultimately we will not be happy nor fulfilled. The world would have us to believe that if we chase after wealth, status, sex, etc, that our lives will be full and we will have more peace, joy, freedom, and significance. God tells us that if we chase after the things of God; if we listen to Him, surrender all to Him, if we love and serve, our lives will be much more fulfilling. It is only then we will have true peace, true joy, true freedom and true significance.
It is important to remember that no one can serve two masters. In Matthew 6:24 it talks about how no one can serve two masters. We can be devoted only to one master as good and evil are total opposites. It is not possible to serve them both because of the fact they are opposites. We either serve the Lord totally or we are not.God gave us our minds and free will. We have to make the choices daily to die to flesh and follow God’s will in our lives. We have the tools to do that, we just have to make the conscious decision to lean on God and read His word daily. He is a jealous God and doesn’t want us to worship any other but Him. That is to include the world, material things, another person, etc.
We all can improve in spending more time in God’s Word. It is very difficult because our lives are so busy. I believe it is important to spend some time with God’s Word and in prayer before we start each day. If it is only 10-15 minutes. It is very important to get your mind and heart operating correctly before you start the day. Then throughout the day, find different ways to get more of God’s Word and time with Him. You can listen to an audio Bible to and from work, while you are driving around during errands or even working out at the gym. You also can listen to an audio bible or podcasts while you are falling asleep. It will calm your mind and allow you to sleep better. Make sure that during the day you take some “pauses”, even if it is for 5-10 minutes to be still. When you are praying throughout the day, make sure you leave quiet time to hear from the Lord. He cannot speak to you easily if you are constantly talking to Him during your prayer time. It is just like having a regular conversation; if someone is talking they are rarely listening. Make sure you spend the time listening to Him. Many times we do not hear Him because we don’t allow the time to be silent with Him.
Another thing that would help grow your relationship with the Lord, is to seek support from your friends and church. If you attend a church, see what kind of classes and small groups there are. See if they have child care available so that while you are learning more about God, your children will also be learning and be well taken care of. Many churches have classes that can teach you more about God and his Word. Take advantage and plan your time well, so that you can continue to grow with others support along with growing in your times alone.
I fully realize that coming from a relationship loss, it can be very hard to trust God. Many times it is a blind trust. This is where faith comes in because we are believing and trusting the Lord for things that we cannot see in the flesh. We must trust and believe that the Lord knows our hearts and can see ahead in our lives. He knows what He has for us and as long as we continue to build our relationship with Him and lean on His understanding, these things will come to pass. I know it is difficult to believe in things that are hard to see or things that are more than you can ever believe will happen. That is what is so great about our Lord, He always exceeds our expectations. Many times when He does bring blessing and favor into our lives, it doesn’t look like what we thought it would. Have an open mind and be expecting the best, even if it doesn’t seem possible. As you build your relationship with the Lord, and trust Him more, you will realize after a while that He will never surprise you! He will always do exceedingly in your favor, when you will turn it all over to Him.
Continue to be in God’s Word, pray fervently, and believe that things will get better. Continue to do whatever hard work that you need to do in order to heal. He can sure do things much better than we can on our own. He hears our cries and sees our hearts, and in His perfect timing all things will come from Him. Trust that He knows much more about us and our lives. He loves us unconditionally, and He truly wants to bless our lives. Try to remain positive throughout all the challenges and through our hurts. He will take all things and bring some good out of them. He promises us this, so believe it. Focus on staying positive, being in His Word, helping others when you can, and have faith that “the latter will be greater than the past”.
- Where is your relationship with the Lord right now?
- Have you been taught about and /or do you believe in a personal relationship with the Lord?
- Are you angry at God for anything?
- Do you blame God for anything that has happened to you?
- What is standing in the way of growing your relationship with the Lord?
- Can you figure out different ways to get in God’s Word more?
- Are there any groups or classes at your local church that can help increase your knowledge and support?
- What is available for your children to grow their knowledge of God’s Word and to give them a community of support?
- Are you leaving enough time in the day for pauses/breaks to rest and spend time alone with the Lord?
- Are you leaning on your own understanding and not the Lord’s?
- Do you have trouble trusting the Lord with your present and future?
- Do you have the faith to believe that God has your best interests at the forefront and that He loves you unconditionally?
- Spend more time in God’s Word daily, finding different ways to do it. I.E. podcasts, audio Bible on the way to work, in the gym or as you are falling asleep at night.
- See what classes and small groups are available in your church. See if they offer childcare so that both you and your children can learn and be supported.
- Analyze how you are feeling about God and whether you blame him for what happened.
- Pray more often throughout the day, making sure to allow some quiet time with God. He can speak to you easier when you are listening and not “speaking” to Him.
- Always show yourself grace. Our God is loving, merciful and shows us grace at all times. Stay positive, don’t be hard on yourself and remember tomorrow is another day to “start over”.