Pastor, “I am recently divorced, how long will it take me to get over all this mess? I feel so worthless and broken”

I am very hesitant to offer an advice or counsel as to how long one needs to take to get “over” a traumatic life changing event. One is affected for life. Clinical psychology tells us people normally process the death of a spouse or loved one over a 10 year period, divorce or relationship trauma, 5 to 7 years. It is interesting to note that only 1 out of 6 divorced people ever marry again; the vast majority will find relationships but never formalize such in any form.

I come from a faith perspective in these matters. God in scripture tells us, Psalm 25, for example, that God always sees us through the eyes of Christ, his Savior, and that is always a matter of grace, mercy, and forgiveness,  healing and wholeness from God’s perspective. God’s mercy and grace is always there for us, it is how we tend to feel about ourselves is the real issue.

In any termination or end of a long term relationship, we carry allot of baggage. Feelings of guilt, of failure, of loss of course. Feelings of mourning.  No matter the reasons unique to the relationship that brought a couple to this point, we mourn the loss of intimacy, loss of the other person in their lives. And like the physical death of a person, so we mourn the loss of a relationship. The pain and heartache is just as real. Throw in the many legal, financial and personal issue, if kids are involved, you have a difficult process to healing and wholeness.

The organized church at times is not always helpful. We tend to think of ourselves as a “family-centered”organization, and rightly so. But many times the newly “single” person is more or less placed in some place where others ask them, ‘well how long is this singleness going to last and where is your “significant other?” And many times the divorced or newly single in the church never really find their place in the church. That is sad and wrong.

The bottom line is that God, faith, healing and recovery is always there, always open to us at any time. God is ready and waiting to have that conversation, or any conversation about where you are and where you are going. The option is always ours when, or if we want to have that talk. Our God is big enough to deal with our anger, our rage, all those feelings which we feel we should not feel about God or faith, but feel none the less.  His shoulders are big enough for all our pain, our feelings, our brokenness, our hurts. And he will be there ready to accept us as we are right now, as a couple, as single, as married, as divorced.   Our God is far bigger and far more open to us, more so than we ever give Him credit for.