Facing Sorrow After Divorce

I was out with a group of my friends when I saw it happen…the look. My friend had been divorced for a year and a half, and even though it was hard, she really had been thriving. She had gotten highly involved at church again and had joined a small group. Her kids were finally on a good routine. She had even been able to consider dating again. The work God had done in her life since her divorce was absolutely beautiful. 

But that night when we were out with a group of friends talking and laughing, I saw it on her face…sorrow. I watched as she took a deep breath, put on a brave face, and continued with the night. I called her afterwards and she said the same thing that I’ve heard from many other single moms: “It’s been so long since the divorce, why do I still have random sad days?” And many of my fellow single moms could even say, “I’m so much happier overall. Why do sad days still come?”

As I listened to my friend on the phone express her confusion, the Lord kept bringing one phrase to mind: You don’t need to be scared of sorrow; you can be brave because of Jesus. 

Let’s split that statement into two parts and talk about it as we learn to deal with sorrow after divorce.

You don’t need to be afraid of sorrow. There was a time in my life when I was afraid of sadness. It would come and I would do anything and everything to shove it down and pretend like it wasn’t there. But sadness is seen all throughout the Bible, and it’s not something that Jesus ever said we should try to stuff away. We see story after story of godly people such as David, Job, and Ruth experiencing grief. Even Jesus wept when Lazarus passed away, even though he knew that he would be resurrected. 

As single moms, we will experience a level of grief because deep down we know the road we are walking is not the way it’s supposed to be. But that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with us or that we aren’t trusting God enough. Sadness does not mean we’ve failed. Sadness does not mean we’re broken beyond repair. Sadness is an appropriate response to many experiences in our lives, especially the death of a marriage. It’s just a reality we face because we live in a fallen world broken by sin and marred by heartache. But… we can be brave because of Jesus.

You can be brave because of Jesus. We know those sad days will come, so how can we be brave in the midst of them? Run to God’s Word and choose to trust it over your emotions each day.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

We are not alone in our sorrow. We can trust Jesus with it as we take each moment one day at a time. Stop and pray and give him your burdens and choose to trust him with them. But also remember that you aren’t meant to shoulder this burden alone. Take that step of bravery and return to church. Find a small group. Let people get to know you and pour into you.

Kelly Wehunt, Arise Ministries Director of Events and Programs

About Kelly Wehunt

Kelly Wehunt is the Director of Events and Programs at Arise Single Moms. She has worked in several kids ministry and student ministry roles over the past 15 years and has a strong passion for helping parents see that they can disciple their kids. In her free time, Kelly loves to write, play golf, and laugh a lot with her three amazing children.