10 Things You Can Do to Thrive after Divorce

10 Things You Can Do to Thrive after Divorce

Divorce is one of the hardest seasons a person can go through. The deep valleys test your faith and endurance. The rollercoaster ride of emotions will bring you to your knees. And there will be what seems like endless pain and hurt. But I want to assure you, you will get through this season and most come out better, with a thriving life, on the other side.

This may not be something you wanted or even expected in your life, but after a time of deep emotional healing and recovery, the season after is the best time to learn how to thrive.

Thriving in life is not merely surviving or existing. Thriving is accepting the past, learning and growing in the present, and embracing the future. Now is the time to reclaim all that was lost because of a divorce. Or find a better path in life.

Ready to thrive? Here’s how…

Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 1.) Put God first and foremost in your life.

    1.) Put God first and foremost in your life.

    Slide 1 of 10

    Jesus said, “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” (Mark 12:30 NLT)

    Paul instructs us in 1 Corinthians 7, that it’s better to stay single so that we can focus our attention on God rather than a spouse. That’s not to say we should divorce for that reason, as Paul also states. But if we find ourselves single again, we should take a good amount of time to devote ourselves to the Lord.

    I have spent the last several years doing this. My relationship with God is the strongest its ever been in my entire life. I seek God when making all decisions and depend on Him to provide all of my needs. He has proven His love and devotion for me through this time. In the future, I won’t let anyone come between my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

    I think staying unmarried (for a time – God’s perfect time) is great instruction because our relationship with God should be first over all other earthly responsibilities and relationships. After divorce, when you’re in the valley and believe God is all that you have, is the time to put Him in that place in your heart. You’ll feel His loving comfort and He’ll help you to heal.

    After the major healing and life gets back on track, don’t forget to include God. Like a piece of paper, create margins and white space in your new life, leaving plenty of room for self-care, relaxation and balance, especially plenty of space for God. That’s how you make Him number one and thrive.

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 2.) Learn to love yourself. And make time for what you love to do.

    2.) Learn to love yourself. And make time for what you love to do.

    Slide 2 of 10

    Loving yourself is not self-centered if we’re following God’s commandments.

    Jesus went on to say (in Mark 12:31), “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This and “loving God with all your heart,” are both equally important commandments. The “most important,” we read in God’s Word.

    If you love God with all your heart, then you should also love the place He lives. He doesn’t live in a church building, He lives inside His followers. Jesus sent His Spirit in His place, to walk with you just like He did His disciples. Caring for and loving yourself is just like loving God.

    Loving yourself includes learning how to practice self-care. Part of that is doing the things you love to do. Finding enjoyment and relaxation is beneficial to fueling yourself so you can care for and love others.

    What are some things you put aside during marriage that you now have more time for? Is there anything that you always wanted to do, but couldn’t or wouldn’t? Now is the time to explore what’s possible for you and your future. You can treat yourself with loving care and also find enjoyment in life again.

    This includes decided on your own personal style. I’ve seen lots of women thriving after divorce with a fresh new look and more confidence. I believe our Father God is smiling with us when He sees us smiling, as we thrive.

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 3.) Discover your authentic self: who God created you to be.

    3.) Discover your authentic self: who God created you to be.

    Slide 3 of 10

    After my divorce, I realized that I had spent most of my life living for others, for their approval, and being who they wanted me to be. I was a people-pleaser without any personal boundaries. Even my college education was planned for someone else’s benefit.

    Healing after divorce helped me to realize that these people only liked me for what I could do for them or being the person they created – not my true self. It was time to take off the mask and be who God created me to be.

    Learning to be your authentic self will help you to discover your own passions in life. You can thrive knowing you were created for so much more, and have a purpose even after divorce. Finding our authentic self helps us to walk into our destiny.

    God is walking with you during this time and He wants to show you all that He has planned for you and your future. He wants you to be the person He created you to be. No more hiding, you are perfect in His eyes.

    Image Credit: Unsplash.com

  • 4.) No more people-pleasing. You are accepted by God.

    4.) No more people-pleasing. You are accepted by God.

    Slide 4 of 10

    God loves you unconditionally and gives you all the approval you need. Seeking approval from others is a waste, especially since not everyone is going to like you – the authentic you that’s not living to please others. And that’s okay, because you want people to like you for who you are and not what they want you to be.

    You can accept yourself just the way you are, a work in progress, when you accept God’s approval as enough. At the end of your life, after you take your last breath, it will only be you and God. That’s why His approval is all that we need.

    No more people-pleasing. Be kind to others and yourself. Do what’s best for you and allow others to do what is best for them. And don’t worry about what others think. Most times they’re more worried about themselves anyway. 

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 5.) Decide how you’ll run and establish your home.

    5.) Decide how you’ll run and establish your home.

    Slide 5 of 10

    If you’re paying the rent or the mortgage payment, then you are the head of the household. You get to decide how things are run and what your home looks like.

    After my divorce, I decided that everyone was going to contribute, as a team, which meant I no longer was doing the majority of the housework and the cooking. I had to take several part-time jobs to pay the bills, which meant I couldn’t physically do it all, so I needed help. Teamwork is what a team does. And that’s how I wanted to run my home.

    Also, I decided since I didn’t enjoy eating out as much as when I was married, and I didn’t spend money on my nails, hair or make-up, that I wanted to create a refuge out of my home by decorating. I was also ready for something new, uplifting, and relaxing so I picked out some floral sheets and curtains, and made many changes. This has helped me to embrace this new life and thrive. And I’ve found a passion for decor.

    As hard as it is to go from a two-parent home to a single-parent home, one advantage is we don’t have to agree with anyone about how things are run in our own home. We decide how to decorate, pastel colors and all. And then change it again when we don’t like it or it goes out of style.

    We embrace the future and thrive when we accept this part of our new life.

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 6.) Focus on your children and build a stronger, healthier relationship while growing as a team.

    6.) Focus on your children and build a stronger, healthier relationship while growing as a team.

    Slide 6 of 10

    Unless there is a court order stating otherwise, you now decide how to parent your children and what kind of relationship you have with them.

    After my divorce, when money was really tight, I decided that making memories was going to be my priority over spending money. New traditions were then started. Our first Christmas after separation, my children and I went to a free outdoor nativity. One birthday we met a big group at the local zoo, for the group rate price. And now we eat Chinese every year on Christmas day. We love it.

    We work as a team around the house to get things done, then spend time binge watching Netflix, playing card games or video games, or whatever else we like to do. We’re creating memories that will last longer than any toy. I want “remember that time?” to be a common phrase rather than “what did you buy me, that year?

    While spending time with them, help your children through divorce too, so everyone in the home will learn to thrive. Work together as a team, work through the feelings and healing, to build a new life, even with new traditions after divorce.

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 7.) Establish boundaries and learn to be assertive.

    7.) Establish boundaries and learn to be assertive.

    Slide 7 of 10

    Having boundaries is not about building up physical or emotional walls to keep people out. Boundaries are healthy limits you set for yourself, knowing what you’ll accept and not accept in your home and in your new life. They’re not to hurt or control someone else but a tool to help you do what’s best for you and your new healthier life.

    God had boundaries with Adam and Eve. Jesus had boundaries, taking time to pray and rest when He needed to rest. He was even assertive with His boundaries on several occasions in the Bible. He told His disciples that He’d be leaving and even though they didn’t understand and didn’t want Him to leave, He went anyways.

    People might not like your boundaries especially if they’re used to you not having any. You’ll have to practice being assertive in stating your boundaries and following through, even when others don’t understand. We can’t control how someone else will react to our boundaries but you must continue to say them kindly and do what you need to do. That’s healthy and you’ll live in freedom, thriving, once they’re established.

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 8.) Gain healthy relationships.

    8.) Gain healthy relationships.

    Slide 8 of 10

    As you learn assertive boundaries, you’ll learn who will respect your boundaries and who will not. Those who get angry and try to push past your new boundaries aren’t being respectful or caring of your limits. As you practice, you figure out who the healthy people are.

    People, who respect the boundaries of others, speak assertively reinforcing their own boundaries, have integrity (being honest and morally upright) and act in kind and loving ways most of the time, are the healthy people in this world. These types of people have healthy relationships and whom you want to be around. After divorce is a great time to assess all of your relationships and to gain insight into what makes a healthy relationship. Now that you’re thriving you’ll only want to have positive relationships in your new, improved life.

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 9.) Serve others by working in the community or in your church.

    9.) Serve others by working in the community or in your church.

    Slide 9 of 10

    Love God and love others, a motto we hear often in church. It goes with that most important commandment (from Mark 12), to love God and then love your neighbor, as yourself. But another thing I’ve learned about thriving after divorce is that when you help others, from your over-flow remembering self-care first, you feel really good about yourself and your life.

    It’s quite therapeutic to give back to those who were there for you on your hard days. It’s rewarding to encourage someone who is in the same deep valley that you have been in. Even this small gesture of support to another divorcing woman will give purpose to your painful divorce.

    Those who are thriving in this world have found Jesus’ healing power for their own painful struggles and then shared that hope for healing with others. That’s a very loving thing to do.

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 10.) Rebuild or build your career, the ministry that God puts on your heart, or both.

    10.) Rebuild or build your career, the ministry that God puts on your heart, or both.

    Slide 10 of 10

    If your kids are not grown and moved out yet, they will eventually. If you spent much of your children’s lives just taking care of them and the home, like I did, then a career might be the last thing on your mind. But today is the best day to get started on planning how you’ll financially support yourself and rebuild your career or ministry, especially after the childrearing is done.

    Finish up your college education or get started with a few classes. If you are working but don’t feel that it’s your career path, start looking for ways you can make changes to work towards the career you’ve always wanted or feel God has planned for you.

    You now have the freedom to try out a few different things, to see where the path leads. I spent one year doing three different types of jobs, asking God the entire time, which He would have me do and what was my purpose. Now I do one job full-time, knowing I’m following God’s will for my life. And He keeps providing as I work and follow my purpose.

    It’s not always easy, and it’s a lot of work, but through our work that we love to do, we can thrive in this life after divorce.

    You can survive divorce… and even thrive! I am here to help!

    -------

    Jen Grice is a Christian Divorce Mentor and Empowerment Coach, author of the book, You Can Survive Divorce: Hope, Healing, and Encouragement for Your Journey, a speaker, and a single homeschooling mom. She writes full-time at JenGrice.com and empowers women to survive and heal after their unwanted divorce on her YouTube channel as well. Jen believes that through God's healing, grace, and redemption that all Christian women can survive... and even thrive, after divorce. Navigating this foreign territory we call divorce? Feeling alone? Start here!

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com