After any traumatic event, you need to give yourself time to heal. After a divorce, it can easily seem that you will never heal from such a devastating wound. People around you might think you should just get up, shake it off, and keep going when, in your mind, everything has come to a screeching halt. This is precisely the time to take action and get the help you need to get through the post-divorce years with your sanity and with peace.
A great way to affect your situation immediately, is to pray the Stations of the Cross as often as possible. Praying may be difficult for you at this time, which is a natural reaction to sustaining a significant loss in your life. Praying prayers that guide you, instead of you trying to find the words to say, are often a big help in getting yourself back on track.
Praying the Stations of the Cross is a guide to prayer par excellence, but there’s a much more important reason to pray the Stations as often as possible. Divorce makes you feel alienated or unplugged from people and from your faith. With the intense emotions you feel from this feeling of disconnection, you can walk with Christ as He carries His cross and unite your suffering to His.
In your mind and heart, you can witness the immense suffering He chose to bear out of love for you. Knowing that His burden was heavier than anyone has ever carried, that His suffering was more severe than anyone has ever endured, and that He did it all because He loves you brings a kind of consolation nothing else can. It provides hope that when the time comes for you to put this cross of divorce aside, there will be a kind of resurrection for you in a new life. Good Fridays always yield Easter Sundays.
My book, Divorced. Catholic. Now What? has a companion Workbook which contains a version of the Stations of the Cross written specifically for divorced Catholics to pray. I encourage you to pick up a copy and pray the Stations as often as you can. I believe you will begin to see a substantial change in your life.
Second, get out of your house and go serve someone. Yes. Do it. Serving others can take many forms, and any type you choose to do is great, but how about considering filling a need in your parish? One of the loudest complaints I hear from single people is how no one is doing anything for them. They feel forgotten. Fair enough, but why sit there and complain? Why not take the bull by the horns and go start a group? A divorce support group is a serious need that must be filled in parishes and often does not get done because no one steps forward to lead the group or at least get the group going and find someone who is fit to lead.
In other words, if you see a community in your parish whose needs are not being met, why not sit down with your pastor and find out how you can help? This would be a great distraction from your suffering and a constructive and positive project for you to focus on and be productive with. Not to mention, a big help to your pastor.
All in all, taking action on these tips will certainly have a positive affect on your life, and might even get you through the healing process sooner than expected.
As always, count on my prayers for you and please remember to pray for me, too.