Thanksgiving. What does that word bring to your mind? I have lots of memories associated with that three-syllable word. I remember long Thanksgiving weekends that I spent at my dad’s house over the years. These memories are filled with anxiety and awkwardness at spending the day with immediate family that I hardly saw otherwise.
But one of the clearest memories of Holiday Awkwardness occurred in an unlikely setting: a classroom. A teacher asked the class to go around the room and talk about our Thanksgiving plans. The other kids, from my church, explained how they would be driving a few hours to see distant aunts and uncles, or how they would spend a quiet day with their family. When it was my turn, I smiled and answered, “I always go to my dad’s house for thanksgiving.” The room experienced an awkward silence. They were not familiar with this type of holiday arrangement since I was one of the only kids they knew who had divorced parents. After a few seconds, the teacher cleared her throat and moved on.
I love my friends dearly, and I am sorry that this type of situation makes them uncomfortable (as it would probably make me, if roles were reversed!) But I’ve noticed that divorce has a tendency to to cause uncomfortable moments. Have you had to deal with times like this, where things get awkward because of your family’s disjointedness? I think it’s inevitable. Maybe you’ve had to make decisions about how to include both parts of your family in your life, or maybe you feel out of place at one of your parents’ houses. Take comfort in the fact that there are thousands of other girls who know what you are going through. You are not alone. More importantly, you are not alone because God is with you in every moment of your life.
Know that our prayers are with you during this holiday season. Pray and ask God to give you wisdom in how to juggle the different parts of your family. God’s grace will sustain you!
Christopher Reeve was one of Hollywood’s finest leading men. Best known for his role as Superman, the 6’4” handsome actor was accidentally flipped by his horse and paralyzed from the neck down in 1995. A couple of days following the accident he lay in his hospital bed unable to breathe without a machine pumping his lungs. He turned to his faithful wife, Dana, and mouthed, “Maybe we should let me go.” Dana never skipped a beat. “You’re still you and I love you.”
A few years later, Christopher shared publically that these words literally saved his life and later compelled him to dictate his biography, “Still Me.”
God doesn’t judge you by your outward appearance or limited abilities. He’s not looking at the facade you’re wearing to get through your parents’ divorce. He sees right to your heart. If it’s broken He knows. He will not turn his back on you because your parents have changed the course of your life. Never. He still has a purpose for your life.
Press on in the direction God has laid out for you. Your parents’ divorce doesn’t define you. You’re still you.
“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3: 13-14
We can easily lose our way when tragedy happens in our lives. You may feel different and all your surroundings may be different but our Heavenly Father sees you the same as He always has.
His plans for your life are still the same. Focus on Him not on the chaos swirling around you. Let Him be your constant. He’ll give you supernatural strength to get through this time.
Know I’m Praying for You,
Have you ever craved a hug? One that speaks to every hurt in your body. A hug like this can only be delivered by someone you trust. A hug so consuming every doubt and fear begins to dissipate. As girls we yearn for hugs from our fathers. Sometimes we find ourselves in the arms of men who are not trustworthy because we so yearn for the comfort of our father’s hug.
Our needs are actually deeper than craving a hug. Girls need to be reassured. It’s part of our DNA. Whatever reason for your parents’ divorce, you may find yourself craving a hug from your father. Or trust in your father may be damaged right now and your father is the last person you want to hug.
Look up sweet lady. Up out of your painful surroundings. Jesus’ arms are open and He’s ready to hold you tight. How can Jesus possibly give you a hug? He hugs and comforts us with His words. Psalm 91 is my hug chapter. Especially verse 4.
“He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
Jesus wants to be your safe place to fall. Nestled in His word you will find reassurance again and again. Just like a hug Jesus takes every doubt and fear away.
Our Heavenly Father sees you and He sees your pain. The same Jesus who cried over Lazarus’ death longs to comfort and reassure you. Find a comfy place and cuddle up with Psalm 91. Jesus will penetrate your heart like the biggest bear hug you’ve ever experienced.
Know I’m praying for You,
Are you wondering why Jesus doesn’t do something about the storm you’re going through? We believe Jesus is all-knowing, in control, and loves us enough to die for us. So why doesn’t He do something?
You’re quite normal if you feel this way, even the men who walked with Jesus questioned His best interest for them.
“Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Mark 4:38
Get the impact of this scripture. The disciples and Jesus were on a boat during a full blown storm. The next wave could bury them at sea and Jesus slept. They didn’t see Jesus doing anything so they assumed He didn’t care.
Are you in a situation where you’re ready to push the panic button? Divorce can feel bigger than any roar of thunder or bolt of lightning you’ve ever experienced. Jesus showed the disciples He was in control of their storm by speaking three words. Quiet. Be Still.
Let Jesus speak to your storm today. He’s bigger than anything or anyone coming against you.
Jesus cares about you more than you I can describe in words. He knows exactly what’s going on during and after your parents’ divorce. You may be dealing with one or both parents who are not Christians but please know God is in control of them, too.
Don’t doubt for a minute God’s ability to speak peace over your problem. Ask Him then sleep well knowing it will be done.
Know I’m praying for You,
For your Playlist: Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns
“Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.”
Do you ever find yourself waiting on the next bad thing?
When perhaps all you have known the majority of your life is heartache and uncertainty, it becomes so easy to embrace life as a perpetual state of chaos. Maybe you view words such as joy, happiness, and peacefulness as foreign moments that only seemed to have existed when your parents were married; but now that the divorce or separation has really sunk in, you have simply ruled out ever feeling these emotions again. Perhaps you have accepted the fact that life will simply never be better, that things will never be as good as they once were and so from here on out you simply accept life’s chain of events knowing that when things are bad, they most likely will only get worse.
However, at some point in time you are going to come across someone or some experience that will debunk the downward sloping perspective of life which you have embraced for so long. Suddenly, you will find yourself struggling with feelings of guilt and disbelief as you try to swallow life’s sweetness and face the fact that there is another side to the God that we serve- a side that pours out blessings of love and joy upon His faithful servants.
I encourage you to seek joy today and continue to pray for it relentlessly. Stop living your life waiting on the darkness and look to your Heavenly Father for the joy that only He can provide you with. Don’t give up on a brighter tomorrow.
With all my heart,