When I present a workshop, seminar, or overview teaching, a common response is a spark of hope. Learning how their parents’ divorce can impact them often encourages individuals to take steps to heal themselves and their relationships.
My recent trip to the American Association of Christian Counselors Convention (AACC) to launch Choose a Better Path exposed me to a sea of people—professional and others—who want to hope that things can be better, but for too many hope has dimmed.
Sometimes spoken, often not, countless times I saw that hopeful desire for stronger relationships.
Why hope is hard
Hope is a tricky thing because it’s usually rooted in trust. Trust frequently is a casualty in parental divorce. It’s damaged by broken promises, offenses, miscommunications, and betrayal—real or imagined.
Caustic words violated interfamily trust and dimmed the hope of divorced parents that their kids will forgive them and revitalize communications. Well-meaning, but inexperienced stepparents crushed the trust the kids hoped to have with this new family member. Trust that “I’ll do better with my new spouse” is often connected to “but if it doesn’t work out I’ll….” And over time, hope quietly drifts away.
But hope is realistic
When I learned about the trust and fear issues I had, it helped me pray more specifically and seek help in those areas. Learning about the issues helped Marcus P also. He wrote:
“For more than forty years I carried a weight of anger, anxiety, and fear that tainted every moment I experienced and every decision I made. But gone are the clouds of doubt and frustration, and the healing I’ve experienced has yielded innumerable spiritual victories for myself and my family.”
This can be your story too!
First, confess to God all that frustrates, concerns, annoys, creates fear, and crushes your hope. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 142 1-2, “I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord’s -*mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.”*
Next, explore the resources on this website and get a copy of the new book Choose a Better Path. It addresses all of these issues in a user-friendly way that opens the door to healing for ACD and divorced parents.
Lastly, share what you learn with a friend. Over 40% of adults in the US have divorced parents.** Your family, relatives, friends, and coworkers desire the hope you’ve found, but don’t know how to get it. Be a part of the 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 cycle which says:
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”***
*New Living Translation
**Jen Abbas, Generation Ex.
Terry Gaspard & Tracy Clifford, Daughters of Divorce
*** New Living Translation
Forgiveness by Tiffany Scantlebury