Celebrating holidays as a newly divorced single person can be tough.
In this first memory, our family had recently moved to Bend, Oregon. My husband Jim and I had experienced difficulties in our marriage while living in Southern California, and we were hoping for a new start. Our son Travis, about to enter high school, had fought the move.
“I’d considered our move to Bend a blessing from above, but, once there, Jim and Travis began isolating themselves. Since neither of my guys wanted to be involved with preparing for Christmas that first year, I bought a tree from a lot by myself, getting dog poop on my shoe in the process. I stuffed the tree into the van, set it up, and decorated it alone. Looking back, I wonder what my guys would have done if I’d not bothered with Christmas that year.”
A few years later, I finally came to the difficult decision to leave my marriage of twenty-five years. But just because I was no longer married to my difficult husband, didn’t mean everything would be coming up roses.
I had a huge adjustment ahead of me.
“The idea of spending my first post-divorce Christmas with my family fills me with dread. I imagine being an object of pity and a third wheel at Les and Sandy’s, [my brother and sister-in-law] with everyone but me discussing sports. Instead, I accept Ros’ [a close cousin] invitation, since “Make good new memories” is my goal. I look forward to seeing her three brothers and their families. I bring eggnog pudding and biscochitos, a New Mexican sugar cookie, glad to have the opportunity to cook for someone other than myself. We share memories of our childhood mischief, and I laugh myself silly over a tale of the boys buying a monkey from a catalog and trying to keep their mother from discovering it in their closet.”
Those moments when I could laugh again, told me I was on my way to healing. Since that time, God has blessed me with a loving husband, a new home, and new friends and relations with whom to celebrate. If you’ve recently been through a divorce, I want to encourage you to seek out healthy, happy ways to celebrate by surrounding yourself with those who love you, and by remembering you are always loved and cherished by your Father God. My prayer for you is that joy will follow.
Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Linda M. Kurth is a writer and a divorced and remarried Christian. In going through the divorce, she experienced a dichotomy of responses from the Christian community. After sharing some of those experiences in her upcoming memoir, God the Devil, and Divorce, she's heard many stories of divorced Christians who have struggled with the same issue. This blog invites divorced Christians to tell their stories with the goal of encouraging churches to resist condemnation and become a source of healing and grace.
Do you have a divorce experience to share? Have you been shamed by a church because of your divorce? There are hurting people who need to hear your story, who need to know they are not alone, and who need to be encouraged. If you are interested in sharing your story, email Linda for guidelines: Linda@LindaMKurth.com