3 ways to bless a friend going through divorce

April 9, 2012 in friendships,mom friends

I am giddy to share with you today. My awesome friend Sarah bravely agreed to write a post for me. During my lonely years in Montana she was the needed friend God sent me.  I’ve never laughed so hard or cried so hard with anyone. And today, you get to learn from her wisdom. Her post reminds me of 2 Corinthians 1:4 which says, God “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Sarah, I am so proud of you. Thank you for sharing. Please encourage her, dear readers, with your comments.

When my dear friend Laura asked me to write a post about how to support a friend who is going through a divorce, I thought, sure, I can do that. But then I realized, no, I don’t know anything about other people’s situations – they are all unique. But I do know how the people God brought into my life ministered to me and how that helped me through the pain and struggles of divorce.

Six years ago, when I was going through the divorce, my children were very young (pre-school).  My husband was pursuing a relationship with another woman, ending our marriage. At the time, I had a narrow network of support – I had put all my emotional energy into my marriage. But God gathered people around me, from my church and from out of the blue, and He blessed and encouraged me through them.

I felt marked, like I was wearing a big red letter “S” during the separation, then a big red “D” after the divorce. Divorce? Me? I struggled with being a divorced person and how the Christian community would respond to me. I was most blessed by the friends who mourned with me, but did not judge me for my situation. People I didn’t know as well blessed me by sending cards expressing their support and love. If you know someone going through a separation and divorce, call them and let them know, by telling them, that you are there for them if they need anything. If you don’t know them as well, send them a card offering your love, prayers, and support.

I felt discarded and unlovable. The sadness was always there. It was a day-to-day struggle with sadness, pain, and loneliness. The friends who blessed me most were faithful in their friendship. They actively loved me, sought me out, called to check on me, persevered despite my self-absorption. Friends who blessed me during that time listened, encouraged, and cared, but they also shared their lives with me and helped me get outside my situation and myself. They allowed me to serve them (host, watch their children, etc.). It was healing for me to be valuable in someone else’s life.

Sarah blessed me by inviting my family over to celebrate MY birthday. She made the whole meal, accommodating all the food restrictions in my family…..gluten free and sugar free. It was better than a gift wrapped with a pretty bow.

Be persistent. Keep initiating. Keep reaching out. Listen and be supportive, but be real. Don’t hide your own life and struggles. Also share and let them be a friend to you.
I was brokenhearted over the divorce’s impact on my children. Every week when they went for the overnight with their dad, my heart broke again. Huge blessings came from friends who made a point to invite me over (or invite themselves over to my place) when my children were with their dad.  One time, I remember feeling brokenhearted, sad, worried for my children–mourning their pain, distraught at the loss of my dreams for the family life I wanted them to have. I was crying uncontrollably and needed a friend. I called my dear friend Laura. As soon as she heard my tears, she said, “I’m coming over.” She came, she sat with me on the couch as I cried. And she didn’t say anything. That was so healing and comforting for me. She listened, cried with me, and hugged me. She blessed me with her caring presence.
Let them cry. You can’t fix it, so don’t try. And you probably don’t understand their pain and that’s OK. But you can be there and be a physical, tangible expression of God’s love to them.
Thank you, Lord, for the many people you put in my life to encourage and comfort me. Thank you, Lord, for the many friendships that have come out of that time. I am so blessed, so enriched by the lives you brought to touch mine.
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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Blond Duck April 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Friends can be just as wonderful as family!


Amanda April 9, 2012 at 11:42 pm

thank you.


Kerri S April 10, 2012 at 3:03 am

I know how important it is to have friends to rally around when in the middle of a divorce…God blessed me with a few close ones and now many years later God is using me to be that friend for someone else going through it. I love how God uses everything to His glory! Thanks so much for sharing, Sarah!


Blond Duck April 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


No(dot dot)el April 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. I have a friend who is like a sister to me and she is going through a terrible divorce. She would have celebrated 17 years this past February. They have been separated for almost 2 years now and I needed to be reminded to continue to be persistent in being there for her.


beyondchristianplatitudes.com May 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm

My heart ached as I read this. I had a friend loose her husband to death at 27 with three kids under 4. It felt similar to this. Thank you for braving it and putting words to prompt others out of their own fears and reach out to those going through their dark valley!! Blessings to you and your kiddos!


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