Rejection brings it’s own grief.
The realization you are no longer wanted or fit in someone’s life (and heart) anymore is unbearably painful. As much as grief hurts and hurls us away from our marriage—and life as we knew it—we must face grief as we move through the pain. It is slowly moving forward, awkwardly and even bitterly at times.
The symptoms of grief are numerous. And when you can identify them in yourself, you can more easily accept them and identify them as the temporary swamp you are drudging yourself through instead of a permanent residence you will stay in.
A couple symptoms are …
First, downcast apathy. Psalm 42 says, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” (v. 5 NIV). Speak to yourself of where you are. One beautiful thing about the Psalms is that they start in despair of thought but typically end in action and hope. “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Ps. 42:5 NIV).
Second, know that short-sighted vision comes with grief. It seems no one can show you that the sun will rise again. You feel hopeless and certain joy will never even be associated with your life again.
How do we intentionally move out of the grief?
First, talk to yourself and go easy. I had to tell myself to put one foot in front of the other in the early stages of my divorce. It can get that basic, and that’s okay. This is not easy territory. You are on a difficult journey. Talk to and take care of yourself. Don’t try to move mountains; just maneuver small speed bumps.
Second, insist there is more life ahead. Speak it out loud. Force yourself if you must to say, “This will pass.” Speak it to a supportive friend so they can confirm your words.
Third, find consolation in talking, journaling, praying, and reading Scripture. The Psalms especially define anguish and despair (and also hope!) Wrap your arms around your soul and hang on.
Fourth, go to sleep grateful. There is always something to be grateful for. Find it, even if it is small. You made it through this day, and the morning will be better.
Fifth, limit your expectations for yourself and others. Grief is a time to survive not thrive. You will run your world again, but for now just walk. Every step and every day you are moving forward out of the journey of grief.
Sixth, ask God to hold you. He enters your pain with you. He does not abandon you in your deepest need. He does not reject you. He loves you completely. Don’t ask to understand it all right now.
Understanding the symptoms of grief will help you get through it. The sun will shine again; life will be bright again. How do I know this? Because I’ve seen it for hundreds of people who took one step at a time away from the pain of grief into a beautiful life of hope.
“Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed” (Ps. 57:1 NIV).
You must know where “here” is before you can reach the “there” God has in store for you. Download your free self assessment now: http://davidccook.org/suddenly-single/