Mark’s marriage ended badly. He fought it, kicking and screaming, until his wife made it quite clear she no longer wanted anything to do with him. She was done with him and the marriage. It didn’t matter how much he still loved her; she no longer loved him. She couldn’t even stand to be anywhere near him. There was someone else, and she wanted that relationship more than she wanted him. She was finished, and for a time, Mark thought he was, too.
Nothing made sense anymore. Mark couldn’t understand what he’d done wrong or why someone who had once loved him could come to hate him so much.
Had she ever really loved him at all?
How could he have been so blind?
For a long time after the divorce, Mark didn’t want to see anyone. His friends had been their friends, and some were now only her friends. With a morbid fascination, he tried to keep up with what she was doing. That ended when he found out she’d married again. She was moving on with her life, and Mark couldn’t seem to get on with his. What right did she have to be happy when she’d made him absolutely miserable? It wasn’t fair.
A good friend finally took Mark aside and told him it was time to let his ex-wife go.
While they were married, he had held on to her out of love. Since the divorce, he had held on to her out of anger. He needed to let her go — to let the anger go. It was like a breath of fresh air sweeping over Mark’s heart when he found the strength to forgive her and move on. He decided he was not going to concentrate on those last ten months but on the five years before that when he’d been happy. He realized he was grateful to her for helping him develop an understanding of love. Ultimately, she threw it away, but Mark found he was ready to reclaim it.
With this renewed confidence in his ability to give and receive love, Mark was ready to put the past behind him and embrace the future.
FILL YOURSELF UP WITH GOOD THINGS
The pain of this world can produce so much that is negative, but God is able to take those negatives and turn them into positives. Ask God to help you clean out the old, negative spaces, so you’ll have room for the renewing attributes of a healed, redeemed life:
- Let joy take the place of anger
- Let confidence take the place of fear
- Let peace take the place of guilt
- Let mercy take the place of blame
- Let pride take the place of shame
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” ~Galatians 5:22
SOURCE: Chapter 4: “Gratitude,” God Can Help You Heal by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.
Review Blog Schedule (every weekday devoted to excerpts from a different book by Dr. Jantz)
Follow Dr. Jantz on Twitter
Fan Dr. Jantz on Facebook