I thought that once my divorce was final, life would get back to some sense of normal and most of my divorce-related struggles would disappear. Yeah, right. I quickly discovered that the primary change was the types of struggles I faced, not struggles themselves.
My main struggle initially was committing to a chaste lifestyle. That one would routinely challenge me during the first year or two after my divorce. But, I had others, too, like dealing with anger at my former spouse, and being patient with my kids after a long day as a single parent. I even had difficulty trusting God and fully living my faith. Each time I would fail to rise up and overcome the challenge of the moment, I always felt disgusted and angry with myself.
A priest suggested that I start praying for the graces to have the strength to overcome my challenges. He suggested I say a quick prayer each time I was feeling particularly challenged. If I had the presence of mind, I would pray the Our Father, but usually it was a simple, “Lord help me!” It really helped. While I didn’t respond properly every time, I did respond properly more often than not. I more readily overcame my temptations, held my tongue with my ex, and was able to see my kids misbehaving as just a signal that they needed a hug instead of a timeout. Now instead of feeling disgusted and angry with myself, I actually felt good about the way I handled my challenges. Going through a divorce, and being divorced, brings its share of challenges. I learned that I was not going it alone. I learned how to use the amazing power of prayer to give me strength when I needed it most.
Pray without ceasing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17