This is what has worked after the ending of a 30-year marriage and living alone now for 12 years:
1. Receiving my identity from Jesus alone. Even if I have to ask Him many times a day. I am His precious daughter. He is my Husband.
2. Spending time with my girlfriends. Their schedules may not line up with mine due to work or their husbands schedules. So: have a Plan B and Plan C ready…to prevent discouragement. Example: Plan to see a movie you want to see even if you go alone. Ask a friend. If she can’t go, you are already to go yourself…no hurt feelings. Or, you have plans to eat with a friend and she cancels…Plan B, go to a restaurant that is comfortable alone and take a book. Or Plan C…use the restaurant money for something you are saving for, or donate it to a worthy cause…if that brings you joy.
3. Overcome evil with good. If you tend to get gloomy and ruminate, set a timer. Allow crying and complaining for a healthy amount of time …10 minutes? Then do something good. Example: Get out your church or neighborhood directory and write notes of gratitude to others. It will lift your heart and bless others.
4. Try the things you always wanted to do, but didn’t have time. You do NOT have to be good at it…just enjoy it!! I went sketching…it is not frame-worthy, but I had fun doing it.
5. Remember: Sometimes we suffer for someone else’s sin. That is a fact. However, we do not have to stay in that pain for the rest of our lives!
6. Small groups are good and no groups are good…your choice…just do not withdraw completely from others…but you are allowed to pick and choose.
I am not always happy, but I always have deep joy in Christ. My sad, bad times are less, but not gone. My value is increasing as I spend my time obeying His call. Listen, obey, trust…and love others well. Look for others to serve.
Jesus sees you and will never leave you. He loves you eternally.