Divorcecare | Surviving The Holidays
He left Thursday, September 9. I don’t remember very much about the first holiday season other than being mad, hurt, broken, and confused. My marriage of 24 years was over. I saw an announcement about DivorceCare on the screen at church, and I signed up right away. By that spring, I had attended all the sessions, but I still was angry.
I enrolled in the Fall session of DivorceCare, and that is when my healing process began. It was my second holiday season with a broken family, but I knew it was important to start making changes and creating new memories.
That Thanksgiving, my eldest son was away at college in Oklahoma, and it was tournament season for basketball, so he could not come home. This was his first holiday away from home, and he was spending it with strangers. I couldn’t afford to travel to see him, which hurt and made me feel more like a failure. I missed him and my marriage terribly. My youngest son and I celebrated Thanksgiving at my mother’s with the rest of my family, like normal.
My ex had introduced his new girlfriend and her family to my youngest son, and he spent part of Christmas Day with his father and her. The pain was immense. Fortunately, God had answered one of my prayers; my oldest came home to visit for Christmas. I also began to realize why it was important to make changes. I bought a new artificial tree, purchased new decorations, and put the tree up in a different area in the house.
Making changes helped, but prayer is what got me through that dark period of my life. I remember feeling at times I couldn’t survive the hurt. I would get down on my knees and pray and cry out to God to get me through just one more day. He did.
God is so faithful. Day by day, minute by minute, hour by hour I got stronger. He led me, and I followed. He alone is my source of strength. I was so broken, and I didn’t try to hide it from Him. My wall of pride had come down, and I was vulnerable. He is my Rock.
DivorceCare, Celebrate Recovery, COSA, and Step Study have given me the tools I needed to help me grieve and move on. I have also learned to share my feelings and struggles with others. That is real growth for me because I am a prideful person who isolates and keeps others at a distance.
Over the years, I have been able to celebrate holidays without the pain that I once felt would destroy me. I will always have my memories of what was, but now I also look forward to what will be.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s holidays won’t look the same as they used to, and traditions may change. This might cause social gatherings to become stressful. At Eastside’s Surviving The Holidays, you will learn some hacks to manage difficult emotions, tips to survive family and social events, give your kids a good holiday, and hear from others who have walked a similar path.
It’s not just the holidays that are challenging for those who are in recovery or experiencing divorce, separation, or grief. You don’t have to navigate this season alone. Eastside’s Care & Recovery hosts care support groups that meet year-round. To find a group near you, go to eastside.com/care.
DIVORCECARE Find healing from a separation or divorce is not easy. It’s a long, sometimes painful process. It can be a confusing time and perhaps you have a lot of questions about issues you have never faced before. We want to support you on your journey! We offer a safe place where you can find hope and healing.
DivorceCare What To Expect:
Seminar – during the first part of the meeting, the DivorceCare group watches a DVD seminar featuring top experts and divorce recovery topics. Support Group – Discuss what was presented in the video, and what is going on in the lives of the group members. This time allows you to connect with others and provide support during your time of transition. Discussions are kept confidential within the group.
GRIEFSHARE is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone. A time for seminars and support groups that are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help. You’ll gain access to valuable GriefShare resources to help you recover from your loss and look forward to rebuilding your life.
GriefShare What To Expect:
Seminar – during the first part of the meeting, the GriefShare group watches a DVD seminar featuring top experts and grief recovery topics.
Support Group – Discuss what was presented in the video, and what is going on in the lives of the group members. This time allows you to connect with others and provide support during your time of transition. Discussions are kept confidential within the group.
Eastside has a relentless love and commitment for all to know God. We are committed to finding unique ways to serve in our local communities and help our global neighbors. We are passionate about finding solutions, building bridges, and bringing the love and hope of Jesus to hurting communities. We would love to invite you to join us in person or online. At Eastside we believe that this is a place for everyone, wherever you are on your journey. If you would like to find out more about Eastside, please visit eastside.com.