Three tips for starting over after a divorce

Jan Walker

The drive home from the courthouse was harder than I anticipated. After months of counseling, hard conversations, and grief-stricken prayers, my 16-year marriage had legally ended. I gripped the wheel and felt an odd combination of sadness, finality, and stillness. Although this was never what I imagined as an eager young bride, I had found myself among the 50 percent of Americans whose marriages end in divorce.

What do you do when the primary relationship in your life ends? How do you begin to build an identity apart from your martial one? How do you begin to build a life again?

Although God is clear about the pain divorce causes, He still loves His children immensely. Just as we comfort our earthly children, God is strong enough to handle our pain, our heartbreak, our anger, and our disillusionment after divorce. Divorce will bring you to your knees, but it is not the end of you. The key is to bring everything to God — every messy, painful, brutally honest emotion — and lean into His mercy and grace.

Three Tips for Starting Over

1. Grieve.

Divorce is a death. Allow yourself to experience grief. There will be days when you are blindsided with grief and days when you feel total peace. All of these feelings are part of the process. God promises He will be with us and hold us close to His heart (Isaiah 43:1, Isaiah 40:11). There is no better comfort than His presence.

2. Find your (new) identity.

Starting over means learning who you are outside of your marriage. This can be difficult in a world where relationship statuses and pictures of happy couples saturate our social media feeds.

Remember, we belong to Jesus before and after we belong to anyone else (Ephesians 2:10). The marriage ended, but your story is far from over. You have a new beginning and a new life (2 Corinthians 5:10).

3. Seek support.

We are called to bear each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Reach out for godly support as you rebuild your life. Participate in counseling if needed. Divorce is messy, but God will place people in your life who are willing to roll up their sleeves with you (Romans 12:4-5).

God is with you. He will hold you. He will strengthen you. He will not leave you.

And that is a relationship status that will never change.​

NewSpring Groups are a great place to find godly support. Find a group based on what you like to do, or connect with others who are working through life after divorce. 

Related Content

to Discover More

Story

My escape from a boyfriend who beat me

family healing community dating abuse salvation baptism relationships provision self worth

Jessica Long was trapped in an abusive relationship until she unexpectedly discovered hope for a fresh start.... read more

Watch Story

Story

Top 10 stories about marriage and dating

marriage dating relationships divorce reconciliation adultery

NewSpring believes that every number has a name, every name has a story, and every story matters to God. Wat... read more

Read Story

Story

How I broke loose from the grip of anxiety

depression anxiety community parenting divorce

Trisha Hardy was overwhelmed by constant anxiety until the love and support of friends opened her heart to Go... read more

Read Story

Story

My marriage and kids stole my dreams

community marriage identity salvation purpose divorce reconciliation

Roshanda Fuller thought marriage and family had stolen her dreams. Then, on the brink of divorce, she and her... read more

Read Story

What's happening at NewSpring Church?

  • Need to Know: Weekly email to keep you informed about what's happening at NewSpring
  • Fuse News: Email for Fuse parents sent on the first Monday of the month
  • KidSpring Scoop: Email sent at the beginning of each series to give you the scoop on what's happening in KidSpring
  • Read My Bible: Daily devotional sent via text from 6-7am

Subscribe