This is a very difficult and tricky article for me to write. But I’m going to write it anyway, because I know I have to.
One thing I believe we all need to recognise is that we are able to get through difficult patches in life not by our own strength but by God’s grace and the strength He gives us.
He enables us to get through tough times so that we can help others to do the same.
It is not about “me, me, me”. It is all about God’s unconditional love and how we should do likewise for others.
I’m currently going through a divorce. Don’t ask me why, because quite frankly it’s none of your business. Lol
However, for the record, my ex is a lovely woman with a great heart and I wish her all the very best in life. I recognise the fact that I made many mistakes. But this is not about the mistakes I made.
This is about how God helped me through what were some of the most challenging months of my life.
Before going any further I want to thank God for blessing me with the most awesome family and friends. They were all so very willingly used by God to get me through this. You know who you are. Thanks so much for being there for me.
Going through a divorce in Nigeria is a very challenging ordeal. Why? Because you are so alone.
We live in a country that loves to celebrate and make so much noise about weddings. This is a good thing.
But when marriages go through serious issues, or worse still, when divorce becomes a reality, there are very few people or groups you can go to in order to get some respite, advice, guidance, love – call it what you will.
Ironically, churches across Nigeria offer pre-marital counselling, and from what I hear, some churches do this extremely well. But unfortunately very few, if any, address the issue of divorce. Ooops! Actually they do! Most tell you that you must stay in your marriage at all costs.
Many people refer to the text in Malachi 2:16 which says that ‘God hates divorce’.
Some have now translated this to mean that God hates people who divorce.
Is it really possible that a God who loves us so unconditionally; who has forgiven us of ALL our sins; who is all about grace, can hate someone because their marriage didn’t work out?
I DON’T THINK SO!!
God hates the process, the consequences and effects of divorce. He hates what it does to the people involved – especially children. God hates the pain, the fear, the feeling of rejection, loneliness, the confusion and the anger that people experience.
God does not hate the people who are getting divorced.
He hates what we put ourselves and those closest to us through.
It is good and indeed extremely worthwhile to encourage couples to work through their problems. In my case we did two separate sessions of counselling – with two different sets of people.
Once divorce became a reality I felt so alone. I felt like I had failed majorly.
I remember I kept looking at married couples / families and thinking ‘how come they got it right? Why couldn’t my marriage have come good?’
The more I analysed and compared, the worse I felt (Remember ‘Stop Comparing?’).
One night in November 2011 I woke up at about 1am, and because my mind was so full of negative thoughts I couldn’t sleep anymore. So after an hour or so of unsuccessfully attempting to lure myself back to sleep, I decided to Google ‘ Recovering from a painful divorce’.
It introduced me to a whole new world – so many articles.
Not only did I find comfort in the recognition that the emotions and feelings I had been going through were normal, but I also found great comfort in the fact that so many others had gone through what I was going through.
You see – in Nigeria, because nobody talks about what is really going on in their lives, so many people are suffering in silence; and trust me – it really is a very lonely experience.
It is also exactly what the devil wants – for people to suffer alone and in silence.
I firmly believe that reading those articles was one of the first steps towards recovery.
I made a decision that night. I decided that I was not going to stick to the Nigerian norm of suffering in lonely silence. I decided that I would talk about what I was going through and that I would encourage others to talk about what they are going through.
People – you will not believe the stories and experiences that I heard during the coming weeks!! So many people – married and divorced are quite literally going through hell. But because we live in a country in which people love to gossip, judge and talk behind your back, many, if not all, are unwilling or unable to talk about what they are going through. Again – exactly what the devil wants – alone, hurting and feeling defeated.
So – again on God’s prompting, I made a decision. It wasn’t an easy decision. In-fact with every step of the way, I have asked God the question – ‘who am I to be doing this? I’ve made so many mistakes and failed so many times – what right, or on what grounds do I have to do this?’
But alas, in very reluctant obedience I dedicated the last seven months or so to designing a Divorce seminar.
Before going any further I want to make it very clear that I strongly believe in marriage.
Divorce is a terrible thing which we should all do our very best to avoid.
But it is also a reality of life.
The seminar is for those who are going through divorce and in need of hope, strength, and the truth of God’s unconditional love – the surest foundation for a new beginning.
Whether we like it or not; whether it is right or not, the fact is that divorce is not the end. It is actually an opportunity to start again; an opportunity to get things right; an opportunity to find out why one is here – on earth.
Divorce is quite literally one of life’s most painful experiences, due to:
– It’s terrible effect on children.
– The pain of two hearts being literally torn apart.
– The pain of bitter anger and negative emotions obstructing loving and objective decisions.
To be perfectly honest, for many people, divorce is quite literally hell.
But it is NOT the end.
Divorce is also an opportunity to rise from the ashes.
It is also an opportunity to find out who you really are and why you’re here.
It is an opportunity to finally start fulfilling your potential.
Yes – it is another opportunity for long lasting joy and fulfilment.
We need to remember that ‘God is for us’ and not against us. Therefore, no matter what mistakes you made or how much you failed (trust me, I made plenty), remember that God still and always will want the very best for you.
On Saturday 15th September, at the Ocean Pearl, Ocean View, from 10am to 5pm, there will be a seminar on Divorce.
The seminar is completely FREE.
Some of the topics that will be addressed are;
– Recognising and accepting one’s mistakes
– Accepting God’s forgiveness
– Forgiving yourself
– Forgiving you ex
– Who am I?
– What is my purpose?
– How to achieve my goals
– When do I start dating again?
The seminar will be very interactive.
This seminar is not about who is right or wrong.
It is about helping one another to get up and go again.
It is about Not Giving Up.
It is about Not Comparing
It is about learning from mistakes
It is about recognising that the future is still very bright.
So if you want to attend, or know anyone that you believe will benefit from attending, please inform them.
Time: 10am – 5pm
Date: Saturday, 15th September
Venue: Ocean Pearl, Ocean View, Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island