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Counselor's Corner: How can I grow through a divorce?

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By John Lapp

Divorce is is a term which is usually full of emotional expressions. Some have anticipated it as a sort of relief from emotional pain and hurt, while others dread it like an unwanted plague that has the potential to devastate a whole family.
As I have worked with many divorced persons, and also victims (other family members, including, of course childen), it is no wonder that in one of the Old Testament books of the Bible, it is stated that God hates “putting away” (meaning divorce).
Some may have, in advance, viewed it as a relief from stress, and that may be so. Others may have hated even the thought of it, and dread what it will mean for themselves and other members of the family.
From what I have experienced with hundreds of my clients over the past 45 years in practice, there appears to be more pain than joy when divorce has ended a marriage, per se, but it does not often completely end a relationship that began with hope and great anticipation.
The man and woman who fall in love with each other, whether it is, or is not, their first marriage, are usually deadly serious about marriage when they have decided to marry, but all too soon, their dreams are shattered. It can become to one or both of them similar to a death, the major difference, of course, being that the former partner is still living, and often is now being courted and maybe again married to someone else.
Some of that will soon be addressed in a new program in Taylorsville, anticipated to begin in September 2013. The details of the exact date the program will begin should be announced in The Spencer Magnet.
For many years, I had the privilege of conducting a program specifically designed to address the needs, support, and often the recovery for people who had already been divorced, along with many who were presently going through divorce.
During that span of many years, before relocating to Taylorsville, reportedly more than 700 people attended the program.
The program, which will begin soon in Taylorsville, will hopefully be a benefit for those in attendance, helping each attendee to find the will and desire to grow through their own divorce, and help others to do the same. A very brief little story lends support to this desire.
Reportedly, a well-known artist was visiting a family who also had a little girl. Showing kindness to the girl, the artist had brought a small handkerchief to the little girl. During the visit, the child had accidentally spilled ink on the handkerchief and was reduced to tears welling up in her eyes as she saw the destroyed gift. Gently, the famous artist took the damaged gift in his hands and began to work with it as the child looked on, patiently waiting to see what he was doing. In a few moments, he had changed the soiled and damaged handkerchief and made that spot of ink into a beautiful flower.
Maybe what can happen in your life will be somewhat similar: maybe the spots and some of the obvious damage can be changed into something more beautiful, and maybe you can be helped by this new program.
If you or someone you know is able to be helped with this type of program, be watching soon and looking at the bulletin boards at places in Taylorsville where you may see the announcement. Important for you to know also is that the program will be open to the public at no cost to the participants, and will be on Tuesday evenings at 7 and will be held at the facility where the Risen Lord Lutheran Church is located and where my good friend, Steve Gettinger, who also has a weekly article in the Spencer Magnet, is pastor.
May God bless you in your endeavors in life, and thanks for reading this column, now near the end of two completed years since the first column in September 2011.