Learning to Retell your Story

Because of a divorce, I have noticed that some have developed a love-hate relationship with their memories.

Because they are divorced they feel the need to tell of a story of constant misery. A story that justifies the failure of their marriage. A story that justifies their decisions.

These memories can get very confusing since many involve happy times with children and even highlight the positive qualities of the former spouse. These memories betray the story and justification and cause guilt. The guilt is painful and demoralizing. The memories haunt, and instead of bringing joy of the past with children and the former spouse, the person blocks them and denies themselves any enjoyment of them.

To me, this is a an injustice to the self and to the people in past memories. What is the antidote for this cancerous way of thinking?

Learn to retell the story of the past. Learn to tell it through the eyes of compassion for all concerned. Tell the truth, but tell it with compassion toward yourself and even the former spouse. This can allow us to enjoy the things that were good and to give respect to the times that were sorrowful.

  • I find too, Clay, that we often stay in those places of fear and angst becasue we fail to see that God is working in our situations for our good if we will allow it. You know that I’ve been there myself in the past year and a half.

    I heard a great lesson this morning about Jesus and the stable that I think applies here. I don’t think that Joseph and Mary “liked” their situation being in a stable to birth the baby Jesus. It certainly was not ideal. However, the situation demanded it and it was really no one’s “fault.” It was just the situation of the time.

    God, however, brought forth from a bad situation the One who would save us from our sins. There was a “sanctification” of a bad situation. While the feed box was not so great a place, the heavens were rejoicing at the birth of Jesus. God worked good–the greatest good–from terrible circumstances.

    Aren’t we the same way? I’d love to be back in the the place I was–succesful preacher, making it financially, speaking in meetings, leading worship at different places, and more. Where I am though is in a place that I feel confident that God is sanctifying for greater good. It may not ever be like I think it ought to be, but it will be what God thinks it ought to be, as long as my faith in Him remains focused.

    Divorce is terrible. I pray that I never have to experience it. It is not the will of the Father. In fact, scripture says that He hates it. But, that doesn’t mean that God can’t take that circumstance and fulfill his will in it.

    We must allow Him to sanctify our stables.

    • Clay J Mize


      Well said. Surrendering the outcomes and trusting God is a lot easier to say than to do.

      It is even easier to see God’s purpose for your life than it is my own.

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