It’s been months since I wrote about Marriage, divorce, and single parenting for Single Mom Smiling. I took time to launch Strahlen Grace Life Coaching, a brief but helpful sojourn to show me where I want to take my writing, speaking, and coaching and where I don’t, but I never thought I’d be away this long.
The last six months have been almost overwhelming. I laugh a little writing that…”almost overwhelming.” I look back over eight years of divorce and single parenting and think, “How could these months have been ‘almost overwhelming’ compared to what we’d gone through when divorce was fresh?”
And yet, in both good ways and bad, life has been almost overwhelming. I’ll touch on some of that in future posts. For today, I simply want to introduce a new direction for Single Mom Smiling and my new site which launches in December of 2017, KerriLynnBishop.com
Changing, Living, & Perfecting Single Mom Smiling
Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman said:
To live is to change,
and to be perfect is to change often.
Surviving divorce is not enough. We must live as God intended. Living means courageously laughing, loving, and finding Hope and Joy in every day. Living means doing the difficult. Living means seeking and promoting Truth. Living means delivering Love to the overlooked and those deemed undeserving. Living means changing by continually moving closer to the perfection we are called to in the books of Matthew and James.
It is, in part, this call to live, change, and be perfect that drives what I’m doing now. I will continue to write about abandonment, divorce, and single parenting and call out unjust court systems and misguiding Church officials. I will be clearer, stronger, and more direct in my approach. I will speak Truth, especially when it concerns Marriage and Love. I will promote chastity even for those who feel, as I did, that they are lost causes or that chastity is archaic or overrated.
But my message won’t be just for the divorced.
I’ve been a single mom for over eight years and divorced for about six. I’ve coached women across America in similar circumstances and have communicated with women around the world, and several things are clear to me.
I am Blessed. I have support, a great family, fantastic friends, and terrific small town. I have an education and a decent house. I have great Faith. Yet, I still struggle a bit almost every day. I can only imagine what those with fewer resources deal with and how their experiences affect finding a job, balancing a checkbook, providing for children, and focusing on and sticking to a plan to live, change, and strive for perfection.
Today, I won’t discuss what happens when the faithful parent’s self-worth is demolished and life, change, and perfection seem to be foreign words or cruel, out of reach, teases, but I know of too many suicides resulting from divorce. I’ve seen and heard from too many bleeding children whose happiness was made second to their parent’s pursuit of happiness.
Writing for the faithful divorced puts a band-aid on an amputation. We need to stop the amputation. We need to strengthen traditional Christian values in all aspects of life in order to stop the wounding of children, innocent spouses, and yes, even the betrayers themselves. We must stop the living dissection of our faith, our Constitution, and our families.
This is where I hope God is leading me.
Single Mom Smiling on Strengthening Struggling Marriages:
This summer I became friends with several authors of Leila Miller’s new book, Primal Loss: the Now Adult Children of Divorce Speak. I love these people and am inspired by their stories of hardship, overcoming, faith, life, and changing their family trees to seek the God’s perfection. I am incredibly grateful to call these people my friends, but…BUT…BUT…our discussions threatened to crush me. I had to fight hard against demons of despair, defeat, and depression in ways I hadn’t since my husband’s sudden abandonment, divorce, and annulment stole my illusions.
The Truth I knew from the Primal Loss authors, my own childhood, and from watching what my boys go through is:
Divorce causes decades of hurt in children,
but divorce is only another symptom of societal decay.
The euphemisms we use about “in the best interest of the child,” the “resiliency” of children, and how children are happy when their parents are happy are not euphemisms but lies. Children of all ages hope their parents choose to love one another in Marriage far more than they hope their parents will get along in divorce.
Perhaps that hope is based on a Truth children wisely know but parents selfishly ignore. Divorce doesn’t usually improve relations between two adults – or between children and their parents.
Something this past almost decade of singleness has made perfectly clear to me is that divorce cuts apart the couple meant to be whole. Divorce means a piece of the family is missing and the family is broken. Divorce means two flesh joined as one are ripped apart. Divorce means a Sacred Covenant is shattered.
Divorce recovery is not enough.
We must strengthen Marriage and stop the bleeding.
Knowing this, I was thrilled when Leila asked me to co-admin a group focused on preventing divorce by saving struggling Marriages through encouragement and prayer. The issues the men and women in the group face are beyond imagination, and I am encouraged by their strength, devotion, faith,…
There is much to admire in these husbands and wives, but what I most admire is their unfailing willingness to commit to put the effort in to Love better and Love again, modeling what Christ does perfectly for us in every moment.
One of the changes you’ll see as I move from Single Mom Smiling to KerriLynnBishop.com is that I speak more in the hope of saving Marriages and in building morality in all areas of society.
I hope you will also be quick and persistent in encouraging friends to live by God’s code and ride out life’s storms. Part of this means changing, living, and moving toward perfection by finding reasons and ways to Love inside Marriage.
Single Mom Smiling & Divorce Recovery:
I can’t stand the term, “divorce recovery.” You can “move on,” but full recovery comes only in Heaven. That said, I also don’t believe we sit stuck, bitter, and bemoaning our plights until we get to Heaven. We must continuously change by moving forward in Grace.
There can be post-divorce healing and a striving toward perfection only when divorce recovery is God-focused rather than self-focused. To be truly healing and provide the self-worth and Peace the abandoned, divorced, and single parent craves, a divorce recovery program needs three parts.
- A Foundation in the Holy Trinity
- A System Participants Move Through in a Focused and Linear Fashion
- A Community to Keep Members Accountable, Connected, and Encouraged
In Embracing Joy, my solution to divorce recovery, I provide these three elements along with group coaching to help those stuck in divorce change, live, and strive for the perfection God calls them to.
Promoting healing in Faith and my Embracing Joy solution, while speaking in Love, Truth, and Hope, will probably look familiar to Single Mom Smiling readers.
Other Changes in the Changing Life of Single Mom Smiling
I’ll discuss a family court judge’s recent drastic reduction of our child support in a future post, but for now I’ll humbly admit that I need to make an income from my writing, speaking, and coaching.
Part of that also affects my change in focus from strict divorce recovery coaching to Embracing God’s Call to Modern Womanhood. Because of needing the income and because many of the divorced have difficulty committing, focusing, and financing their recoveries, I am opening that niche to a select few who are serious about change, life, and seeking perfection while I move ahead with other plans. By providing for myself financially now, I will one day be better able to help those who cannot afford my services at this time.
Big Dreams & Where I Need Your Help:
My Hope is to one day speak before the Vatican, Congress, and the UN on the reality of Marriage, divorce, and single parenting and on the healing and Peace possible when the perfection of real, sacrificial, unconditional Love and Truth are employed.
Why not dream big, right?
But (There’s always a “but…”) I need to work my way up. I need to change, live, and strive for perfection. I need to be more outspoken, take bigger risks, and dig deeper, not just in Marriage or divorce, but on today’s Conservative Christian issues.
I humbly invite you to ask me to speak at your events. Invite me to speak at your Church, seminary, school, preCana classes, Marriage retreats, divorce recovery group, and men’s (yes men’s!!!) and ladies’ nights. Whatever event you host, invite me to share with you!
I also ask you to comment, like, follow, share, and do what you do best to promote my work and message. Marriage and divorce are sensitive topics, but you are not alone and others don’t have your God-given ability stand and seek and promote Good. There are those who need this and need you to deliver messages of Hope, Truth, and Love. They need you to tell them of Single Mom Smiling and KerriLynnBishop.com perhaps even more than I do.
some many won’t like what I have to say. Knowing that, I could use your prayers. Pray that I stay focused on the right path. Pray that I remain loyal to the one unchanging, living, perfect God. Pray that I don’t fall to despair, humiliation, or temptation. Pray that those who need to hear my messages do and that they change, live, and patiently strive for perfection. Pray that I change every day to grow closer to My Mary, the Communion of Saints, and the Trinity. Pray that I live fully, finding Joy in all things and paths to Love all God’s children. Pray that I someday reach the perfection I am called to.
And always hold me accountable because I want to reach perfection in Heaven with you one day, but we can’t do it alone.
Will you join me in changing?
And, as always, thanks for commenting, liking, following, and sharing!
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3 thoughts on “When Seeking Perfection, Change in Marriage, Divorce, & Single Parenting”
love your post….I will continue to follow your new ministry. I am a public school teacher of children K-3rd grade at a title one school. Divorce is very much a part of their lives….it is devastating. I see it every day in 80% of my students lives…At times I feel they don’t have a chance. My own young adult children are struggling like I never imagined as a result of their fathers decision to run off with a younger woman instead of staying faithful to his family. Divorce is devastating, to our family, to our Church, to our community, to our country, and to our world.
Wow Joan, 80% how incredibly sad! I’m a teacher too. The number of students who come from single parent families and need additional support services compared to those with Married, biologically parents, not just in my school, but across the country, is frightening – and ignored. Yet, “kids are resilient.” UGH! Yes, divorce leaves lasting, devastating wounds on innocent adults and on children who are always innocent.
Out of curiosity…Does your ex recognize the struggles he’s placed on your children’s shoulders? If he does, how does he justify seeking his own happiness while stealing their’s?
Joan, I’m going through WordPress comments I didn’t see earlier or didn’t get back to the way I wanted to and came across yours. You could not be more right about the affects of divorce! Have you heard of the book Primal Loss by Leila Miller? It includes 70 now adult children of divorce speaking about their experiences. So eye opening! No fault divorce should never be a thing!
I am sorry to hear of your husband. We are truly in a battle here! I have a single Catholic moms Facebook group if you would like to join. I’d love to have you! XoXoXo https://www.facebook.com/groups/153676138552200/
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