DivorceCare – A Road to Recovery from the Pain of Divorce
by Brent Johnston
For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
She sits alone in her three-bedroom home. He eats his dinner in solitude. This is the new normal for many faced with the bitter reality of separation, hurt and loneliness on the other side of divorce. Mother Teresa once wrote, “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted are the most terrible poverty.”
First Baptist Jackson provides a divorce recovery ministry called DivorceCare through Summit Counseling each fall. DivorceCare is a thirteen-week divorce support group which brings biblical teaching and offers practical help following a divorce or separation.
For those who have gone through or are currently experiencing divorce it has been said that everyone you meet has something to teach you. Divorce has been called a state of absolute vulnerability. Others have equated divorce to a death. Someone once called divorce a season of grief where mourning is over the loss of a loved one who is still alive.
Dr. Jim A. Talley says, “The reality is that divorce is the most painful thing you can go through because it impacts so much of your life. There’s no way around or easy way out. And everybody is looking for a painless way out of this whole situation.”
Rachael Walker, a DivorceCare facilitator through Summit Counseling at First Baptist Jackson is a Nationally Certified Counselor and holds a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Ms. Walker is close to completing her LPC and communicates that her desire is to help those who have been divorced learn from their experiences so that they do not make the same mistakes again. Rachel says, “Divorce is very, very painful. We are the emergency room for hurting people. We are helping these individuals heal from a gaping wound. We recognize their pain and sit in the middle of it with them.”
It is in these heartbreaking narratives where the DivorceCare ministry and its encouraging, caring counselors offer hope. For these are not just any counselors, they themselves have experienced tremendous loss and brokenness through divorce. These wounded warriors turned counselors have stories of their own which provide a safe place of open sharing for new DivorceCare members still reeling from the rawness and shock of awaking to a life seemingly in shambles.
Rachel says, “We have a wonderful group of DivorceCare facilitators who have a wide range of experiences to really show people you can get through divorce, and there is life, love and peace on the other side.”
Daryl McQuirk, husband of Rachael, is also a DivorceCare facilitator. Daryl states, “Attending DivorceCare while I was dealing with my divorce was an amazing blessing for me. I am honored to help others process this traumatic situation and move onward and upward!”
The most important aspect of DivorceCare seen by Rachel is that God is using this divorce support group setting to not only heal individuals, but also to heal families. The healing process includes encouraging ex-spouses to conduct themselves in a manner that aligns with scripture so that their children do not suffer anymore than they already have suffered.
James and Cindy Cruise serve alongside Rachel and Daryl as DivorceCare counselors. James says, “Once a divorce takes place it is all about taking care of the children.” In her book, Child of Divorce, Child of God: A Journey of Hope and Healing, Kristine Steakley writes, “We may have difficulties with anger, guilt, commitment or forgiveness. But our identity need not be marked only by our parents’ divorce. God can enter into our woundedness and bring transformation and hope.”
The answer for issues dealing with anger, bitterness, resentment and sexuality for singles is rooted in Scripture. The DivorceCare materials are focused on helping those in divorce recovery grow closer to God. Rachel’s hope is to provide comfort and guidance from the Word of God to those whose marriages have been broken. She believes DivorceCare is truly life-changing because she has seen the results of this divorce support group ministry.
DivorceCare mirrors the curriculum outline of its companion ministry GriefShare. There are three key areas of the DivorceCare experience. The first area is a video seminar that offers stories, encouragement and advice from divorce recovery experts. The second key area of DivorceCare is a support group offering group discussion paralleling the content of the video The third key is a workbook that offers personal study exercises and journaling opportunities that underscore the topic of the weekly session.
There are many success stories from the DivorceCare groups at First Baptist Jackson. Some support group members have shared that DivorceCare has helped them get through the week. Others have conveyed that they were able to focus on the needs of their children and their own healing with the assistance of the DivorceCare ministry group.
The sense of community that DivorceCare brings allows participants to know that they are not alone by opening up to members of the group who may be experiencing the same problems. David Mitchell once said, “Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” This truth can be said in our relationships with others and in our relationship with God. DivorceCare emphasizes the need to walk alongside others through the anguish of divorce. A safe place in the face of adversity is offered on a weekly basis through DivorceCare. Attendees often tell their counselors that their group feels like a family.
Rachael Walker pauses and then leans forward in her chair. Her next words are measured and spoken with crystal clarity. “I have never had anyone participate in DivorceCare who has regretted the decision. People begin the process, and they want to keep coming,” says Ms. Walker.
DivorceCare is a network of 15,000+ churches worldwide equipped to offer divorce support groups. The program is non-denominational and features biblical and group support for those experiencing divorce or separation.
To register for DivorceCare or for more information, call the First Baptist Jackson
Counseling Ministry at 601.949.1949. Orientation meeting is Tuesday, September 4th. The cost for the program is a one-time fee of $25.00.
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Weekly Group Sessions
Mondays 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
September 10 – December 3, 2018
Christian Life Center of
First Baptist Jackson
(Arts & Crafts Room #2)
DivorceCare Weekly Seminar Topics
What’s Happening to Me?
The Road to Healing/Finding Help
Facing My Anger
Facing My Depression
Facing My Loneliness
What Does The Owner’s Manual Say?
Moving On, Growing Closer to God
Sponsored by: Summit Counseling of First Baptist Jackson