Serenity prayerBy Caterina Clarke

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The Courage to change the things I can;
And Wisdom to know the difference.

The Serenity Prayer is all about “Letting go and letting God.” It provides perspective when we lose focus and grounds us when we start losing control by wanting more control. It is very powerful when we let go of all false power. So what does this mean during a divorce? Isn’t divorce all about letting go of “what was” and putting the past behind?

In theory, this is correct. In theory, you don’t have to deal with emotions or deep wounds from hurtful words or actions. The reality is it causes those going through a divorce to want to hold on for dear life to possessions, children, territory, identity, and most of all, power. But does it have to be like this or is there hope and steps one can take to move through the process, recognize when you get stuck and move into a new life, one that is better than you imagined?

I had to learn this when I realized my marriage was failing. It ended long before I got divorced. My first inclination was to hold on tight to things that were not meaningful and were a complete waste of time. The tighter I held on, the emptier I was and the unhappier I became. This was not working and I had to take a different approach. I was paralyzed and stuck, not knowing what step to take. This is when I realized that I had to unlearn many lessons so I could learn to walk a new path. I’d like to share a couple of things that were very helpful.

“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” John 12:24

This passage woke me up to mystery and power of letting go of what was, letting out my hurts in a healthy way and letting it be, accepting what is. When I tried this, it did feel like dying and falling. I had to be willing to open my hands and lose everything in order to be open and gain something new. It wasn’t about what I could get but about creating space for God to bring about new life. Let it go, let it out, and let it be was my new attitude towards the divorce. This made it easier to live with open arms where abundant life was waiting for me.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust in me.” John 14:1

Trust is key to any relationship. Divorce is the erosion of trust from things you did or failed to do, till there was no more trust left. The solid foundation became a pile of sand that could not hold your relationship. I needed to trust to get through this. I needed to learn to trust God beyond what I thought was good for me and lean on his thoughts and ways. Every interaction with my ex was challenging and I had to keep my focus on trusting God and not placing unrealistic expectations on my ex and the relationship. It was time to trust in the midst of a storm and know that God was there leading me and him out of it. Yes, I had to see that God was on both sides, loving both of us, and wanting the best for both of us. I learned that trust was the path to freedom regardless of how difficult the situation was.

“Change me, Lord.” (from the book “The Power of a Praying Wife”)

“Change me?” I felt I should be praying, “Change him and I will be happy.” But changing me is all I had any control over. It was useless to try to change him and it was humbling to look at myself and pray this. These are words that do not flow easily from a person going through a divorce, yet can transform everything. This prayer refocused me and helped me see the situation and my ex with new eyes. This allowed me to evaluate the past and see where I had played a part that lead to the divorce. It’s true that no one person has the complete power and control to breakdown a marriage. You enter a dance and whether you lead or respond, each step brings you closer or further away from one another. It’s funny that I learned this from the “Power of a Praying Wife” which helped me learn the “Power of a Praying Ex-wife.”

“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44
“Forgive us out trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Matthew 6:12

Forgiveness . . . I know too well that forgiveness will knock on the door if I want to be healed and released from the past in order to love again. When you read this you tend to assume that you need to forgive your ex. But you can’t rush to true forgiveness. It is a process and a journey of the heart and soul. With great humility, care, and compassion, I learned that I could not forgive my ex, if I did not first forgive myself. I was the one who was persecuting myself and holding myself captive to my own anger and frustration for decisions and actions I took. I didn’t have to look to what my ex was doing because all I needed to do is look in the mirror at the one who needed forgiveness . . . and that was me. Learning to first be merciful and gentle with myself was necessary before attempting to forgive my ex. Internal forgiveness was the key to open up the door to see my ex in me. It gave me permission to be human without the pressure of being perfect.

“I make all things new.” Revelations 21:5

After trusting God, allowing him to heal you, and help you forgive yourself, you are positioned to co-create a new future. This journey allows you to stand on the threshold of a new horizon. One that is calling you forward into a land of second changes, possibilities and hope for a better future. It is now that you are ready to take the next step into your new life, with God, with great trust in him, with humility and compassion for yourself and others. Enjoy your new journey as you pray:

God grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The Courage to change the things I can;
And Wisdom to know the difference. Amen

———————————————–

Caterina Clarke is a Leadership Development Manager in the automotive industry. She is also co-author of MissGuidedMom, offering spiritual direction and insight through Pearls of Grace. She enjoys sipping cups of tea and spending time with her son.

Posted by Marisol Barrios as MissGuided Mom's "Eve"

After 12 years of marriage, I found myself suddenly divorced with two sons to raise. Inspired by life's events, I decided to create "Eve" and tell her story, a story that will resonate with many women. "Eve" will take you through the good, the bad, and the ugly of marriage, motherhood, career and divorce. After numerous delicate situations, she decides to surrender her life to a higher being and welcomes her guardian angel who teaches her life lessons. Join "Eve," her guardian angel, and friends as she takes you through an unimaginable journey of self-discovery. (Pictured: Caterina Clarke as MissGuided Mom's Guardian Angel "Grace" and Marisol Barrios as MissGuided Mom's "Eve")

2 Comments

  1. […] a healthier marriage, getting back into the routine of school mornings, and letting go after a divorce and letting God do the […]

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  2. […] 5. How Letting Go and Letting God Channeled my Divorce (I’m grateful to be working with Caterina Clarke, who’s spiritual insight has guided me. I’m certain her article will resonate with you if you have been in her shoes. If not, I’m confident you will get a guiding lesson, as she always provides me to lift my spirits.) […]

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