Pass On: How Do You Survive the Holidays Divorced?

     We’re not shocked by the stories we hear anymore from participants in Oasis/DivorceCare groups. One of the stories that really stung the whole group was when one woman shared her story:

“I was served my divorce papers the day after Christmas… His lawyer said ‘It’s best not to do this before the holidays.’ 

 – former DivorceCare participant

     Not-so-side-note: does the day after Christmas sound any more merciful a day to serve someone divorce papers?! Can you imagine what it must be like to have your world shaken by divorce or separation around the holidays? Thousands of people can, and have. We’ve seen hundreds of them find hope despite the life-shattering events going on around them.

Holidays are a time known for traditions & family. But, when divorce is a wide, thick cloud that threatens to block out even the light of Christmas, everything’s upside-down, different… dark. So, how do to find a glimmer of hope? Surviving the Holidays answers this question & more.

     This year, we’re excited to carry the enthusiasm, comfort and hope we’ve come to know through North Point’s “Oasis” program to Free Chapel’s DivorceCare class. Monday, November 21st, we’re excited to be a part of “Surviving the Holidays”. It’s an event designed to help people think out loud about the complex issues that surround the otherwise normal brightness and joy of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s when they’ve been painted dull, fuzzy gray by divorce or separation.

      What’s unique about Free Chapel’s event is that it’s being done at very minimal cost – $10 for participants includes their guides, aftercare devotionals, and the event itself. But even better, that there will be separate programs that same night for kids age 5-12 and teens, focused on how to handle the many confusing matters and questions that arise for children who have no say in the most heart-wrenching season of their lives.

Pass this article on to anyone you know in a 60 minute radius of Free Chapel that’s going through divorce or separation or has gone through it in the past three to four years.

     Tonight will be a night that will mark their past and color their future (even their present, for that matter) with hope, clarity, and the direction only Jesus Christ can provide. If that sounds weird, frightening, or too religious to you – I’m going to ask you to do something strange: trust me even if you don’t know me. More importantly, trust the results that thousands of men, women, and children have experienced through Surviving the Holidays events over the past several years. Hope, future, peace, practical steps, and support are all available.

     Come to Free Chapel’s North Campus, tonight, November 21st, 2011. Doors will open at 6:40, Surviving the Holidays for Teens (13-18), STHKids (5-12), and nursery care (under 5) will all be available under the same roof.
     Or, if you’re in the Roswell, Alpharetta, Cumming area, come to North Point Community Church’s “Unwrapping Christmas” event on December 1st, from 7 to 9 PM. (No childcare provided at this event, but childcare reimbursement is available).

     Come, get a glimpse of what the holidays can be like once again, even in the midst of pain, confusion, and division.

Tony Evans:
When God wants to reveal the real condition of your heart to empower you toward His plan for your future, He puts you in one of these kinds of trials. 

Trial, perseverance, tired, perspiration…
Isn’t there something about those first beads of sweat coming down your forehead that tell you – “Yes, your heart rate is up and you’re doing the right thing for your body.”? Isn’t there something about that pain you feel after you’ve shredded your pecs, biceps, triceps, legs, etc. that lets you know “more muscle is on the way”?

I’m Not Sorry Anymore!

A few years ago, my bride and I stood at an altar among a crowd of witnesses on a gorgeous fall Saturday and took vows in front of them and the Lord. Standing in front of us was our good friend and longtime mentor, Casey Sanders, who was promoted only a month earlier from best man to “dude who married us”. As I reflect back on the ceremony, I recall a statement he made as he gave a benediction – “May your home never be one where the words ‘I’m sorry’ are heard. May it be a home where the words ‘I was wrong. Please, forgive me’ are heard.”

When I heard him say it for the first time I knew it was an important blessing. I just never really worked out the value of it until about a month ago. I was sitting down with him telling him about a few major disagreements we’d had that week and how I had said some bone-headed things to Cristine that I knew were wrong as soon as I heard them exit my mouth. I told him I told her I was sorry right away and he rebuked me.

Huh? I said I was sorry.

“Never say you’re sorry.”

I gave him a Scooby-Doo look and practically said “Raggy?” Then he said something that turned me on my ear: “Sorry’s not biblical.”

The word ‘sorry’ appears only twice in the entire bible – once in Exodus 2.6 and once in 2 Corinthians 7.9. Neither time does it have to do with “apologizing” as we know it contemporarily. Apology doesn’t even appear in the bible at all. The Greek word “apologia” appears about 8 times, but it means something markedly different – it means “to give an answer for ones’ self”, “a reasoned statement or argument”, or “a verbal defense”.