When You’ve Lost The Will To Fight - Loving Life Again After Divorce

When You’ve Lost the Will to Fight

I’d always been a positive, optimistic person who enjoyed life. Although life was of course never problem free, I still tried to embrace each day with gladness and thankfulness. But it seemed that person was a thing of the past.

Separation and divorce had taken its toll. Life had been hard for many months. I was worn out in every way. At times, it felt like merely breathing was work. On some days, just forcing myself to get out of bed was a challenge because all I really wanted to do was stay buried in the dark and not have to deal with reality. My spirit was crushed. My hope was failing. My prayers seemed unheard. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders all the while battling stress, giant insecurities, hurt and depression. I just wanted the struggles to end and I literally thought they never would.

Although I looked fine on the outside and tried to wear a smile and keep going, I was dying inside. My brain couldn’t even entertain the thought of ever being happy again.

But I so desperately longed to be.

Maybe you can relate. When life is hard, tragedy strikes, rejection stings, or situations seem hopeless with no end in sight, true happiness and peace can become nothing more than a memory and we can gradually lose our will to fight for joy. We live with a defeated mindset, lacking any hope for a good future.

But let’s fast forward two years. I went outside early one morning for some fresh air, looking forward to the day ahead. The sun was shining brightly, making the morning dew shimmer. The air was crisp and smelled of sweet honeysuckles and gardenias from my backyard. Birds were chirping. Two cute little bunnies were munching on clovers in the grass. A neighbor waved and smiled as she passed by. Then out of nowhere, an unexpected sense of happiness welled up in my spirit, catching me off guard and almost bringing tears to my eyes.

It was then I truly realized the struggle had ended. Not the daily struggles of life because those still existed and always would, but the struggle for happiness and the ability to love my life as it was. The fight was over. Joy had returned. Redemption had won.

In John 15, Jesus is teaching the disciples the importance of staying close to him and standing firm in their faith because he knew life was about to get hard. Difficulties often usher in doubts of God’s goodness, so he also gave a warning in John 16:1, “I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith.”

Throughout John 16, Jesus is preparing the disciples for the overwhelming sorrow they would soon experience during his suffering and crucifixion. He knew the grief awaiting them would be unbearable and that their hopes would be crushed for three long days.

So in John 16:20, he gives his disciples great hope: “You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy” (NLT). The disciples didn’t fully understand, but Jesus didn’t tell them they wouldn’t have any more troubles in life. In fact, he said exactly the opposite in John 16:33. But he did promise that in due time, their weeping would convert to celebration and their faith would become the ultimate source of their happiness.

We are all going to have struggles, disappointments and heartbreak, especially when facing separation and divorce. Hard times are unfortunately a part of life, which is why it’s so crucial we ground our joy in Christ and not relationships, circumstances, jobs, health, or achievements. All those things are transitory, but joy from Christ is permanent and life-giving.

Today, that person I once knew is back, with a genuine smile on her face and joy in her heart. She now knows that faith is the key to having the willpower to fight for joy even when we feel as if we have no fight left in us. If we have the will, God has the power.

Dear Lord, I trust in your power, in me and in my life, and I will choose joy based on your promises alone. Help me love the life you’ve given me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

From the Book: