When my first marriage broke down, it seemed to take the rest of my life with it. I (Jeff) sunk into deep depression. I felt weak and helpless to make things better. I had no hope of ever getting back to where I had been before my life fell apart. Yet, in the end, I ended up with twice as many children, double the income, and a marriage at least twice as good as I had ever experienced. As the scripture says, “God gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10).
As I resolved to approach more recent trials with strength, I focused on five things I can now recommend to you:
First, trusting the Lord in adversity will fuel you with enthusiasm. Our beliefs and our very words have a lot to do with our deliverance. As the prophet Joel wrote, “let the weak say, I am strong” (Joel 3:10). Trust in the promise given in Romans 8 that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Second, make a commitment to vigorous physical exercise. After my son Henry was killed, I resolved to go to the gym or out on a bike ride every day to give me a mood lift and renew my strength. Vigorous exercise can do more to alleviate anxiety than almost anything else. I have kept this commitment. Exercise has lifted me from the pit of despair many, many times. As the Prophet Isaiah wrote, “they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Third, schedule your grief. We can face adversity with strength or weakness. We often assume that facing it with strength means not facing it, pushing it down, or associating compassion with weakness.
I lost a brother to cancer when he was only 17—and the day after the funeral my dad went back to work. When I lost my son Henry, despite the relentless ache on the inside, I went back to work the day after the funeral too. I permitted myself an hour a day to grieve. I spent this time looking at pictures, compiling memorabilia, or listening to the funeral. I do not, in any way, suggest pushing the grief down. I am suggesting you take time to grieve—whatever your loss was. I am also saying it is healthier not to let it take over your life.
You won’t feel like looking at your bills. Pay them anyway. You won’t feel like going to work. Go anyway. You may not feel like seeing friends or seeking support. Turn to your friends and ask for support anyway. You won’t feel like exercising. Don’t think about it. Just put on your shoes and get started.
Fourth, remember that gratitude is the key to happiness. We can only enjoy a thing or a person to the extent that we appreciate it. We enjoy nothing we take for granted. Gratitude for the moments and opportunities was the thing that helped me to recover my enthusiasm and happy heart in Texas. Let me also say that when my older son Errol went into his little brother’s room after he died, he found Henry’s scriptures sitting on the nightstand by his bed, and no evidence of illegal substances among his things. It had taken him years, but Henry was in a really good place spiritually when he died, and I am deeply grateful for that.
Gratitude to God also deepens faith, which calms the soul. As Paul wrote to the Phillipians, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phillipians 7:6-7).
I believe the most persistent lie the adversary is trying to push on singles is, “my life was not supposed to be like this!” When I was young, I pictured my future ideal Latter-day Saint family embracing the good life. I thought I could simply will it into existence because I wanted it so much. When life turned out to be more complicated, I was deeply disappointed and often despaired of ever being truly happy. None of your experiences came as a surprise to God.
Remember that trouble can be transportation. I mentioned Joseph who was raised to power in Egypt by first being sold as a slave. But what about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, the three Israelite teenagers who were thrown into a furnace heated up to seven times its normal temperature—who the king recognized as walking in the furnace with the Son of God? They walked out of the furnace without even their hair singed, and were raised to power in Babylon. Daniel was thrown into a den of hungry lions and walked out unharmed also to be raised to power in Babylon. Jonah was thrown overboard in the middle of the sea, to be rescued by a whale and delivered to the wicked city of Ninevah, where he preached the gospel and converted the entire city. When Ruth was left a childless widow, we might never have guessed that she would meet Boaz and become the grandmother of King David and a lineal ancestor of the King of Kings. When you experience hardships, summon your strength and thank the Lord that He is taking you somewhere better.
Fifth, remember who you are. Consider the heavy and even depressing quality of this prayer offered by Joseph Smith, the Prophet, as he languished in the cold and unsanitary environment of Liberty Jail:
O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place? How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries? Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions, before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them? (D&C 121:1-3)
Now consider the uplifting and empowering response of the Redeemer:
My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. . . . And they who do charge thee with transgression, their hope shall be blasted, and their prospects shall melt away as the hoar frost melteth before the burning rays of the rising sun (D&C 121:7-11).
This power will have its ultimate expression as you experience the power of the anointing you received in the house of the Lord to become kings and priests, queens and priestesses. In the same revelation, the Lord explained that “All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ” (D&C 121: 29).
Some may wonder – why are we suggesting that single people who have been rejected and hurt by relationships, focus on love? To go deeper, let’s dive into the word LOVE. What do we mean by LOVE? That is such a complex word, isn’t it? I (Cathy) would like to refer to 1 John Chapter 4 to explain:
Verse 7&8: “Let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.” (This means that having love in us and knowing God go hand in hand.)
Verse 9: “The love of God was manifest toward us because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might LIVE through him.” Jesus Christ came to do God’s will, motivated by His Love for us. Not only do we conquer death because of the resurrection but we also can LIVE to our absolute fullest potential as we accept the gift of Christ’s atonement in our behalf and choose to turn our fears into faith and victory in Christ!)
These scriptures establish that God is love AND Genesis 1:27 establishes that “God created [us] in His own image.” As God’s children, created in His image, it stands to reason that we are also LOVE. (Let that sit for a moment) Did you know that you have love in your spiritual DNA? When we abide in love, we are more of who we REALLY ARE. When I discovered this truth as a single mom after a 14-year marriage and subsequent divorce, it was freeing to understand that love was an energy I could access and have with me. My marital status did NOT prevent that. I didn’t have to wait around for love to come from someone else. I could access love inside of myself and then allow any love offered to me from others to be a gift, rather than something I needed in order to feel whole.
The truth about romantic relationships is that some people feel loved no matter who they are with. And there are others who will NOT feel love, even if they are with a loving person. This is because the feeling of LOVE comes from inside of us – from our thoughts and beliefs. It is subject to how we see people and view the world. It is wise to work on learning how to feel love NOW while you are single.
Regarding love, I (Cathy) have confession to make. I have been sneaking into weddings all along the Wasatch front in Utah and crashing them. I show up to ceremonies of perfect strangers, dressed in black like I’m at a funeral, and sometimes I sit closer to bride and groom than any of their family. I’ve gotten away with hundreds of these shenanigans over the last 20 years. In fact, I’ve gotten paid to do it. I’m a violinist in a string quartet.
Two weeks ago, I professionally crashed a Jewish wedding. Right after they were pronounced husband and wife, their final task was to stomp on a wine glass. Their rabbi said: “Even the most beautiful, blissful joy can come with sorrow and tribulation. Our people have experienced both. The breaking of this wine glass symbolizes those trials that will come and remind you that love is worth fighting for.”
We testify that LOVE is worth fighting for, even if it doesn’t work the first or second go around. It is also worth fighting for when we are single and feeling lonely and when we are scared to try again. As we choose to find and cultivate the love inside of us, we overcome loneliness and fear – and we become victorious in Christ!
This is article is created from excerpts of our keynote addresses at the Victory in Christ mid-singles conference in Twin Falls, Idaho. Listen to our full remarks at:
Victory in Christ: STRENGTH IN ADVERSITY (by Jeff Teichert)
Victory in Christ: WE ARE LOVE (by Cathy Teichert)
If you are divorced and ready for positive change in your life, we can help you recover and intentionally design a life you love moving forward. Access our divorce recovery COURSE (and FREE Webinar/Summary HERE): Life Design After Divorce.
LILY Coaching is available to support you individually. Visit loveinlateryears.com to schedule a FREE Consult with Jeff or Cathy. We will provide you with a roadmap to your desired destination!
Get a copy of “Intentional Courtship” on Amazon to heal from relationship loss and create more love in your life. Order your book HERE: Intentional Courtship
About the Author
Jeff Teichert, and his wife Cathy Butler Teichert, are the founders of “Love in Later Years,” which ministers to Latter-day Saint single adults seeking peace, healing, and more joyful relationships. They are co-authors of the Amazon bestseller Intentional Courtship: A Mid-Singles Guide to Peace, Progress and Pairing Up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jeff and Cathy each spent nearly a decade in the mid-singles community and they use that experience to provide counsel and hope to mid-singles and later married couples through written articles, podcasts, and videos. Jeff and Cathy are both Advanced Certified Life Coaches and have university degrees in Family & Human Development. They are the parents of a blended family that includes four handsome sons, one lovely daughter-in-law, and a sweet baby granddaughter.
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