Divorce Recovery Advice for Women: Why Did This Happen to Me?

Get ready; today, we’re diving deep. We’re talking about the why. Why it all happened to you: your divorce, your partner leaving you, your partner cheating, your friends not supporting you. You’re a good girl. You tried so hard. You didn’t mean for this to happen.

Who is Jackie Hill Perry?

This weekend, my producer Joy went to Jackie Hill Perry’s Glory conference. Jackie Hill Perry is a Christian woman in the Christian community who teaches Christian principles and writes books primarily for women. She has a YouTube channel with her husband and is a very powerful writer and speaker. I’m wondering more about her, so I went deep into her Instagram feed, and she has a reel where she talks about being broken and remade to be sanctified by God.

What does sanctified mean?

Sanctified is a very religious term that means “To be prepared for a holy purpose.”

Jackie talks about how sometimes God allows painful things to happen for us to become sanctified. As she was talking, she was telling my story.

Self Discovery & Self Healing

The year of my divorce, I had recently been diagnosed with cluster headaches and was in and out of the hospital a lot. I had also been diagnosed with infertility. I got divorced, quit my job, and then I didn’t have anyone to sit with me at night or take me to the hospital. It was such a debilitating time for me. This was the one set of circumstances that broke me enough to say,

“Okay, God, I surrender. I don’t know how to run my own life because it is not going well right now.”

That moment in time and that awareness, which I think Jackie Hill Perry was speaking to, was the thing that landed me in my own trauma therapist’s office. This was the start of my deep dive into self-discovery and self-healing.

I was already a therapist, which made it even more shameful. I was a marriage therapist getting divorced. Jackie Hill Perry talked about this feeling because so many of us are resourceful, intuitive, and capable.

It often takes an enormous pile of shit to get us to surrender.

The reel wraps up with her saying, “God is more invested in my sanctification than my comfort.” And that sentence is a hard pill to swallow.

woman with brown hair, earrings, and white blouse, standing, folding her hands in front of her face, Divorce Recovery Advice for Women: Why Did This Happen to Me

There is a Purpose in Your Pain

I find that idea soothing, but I understand if you don’t feel that way. The idea that God is more invested in my sanctification than my comfort allows me to feel like there was a purpose in all the painful things that I experienced, like my divorce. To me, it’s very relieving. 

Is it OK to Be Angry with God?

Have I raged against God before? Oh, yeah. Big time. Out loud. For me, it’s easier to do that than succumb to the chaos of life.

I Am a Good Person

Often, we women get stuck in the ‘why’ in life after divorce. Why did this happen to me? We women feel defended by our efforts and our goodness. “I was a good wife. I am a good woman.” Women get stuck in this place of shame, where you feel that there is something wrong with you.

Is There a Higher Power?

God talk can be very triggering for me in certain circumstances because of my upbringing. So, what do I mean by God? I don’t subscribe to a particular physicality of a God; that is not important to me anymore. There were seasons of my life where I needed it to be a very specific Christian example, and anything else outside of that was terrifying to me.

I don’t think that God means for us to be terrified when conceiving of Him. I believe that there is a higher power and an infinite intelligence that has a hand in our lives.

Turning Pain into Power

You have a higher purpose you are being called toward. This journey is about turning your pain into power. So if we all have a higher purpose, and we’re being called to it, and we’re being sanctified by a higher power, which is it?

If we’re resisting the sanctification, then the thing that comes next is, “Did I manifest this through a series of choices I made through the course of my life?” The answer influences how closely we follow a particular doctrine or set of teachings. I think the mind is good at finding something it perceives as a flaw in teaching and saying, “See, that doesn’t fit with my life, so I can’t follow it.”

I hope this feels relatable to you.

Right now, I struggle with the idea that there is a man in the sky pulling strings in my life.

That is not a tolerable concept for me. It feels very out of control, and I don’t have any say in how my life is going. However, I do believe that this world is organized in such a way that every little thread in the tapestry of life fits together beautifully in ways that I cannot even fathom with my limited human brain. Everything intersects in this elegant way that I cannot even fully fathom.

astrology cards on table, surrounded by crystals, Astrology and Life Purpose

Astrology and Life Purpose

How much of my life is being influenced by that higher power? One of the things that helps me make sense of it is astrology. In the last 18 months, I’ve been digging into astrology and getting deeper into my chart, as well as understanding the charts of the people in my inner circle so that I can love them better.

In the moment we were born, in the place that we were born, the skies, the constellations, and the planetary transits in that moment are influential in our lives.

What makes it easy for me to believe that is how the moon moves the tides on our planet. If the moon has that much influence and can move entire oceans on this planet, then I believe very strongly that planetary transits can influence my life. The more I look into astrology, the more I see myself clearly and can understand the things that I’m sensing or experiencing any day, week, month, or year. It often has alignment with what is going on in the heavens.

For me, that is God influencing my life in a way that doesn’t freak me out.

Everything Has a Vibration

I understand that from a manifestation perspective, everything has a vibration.

I want to raise my vibration to be a co-creator of positivity, joy, love, and open-heartedness.

There are these existing kinds of laws of the universe, and I get to decide whether or not I want to work with them or against them. This links back to what Jackie Hill Perry was talking about in her reel.

It requires a lot of humility to be remade and to feel good about it, to be broken, and to keep your heart open.

It’s saying, “I surrender. I’m not doing this well. I have shit to learn, and I will do better in my life after divorce.”

When I hire coaches or healers, and I’m going to show up for a session, my heart races a little. Why? Why does my heart race when I’m going to meet with somebody who I know their intention is for me to be the best version of myself? It’s because of humility.

It takes vulnerability to sit there and bury your soul and then have somebody give you feedback about that. It’s uncomfortable.

For me, all of these feelings are related.

woman sitting in therapy chair at a therapist

Feeling Vulnerable

Many of you would have heard of Brene Brown’s work; she has influenced an entire world. She taught us that vulnerability counteracts shame. When we women are at our most vulnerable, like in a post-divorce trauma experience, people say, “Me too.” In these moments, we create a deep connection with other humans, which is medicine in itself.

What I love about Brene Brown is that her work is based on data and years of research; it’s not just theories.

The data says that we are healthier and happier when we are vulnerable and connected and that shame no longer has the same hold on us that it once did. 

This is also what Jackie Hill Perry is getting at. She argues part of our deeper, holier purpose is vulnerability and deep connections with our fellow humans. In our community of divorced people, our holier purpose is to love ourselves and each other.

And so, for me, all of these concepts connect to say, “Why is this shit happening to me?”

It’s happening because you have such a beautiful path of humility, vulnerability, and connection to walk down, and this is helping. This is happening to facilitate you further and further down that path.

Your purpose is bigger than your pain. This is a very soothing thought to me. This thought allows me to just chill the f*** out and enjoy today. I know that I just have to keep going in humility, vulnerability connection, and trust that I am being funneled precisely into the place that I need to go.

woman in yoga cloth, sitting on the floor in yoga position, sun is shining through an opening

Focus on Healing

If you’re someone who has been doing so many things to try to heal from this pain and you still feel stuck, then I want you to know that I see you, I hear you, and I get you.

It’s not that you’re not doing your healing ‘well,’ but it does mean that we women have to embrace the next level of humility and ask for more help for the next thing. We have to keep going toward it. It could be a church, it could be a therapist, it could be listening to a podcast, or going to yoga. It’s not enough to say, “I’ve done all these things, and I’m still not better, and it’s still not fair.” We can’t stop there.

We women have to say, “Okay, what is the next thing I need to get to the next level of sanctification?”

Walking the Path of Purpose

We have to walk the path of purpose. For me, that started with good old-fashioned talk therapy, journaling, and yoga, and it turned into group therapy and personal development workshops. All of this took a lot of time, and I don’t want you to have to take all that time. I like collapsing timelines.

Dawn’s Trauma Healing Journey Tools

My healing tools were EDMR, EFT tapping, astrology, immersive journaling, cold plunges, and homeopathy. When I came to homeopathy, I still had bitterness in my heart, not about my ex, but about other bigger wounds that my ex just ended up being part of, and I could not get it to go.

We women are not expected to suffer indefinitely in our lives after divorce. That is not what is being asked of us. I hate the narrative that we have to learn to live with depression and anxiety. I think that’s bullshit. I do not think we were meant to cope with those levels of suffering.

woman sitting in doctor's office, person standing in front of the picture, holding a tablet that shows kidney function tests. How Physical Alignment Supports Trauma Healing

How Physical Alignment Supports Trauma Healing

I started consistently going to a local functional medicine chiropractor and became serious about working on physical alignment. I had been working my whole life on mental and emotional alignment, but I knew it was time to get structurally aligned. However, I acknowledge that healers cost money, and I had to budget for this treatment.

I truly believe that where God guides, He provides. In the waiting room of the chiropractor, I said, “This is something I need to be healthy, whole, and redeemed. Then I have to walk in faith that the resources are going to come.” And I have taken that attitude every time I’ve hired a healer or a coach. I have said I’m not meant to sit in suffering, and I am not meant to fall short of my purpose. And therefore, when I need these things to get to the next place, I have the humility to say I don’t know where the money is going to come from. This isn’t me telling you to throw caution to the wind and buy the next course that crosses your Instagram feed. I want you to have discernment, I want you to take your time, and I want you to make sure you’ve exhausted the resources you already have available to you.

I do want you to hear me say that it’s not always going to be clear how we’re going to pay for the next thing or how we’re going to fit it into our schedule. However, if it’s part of turning our pain into purpose, it’s essential.

There is no avoiding it because you were not meant to live and cope with anxiety, bitterness, and depression.

I want you to refocus your attention on the deep reasons why because they’re all about you and your purpose.

And I want you to take a big step this week. I want you to take a big step toward living out your purpose today and being done with another chunk of the pain.

I want you to shift and inject something strong into your energy. We need to expose ourselves to a vibration that is more powerful than the toxicity we are currently living out.

Be vulnerable. I’m so proud of you. I believe in you so much. Go find your purpose.


Divorce recovery coach Dawn Wiggins

...helps people crack open. Challenging the status quo, she integrates multiple modalities from EMDR to EFT tapping, journaling, homeopathy, and movement, embracing remedies that heal both the mind and body. Divorce recovery coach Dawn Wiggins is on a mission to deliver life-changing therapy in an accessible, scalable, affordable way and make waves in the world of mental health with the same enlightenment that happens in her office. Part science, part essential oils, pure magic.

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