|EDITOR’S NOTE: We are delighted to have Robyn Besemann as a guest writer here at Divorce Ministry 4 Kids. While our focus is primarily on children, Robyn’s focus is on the long term effects of divorce on children as they grow into adulthood. Accordingly, her work and ministry serves a vital role in the lifelong process of ministering to children of divorce. Just because they are no longer children clearly does not mean that we should stop ministering to people impacted by their parents’ divorce. At Divorce Ministry 4 Kids, we are pleased and delighted to be associated with others, like Robyn, who feel strongly about this cause.|
The statistics are staggering with the number of adult children of divorce struggling with relationships and the issues that began with the separation/divorce of their biological parents. There are millions of adult children of divorce [ACOD] who go through life with anger, bitterness, depression and issues of abandonment, betrayal, mistrust, failed relationships and much more.
Some of us deal with these issues by pushing them into the background and telling ourselves,
“Come on, get over it. It is what it is and I have to grow up and move on.”
What happens many times is that this approach can work for awhile, but issues continue to plague us as memories come back occasionally or family gatherings remind us of the devastation of our parents’ divorce. Maybe there are still broken family relationships that have never recovered.
My name is Robyn Besemann and I have led a large single parent family ministry for 12 years in Oregon. Through programs like DC4K (Divorce Care For Kids) and The Big D…Divorce Thru the Eyes of a Teen, I have seen the devastation of hundreds of kids when their parents decide to separate/divorce. Their entire life is turned upside down, their very identity is marred, and all of a sudden these children have to grow up while their childhood is shattered. I have held many children over the years while they wet my shirt with their tears, sobbing their hearts out, not knowing how to process such devastation. My heart broke for them with every tear because these kids did nothing to deserve this pain.
As parents and others began to see the miraculous healing in the kids in our programs, people 18 and over began to ask why there wasn’t a program for them too. I prayed long and hard about it until one day a friend of mine and her sister (both international speakers) asked me if I would be willing to write a curriculum for the ADULT child of divorce. Actually, they were very interested in it for the people incarcerated since over 80% of those in prison are from single parent homes and most without a father in the home.
I began to seek the Lord’s guidance and the result was “Chained No More”, which is a 13 week curriculum for ACOD. Unlike DC4K and The Big D, where leaders guide kids step by step toward healing, “Chained No More” is designed to help adult participants discover for themselves, with the Lord’s help, the chains that bind them beginning at the time of their parents’ separation/divorce. Links include family patterns, the Chain of Grief, personal issues, areas of unforgiveness, failed relationships and all of the emotions associated with these areas.
|A CASE STUDY IN THE LONG-TERM IMPACTS OF DIVORCE|
|Here is just one example of how issues from our past can become chains.|
|As a child… When you were a kid, you noticed your mom and dad were having struggles, but you never thought they would divorce. One day, your parents sat you and your siblings down and told you that they were splitting up. Your dad was leaving the home to live in another apartment, but you could visit anytime you wanted to. That promise didn’t help how you were feeling at that moment. Your life had been changed forever. Later, you found out that your dad had been having affairs for the last several years.|
|As a young adult… Now, move forward several years when you are in college and thinking about having a romantic relationship. You are absolutely terrified to give your heart to someone and trust them with it. Your trust issues have kept you from having healthy relationships even though those you liked were trustworthy people. It seems impossible for you to be able to freely commit, so you don’t. Do you see the chains that have bound you up and kept you from enjoying a healthy life with someone?|
|As an older adult… If you are older, you may have been married and divorced one or more times, each time adding to the pain of failed relationships. You may have children from those marriages who have also married and divorced. How do you stop this chain of shredded families? How do you have healthy relationships and how do you ever get over the hopelessness you may feel?|
That is what “Chained No More” is all about! It will help you recognize the links in the chains, feel the pain of it again, see the power that devastating event had on you, bring you toward healing in Jesus Christ, see truth and then give you practical tools to move on toward a happier and healthier future.
Presently, I am writing the self-discovery book so you can take it home and work through this process of healing alone or with a friend. The beauty of the group curriculum, however, is that you can connect with others who understand how you are feeling, benefit from trained leaders, get connected with a church or other group and head toward healing together.
You can read more about this amazing curriculum, which will be out in early 2012 and published by West Bow Publishing, (a company of Thomas Nelson Publishing), by going to the Robyn B Ministries website at http://robynbministries.com and looking at the Chained No More webpage.
If you would like more information for your church or other ministries to effectively minister to the adult children of divorce, to compliment your Divorce Care group or single parent family ministry, please contact the Robyn B Ministries office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (541) 460-0080.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robyn Besemann grew up in a pastor’s home. As a result, she has always had a heart for ministry and serving others. Robyn has spent many years ministering to the hurting. In addition to ministering to those impacted by divorce, Robyn is also an accomplished singer and songwriter. The songs on her album, “Through the Rain”, are songs she wrote based on experiences seeing God heal lives. This CD is a musical journey to take someone from the fog of crisis to hope in Jesus Christ and can be purchased on her website. Robyn’s enthusiasm for life and her motto, “Live life to the fullest and take people with you” are contagious and inspirational. Robyn lives in Oregon and is married to her husband Ivan. They have two married children and a grand dog. Robyn is the author of the Chained No More curriculum. After years of serving as a Safe Keeper in a Divorce Care 4 Kids program and The Big D for teens, Robyn felt called to minister to grown children of divorce and developed this curriculum for them to address the issues connected with the divorce of their parents, explore how their parents’ divorce affected their lives and then bring them toward the Lord’s healing and freedom. You can find out more about Robyn and her ministries at http://robynbministries.com.