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Dating Equals Frustration

Dating Equals Frustration – as published in Carolina Compass

February 11, 2017 | Debbie Martinez

None of us here thought we would be where we are in our lives at age 40s, 50s or 60s but yet, here we stand, divorced, kids, angry ex-spouse and dating again. This whole scenario has disappointment and frustration written all over it but here is a little dose of reality:  Disappointment is inevitable and with the wrong perspective, frustration is sure to follow.

Webster defines frustration as “the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of the inability to change or achieve something.” We have our plan, it’s not going the way we want it to so what do we do? We try and force it. You are interested in someone but that person is not interested in you so you try to force a relationship that clearly is not in the plan. And then the inevitable creeps in … frustration.

At that point, we are forgetting that our plan might not jive with God’s plan. We are living our lives and making choices based on our will and not His. Wrong move! Here is a point I would like for you to remember, when you are frustrated, it is because you are not walking in faith. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

If we are constantly walking in faith, then we have the mindset of trusting that God has our back and if something doesn’t work out, than it is in our best interest. Hebrews 11:1 (New Living translation) reads:  “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”

Dating can be difficult for a variety of reasons but don’t get jaded. If you have been divorced and are back in the dating world and relationships haven’t worked out, take on a different perspective. One that says, “God has a plan,” “God is bringing me closer to the kind of relationship I really need,” “I am opening myself up to what He has planned for me,” and “Good things take time and I’m walking in faith.”

Don’t get frustrated in God’s timing. I read a quotation once that said, “Faith in God includes faith in His timing.” They go hand in hand so stop knocking on a door that has been closed or better yet, has been slammed and bolted from the other side. Don’t waste another minute on someone who you think is ‘perfect’ for you but God knows otherwise, move on in faith. Habakkuk 2:3 says “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end — it will not lie. If it seems slow wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.”

Sometimes, to gain a new perspective, we have to step away from our daily routines, take a deep breath and regroup. For me, being in nature is the key to getting my mind clear so I can hear God’s words of wisdom and encouragement. I know what God has planned for me can only be seen with my eyes of faith.

Debbie Martinez is a certified Mindful Life Coach specializing in divorce, a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator, Parent Coordinator and trained in Collaborative Divorce both in Florida and South Carolina; she also writes for The Florida Villager and is a contributor to The Huffington Post. She may be reached via and her website is


Keeping Christian In A Divorce

Keeping Christian in a divorce – as published in the Carolina Compass
June 14, 2016 | Debbie Martinez

We all struggle with something in our lives and just because we are Christians doesn’t give us a hall pass. However, it is because we are Christians that we should be able to handle our circumstances differently and that is because we have God in our corner. We have someone greater than our friends, family or in the case of divorce, our attorney. Going through a divorce can break your spirit, but it should only increase your faith, for it is God who will help you navigate the challenges it brings and bring you out of that darkness into new light.

Fear and hate can make people act in ways that make me shudder as a divorce coach. I see couples that treat each other like enemies, forget their responsibilities as parents, use children as pawns in their twisted post-divorce game with their ex, lose respect for themselves by allowing drink, excessive shopping and even random sex to take control of their common sense and sadly, lose hope. I see them embrace the feelings of hate, bitterness, resentment and a hardened heart. But how would this picture look if these couples could have approached their uncoupling in a different way, a Christian way? Well, put very simply, “What would Jesus do?”

Even in your darkest times, you can be a shining light to others. Divorce is no different. Show others how Christians get through divorce by doing it God’s way. How would He do that? Well, without a doubt, I know He would do it with compassion, love and forgiveness, with kindness and uprightness.

Let these things be your guiding light if you are facing a dark time in your life. Here are ten things that will help you divorce like a Christian:

  • Ask God to give you wisdom and discernment.

  • Don’t be afraid or worried; give it to God.

  • Know that He has a plan for you.

  • Grow deeper in your faith by prayer.

  • Be a servant to others.

  • Pray for His perspective on this situation and His help.

  • Count your blessings every day.

  • We all make mistakes but when you do, correct them; this is true repentance.

  • Continue to be the mother/father God intended you to be.

  • Leave any retribution to God.

In James 1:22-25, this is what he says:

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it — not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it — they will be blessed in what they do.

It still stands true in a divorce. Going through a divorce does not entitle you to throw God’s word to the curb. Continue to live by His word and find strength and, consequently, freedom in it. All things new is His promise and he will take what others have meant for your harm and turn it into good. You are no longer a slave to the fear that divorce brings, for you are a child of God. There are valleys in all our lives but when you can change your perspective and see this through God’s eyes, you will find a sense of peace that will carry you through.

The devil will try to infiltrate during this time because it is the perfect venue for him to try to do his work but if you keep your eyes and heart on God, He will use this circumstance to strengthen and grow you, not propel you backward or tear you down.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 says,

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

He has a plan for you and perhaps showing others how to divorce like a Christian is part of it.