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NEW LIFE AFTER DIVORCE: The Promise of Hope Beyond the Pain
Bill Butterworth
WaterBrook Press
Christian Living/Relationships
ISBN: 1400070953

Whenever divorce hits your life, it hurts. Bill Butterworth had a wife of seventeen years, five kids, and a career as a speaker and writer on issues of marriage and family. Divorce definitely knocked the wind out of his life, and he didn't work for six months. As he writes in the opening pages of his book, "I lived each day waiting for the phone to ring, hoping my wife would say she wanted to get back together. That phone call never came." While he understands the pain of divorce, this book is focused on helping the reader gain encouragement and hope to get through it.

Butterworth combines pointed storytelling with wise how-to information and a mixture of some Scripture to help the reader take concrete steps forward. At first, he tackles the basics: the need for acceptance from self, the need for healing from God, and the need for help from others. Then he considers the advantage of time, distance and wise counsel combined with valued relationships and tapping into the power of forgiveness. The third section of the book examines some practical matters for many in this situation such as single parenting, getting along with your ex-spouse, and the different type of dating scene.

Butterworth writes with humor as well as vulnerability about his first date with Kathi (who eventually became his wife). "I asked her out for dinner that evening. She said, yes, and I was as excited as a schoolboy. I was also dumb as a schoolboy; I had neglected to handle a few key issues surrounding a successful date. Sheepishly I had to call Kathi to resolve my sloppy planning." While Butterworth planned a date, he didn't have transportation since he took a cab from the airport to the hotel. He writes, "'So I don't have a car. I was wondering if you would mind driving…' Those last words just seemed to hang out there forever. 'No problem.' She continued to sound sweet… You drive; I'll buy! Was the worst retort I could have used. So, naturally I used it. She laughed. I winced. But God allowed a wonderful evening to take place." On his first date, he even gave Kathi the Myers Briggs Type Indicator personality test. Yes --- really. The date worked out and they've been married ten years.

Anyone in a divorce is in the middle of some huge life changes, and Butterworth tackles these issues in the final section of his book. How do you manage change and the associated fears? He taps the ultimate resource for these situations --- God's power. "God's power is in His word, the Bible. For those of us who read these words, the Scriptures are our ultimate source of healing, encouragement and energy. He gives us the power we need to make it day by day as we spend time reading, reflecting and meditating on His truth." Also this final section addresses the often asked question, Where is God? And then, How Do I Get A Second Wind?

While it's been over ten years since I've walked the path of divorce, I found reading Butterworth's advice that those emotions were close to the surface of my emotions. The stories and the practical how-to information touched something deep inside and I could resonate with the truth in these pages. NEW LIFE AFTER DIVORCE is a solid resource to help the many people who are thrust into divorce. You can definitely see the author has walked the walk and talks the talk.

   --- Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin, writer and editor in Scottsdale, Arizona. His latest book is BOOK PROPOSALS THAT $ELL, 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success (Write Now Publications)

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