The Healing Hands of Strangers
After a painful divorce in the mid-1980s, Steve Grissom was devastated.
"It was an awful experience for me," Grissom says. "Luckily, I got great help from my local church, with people who put their arms around me. I wanted to find a way to help people get through divorce, so I cobbled together some resources and formed a group out of my home."
Grissom's home-based group served as the genesis for Divorce Care, an online-based divorce recovery resource. Visitors to Divorce Care can access a database to find local, in-person support groups, as well find an online bookstore and expert advice to deal with separation and divorce.
The heart of Divorce Care lies in its mission to help people find an in-person support group. Grissom says the website database is instrumental in connecting people to such groups, all of which are supported by curriculum and resources developed by Divorce Care. Though the curriculum used by Divorce Care groups are inspired by Christian teachings, Steve says the materials are designed to include those who don't embrace a particular spirituality and people of all beliefs are welcome.
"We've had people who live in Cleveland refer their aunt in Phoenix to our site," Grissom says. "It's amazing how much of what we do [to support people] has moved to the Web. It's been a profound paradigm shift for us."
For those who aren't comfortable attending a group session, Divorce Care offers daily e-mail support to people going through the first year of their divorce. The "1 Day At A Time"newsletter has become a lifeline for its subscribers, Grissom says, and it's allowed his team to encourage visitors to heal from their experiences.
"Divorce is not an experience you can get over in 20 or 60 days," he says. "It takes a while, and we offer a great bridge for people to use to get through it every day."
A circle of prayers