by Leesa Hayes
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Psalm 18:1 "I LOVE you, O Lord, my strength."
It took losing everything to realize how much I really love God.
I was sitting at my dining room table wondering how I was going to pay all the bills. How was I going to keep this house going with no husband and no father for my kids. I remember thinking "I've made such a mess of my life and my kid's lives, how can they ever love me again?"
How can I look into my three year old's little face without feeling so ashamed of what I caused her life to be. How could I look at my teenage boys and tell them the Dad they had loved for years and looked to for guidance had abandoned us. Oh God help me.
I changed the lock on the front door to keep my husband and his "new found love (the ex-wife)" from coming in and rumaging thru my home. I thought that would at least preserve the last little bit of dignity I had. Being the very well prepared Mom that I was, I took a key to the next door neighbor's (Sam and Margie) for safe keeping. Sam wa 76 and Margie 75. I had known them a little less than a year, but even at first glance anyone could tell these were the most trustworthy people in the world.
Throughout the following weeks I found myself at Sam and Margie's quite often. They were such precious people. The more I got to know them, the more precious they became to me. I finally opened up to them and shared what was happening in my life. I expected them to immediately take my side and shout to the world how disgaceful Randy was for doing this. But they didn't. Sam told me that God saw every tear I cried. Margie said that God is a husband to the widow and a father to the fatherless. Is that true? Is it really that simple? God will take care of us? These were some of the questions that they answered for me throughout the following weeks. They also told me God was working in the situation, I just had to give Him time. Patience had never been a strong characteristic of mine.
I didn't quite understand why I always felt better after talking to them even though they didn't say cruel things about Randy. Everyone else on my side did. They didn't declare that I had a right to a divorce because of the adultry. They didn't even say Randy was wrong for leaving. They just kept telling me how much God loved me and the Kids...and even Randy.
It seemed as though no matter how hurt I was or how angry I was, I couldn't forget those words. Part of me wanted to do anything and everything I could to hurt Randy for what he did, but I couldn't. Everytime a thought would come into my mind about something vengeful I could do God spoke to my heart, reminding me that not only was I His daughter and was now held to a different standard than before but Randy was His son too.
I continued to meet with Randy a couple of times per week for visitation with the kids. He looked horrible. Dark circles under his eyes, wrinkles seemed to protrude on his face where laugh lines were at one time. His heart was hurting. I could see it in his eyes. The kids were so hurt. Their lives had been ripped to shreads. So badly I wanted to beg Randy to fix everything, to just come home; but I knew God was working in him and I couldn't get in the way.
I started praying for Randy and of course the kids, like Sam, Margie and my new Pastor had told me to. I was pretty new at this prayer stuff. It was awkward at first, but God knew my heart. He knew I was trying. Within a week Randy called me and said he wanted closure. He wanted us both to move on with our lives. I was devastated. I couldn't believe it was actually over. I thought God was suppose to help the situation, not make it worse. That night I marched right up to Sam and Margie at church and announced what Randy said. I thought at this point surely they'll get upset with him. Surely they can find a mean or hateful word way down in the bottom of their hearts to use about Randy. But they didn't. Margie stood up with that frail little body of her's and said "No! We will not settle for that! God does not want divorce! God is in control here!" I remember thinking "go ahead margie, have faith that God will take care of this mess, I don't have that kind of faith. I know what Randy just said to me." I remember wondering how she could have so much faith when Randy came right out and said he wanted a divorce. I just didn't understand.
Exactly one week later Randy called and asked if we could meet, just the two of us. I asked God for courage and wisdom to know what to say to him and out the door I went. It was the first time I had seen him since he told me he wanted a divorce. He looked even worse than before. He looked so sad, so lost, so confused. Like a little boy lost in the woods. I didn't know what had been going on with him, but I knew he hadn't slept in days. We talked continuously for almost two straight days with little to no sleep. We both poured out our hearts and souls to each other for the first time. Randy knew I was a different person now that I had turned to God. He liked what he saw in me. I was able and willing to accept accountability for my mistakes in our marriage and I wasn't so concerned about pointing out his anymore. It just didn't seem important. After we finished talking we prayed together for the first time. Randy came home that night to stay.
Within two weeks Randy rededicated his life to Christ and is a completely different person now. He has had to face the consequences of the decisions he made, but he is trying so hard to live the way God wants us to. It wasn't easy to rebuild with the kids or our extended families that were ready for battle. But he has faced these issues head on with God guiding him. Our family has never been more peaceful than now. We have our share of problems just like any other family but now we turn to God for guidance instead of trying to handle things on our own.
I'm still awestruck that we have a God that is willing and able to touch people's hearts and lives the way He touched mine and Randy's. How He never gave up on us even when we gave up on ourselves, each other and even Him. I didn't have faith that God was still in control of the situation like Margie did, but He still didn't give up on us. What an awesome, amazing God we serve. Psalm 18:1 states very clearly how I feel about Him. I LOVE you, O Lord, my strength. When I didn't deserve his love, protection, and strength He gave it to me anyway.
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Leesa - What a wonderful testimony of God's perfect will in your family. If we just trust Him, He always works things out for us. What a mighty God we serve! Thank you for sharing and thanks for your kind words on my article. In Christ's Love, Julia