Weekends became really hard. I felt almost “kicked out” of his life. I don’t know that anyone has ever termed it that way. But when your husband leaves you and you had an amazing, loving accepting family of in laws, it’s like you were thrown out; like you were uninvited to the Sunday lunches and Friday movie nights.
But oh the favor of God. In my pain, my anger towards God, my doubts, my fears – I gained a mustard seed of faith to ask God for a few things for the year I was about to face. I knew it would be a hard year.
I asked for very random little things that hit me the moment he left:
I asked him to help me with financial security. I had my own business and I didn’t have a clue how I would support myself. I believe my husband always wanted to do the right thing and follow good counsel (aside from cheating on me with a man, or course). But tithing was more of a hit and miss. It was only done when it was comfortable. It was never given in our need, only out of a comfortable buffer. So, I decided that every Saturday morning I would tithe my weekly income. This may be the most boring sermon every Christian hears maybe once a year from their pastor…but this – this has come alive for me this year. I give. I give out of my need, not my comfort levels. It is actually pretty scary sometimes. And He has shown himself to be true in this. There are still many things I question Him on through this journey, but this promise is alive and well in my life today. I have a wandering husband who is still paying for my home. I have an income that is higher than it’s ever been. He’s listening and He’s providing.
I asked him to help me potty train a 2-year-old boy by myself. I don’t know why this stood out, but as the list of challenges that faced me were running through my mind every night, this one gave me anxiety. I heard from other mommies for years that boys are the hardest to potty train. Just a few months into this journey of single mommy-hood…I came to grandma’s (my mother in law’s) home to find that grandma and auntie had made it their mission to potty train my boy. And within a week’s time, he was trained. It was mommy’s little miracle, and God’s reminder that He sees the little things and the little worries. He was going to have my back this year in the big things and in the little things.
I asked him to help me get used to staying in my home alone. I’m one of those wives – the ones that feel so much more secure when the hubby is home and in bed next to you, or even in the next room. God gave me a peace about being home alone that I’ve never experienced before. He gave me peace to know that He is my protector. And I have never slept so soundly in an empty house as I have this past year.
But there was one gift He gave me that I never right out asked Him for. It was the love of a family of in-laws that was second to none. It was the support of a family who isn’t blood but carried me through this year with family getaways, meals, and help every time I needed it. I’ve heard horror stories of friends who’s in-laws completely disowned them the moment divorce hit. This wasn’t my story. Somehow God used and continues to use them to carry me through this nightmare. The door is still open to their son (as it should be), but it remains miraculously wide open for me too.
I’m not sure this phrase has ever been written, but my mother in law was my rock. I could count on one hand the people who heard my cries and let me say, “God is still big and He can still do miracles,” without a twitch in their eye. She reminded me that it was ok to believe that God is still big. I didn’t need “move on,” the “let’s just be realistic,” the “you have to let him go.” Regardless of how this would turn out, this year, I needed to hear that my God was big. And no one shouted that louder than my mother in law.
I was reminded that my husband didn’t steal away this new family from me. They were there to stay. God’s favor would rest on this relationship with this family. My husband may have chosen to leave, but God wasn’t letting anyone else leave me right now.
My last little prayer was that He would let me escape mentally as often as possible this year.
There was a vacation at least every other month.
He was listening. He was listening to the details. He heard past my tantrums and my anger and He gave me the little things that would carry me through this valley.