Thursday, January 10, 2013

My testimony, my marriage, and my life today.

I was raised in the church. Accepted Jesus at age 7. Baptized about age 9. Went to church faithfully.  As a teenager I went through the typical 'questioning my faith' phase.  I remember an atheist friend saying "aren't you supposed to be trying to convert me or something?"  I replied "Yeah, but I don't feel strong enough in my faith right now to try it."  Wow, that was humbling and horrifying.   I wish I could say it changed me, but it didn't.

So I went on like that for years.  Coming and going. Straying and coming back.  At 21 I got married.  8 years later, I was questioning my faith even more. Wondering what the point of it all was. Wondering if God was just something we made up to make us feel better.  I was having a hard time seeing him work in my life. Instead, all I saw was how crappy my husband made me feel.  The put-downs. The "teasing" that was actually bullying. I would later learn that all of this was emotional and verbal abuse.   I remember thinking that God wasn't helping me in my marriage, or my life, so what was the point?   Last year my marriage started going south. Worse than ever.  We had had our fair share of hard times. In 12 years of marriage, we had almost separated 3-4 times.  Last year it all came to a head.  I decided to work on my relationship with my husband. I figured it was worth trying, for the sake of our 2 boys. But in trying to work on my relationship with my husband, I discovered that I was working on so many relationships, that something had to give.  I was trying to build a great relationship with my young boys.  They needed me a lot. After all, they are only kids.  I was trying to repair a relationship with my sister, my husbands parents, my friends, on and on it went.  So many.  God took a backseat to this.  My relationship with him faltered, and I just couldn't fathom trying to work on yet another relationship. It was exhausting. Overwhelming. And crushing. 

Well, last May, it all broke down.  My husband and I decided to either split up or try counseling.  The night before our counseling session, I went to church.  I sat there listening to the sermon, my heart heavy.   I poured my heart out in every song I sang.  I begged God for help.    And he answered. More clear than he has ever answered me before.   I saw him, with his arms out open, and he said "It's okay. I'm here for you, when you are ready."  I was blown away and immediately burst into tears.  He sounded so much like the wonderful, loving father everyone had told me was.  And he sounded like me telling my kids "when you are ready to talk, I'm here for you."    I held that with me as we went to counseling the next day.  The counseling session wasn't as productive as I had hoped.  The day after counseling, my husband came to me and said he agreed it would be best if we separated.  I agreed with him. My heart was less heavy as I realized that I would be free of his put-downs, his criticisms, his crap in general.  It was as though a huge weight had been lifted off my chest. 

Soon I began the process of finding my own apartment and figuring out how to live on my own, how to be a single mom, and that goes with it.  During this process, I saw God work in ways that I never thought possible.  He led me to the apartment that I loved.  I consulted a lawyer, just to get an idea of what I needed to do.  I had to take my then 2 year old with me. My 2 year old who didn't nap anymore.  I was shocked to see that he had fallen asleep on the way to the appointment, and even more shocked when he stayed asleep as I moved him from car seat to stroller and then into the appointment. He slept through the entire consultation.  Yeah, that was God.  Over the coming months, I saw God work in so many ways. He eased my transition into single motherhood, the divorce, going back to school, and gave me a total and complete peace about all of it.   And he hasn't left me since.. And I know he never will.  He has provided for my children and me these past 6 months in ways that I can't even describe. Financially, spiritually, emotionally.    And I know he will forever. Because he is just that awesome!