I had a lazy day today. It was desperately needed. It’s almost 9 pm and I still have on my pajamas from this morning. (Strike that, there was a change of my bottoms after an unfortunate laughing incident. Enough said.) Anyways, it’s Sunday and due to a power outage this morning I didn’t make it to church. Yes, I probably could have gone with my hair in a bun and feeling grimy, but I didn’t. I don’t promote missing church, I actually love going. I suppose I was plain worn out, and in a way welcomed the obstacle of no blow dryer or light in the bathroom. Yes, I know it was something that could have been overcome but I chose not to. And, I don’t really feel guilty about it.
My husband, however, was awesome and took 3 out of 4 children with him to church. It gave me and Meg some time alone together. Note to self, we really need to get our schedule under control so that quality time with our kids doesn’t only come while grocery shopping or missing church! But, I digress. She and I rented a movie that I highly recommend; although there should be a disclaimer that you need a box of tissues to watch it. The name is (insert drum roll …) “The Impossible”. It is a true story of one family that was effected by the Tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004. I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but I will say that it evoked emotions in me that I rarely feel. I am grateful that neither I, nor my husband or children, have ever been in that type of horrific situation. I am also grateful that God’s hand was evident in the lives of those that were featured in the movie. It was such a good movie that Meg and I watched it again after Scott and the other kids got back from church. Watching any movie all the way through is rare enough for me, but watching it twice in one day is, well, “The Impossible”.
Sometimes we can see something; like a movie or news report; that puts everything back into perspective about what is truly important. That seems to be a theme for me lately. Reconnecting with what is truly important. If you were to ask me at any given moment what I value the most, I would automatically reply “God, family, friends and people”. That’s not a lie, I do value all of those things. When it comes down to it, I would never put anything in front of them. I have been faced with what is important to me in the past and have lived out wha
The end of the previous sentence isn’t a mistake. Connor asked me to spend some time with him playing cards. I couldn’t exactly be in the middle of writing about what’s important and then ignore the exact thing that I claim as important. So, for the past hour I have been cracking up at my son and being a complete dork with him. Scott joined us not only in the card game, but in the off-color humor that was taking place. I love how we can be so real with each other. In the midst of laughing, we actually talked about how we couldn’t, or wouldn’t, act like that in front on anyone outside of the family. I love that.
My family makes me happy. They make me laugh and cry. They frustrate me more than anyone, yet bring me the most satisfaction. I am so very blessed that God has brought us to this point. I still thank Him for His redemption. Four years ago I was faced with the decision to move forward with our marriage, or to proceed with a divorce. I’m not the only person who has ever been faced with that decision, and it saddens me to know that countless others are facing decisions like that today. I cannot tell anyone else what to do, nor can I give any guarantees one way or the other about how things will turn out in their situation. I can speak about my own situation, and what led me to my decision to take the fear wrought step toward what has become my redeemed family.
I won’t go into the sordid details of our separation tonight; although I’m sure at some point down the line those details will be shared. Our marital failure affected so many more people than just ourselves and our children. That’s what happens with sin, it causes a ripple in the water that eventually turns into a Tsunami, wiping out everyone in it’s path. Our extended families, our friends, co-workers, church … you name it, they were affected. Of course, the closer to the situation people were the harder they were hit. So, I was in the middle of the catastrophic fallout of my husband’s hidden sin. I don’t really remember the exact time-frame of everything that transpired, but I know that just about everyone in my life was gone in what seemed like a strategic assault on my sanity; actually on my very identity.
With most everyone gone, the few left were helping to carry my burden and were themselves being crushed by the weight. God was more real to me in those months than at any other point in my life, other than when Scott was diagnosed with AIDS 9 months before. So much had happened that I didn’t know who I was, other than that I had a God who would never leave me or forsake me.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8
“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. – Joshua 1:5
“May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us. – I Kings 8:57
I was faced with a decision on what direction my and my children’s lives were going to go. I knew the feelings of most of the people who knew our situation was to leave, and never look back. Almost like the wife of Lot fleeing Sodom. But that wasn’t what God was directing me to do. No, I didn’t hear a voice telling me “stay married”. I didn’t get a letter in the mailbox, or a billboard sign on the highway. What I did get was a gentle reminder that God was sovereign, and that His intention was not to harm me, Scott or our children. I was reminded about the importance of forgiveness, and second chances. I was given the peace that I could trust God to rebuild what had been destroyed, and that one day what He would create in our family would be a shining light on the hill for others to see.
Today, although I wasn’t in a pew or at an altar, I was living in the midst of the promise I have received from my God. I was cuddled up to my husband that I absolutely adore, holding my baby girls, crying with my oldest daughter and laughing hysterically with my son. Today, and every day for the past 4 years I have had the privilege of living in the midst of a miracle.