It Was Over. . . and then He Hugged Me!

It Was Over. . . and then He Hugged Me!

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I found myself staring at papers suing me for divorce and custody of my two small children. A visit to a lawyer revealed that if I wanted any hope of raising my children, I needed to counter-sue.

But f I was to counter-sue for divorce, a nightmares shouted, I’d lose any prospect of ever engaging in ministry in God’s House! No more teaching Sunday School, singing on the praise teams, kids choir leadership, or assistance in the office. . . This nightmare whispered that I would never minister again if I sued for divorce. . . And the trauma got worse. . .

Fleeing my husband had been traumatic as it was. I was raised that marriage was for life and I’d been trying for two years by that point to keep it together. My ex had said if anyone came to take the kids away, he’d meet them with a gun. . . This was the last straw in what had become an abusive relationship. The counselors at the women’s shelter identified financial, sexual, relational, social, and emotional areas of abuse . .. Physical abuse wasn’t in the mix, but some of the other scars I swear cut deeper and hurt worse than physical wounds ever could!

Flight or fight syndrome kept me going on extremely little sleep as I wrapped up affairs and prepared to get my children out of Alberta and back into my home province. My sister made a kamikaze trip with a rented van to whisk my two small children and myself, and what few belongings we could grab from the house, out of that city!

So here I was, three months into life back in British Columbia, struggling with the thought that not only had I fled a failed marriage, but I was now facing the prospect of never serving in my Lord’s House again. I honestly don’t know which was more traumatic.

Finally I did it. . . I replaced the phone in its cradle and sat down at my desk,. . . I’d begun the counter-sue. . . As the fall season began, I figured the one place I could still minister was in the choir. . . at least there it seemed few people asked questions and perhaps I could minister if no one knew what I was facing.

Those first three months had been a whirlwind of activity in spite of how tender my nerves were. I was putting myself through college to get a career to feed my children. I’d found that little basement suite. Found a car. Put my son back into kindergarten and my daughter into daycare. There was no room for tears, no room for emotional outbursts. . . Until the divorce proceedings began to jump into full swing. . .

snowfallThen it snowed. . . Things were emotionally tense and my poor lawyer needed calming down more than I did. . . I looked out the window and saw snow blanketing everything. . . That would be the first time I felt God’s overwhelming, calming, reassuring peace. . . the first time I would solidly get the message that God had it all under control. . . There would be many more emotionally trying moments, and any time I would come to the end of my rope thinking I couldn’t take a moment more, it would snow! Right into the spring of the year 2000. As proceedings were winding down, God quelled another stressful and emotional moment with a late spring freak snowfall! I shook my head and prayed, asking God for a positive outcome to this nightmare.

The divorce finalized by the end of June, early July of 2000, with the courts giving me custody of the children with no alimony or child support.

Now I was truly on my own, two small children in tow, a personal reputation lying in so many shards at my feet. . . Tears joined those shards. . . many tears. . . My education had wrapped up and I would begin life as a working single mother that fall.

My ex had insisted we live off welfare while he went to college several times, tried to urge me to find work while pregnant twice, and sponged off the church the rest of the time between short stints at various jobs. So I was determined we wouldn’t sponge off the government or the church! We would be as self-sufficient as possible, as responsible as possible, as upstanding as possible, so that no one would have reason to look upon my household as leaches or lazy bums. I also determined that we wouldn’t live on the street, that I would do whatever was necessary to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table!

I lived this way until 2006 when the second biggest personal storm would explode in my face and send me on probably the harshest whirlwind I’d ever experienced! My parents were moving away. My ex was threatening me with possible court action again and challenging my morals with the kids. My son was having major issues in school and at home, and I was getting nowhere with the school leadership. All this kicked up between late September and October, and I found myself slipping into a depression. Offers of hope in conversation or circumstance turned into blinding trains bowling me over under their wheels so often that by the time December rolled around, I was scared to get excited for anything, fearful that if I got too happy over something, that it would tear me to shreds!

This storm continued into 2007. A three week lull whipped up into a fury as my son was expelled from school and a guy who feigned mentoring my son to get my hand instead, was kicked out of our lives.

Hardly a week after kicking that guy out of our lives, and hardly two weeks after obeying God’s prompting to put my kids into the public school, I was sitting at my desk at noon on a quiet shift for an online tech support company, when suddenly I was enveloped in such an incredible warmth that I thought I’d fall asleep on the spot! I straightened up shaking myself wondering what just happened! It was then that an unmistakable sensation came over me, as if God were holding me in a 360 degree embrace and saying, “NOW I can love you!” Fresh tears flowed as I soaked in a love I’d never anticipated could flow from God to me.

I honestly had never learned that God could touch my emotions. I had never expected that God’s love and talk of His Bride would be anything more than ethereal head knowledge found in the pages of Scripture. Needless to say I had to go diving through the Scriptures to make sure I hadn’t suddenly snapped and fallen off the deep end. This began a journey of healing and restoration I talk about in my book series, “Becoming the Bride of Christ: A Personal Journey”. God has brought me to healing and restored many of the ministries He’d given me in the past.Becoming the Bride of Christ: A Personal Journey

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