Psalm 30:5 " For His anger endureth but a moment, in his favour is life. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
So there I am, sitting in Pastor Tim's office trying to figure out what in the world happened to my life. After raising 3 step children as my own plus my birth children for over 8 years, my husband walked out on me. Then within a few days started splitting up the kids. Where did this come from? What had I done wrong? I did what I was suppose to do. I loved all the children equally and fairly. I was their mom when no one else would be. I took on the additional responsibility because that was the "responsible" thing to do. I treated them all the same. Now I will never see them again. I wept saying "oh God, this hurts so much."
Pastor Tim was so patient with me. So understanding. I thought he was a little strange because he was always talking about praying. Prayer? This person hardly knows me and he's telling me to pray? He must be one of those fanatics. It seemed like everything he was saying didn't apply to me. I wasn't a person that prayed, I certainly never even considered fasting. Oh, and talking to God? Who does that anymore? That's just for those biblical people that lived a long time ago. Then Pastor Tim said something to me. He said "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Wow, ok, that sunk in. All I had done for weeks was cry. That's all I could do. I was so desperate for some type of answer, some type of relief. And there it was. At that moment, my life changed. I realized I hadn't been to church in years, hadn't prayed in years, and I certainly hadn't talked to God in a really long time.
I drove home in a daze. Had I really gotten that far away from God? Had I really turned my back on Him? I didn't even realize it was happening. I thought because I was a decent wife and a decent mom, I was a decent person. But what does that have to do with my relationship with God? I hit my knees that night for the first time in a really long time. "Oh God I'm so sorry for turning away from you. I'm so ashamed of what I've done. I don't even know how or why I did it. I just know I'm so sorry."
That night I actually slept for the first time in weeks. I felt God's loving arms wrapped around me all night. I had never felt closer to Him than that night. It was like He was saying it's ok, I'm with you now. When morning came, I wasn't crying. I remember thinking that God really does understand what I feel and He cares for me even if no one else does. He comforted me when I needed it. Maybe, I should talk to Him some more. Prayer became constant for me. I couldn't get enough of it. God continued to show me that He loved me and would take care of me and the children.
My next meeting with Pastor Tim was a little different. He told me to pray for my husband. Pray that God would heal his mind and his heart. Yikes, that's a tough one. This man has hurt me so much and now I'm expected to pray for him? I really wanted to pray that God would strike him with lightening or form boils all over his body, but something inside me wouldn't let me do that. That night, I hit my knees again. Ok God, this is really hard and I don't understand, but here I go: "God, please heal Randy's heart and mind. Amen." There. I did it. Kneeling on the floor in my bedroom, just God and me, He asked me "when is the last time you prayed for your husband? The husband I gave to you." Oh my God. I had never prayed for him. Never. Not once. "God I'm so sorry." You gave me this man as my husband and I never once thanked you for him. I never once took the time to pray for him. I prayed for Randy for hours that night. Like I was trying to shove 8 years worth of missed prayers into one night. I knew I could never make up for the missed prayers, and God didn't expect me to. He just wanted to be able to change my heart. To change the way I looked at my husband. To change the way I looked at myself.
Within 2 weeks my husband and the kids were back home. I continued to pray for Randy and I learned how to pray for our children too. Randy started seeing the changes in me, and he liked what he saw. Within a few weeks, he rededicated his life to the Lord. My husband and my kids have been home for about seven months now and everything is so different. Our children have adjusted for the most part and dealt with what happened. They have all seen the changes in Randy and me. We continue to pray for God to give us the wisdom and knowledge to raise the children the way He wants us to, instead of in our own selfish ways. God knows our hearts. He sees we are trying now and it doesn't go un-noticed. Last weekend our 13 year old daughter was baptized. God allowed us to see it. He allowed us to see what wonders are available to us if we just trust in Him. Randy and I look forward to every new day together. Every new adventure God will bring our way.