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Torn Apart

by Norma-Anne Hough  
3/14/2008 / Family

Three and a half years ago our eldest daughter Jacquie decided to go off to London. The time had come for her to spread her wings and she was able to go to the UK on an ancestral visa. She had no job but plenty of ideas. For the first 6 weeks she was staying with family in Edinburgh but then she would be on her own!

Personally it was a very difficult decision for me as there were many issues between us. I loved her deeply but she had grown very distant since graduating from school. She mixed with the wrong crowd, got involved in "dodgy relationships" and in general was a very difficult and angry young lady. I knew she was still angry with me for the years I had abused alcohol, although she had spoken forgiveness it was never evident. I suffered from major guilt.

I had an excellent relationship with her two sisters, yet she remained very distant. London seemed an excellent idea for all concerned. Her first three months away were awful. She was unable to find a job, her money had run out and she was desperately unhappy!

One morning through my quiet time, the Lord spoke to me.
I began to email her daily with scriptures and funny sayings.
Unknown to the rest of the family I sent her money as I knew she needed it. A job came along, it didn't pay wonderfully but it paid the rent and put some food on her table. (I only found out much later about how she often lived on crackers!)

Through the emails we began to open up to each other. On a Christmas visit home she was still a bit distant but I could see a softness creeping back in. Dave and I with the two girls flew over to the UK later the next year for a three week visit. We spent a week with them all then left the girls alone together while we had time out alone. She still had her angry outbursts but realized what she was doing and quickly apologized!

The time passed with her coming home or us visiting her. Some visits went well others not so well. She had found a very good job, a boyfriend and had settled into life there. I wondered if we would ever be able to restore our relationship.

God is good and faithful. Last year my husband and I went over for her 30th birthday. Her partner was supposed to join us for a week in the country but decided not too. Praise the Lord! The first evening after supper I went up to bed, she came into the room after me, sat on the bed and began to share her heart! The next four days were very special. Each night she would come into the room after I had finished showering for her "private little chat" with me. That week will stand out in my memory as it was the turning point in our relationship. She started off by sitting at the bottom of the bed and by the end of the week was lying alongside me chatting away.

Dave and I went onto Italy for a week and then Spain where she joined us. She was able to tell me how she had felt cut out of the picture by her other sisters and had never really had me to herself in many years. It was a wonderful time of healing for us both. She also rededicated her life to the Lord.

When she was home for Christmas, our family all noticed the difference in our relationship. I know that God took her off to a far place for a good reason. It was hard for us, but He healed our hearts. This year my husband gave me a very special birthday gift. He gave me a ticket to London, to visit Jacquie alone. Already we have planned a fun filled two weeks.

Sometimes God has to remove us from situations so that He can work out His perfect plan. I still long for her each day, but I know now she is where God wants her to be.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on our own understanding,
In all your ways acknowledge Him and
He will direct your paths."


I live in East London, South Africa. Have three grown-up daughters. I love to write. Have been involved in christian couselling. My other intersts are my animals,my garden, reading and I look after those in our body who need help. I plan to publish a devotional this year.
(c) Norma Hough 2008

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