Affliction? Horror? Pain? Why must I endure them? Then scarred hands reach out. Then I realized that He was answering me.

Affliction? Horror? Pain? Why must I endure them? Then scarred hands reached out. Then I realized He was answering me.

I prayed every night, “Dear God, just give me some hope to make it through another day, hour, minute.”

“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isa 40:31

I’ve never known a worse time. In the end, we were verbally shredding each other over and over. But, it was “civilized” fighting because we only fought at night when the kids couldn’t hear.

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered,” Chr 16:11-12

Finally she left with her new boyfriend. After a very nasty divorce, the kids told me that they were always sitting on the stairs holding each other while their mother and I fought. They heard every horrible word. My heart burst. The pain was so bad that I was ready to give up. I can only describe it as blackness.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” Psalm 34:18

During the weeks that followed, it was all I could do to make it through the day – after day, after day. After a full day of work, I picked up my kids from school or day care, made dinner, and had evening activities with them. Then I worked on the order from my woodworking business. After that I collapsed into my own bed … only to repeat the same routine the next day. That was all that occupied my attention. That was all that I saw.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30

Then one night, after a particularly hard day, I yelled at God. “Not fair! I don’t deserve this! Not even my worst enemies deserve this! Why am I going through this? I am just ready to give up!”
I wanted to run away and hide. The only problem was that I was a single parent responsible for a three, five and a seven year old.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deu 31:8.

The next day I was approached by a stranger: a friend of a friend. She looked at me and said, “There’s something different about you. What is God doing to help you?”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer 29:11

I responded, “What are you talking about? Every day I’m in intense pain. I can’t run from it. And, I can get rid of it. It’s all I can do to make it through the day!”

“from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” Psalm 61:2-3

Then she explained to me that she her situation was worse. It made my situation look tame.
I looked into her eyes and realized that God was answering my prayer in a miraculous way.

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17

I lapped up the joy like a man, who’s dying of thirst, who finally gets a cup of water. Was I praying for love? Oh please NO! Was I praying for a deeper faith? No… I was praying for hope: hope to make it through the next day, the next hour, the next minute… I realized for the first time that that God was answering my prayers in a creative and amazing way. Every day I had someone who would listen to me talk through my feelings. One day, a lady offered to help me with sewing. Another day, it was help with shopping for the kid’s clothes. And another day, I received a ton of groceries and the fixings for a really good Thanksgiving Dinner. Every day something happened that gave me the hope to make it through another day. That hope was my lifeline, and I shared it with her.

“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matt 22:37-40

I prayed every night, “Dear God, just give me some hope to make it through another day, hour, minute.”

“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isa 41:10

“Thinking that no one understood, I reached out my hand anyway. A scarred hand helped me out of the fire.”

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Co 10:13

Together, sharing our experiences, sharing our strength, sharing our hope, we are stronger.

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