As many other believers, I too have uttered thousands of times the verse (2 Corinthians 4:7-9 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”).  Toss it back and forth in my head as I live my own sweet simple life..some days feeling on top of the world and others feeling the brunt end of the deal.  I’ve felt crushed…my spirit and heart.  Prior to the dissolution of my marriage, there were issues. I had so many to ask me why *I* didn’t leave sooner.  One thing I’ve learned…despite all odds, you don’t move unless God says move. Period. It’s not up to everyone else to make decisions for you. If life is a living hell, then so be it, God made necessary provisions for our family as needed.  A second reason is I absolutely believe in biblical grounds for divorce, so yes I would  have fought for our marriage under any other circumstances had it not been infedility. There was a point in our separation I was close to “working” on it but he revealed to me other individuals he had been involved with (not intimately but still relationally through work).  I wasn’t taking that chance and that’s really not my point here. Though I was upset and hurt the Lord gave me peace. I was scared, afraid, and so full of emotion at what would be facing the boys and I in the days to come.  And even some situations, some things are just beyond your control.  Move aside and let God do what He needs to do.

Crushed..literally..Back up to 2003. They say the power of life and death is held in your tongue? GET IT…it’s TRUE!!!  Our first year of being married, we’d gotten into a little argument. It was no big deal, but he had anger issues and didn’t know when to stop and that mixed with bipolar (extremely explosive/depressed OR on top of the world) would just keep egging things on. He liked to say things just to hurt. It didn’t matter I was his wife.  I thought it was supposed to matter that he was a minister, a leader in the church, a spiritual leader in our home…he led for a while…but after 3 little words during that argument,  I never trusted, truly trusted him again.  I felt crushed – abandoned (didn’t want anyone to know, I could pray all I wanted to, and you bet I DID), and eventually the next 8 years…destroyed. But the first year, those 3 little words over a silly argument, which I hadn’t even raised my voice until he kept pestering me…were “I Hate You.”   Ummmm GOOOODDDDDD????? I kept thinking did my husband REALLY just say that? He hated me??? oh MY  WORD!! I just stood there, silenced. He apologized, I don’t even remember what I said in response, I still just stood in silence – because He said he didn’t mean it. Ladies and Men..Listen, your words are SO VERY VALUABLE. Choose them wisely and especially to those you work with, those you live with and the most important, those you love the most. Spouses, parents, children, grandparents, etc.  If you wouldn’t say it to your boss, don’t say it to your wife. If you wouldn’t say it to your pastor, don’t say it to your mother. If you wouldn’t say it to your brother, don’t talk down and ugly to someone else. It’s wrong and not acceptable in the Lord’s eyes. I would even go as far as saying if you aren’t a believer in God yet (which I hope someday you are), that those who don’t know Jesus yet have common decency not to belittle and say hateful things to those around them. It’s called respect.

Anyhow that just set a platform for the years to come. We still had many good moments. Many GOD moments that I never doubted His presence. For that I’m always thankful. But I always watched and listened and prayed. For I saw something in him (the kid’s dad) that changed over the years (and partially could have been that way from the beginning but I was unable to see it). A true submission to the Lord and leading of our relationship spiritually. Yes we had times and seasons..but nothing consistant. Grass unwatered dies. Children malnurished die (both physically and emotionally).

As we went along, leading worship together and he helped teach/preach at different places, not only did I feel my ”abandonment” at home but I felt it somewhat at church. They could only see the churchy/spiritual side of him, I saw both sides. It was like every Sunday was going and living a lie..but painful. We LED people into God’s sweet worship. Many wonderful days. I don’t know what God would say about that now, but at the time it was very confusing.

Psalm 34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth….I always kept saying, “God how do I do this  when time after time ‘crap’ keeps hitting the fan?”  It always always always seemed to be that he wanted me to say nothing, do nothing, pray, go nowhere, be submissive to HIM…and wait. Wait. OUCH…waiting is painful.  Did you know when you wait in line that’s when you stub your toe, or hit your elbow, step on a nail, someone runs in to you? Same principle. While I tried my best to wait on God (During all this time I diligently read Stormy Omartian’s Power of  Praying Wife book), bad thing after bad thing would KEEP happening.  I just wanted to freaking scream!! I had my moments..enough was enough. God’s children are not supposed to act like this…but in my heart I kept thinking, “Lord, You know the husband i prayed for many years ago..this is a changed man..and if I did make a mistake, help me to be patient and learn what I’m supposed to learn. I really don’t know God. Move me as you see fit..Protect me. I love you”

I will expound later on the destroyed aspect of this verse…it’s late!! 😉 I love taking photos of the blessings in my life. Random, silly, thoughtful, whatever the moment may be. I feel like God uses those moments at times to show us glimpses of Himself and his love to us.  Despite all the craziness, tears and anguish that my path has led me on, I can truly say I’m one blessed woman. Blessed internally…I don’t need lots of ‘things’ to make me happy.  God has blessed me with great family and friends who have allowed me to be myself again and for that I will be forever blessed and thankful. I’m blessed with the smiles and laughter every single day of two precious little ones.  Yes we have moments we all hurt and things are a little more difficult in a one parent home…that in itself is NOT God’s plan or design for a family. But until the Lord sees fit otherwise it’s staying that way. However we’ve learned to make it work, with growing pains. It’s not easy…who says you can’t be blessed in the midst of difficulty?

His praise shall continually be in my mouth….thank you Lord for that which you have given me.


Loving That Smile!!!