“Casting all your cares upon him, for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
It’s been years since the Lord gave me that scripture to lean on. At the time, I really needed it, for then I only thought I was miserable. I was working as a CSR for a major utility making great money but I hated it. It kept me from spending time with my children and attending Sunday worship services. On the other hand, I wasn’t really feeling church lately – I went through the motions but I had some major problems with their doctrine. My husband seemed to be going through the motions, too – in our marriage, I mean. He had all but checked out mentally, leaving me to struggle with raising our children pretty much alone.
Years later, I realized that although this seemed like the beginning of my struggles, it was actually the beginning of my enlightenment. As I began to lean more on God and trust his good plan for my life, I found it harder to tolerate untruth in my life. I had some hard choices to make. My job had to go – making great money was not everything.
My children would only be small and dependent on me for so long. I hated coming home crabby to them at the end of the day. So I left the call center and then the company altogether. I bear them no ill will – I still have great memories and many wonderful friends there. It just wasn’t working for my life at the time.
Around that time I also left my church home of twelve years. Leaving was not an easy decision – change is hard. Left up to me, I would have blissfully hidden my head in the sand and stayed there until I died. But as awareness crept over me, I could not help but see the far reaching consequences of keeping my children in that environment much longer. I wanted them to love church and flourish and grow in their God-given talents. I wanted to foster in them a spirit of excellence, something I felt was lacking in our current environment. Everything seemed to be so slipshod and thrown together. I felt like that was an insult to God – to give him our leftovers: Present your diseased animals to your governor and see if he will like it! (To paraphrase Malachi 1:8) Simply put, God wants our best.
Last of all, I ended my marriage of 15 years. Of all the things I foresaw, that was the one that completely blindsided me. Leaving him was never an option I even considered. Job had to go – check! Church had to go – check! But husband? I mean, my marriage was flawed but wasn’t everyone’s? Wasn’t this marriage and how it was supposed to be? Apparently not, as I watched it unravel, too. This could not be happening.
You know how you get so mad at God sometimes, you stop praying? You just stop talking to him because you aint trying to hear it. “For God so loved the world …” (John 3:16) and all that feel good mess. You think – how does that help me? Well, maybe I’m the only one who thinks like that but I’m just keeping it real! I needed real help. I needed a real God. I needed “a very present help” (Psalm 46:1). Though I confess to shaking my fist at God in the past and railing against him, this was not one of those times.
Hurt beyond belief, mentally curled up in a fetal position, I went to Him – the only one who could save me. Did I blame Him? Not really. My life had been built on lies that had finally been uncovered. Only truth existed now, as painful as it was to behold. There was a measure of peace in that. Did I blame my husband? Most definitely.
But in the end, I had to accept my own portion of blame as I poured out my grief to God. Night after long night, saturated in my own tears, I lay prostrate before him. Not because I am just that spiritual but because, interestingly enough, it was the only position that eased my pain. He was with me during those long nights. He held me and comforted me. He shielded me from the harsh blows that the devil rained down on my head. Then he encouraged and let me know that cream always rises to the top. Always!
Yes, my life was in a pile of ashes all around me but I determined I would emerge from those ashes and be a better person for the experience. And I did. And I am. To quote my mother-in-law, “God holped me to do it!” I could not have done it without Him. He also gave me a great support system and a wealth of friends and family to see me through. He has shown me that He truly cares for me.