I watched her walk onto the football field to perform for the last time at this school. She looked so beautiful as she stood nervously waiting. My heart ached as I wondered what tomorrow held. My nine and ten year old boys sat with me watching the game, nervous energy pouring from every fiber of their being. Was I doing the right thing to completely uproot them after all they had already been through?
I knew it was neither healthy nor safe to stay as things were in the same house with their Dad. He had left town to attend a meeting with no idea we would be gone when he returned. Despite the despicable condition of our relationship at the time, I somehow felt sorry for him. I hurt for us all.
I had spent the past few days calling women’s abuse shelters. I so wanted to keep the children in the same school district and to avoid having to drag my parents into my mess of a life at the moment. I quickly discovered that most of the areas where shelters existed were neither near their current district, nor were they ideal places to be putting children who had just been plucked out of the only life they had ever known. Heavy-hearted, I had picked up the phone and called my parents. They agreed to take us in, and we were leaving the next morning.
I realize how abundantly blessed I was to have a caring family who was willing to take us in without question. Most women are not so fortunate. I had been a homemaker since my first-born daughter was two years old. Thankfully my parents had paid for me to enroll in college, and I had spent the past couple of years working toward a degree. Day care for three young children prohibited me from profiting by working outside the home. I knew I had few skills, so I was determined to go back to college when my youngest started school. I attended classes while the children were at school, and studied once everyone was in bed. It was tough, but I was so blessed for having the opportunity. The farther I moved in school, and the closer to independence I came, the worse the abuse became. Between counseling, and doing well in school, my confidence began to grow. God was continuously at work transforming my mind.
On this particular night, however, tremendous confusion stirred in my heart. I watched my children say goodbye to their teachers, their friends, and their home. They were leaving projects unfinished and escaping with bare necessities. I had withdrawn mid-semester from the university that very morning without a degree, not knowing if or when I would ever return. I had little to no work experience, and I had no idea what the future held for my marriage.
This is when God truly began revealing His all-sufficient nature to me. God alone knew what challenges were ahead. He assured me that He would never leave me or forsake me. He would carry me through the dark, uncertain days ahead. Confusion would be a close companion as I worked through the next year of deciding what direction was best for this marriage of seventeen years. As my story continues unfolding, you will see that God is not the author of confusion. Instead, He is a God of peace, understanding, and patience. He proved more than able to stand beside me as I awaited in confusion.
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” I Corinthians 14:33
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11