All My Divorces

Divorce has always been my unwanted companion even before I experienced one for myself.  My mom and dad divorced when I was four and all my grandparents were divorced from one another too.  My mom went on to have two more divorces after my dad, before I even hit my thirties.

I was pretty much puttering in line with this pattern before Jesus interrupted.

God reached down and saved me when I was twenty-two years old, or maybe that’s when I answered his call.  Regardless, by that time, I was five months pregnant and married to a physically abusive man who desired to be the neighborhood drug dealer.  Suffice it to say I was divorced before our only son became a toddler.

So there I was, a freshly divorced baby Christian.  The “divorce” label in a church community definitely felt bad enough, but I also had a beast named CONDEMNATION following me wherever I went.  I didn’t really need the the judgement of people because I was my most severe judge already.

The Holy Spirit and other believers placed in my life interrupted my tormented mind and helped me to cripple this condemnation beast.  It would literally take four more blogs to explain how this beast was crippled in my life, and one day I hope to write an entire book dedicated to the subject, but for now I will share just one incident.

I decided to go up to the mountain to pray.  Just me, my bible, and a pen to hopefully rid myself of this beast for good.  When I got to my spot I stayed in the car because it was freezing.  I sensed God’s incredible power as the wind whipped.  The mountains were so big, and I was so small. It was then that I heard that still small voice as clear as day, “Mark 3”.  I know the word pretty well but I was not sure what was in Mark 3 exactly.  I read it diligently. I admit I questioned if I heard The Lord correctly since what I was reading wasn’t making sense for my immediate need.  But than verse 28 and 29 hit me upside the head. God spoke powerfully to me that day.

28 “Assuredly, I say to you, ALL sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”— 

That verse did for me what all the scriptures on divorce couldn’t.  That one verse put divorce in its place. Divorce was sin. And divorce was not even the unforgivable sin!  There are many sins in this life we can involve ourselves in but according to Mark 3:28 they ALL CAN be forgiven.  I know I did not blaspheme the Holy Spirit because I still desire God. I desire to walk with him and obey him.  I desire to love him.

I would love to say condemnation went out of my life for good at this point but that would be a lie. Satan was still telling me that I was a second rate Christian, that God tolerates me, that my second marriage was illegitimate. I still struggled with these thoughts mentally for a few years until the Lord delivered me of it for good in a prayer meeting.

I was not present at the cross to see Jesus crucified.  I believe this by faith. I did not see Noah’s ark or the world wide flood. I just have faith that it was.  I have faith that at the moment of my death I will be carried to heaven and not deposited into hell because I believe in what Christ did for me on the cross. So I must have faith that Jesus covers me like a clean white robe of righteousness. I must believe that Satan desires to keep me depressed and ineffective so I cannot tell others about the freedom in Christ… that in Jesus Christ, condemnation is a lie!

Words from a bestie: “You can’t understand why Christ has forgiven you because you don’t deserve it. But no one deserves it.  That’s why GRACE angers so many religious and pride-filled people. They can’t earn it.”

Have you struggled with this condemnation and/or divorce beast? What has helped you? Do share.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ahh, the Teen Years

I was ‘single-mom status’ for almost a decade of my sons life.  For the most part I navigated the infant, baby, toddler, and child stages rather well even though my son was certainly no saint.  I definitely had more than a parents fair share of red lights, extra teacher conferences, and his strong will that questioned everything.

But, we made it out of the kid stage.  And I would like to say I am proud of who my son was.  He had compassion for others, a keen sense of what was good and what was evil, and a lot of biblical knowledge. Go me!

But goodness gracious I never gave much thought to the “teen years” until they were slapping me upside the head.  My young man just turned 14 and I must start with saying I still am proud of who he is.  He still has compassion, he still understands biblical matters in more than a surface way, and he still knows the difference between right and wrong even though his frontal lobe is still under construction.

When people warned me about teen-dom I brushed it off to be quite honest.  Me and my little guy were two peas in a pod and I daydreamed that my son would be the culture changer for Christ within his sphere of influence.  Defying all the odds…son of a single mother makes it to his wedding day, pure and un-defiled.

Oh my gosh, I actually thought this. Not that I think it still can’t happen, but now I am reevaluating my goals and motives in parenting.  I am seeing that this is a human heart I am dealing with and not some poster for good behavior I am painting to hang on the walls of the Godly mom museum.

I’ve had to stop caring about what others think of my family and only concern myself with what God is doing in our lives.

I’ve had to let go of the fear that my son may entertain, or gasp… live in some kind of repugnant sin for a season because I need to trust the Holy Spirits dealings with him.

I’ve had to allow him to make some simple decisions for himself now even though they are not my decisions because in four short years the law allows him to make all of his own decisions.

I’ve had to let go of the adult life I envision for my son because I need to leave room for God to change those plans. (I will still use prayer as my secret weapon!)

As I raise my teenager with prayer, confidence, and the wisdom of the word, God is using this privilege as another means to show me that he is sovereign and I must look to him to help guide all the precious matters in my life.

I am not sure how my son’s life will turn out.  Tomorrow is not even promised to any one of us! I will however, love him each day he is under my guidance, teach him the truth, and let God be God in his life.  God is big enough for the task.