“For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.” (Isaiah 54:5)
A week ago today, I celebrated my birthday. But it was really more than just a birthday; it was a milestone. It was a little over a year since I moved with my two children into our new home and our new life. Prior to that, I had been married for 25 years, and during the past year, I went through the painful process of a divorce.
Moving out after being provided for by a husband for a quarter of a century was like stepping out of the boat onto crashing waves, and trusting that I would find solid ground. Many people would find such a venture absolute madness, which is why impetuous Peter was the only one “mad” enough to try it.
And like Peter, stepping out wasn’t the hard part for me. Or even the first few steps. The exhilaration of the whole thing kept my adrenaline flowing, and made it like a true adventure. I had to think of it as an adventure to give me the courage to stand up and step out, because I’d reached a point after many painful years where stepping out onto the water was far preferable to staying in the boat.
But the hard part came when I was far away enough from the boat to realize that I couldn’t go back–in fact, when I looked back, there was no boat to go back to–and moving forward into an absolutely uncertain future looked pretty scary, too. That was when I had to keep my eyes on my true Husband, and know that He would uphold me with His righteous right hand.
There were nights when I would wake up with a sense of panic, realizing that I really had left my marriage and the shelter of a husband who had provided for me, I really had bought my own house for the first time in my life, and I really was living as a single person with two teenage daughters. I had left my career 12 years before as managing editor of a trade magazine, and had done little as a writer and editor since then, except write a book. I had been away from the corporate sector for so long, that not only were my skills rusty, but my technical know-how in the online world was nowhere.
During those midnight moments of panic, I would remind myself that my Husband was with me, right beside me, holding me, providing for me, walking with me, step by step. I wasn’t alone, and no matter how bleak it looked, He had a plan. My Redeemer would redeem the devastation of the divorce, and He would make up to me the years that the swarming locust has eaten. (Joel 2:25)
“And you shall have plenty to eat and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
Then My people will never be put to shame.” (Joel 2:26)
Now, a little over a year later, the verse above is truly my story. We have had plenty to eat, and we have been satisfied. My wonderful Husband has dealt wondrously with us. He has blessed me with a growing freelance writing business that allows me to work from home, so I’m here when my kids arrive after school. He’s given me truly lovely clients to work with. He has been tending to my heart, and helping me to forgive and forget the painful aspects of my marriage, and my ex-husband and I just took our two children out for their birthday dinner on Wednesday. My oldest daughter, who plays softball and has been hoping to be recruited onto a softball team at a D-1 college is now being recruited by West Point…West Point Military Academy, one of the top colleges in the nation! Can you imagine? My youngest daughter, who last year was brand new to her middle school because we’d moved to a different town, was given the “ACE” award at the end of the year. The “ACE” award is only given to 2 kids from each grade–one boy, one girl–and they are nominated by their teachers for overall excellence.
If it sounds like I’m bragging, it is simply praise to our glorious God, my marvelous Husband and Redeemer, who has blessed us and sustained us, and set our feet on a broad and peaceful place. And more than that, He has been a Husband unlike any other. He’s always available to listen to me. He speaks to me, and has guided me through many decisions, both financial and otherwise, this year. He has sheltered and protected us and kept us wonderfully healthy.
And even when my two daughters were making a long drive home from visiting their grandparents a few months ago, He kept them from getting into a terrible accident with a trailer on the freeway. From the girls’ reports, they were swerving and nearly out of control when a truck with a trailer began to move over into their lane, and both girls had no idea how they didn’t hit either the middle concrete barrier on the freeway or the truck and trailer. The only evidence that anything had happened were some flat spots on the tires where my daughter had thrown on the brakes at 70 mph. I had prayed over them when they left for that trip, and my Husband made sure that they arrived home safely.
There are many other blessings I could report, but let me say simply this. God is the best Husband anyone, man or woman, could ever have. He is all we need, because when we have Him, we are given everything we need. We can walk on water, as long as He is our destination.