One of the hardest things about the Christian walk is faith, and it is particularly hard as a woman when you have left your husband and are moving into your new life, and trying to find your way. It’s like walking through a pitch-black room, trying to find the door.
I began my single life at a little cabin we had invested in, in a quaint little tourist town. I had decided to move there, because the cabin and the town were comfortable to me, and reminded me of the small town I grew up in. However, because it was two hours away from my previous home, my ex-husband wasn’t the slightest bit happy about his children being so far away, and understandably so. But at that point in time, I desperately needed something familiar where I could begin anew. However, God had other plans.
It was early August and I had moved all of our stuff up there, and had put nearly everything away. My children had gone on vacation with their dad, and I was waiting for them to return. Then came the phone call that changed the course of our lives.
My oldest daughter played softball throughout most of her childhood and fully intended to play softball for a D-1 college. It was imperative, then, that she play on a highly-respected select softball team through high school, so that the college recruiters would be able to see her at recruiting tournaments. Just prior to me moving everything up to the cabin, she had tried out for one of the top teams in the state. I had secretly hoped she wouldn’t get chosen for the team, because it was an hour south of the home I had just moved out of, so it would be a 3-hour trek from the cabin to get to her practice…3 times a week.
So when the call came that afternoon and my daughter told me she’d been accepted onto the team, my heart sank. I knew it simply wasn’t feasible to live at the cabin and keep her on the team. I went to bed that night sick to my stomach, not knowing where to go from there. I tossed and turned all night, praying continually, so uncertain and afraid. This would mean I would have to find a house somewhere else. How was I to do that? How was I to afford it? Where were we to go? We had to move quickly because the girls would be starting school in less than a month. I didn’t want to stay in the same town we’d lived in for 15 years. I didn’t want to live with the scarlet letter of a divorce on my chest around those who had known me as part of a couple. I wanted to start anew.
After one of the most grueling nights of my life, I got up the next morning, and the thought occurred to me–a directive from God, actually–go south toward where my daughter’s softball organization was based. And with that directive, a shred of hope entered my consciousness. That day, I drove the 2 hours to my former house, picked up my girls, and headed south to explore this new territory. We were all very excited to see our prospective new town–although it was only an hour south of my former home, I’d never been there–and when we drove for the first time up the highway to the top of the hill that is the entrance to our town, there in front of us was Mt. Rainier, looming so large and stunningly beautiful that we thought we could surely touch it. I will never forget that moment.
The next day, my realtor and long-time friend came down with us to look at homes. We looked at rentals and homes to purchase. Still, I had no clue where God was leading us, but moment by moment, hour by hour, a “peace unlike the world gives” began to settle over me. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. That night, my youngest daughter asked me, “Where are we going to live, Mom?” And I said, “I have no idea, but God does.” She looked at my strange, otherwordly expression. “Are you OK, Mom?” She was used to me being stressed out in just such a situation, but the peace I had was so tangible, it must have been a shock to her system. “Yep, absolutely,” I replied.
Within a week of setting eyes on our new town, we had found a house to buy. God made it clear through a set of circumstances that this house was “the one” and He provided the means to buy it. His hand in our lives was so evident that I felt as though I had a husband who was guiding me through, shielding us, caring for us, providing for us. And indeed I did.
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)
Faith in God, our husband, grows stronger and more quickly when we go through the trials of adversity. With each step we take out into the unknown, trusting He will be there to uphold us, we find that He meets us every step of the way. During the first six months in our new home, I would often wake up in the middle of the night with a sense of panic, my heart pounding, realizing that it wasn’t a dream–I had actually left my husband, bought a house, and embarked on a new life in a new town, with literally no one to hold my hand or help me except my heavenly Husband. It felt very much like walking out on the water toward Jesus, only to look down and realize I was midway between Him and the boat, with nothing but crashing waves and an ocean of water beneath me. But then I would look back and recall every step taken, every move of God in my life, and know that He was with us, that I would not drown, and that I could sleep peacefully.
It’s nearly two years later, and I can testify that God is FAITHFUL. He can be trusted. You can step out onto the water toward Jesus, and it will be firm enough to stand. And He will guide you, if you put Him first and pray continually for His help. Glory to His wonderful name.