by Patricia Davis
I am an optimistic person; bad stuff happens but I get right back up and keep going. I was never down for long until that day in December 2010. It was the first time I thought I might not be able to get up. My name is Patricia, and I am divorced, single mom of three beautiful kids.
That December day my world was shaken. I was pleading with God to give me answers, help me understand, explain to me what on earth I was suppose to do now that I wasn’t a wife, and give me words so I could give my kids a reasonable explanation why their father wasn’t coming home.
One day my son was watching the football movie “Facing the Giants.” In the movie, the pastor is talking to the coach about two farmers who were praying for rain. One just prayed, but the other prayed and also went out to prepare his fields for rain. The pastor then asked which one of these farmers had crops that year, and the coach answered the one that prepared for rain. I sat there thinking, “Okay, God, I am going walk in faith and I know you will provide,” but I still had to go and prepare for God’s blessing.
One of my first steps in preparation was to tithe and give God the first 10 percent of my income. When divorce happens, every part of your secure world gets shaken and the area that scared me the most was finances. So, instead of worrying I just handed it over to God. I promised him I would do my part and I sat back and watched him preform miracles. I could write an entire blog post on just His financial blessing in my life, like selling a house after only two months on the market, finding a rental house I never thought I could afford and making it not only affordable, but right next door to a dear friend! When the man I had trusted to take care of me didn’t, God stepped in. I acted in obedience and God blessed and blessed and blessed me. I challenge you to do the same.
Next step was to find a small group/accountability partners. Take it from me, it doesn’t work on your own. I am so grateful to God that He strategically placed amazing women in my life with whom I could throw my grown-up tantrums and cry about this not being fair, but who would speak God’s truth to me in love.
One day, almost a year since my divorce, one of these women took me out for coffee. I remember her asking me how much longer I was going to carry the burden of my divorce. I simply answered, “I don’t know. Maybe until the one year mark?” She responded, “Really? You are going to carry this for two more months?” I was tired, she saw my fatigue and she challenged me. Her words were harsh, but I knew her words were God’s words. He wanted me to release the burden of my divorce. That evening I began the process of forgiving myself and opening the door for God to do his will in my life. There is no way I could have done that without the support and counsel of godly friends.
In preparing, I had to figure out who I was. I remember having to fill out a form. I must have read “Single, Married, Divorced,” a million times. The voice in my head was screaming, “Just PICK ONE!” I didn’t want to be divorced, but I was. But I’ve learned being divorced is not what defines me. I heard Beth Moore say, “You cannot amputate your history from your destiny because that’s what redemption is.” I had to read it over and over to understand it, but it finally clicked. I can’t erase my past because that is what saved me! I always go back to Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.”
The last but very important preparation step was getting my kids under the umbrella. Earlier this month, Debbie Altman wrote about the Truth Behind Divorce. The statistics in her story about kids from divorced homes are scary! When I read her post my heart broke for my kids, but I also understood that does not have to be my children’s future. The number one thing I do is PRAY! I mostly pray that God will make up the difference when I fail. I pray for God to protect their hearts, ears, eyes and mind. I pray for God to bring strong men and women of God in their lives when they need it. I pray they will find it in their hearts to forgive. I pray they constantly seek God’s love because the world’s love has already proven to disappoint. I pray for God’s will in their lives. I read God’s word to them. I tell them every day that they are the son and daughter of the KING! Just ask them who they are and they will say, “I am the daughter of the King! I am the son of the King!” Reality is, I made mistakes and I will make more mistakes, but God’s word will never fail them. If they can get that now, then the sky is the limit for what God can do in their little lives!
When I was at my lowest, I cried out to God. He picked me up, carried me, held me and walked me through all of the steps I needed to do to prepare for the rain. As a result, I am a much stronger person, mom, daughter, sister and friend, and I have seen God’s abundant blessing overflow in my life.
If you are in a similar situation, I pray my story brings you hope. May you find peace beyond all understanding as God walks with you through the storm.