So this is post is going to be a hard one. This trial has shaped my life in so many ways and I think about it probably at least once a day. I hope you find encouragement in this and it will be a blessing to those of you who are struggling right now. I did not write this to be disrespectful to my father; I wrote this because of its impact on my life. If I ignored this trial you would only get a portion of my life. I want to be honest with you, the reader.
Just a little back story first before we get to the ‘fun’ part. So I had a wonderful childhood growing up; I was blissfully unaware. My mom and dad loved me very much and were great parents. But as I grew older, I started seeing things in my parent’s marriage that just seemed off. Every day my dad would come home, eat dinner with us, and then promptly sit on the couch and watch TV in a stupor. I can remember my mom coming home after working 8 hours to making dinner, cleaning up, and constantly being busy.
This ‘normal’ really messed with my thinking of marriage. I would often think to myself, “If THIS is what marriage is like, why would I ever want to get married?” This life that I was looking at was not biblical, but that’s another blog post. So as life went on it got worse and worse, until my mom finally kicked my dad out of the house for the first time. I had been pretty much unaware up until this point. I had just started dating my future husband, Karl and this time was a defining point in our relationship. So I guess I haven’t mentioned this yet, but the reasoning behind my mom’s actions were completely just and godly. My father had made the choice to be unfaithful to her. Throughout their entire dating and married life, my father habitually cheated on her. After this entire ordeal, he admitted to me that he never loved her and had simply married her for the attention. Hearing this as their child was extremely devitalizing.
Her kicking him out only lasted a couple of days. He came back in tears telling me how sorry he was and how he was going to change. This time I chose to believe him. Things started to get better and his actions were started to change. But like all acts, they start to fade after a while. Things started to go back to the way they were and I could tell my dad was falling back into his habitual sin. During my senior year of high school was when everything ‘exploded.’ I was on the treadmill and I was using the family IPad. This Ipad was connected to dad’s phone so I could see all of his text messages. And as I was using the Ipad, messages from an unknown number kept popping up so I decided to click on it and see who they were coming from. What I unknowingly clicked on was an active relationship between my father and another man. I started reading the conversation and I knew I had found something life-changing.
All of these text messages were sexually explicit and sinful. My mom was upstairs making dinner for my dad as I found these so I called for her to come downstairs. I showed her the messages and she immediately took screenshots of them and sent them to her phone. These messages were the straw that broke the camel’s back. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do anything at that moment, my dad was supposed to be home from work in 15 minutes and they were having company over that night. So my mom pretended that she was unaware that entire night. I couldn’t imagine the strength that it took for her to do that. After I found those text messages I immediately went to a friend’s dorm. I couldn’t stand to face my dad, not yet at least. That night was one of the longest nights of my life.
After that night my mom permanently kicked my dad out. My dad went to stay with one of his partners. The next day my mom filed for divorce and they put our house on the market.
My mom and I packed up our things and moved into an apartment until the house was sold and we were back on our feet. Even through all this mess, God’s work was still evident. If my dad didn’t force my mom to work we wouldn’t have been able to afford an apartment and my schooling. Life went on; my mom, only through God’s power, was able to move on and start a new life.
Throughout all of this, our church body was our greatest blessing. They ministered to us in so many ways, but it was still incredibly difficult. There were many days my mom would come home from work crying, but in all of this God was working amazing things. My dad and his sin was an incredible burden on her life and I could see an immediate sense of rest in her eyes. This might have been the start of my greatest trial, but it was the end of hers.
I continued to have a relationship with my father up until December 2016. He never let go of his habitual sin and there were many indicators that he had never had life-altering salvation. The biggest indicator I had was his lack of spiritual growth. I was talking to him about his spiritual life and I asked him, “How would you define your spiritual growth?” He responded with one word, “stagnant.” So after a lot of crying and deliberation, I decided it was best to not have a relationship with him. I was getting married that January and I couldn’t have his poisonous influence in my life anymore. In all of this, my heart was heavy; I knew this decision was incredibly important. Even through this, I had an incredible peace that I could only define as God’s work in my life.
Through all of this, my church body and my friends were some of my greatest blessings. Looking back I can see God ministering to me through my friends and my church family. I can see God working in my life and the lives of many around me. This trial grew me more than anything else and I attribute much of my spiritual growth to this. My trial made me grow more than I had ever known possible. I am so thankful for this trial. So that’s why I titled this the way I did. Without this incredible sorrow, I wouldn’t have been able to be the wife I needed to be. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
I am still working on forgiving my father for his sin, and I continue to pray for his salvation. I know God can work miracles in people’s lives; He worked a miracle in mine. I’m planning on writing another post focusing on the blessings and aftermath of this trial. I hope that my past encourages you. Through all of this God is sovereign and He knows exactly what he is doing. We can trust Him and find solace in His word. I could never have survived this trial if it wasn’t for God’s merciful work in my life. He alone is the reason I am the person I am today. Even if there is no light at the end of the tunnel He is there guiding our path through every step. This realization is my greatest blessing.
Redeemed By the King