Friday, February 20, 2009

Chapter 1: In the Beginning

From Amazing Journey; Amazing Grace

I never intended my marriage to end like it did. But in 1992, there I was, single—whether I liked it or not. It was a title I did not enjoy. I avoided bringing attention to my status, quietly checking the box marked “Ms” only when I had to. I choked on the ‘D’ word. It sounded too much like ‘failure.’

I had always thought our marriage would last like our parents’ marriages. Both had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversaries just a few years earlier. Ours barely made it past 25. I would like to say it was my husband’s fault, but that wouldn’t be fair. After all, “it takes two to tango,” or not.

My first night alone in our bed was the worst. I felt so alone. I buried my head in my pillow and let it all out—my sorrow, my disappointment, my heartache—let it all out with gut-wrenching sobs. I finally fell asleep from emotional exhaustion.

The next morning I awoke feeling small and vulnerable. “Oh God,” I prayed, “It’s just you and me now, and I need your help very much.”

I began to worry. How would I pay for a double-mortgaged home? I only had a part time job. Obviously, I would need to work full time. But how could I give up a job I really loved? How could I give up working for the best boss I’d ever had? That prospect filled my soul with sadness. It brought fresh tears to my puffy eyes.

When our self-sufficiency is shaky at best, it is much easier to turn to God. I started every morning with prayer and a chapter from the Bible. In His tenderness and grace, God directed me to the Bible verses that held His answers to my prayers. It soon became food for my soul and I found great comfort in His spiritual nourishment. For example, when I started worrying too much, God gave me these verses:
Philippians 4:6, 7
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

Learning to let go, to relax, to take my burdens to the Lord and leave them there, was not easy. It was literally a ‘two-steps-forward, one-step backward’ kind of faith.

Then the idea came to me. Maybe I could work two part time jobs. Yes, that must be the solution! So, I started looking at job postings in the classified ads. Nothing. Nothing with flexible hours. Nothing within close proximity to the job I loved.

In spite of all the verses of encouragement, discouragement set in. The facts were plain and simple. I needed a full time job and I soon found a position that looked promising. I made an appointment for that Thursday. But on Wednesday morning, sadness settled in. I prayed a simple, straight-from-my-heart prayer. “Oh, God, I really don’t want to give up my part-time job that I love so much, but if this full time position is your will, then I will do it.” And I meant it.

I had not said anything to my boss about my failed marriage. He was like a father to me and I didn’t want him to worry. I also didn’t want him to know about my pending job interview. Not yet! So that Wednesday morning, I put a smile on my face and went about my work as usual.

About mid-morning, my boss quietly laid down his pen, leaned back in his chair, turned to me and made a statement that left me in tears.

To be continued.

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