It was a chapter that I never would’ve written for myself. The chapter in which I suddenly became a single mom and entered into a long season of indescribable grief and pain. The chapter where I shed more tears than I thought humanly possible. A chapter where I often found it difficult to see hope in the future and I wondered if things would ever get better. A chapter that lasted far too long.
However, even in the midst of my deep darkness, God never left my side. Psalm 139:9-12 says,
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you, the night is bright as the day; for darkness is as light with you.”
Even in those dark days, God’s light shone through. Sometimes, it was a moment where all of the kids were playing and getting along. Sometimes, it was the laughter of a child or an impromptu, unsolicited “I love you” from one of them. Sometimes, it was something life-altering.
Three years ago, I met an amazing man. He didn’t run away when he learned I had four kids. He didn’t run away when I kept struggling with depression. He didn’t run away when my kids were terrible or threw fits or were exhausting. Our dating relationship was unconventional to say the least. (But then again, when does dating a widow with kids ever look normal?) We got to know each other over the phone and at soccer practices and baseball games and ballet classes. We were able to take the kids to do fun things that I wouldn’t have been able to manage on my own. After a long journey, we were finally able to get married last month. I walked down the aisle to the hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness. We had Lamentations 3:22-23 framed at our wedding. Don’t miss this – this profound declaration of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness is found in a book of mourning and lament. It’s in the dark seasons of our life where we can often see God’s faithfulness more clearly than in the seasons of abundance.
I don’t know what the Lord has in store for us, but I’m excited to see what the future holds. It’s a miracle to be loved again and to have someone to love and to have a partner in raising my kids to follow Christ. I pray that you find some hope and encouragement from my story. Life won’t be this hard forever. The place where you are now is not where you will stay. Our God is the God of hope and the God that will never ever leave you. He is the God of new beginnings.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23