Over the months that my kids were writing the letters I have put on this blog, they were seeing their dad with opened eyes. I had provided a buffer between them and him throughout their lives in a way that none of us realized, until I couldn’t be there all the time. You can see it in their words – the giant ripped a mask off and exposed himself completely to them in a terrifying way.
Although he had let his mask slip briefly at different times throughout the years, he had done so in ways that could be minimized or sometimes denied. Until now.
The kids begged him to let them stay with me full time – over and over they pleaded. But he told them their feelings didn’t matter. He said he was the Father; they were going to obey him and stop being disrespectful and rebellious children. He prayed out loud for God to “convict” them about their sinfulness. He said he wanted his time with them.
But of course it wasn’t about his time with them.
It wasn’t about their obedience or respectfulness toward him.
It was about his power and control over them, and over me. He could hurt me by hurting our children.
As the weeks passed, they felt desperate many, many times. They thought they couldn’t last any longer with the custodial arrangement of having to be with him – separated from me most nights and every other weekend. I kept reminding them that God knew what they could endure. He heard their cries of pain and had not forgotten them. I couldn’t tell them when it would happen, or how, but I could tell them with assurance that God was going to deliver them from the situation. It would not last forever.
Trust Him. Hold on. I’ll be there in the morning.
And I had to do the same things I was telling them. I had to trust that God had not forgotten my children and their pain. He was strengthening them with His Spirit every day, though they were hurting terribly, and He was giving them the ability to keep going. They were learning to be patient in affliction by having to go on with normal things like school and activities, with breaking hearts and invisible wounds, trusting that this too would pass. Sometimes they wanted to die. But they didn’t give up.
Suddenly in one day – God delivered them from the giant. And although it wasn’t the way any of us expected, or wanted, – at last they were free of him.
They can look back now to that time, not long ago, and wonder how they made it. How they kept from going crazy, or from hurting themselves. And they realize it wasn’t their ability or strength that got them through that horrible time, it was God.
He is real.
He knows your situation. He knows how much you are hurting and how confused or desperate you might feel at times. He is with you and will strengthen you. He believes you and you matter very much to Him. Don’t give up. Trust Him – and keep doing whatever you need to do to get through the hard things in your life, believing He will deliver you at the perfect time. He has not forgotten you. He will never leave you.