It was 2002 and I unexpectedly found myself as a single mom.
We had been left behind for someone else.
I had just given birth earlier that year to our second child, Hope.
Her older sister’s middle name is Faith.
Faith and Hope.
Despite those powerful name reminders, I walked away and gave up on God for many months because of the pain and betrayal I felt.
I yelled at God, shook my fist at the sky, and questioned everything I had ever believed.
My parents divorced when I was five and I resented then a long time for it. The one thing I said growing up, from a very early age, is that I would never get a divorce. I would never hurt my children the way they hurt me.
But, it happened anyway.
I realized later (much later) that this excruciating process was necessary because when I questioned my faith, I realized I’d never actually had a personal relationship with Christ.
I had coasted through church life out of routine and duty for 26 years – a cultural, southern Christian.
Like the process to refine gold and silver, when metal must be super heated, to the point of melting in order to bring out the impurities – I was in the fire.
My heart burned, but something unexpected was happening.
- Proverbs 35:4 – Take away the dross from the silver, and there comes out a vessel for the silversmith.
- Proverbs 17:3 – The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests hearts.
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory (1 Peter 1:4-6).
The girls and I eventually started attending a new church as the Lord began to refine me.
Morgan Faith (age 5), came out of Hunter Street Church one day and handed me a picture she drew in Sunday School.
It was a large, black triangle with a stick figure on the side.
The stick figure had dark hair and blue eyes (just like me!) and I asked Morgan what it was.
It’s you, Mommy! You’re going up a mountain.”
I asked, “Why am I going up a mountain?”
Morgan replied, “So you can see all the beautiful things at the top.” ☀️
I stopped walking.
Tears filled my eyes as my Lord used her innocent words and drawing to speak directly to my heart.
Yes, I was going up a mountain.
It was so hard, but there would be beautiful things at the top.
The Lord had promised.
I said, “Jesus talks to you, doesn’t He?”
She giggled, “Yes, He tells me I am sweet.”
That girl. ❤️ She was right.
I climbed the mountain.
It was so hard.
And it was so beautiful.
To my surprise (again), there was actually a whole range of mountains ahead of me, but here I am, in 2018, loving Jesus more than I ever thought possible.
I’m actually thankful for the valleys (and one broken leg) that now allow me to encourage other women of the unfailing and precious love of Christ.
The post above was written in 2011, almost ten years after that first, terrible mountain.
Part 2: The Rings
Part 3 was written in June 2018: Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Don’t Divorce Mother’s Day: Dear Hallmark
Me, Morgan Faith, Melody Hope & Big Daddy 💗
Copyright © 2011 Keysha Thomaston.
IF YOU WANT ME TO
HILLS AND VALLEYS
IF I TOLD YOU MY STORY
To the women reading this in 2018 (please listen to the Ginny Owens song I linked above):
I have to confess something.
When I see your posts where you’re agonizing over divorce, I’m secretly hoping and praying a miracle will happen and the cloud of confusion, pain and deceit over your families is somehow lifted.
I think I pray that for you because I’ve seen God do it for others, and I know that feeling of watching your children walk away from you weekend after weekend.
“Not fair,” I would tell myself so many times
I’ve felt guilty. I’ve wondered if I’m an adulterer. I’ve researched Hebrew and Greek text to see what God really said about divorce.
I still believe it should be avoided at any cost.
He’s still a God of redemption, but I had to reach rock-bottom and finally admit to my own sins and shortcomings to gain the vision I needed.
My husband of now 14 years has just adopted my oldest daughter.
It might not be quite the same as the kinsman redeemer story in Ruth, but that’s what it feels like to me.
I guess what I’m trying to say is…that I hope you are spared from divorce. If you aren’t – I’m one that made it through and I promise, it is going to be okay.
You will be amazed how Jesus can lift that cloak of heaviness, despair and betrayal and replace it with a garment of praise.
I did not stay close to Jesus through it all in the beginning, and things were a hundred times worse (emotionally) when I did that.
Maybe that’s why I’m here, like in Back To The Future, I have the “what not to do” handbook.
Please do not leave the foot of the throne. No matter how often “unfair” is whispered to you by satan. The cross wasn’t fair either.
We live in a broken world, but our precious Savior longs to put the pieces back together.
You must not listen to the world and “think of yourself.”
Think of Jesus.
Think of Abraham and Isaac at that altar.
Think of Hannah and Samuel.
Think of Hosea and Gomer.
Think of Joseph and his brothers.
What someone has intended for evil, God can use for good.
It does not feel like it now, but Joseph didn’t feel that way in that pit they threw him in, or when he was falsely accused and put in prison.
–hang on to the hem of His robe–
What is God doing with your story that will ultimately bring glory to His kingdom.
Who might be saved by your supernatural, not-of-this-world responses to evil?
The peace and answers you seek will be definitely found there… at His feet, in His arms, and in His perfect timing.
Love in Christ.
Pray for spirit eyes, like Elisha did for his servant. The army of the Lord is all around you.