Sixteen years ago on a cold and snowy Monday morning, I found myself sitting in a lawyer’s office as I filed for a divorce.
My whole life, I had been taught that marriage was forever, yet here I nervously sat as my dream of an eternal family was shattered. Never in my entire life did I think for a second that I’d be in this situation. My husband had walked out the day before, leaving me with our two beautiful little girls to raise on my own. I knew that he wouldn’t be coming back.
The fear of what was to come rested heavily on my shoulders. I barely had a place to live, much less an income. I was a stay-at-home mom and my husband was between jobs, and the house we were renting was up for sale. As I sat in the office filling out paperwork, reality began to sink in as I started to comprehend the task at hand and the realization that I’d be a single mother. I definitely wasn’t prepared for such a huge decision and trial. This was something that happened to other people, not to me! And definitely not at the young age of 25.
After I finished at the lawyer’s office, I returned home to the tiny house that I was renting — and although my children were home and my brother and his wife were there, the house felt cold and empty. I wanted to go into my bedroom and throw myself onto my bed and just cry, mourning the end of my marriage. With a lump in my throat, I fought back tears. I knew I had to remain strong, if not for myself, then for my children. But the tears were somehow saved for the lonely nights that I knew were ahead. Somewhere in me, I knew had to muster up the courage to face this trial head-on. My children needed a stable home and reliable mother to raise them. I would have to play both roles of a mother and a father, and it terrified me!
As I went to bed that night, I prayed to God to help me find the strength I needed to endure this trial and the road that lay ahead. I had never felt so uneasy before in any decision I’d made, or so uncertain of what the future held. The next morning, I woke up with a clear mind and understanding of what I needed to do to take care of my family. That day I walked into Workforce Services and began looking for a job, returning each day until I found employment. Little by little, things came together and pieces began to fall into place.
And although things started to fall into place, each day seemed to bring on a new challenge: sick kids, a broken-down car, a furnace that wouldn’t kick on, frozen pipes, lack of a babysitter, and unreliable child support. As I faced each challenge, I found myself praying for help often. I prayed more than I had ever prayed before. I prayed for the courage to face this new trial and the strength to endure each new challenge that came with it. I found that as I prayed for this blessing, I was freed from each worry as I found the confidence in myself to press forward.
At the beginning of my divorce, I felt the weight of my decisions weighing heavily on my mind and shoulders. My choice to get a divorce impacted not only my ex-husband and me, but our children as well. This added to the weight of my decision. But as I prayed, I learned to trust God a little more with each prayer. And slowly, and with each new challenge, He lifted the weight from my shoulders and answered my prayers, even though the trial was a result of my choice to get a divorce.
With each new challenge, I saw a miracle unfold. My daughters only seemed to get sick on my days off. My dad happened to be in the area when my car broke down. I had an understanding landlord that happily thawed my pipes and never complained about the extra help that was needed. Somehow the money was always there to pay bills despite unreliable child support payments. And when the house I was renting sold, it was bought by a buyer from out of state. After it sold, I found out that the buyer was my cousin who had been in town for his dad’s wedding when he saw and purchased the house. I was able to stay in the house and didn’t need to find a new place to live! My uncle also became my landlord. With each miracle, a weight lifted from my shoulders!
Alma 36:3 reads:
“… for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.”
Although the miracles that I received may seem small, they were huge to me! Each answer to my prayers taught me to trust God a little more each day. As I learned to trust Him, my trials carried less weight and my worries were eased. With each prayer (and with the more trust I placed in God), I felt the weight of my burdens lifted as He supported me in my trials.
Marie Yvonne is a motivational and devotional speaker for teens and young adults. In her devotionals, she shares her personal testimony and journey of learning to accept herself as God created her. Her journey can also be found on social media and her personal blog and website, TheConfidenceToShine.com.