Getting Through the Valleys

Recently, my wife and I became empty nesters when the last of our three children moved out on her own.  As a result, we often reflect back on the years we were all in the same house and the experiences we had with the kids.  I brought a boy into the marriage and she brought a boy and a girl.  Now, after our nine years of marriage, we could not be prouder of all three.  They’re all in their 20’s and each is making their own way in life.  One is getting married.  Two are in video and photography.  One works at a hospital while going to school.  But they all look to do whatever God has called them to do.

One marriage is a rarity these days.  God hates divorce.  But, it still happens with couples and  I’m no exception.  After 15 years, my son’s mother and I ended our marriage when he was only 7 years old.  To this day, there are still moments when I can get mad at myself for it happening and what my son must have gone through.  Don’t misunderstand… I am VERY much in love with my wife now and I thank God that He brought the two of us together after broken relationships.  But, God’s plan was NOT for me and my first wife to get divorced.  However, ONLY God can take a Plan B and make it better than His Plan A ever was.  That’s impossible for me to wrap my mind around.

Getting back to my son… he was the only child of mine and his mother’s and had accepted Christ as savior at the age of 6.  He spent time equally between the two of us during and following the divorce.  His world was ripped apart from what he had once known.  As a young child, he could not understand why this was happening.  He had to begin sharing his parents with strangers as we both began dating.  Eventually, he became part of a blended family with a new step-sister, step-brother, and step-mother when I remarried.

It was difficult at first.  Being an only child he was not used to sharing.  For that matter, neither was I.  Many times it became me and my son versus my new wife and her  son and daughter… after-all, blood sticks together.  We all had lessons to learn.

When he got older and graduated from high school, the next day he moved into his own apartment, had a job at a big grocery chain in the region, and began attending college to work toward a degree in photography.  At one point during college, he lived with his grandparents, drove an hour in the morning to school in another city, drove a half hour back to work his full-time job after school, got off work at 11:00 PM, drove to his grandparents, and would get up at 6:00 AM just to do it all over again.  At the time, he was not looking to God for guidance, but God kept watch over him and never left.

He is now a full-time production assistant of a church and is engaged to a wonderful Christian woman.  With both his job and his fiancée, it was obvious that God’s hand was directing and orchestrating everything just as He has throughout every new stage of my son’s life… even if he was not looking for God’s help at the time.  My son and his fiancée keep their eyes focused on Him.  Now, he is a man that loves God and is always seeking His guidance.

My parents have been together over 60 years. So I don’t have a frame of reference to know what my son has gone through. However, my wife and I never have quit praying for all three of the kids over the years.

Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”.  I thank God that even with everything my son has experienced and that thru the years he may not have been turning to Him, he has begun to seek and follow after Him.  My wife reminded me that Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God”.  That is certainly the case with my son.  With all that satan threw at him over the years and meant for evil, God took all those pieces of my son’s life and turned them around for good.

I pray that we all keep our vision focused on God and His purpose for us.  When we do, He will walk with us through the valleys to the other side.  And the fulfillment we have afterwards is like none other.

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