Making It Through
The Lord has been with me through three losses which greatly impacted my life. Faith in the Lord has helped me to overcome hurt, disappointment, and the feeling of failure.
One such ordeal was when my three grandchildren were taken away from me.
They had been living with me because their father was in prison and their mother had died after battling breast cancer. I had a notarized power of attorney legalizing my care for them.
One morning after I sent them off to school, their mother's sister (their aunt) and her fiancé went to court and obtained an ex-parte court order that stated I was an unfit grandmother which was very untrue. The judge granted them custody and gave them a court order allowing them to take them out of school with a sheriff's escort. The school had to release them. This aunt had only known the older of the three children - a girl 14 years old who refused to go with them so she was returned to me. I was unable to even say good-bye to the other two before they were taken to live in Louisiana. I cried and prayed day in and day out seeking the Lord's help.
I travelled back and forth between Florida and Baton Rouge, Louisiana to be able to see the children. I spent lots of money on traveling, lawyers, courts, and counseling. I felt so helpless, so useless, like I was a failure. I thought I would lose my mind and, perhaps, not be able to endure it. I would give all my problems to God, but then I would take them back. I did this many times. Finally I asked God, "Why me?" and I heard his answer, "Why not you?" I had forgotten He was still present. I started to realize God was in the midst of what was going on and knew what was going to happen before I did. I began to realize the truth that this was the way because He had allowed it. I was able to stop the tears when I recognized that God had me in His hands. I have not seen or heard from my grandchildren in almost 9 years, but I know that God keeps them safe and sound. And they will find me when God says it's time.
My second trial came when my longtime and dear friend was snatched away from me. After my husband had died and Otis had divorced his wife, we began to communicate often with one another. He lived in Charleston, South Carolina and I lived in Winter Park, Florida. I would visit him there from time to time. Although neither one of us had any desire to get married, we were friends for many years. In time he began to show signs of dementia. I was able to help him keep track of his business affairs. He actually even mentioned the possibility of marriage at that time. His daughter became fearful that her father would be giving me too much control over his life. For this reason, she formulated a plan to keep us from being in contact with one another. She took his cellphone away - telling him he had lost it. She then sent him to live with people in New York who were strangers to him. He was, however, able to sneak out and call me. We both missed the companionship we had shared for so long. Once he even ran away for days, but, Praise God, he was found! He loved the Lord with all his heart, and he had remained in His care. After all this, I came to realize that God was still in charge no matter how hurt or disappointed I was. I began to feel the Lord's presence - knowing he was still with me. I went through and conquered this storm with the help of God once again.
The third and last episode was very different. I now trusted right away in God providing needed strength and His knowing the plans for me. I no longer asked why. Due to financial problems, I had to leave my home of 25 years. However, having to relocate was hard since I had felt very secure and comfortable with my life the way it was. Even so, I passed through this happening without falling apart - believing it was all for good even if I did not understand. I have since come to recognize that God did not say yes to this, but did let it happen - because it was a different life I was to live. I had to give up some independence in order to become more humble as we are supposed to be. Since my relocation, I am now aware that there was a good purpose in all of this.
These occurrences in my life have helped me to learn these lessons.
Put God first in your life and do not lean unto your own understanding.
Trust in the Lord always.