I married young, at age 16. The 1st fifteen years of our marriage, I was a stay-at home wife/mom. Eventually, as a result of numerous circumstances, I began to look for an escape route for myself and my 3 sons. Up to this point, I was a typical battered woman. I did what my husband said, when he said to do it. Myself and my children were totally dependent upon him. I lived a very sheltered and isolated life, and truly believed that the way I was living was my lot in life. I did not know that being ‘cornered’ in rooms, covering for my husband’s violence, going to my room and staying there when told to do so was not ‘normal’. I truly believed I was being a good obedient wife. If I were to expose what my husband was really like by speaking to anyone about how he behaved ‘behind closed doors’, it would be an act of betrayal and total disrespect toward him.
I was a really good ‘secret keeper’.
After all, God’s Word says that ‘Love covers a multitude of sins’ (1 Pet. 4:8). The Church we attended stressed the submission and obedience of the ‘little woman’. It was for the protection of the ‘weaker’ vessel. I didn’t know at the time that Scriptures are often taken out of context and twisted to suit the hidden agendas of a few.
Today, I had a brief conversation with a woman who recently lost her husband. She, too, had been a wife that totally depended on her husband to ‘fix’ everything. Now her husband was gone and things began to happen like her dishwasher breaking down, among other things. Such tasks can be overwhelming when for years they were always addressed and taken care of by another. Once I was divorced after 24 years, I became the sole provider. I had 4 children who were now totally dependent on me. When the garbage disposal broke on Thanksgiving and I had a sink and counter full of dishes, I was utterly helpless. When the furnace broke at Christmas and we had no heat, it was up to me to figure out a way to keep us all from freezing. When the pipe under the sink broke after an Easter Dinner and again dishes were piled up everywhere, the responsibility fell on my shoulders. When the toilet downstairs became plugged, most likely because someone threw something down there they shouldn’t have, it was up to me to get it fixed. I didn’t have the finances to hire folks to make such repairs. I was working 60-70 hours a week simply to pay the bills and keep the roof over our heads.
At times, fear consumed me.
The day the toilet became plugged, I knew enough to know that it had to be ‘snaked’ out. So, I went to the local rental store about 15 minutes from our home to rent a ‘snake’. The young men working behind the counter were hesitant to rent the machine to me. I had so many questions as to how to operate it, that it was quite obvious I was completely inexperienced. The way they looked at one another made it apparent that they had apprehension in allowing me to exit their store with this piece of equipment. However, I finally persuaded them to do so.
Upon returning home, my son who passed away was the only one there. So, I told him of what I was about to do and that I needed him to ‘stand-by’. The only thing that kept running through my head is that water and electricity do not go together. Yet, here I was planning on sticking an electrical tool into a bowl of water. The plug in the bathroom was attached to the light fixture so if the light switch was turned off, the power would be, as well. I then instructed my son to put his hand on the light switch and if he noticed anything such as me shaking, turning colors, passing out, etc., to immediately flip the switch. This was truly a daunting task for me and so I said a prayer and pushed the button.
Lo and behold, it worked.
Within an hour, I was back at the store returning the equipment. The two young men were stunned when I walked back into their store…smiling. It was as if they had seen a ghost. Surely, they had not expected to see me back…especially so soon.
Those years were filled with trepidation and what appeared to be insurmountable challenges. They were years in which I had to become totally dependent upon my God simply to survive.
5 For your Maker is your husband—
the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
he is called the God of all the earth.
In hindsight, I am very grateful for such times. I learned that even when I lacked Faith and Trust, God remained Faithful (2 Tim. 2:13). Is. 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
2 Corinthians 12:
10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I learned to live by Faith. I learned that God’s Grace and Mercy are always sufficient (2 Cor. 12:19).
Corrie’s Father’s Train Ticket:
Corrie ten Boom’s father to her, when she was a young girl:
“Corrie, when you and I go to Amsterdam,
when do I give you your ticket?”
“Why, just before we get on the train.”
“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things too. Don’t run out ahead of Him. When the time of need comes, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need — just in time.”
Corrie, later in life, after the concentration camp:
“God will give us the grace and power we need —
the money for the train ticket will arrive
just the moment we are to step on the train.”
When Jesus takes your hand
He keeps you tight.
When Jesus keeps you tight
He leads you through life.
When Jesus leads you through life,
He brings you safely home.
– Father ten Boom
Can you hear that whistle blowing? Time to board that train.
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/2017/03/the-pain-of-holidays-after-the-loss-of-loved-ones/
Please help spread the word…TY!!! (((HUGS)))