Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
I made homemade potstickers for my son and his best friend. Over dinner we discussed using the new chalkboard I bought (on sale) to help us on our faith journey. Each week this summer, we are going to write a scripture verse or an inspirational saying that we hope will help us throughout the coming week.
Dealing with the separation, divorce of one’s parents is difficult for young adults, contrary to the belief of some. Coming to grips with the fact that the father you thought was a devout, practicing Catholic is an adulterer is quite devastating for children of all ages. I have been struggling with understanding the lies and deceit since he left. Even after more than 2 1/2 years, I still cannot wrap my brain around it. It causes additional heartache to see my own children struggle in many of the same ways I have been struggling.
Sometimes the struggle is so upsetting that it feels as if our spiritual growth has been stunted. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in the drama of the legal battle and forget that God has a plan to use this MESS for our good and for His glory. I’ve been so stressed over this for over two and a half years.
While the situation has changed and the stressors have been different at each step, it’s still stress. I now see first hand why divorce is listed as one of the top heart attack risk factors. It can literally kill you. Funny side note: the ex hubster always blamed me for his high blood pressure. Genetically speaking he has a 100% chance of developing high blood pressure because his mother and father both suffer from the condition. But it’s my fault. <eye roll> If the wasband has a heart attack, I’m sure he’ll blame it on me, too.
I’ve watched as my boys have struggled with their faith the last few years, some more than others. Something I noted early on was that my father, a committed atheist, had more commitment to his marriage vows than my ex, a supposed devout Catholic. I’ve never looked to my dad as a role model, but in this, I thought, “Wow, my mother supposedly cheated on him and here he is, an atheist, who still upheld his wedding vows when my supposed Catholic husband couldn’t even uphold his vows to his faithful wife. Amazing.” It’s sad to say that my own father is a better witness of the sanctity of marriage than the Catholic father of my sons.
It is my hope and my prayer that my boys will grow closer to God in their current struggles. I homeschooled them and raised them in the Catholic faith and I pray that my oldest will will always uphold his marriage vows to his wife. I pray that if my youngest two should ever marry, they will be true to their vows, as well. I *try* to pray for their father daily in hopes that he will be the man and father God has called him to be. It is difficult to pray for him, but in the end, I want my boys to have a positive role model as a father. While the ex cannot undo the damage that he’s done, he can mitigate some of it by becoming the man and father God calls him to be. I said not too long ago when the legal drama was back in full swing, “You fly 747s around the world. Who cares? Are you the man and father that God calls you to be? The latter would impress me more.”
Whether we are students, managers, pilots or ditch diggers, God wants us to be the people He created us to be. When we stand before Him, He’s not going to care what our earthly titles were. He will know if we were the mom, the dad, the person, the grandparent, that He created us to be. He’s not going to ask you to list all the excuses you have for not obeying His commandments or trying to be holy.
The fact of the matter is that we are each called to holiness by God Himself. It’s a daily struggle amid the chaos of life–we all have struggles, temptations and hardships. We must CHOOSE Christ daily. This is what prompted me to use the chalkboard for inspiration on our quest to be who God created us to be. It’s also the reason I have scripture verses and Christian quotes throughout my home. I’ve always done this–since college– but since the ex left, I upped my game. I needed more reminders of who God says I am and who He calls me to be.
If you are struggling with your faith, it is normal. I do my best not to camp out in the desert, but as any Christian knows, it happens. We all go through dry spells. These little reminders around my house help lift me up, fill me with the Spirit and get me back on the right track. I’m praying it does the same for my boys.