Joy comes in the mourning

Joy comes in the mourning

Originally published April 3, 2013

It’s worth it

Third and final part in series on trials and testing.

A lyric we often sing in church is, “It’s gonna be worth it all.” “It” refers to the ugly God has decided I can handle. You know, that thing He brought me to just so He could bring me through?
As much as I didn’t believe when I heard it the first few times, I now know it’s true. Given everything I’ve gone through thus far, what I have received on this side of ugly is absolutely worth it. I had to mourn lots of loss but really, all those losses meant lots of new beginnings.
Money can’t buy what I have. It’s priceless. “It” is a renewed strength, joy, peace that surpasses understanding. “It” also is perfect Love.
Okay, you think I’m crazy, huh? If I had read that 10 years ago, I’d think I need to be sent to an insane asylum too but it’s true.
I received breakthroughs after I got through to the other side of overwhelming circumstances. I was dragged kicking and screaming into scenarios that were unfair, unreal, unbelievable, painfully annoying at best.
I wanted nothing to do with some of my circumstances yet there they were: Opportunities for growth with my name on them. I had to remember that pain is growth and there’s a reason Jesus was called Teacher.
What you now will see in each of these circumstances are the gifts that came from tears and mourning. What satan meant for harm, God meant for good. My detractors tried to plant seeds of doubt, discouragement, fear and intimidation but like any seed, it had to be buried in soil in order to grow.
Something in me died in each of these scenarios. However, those tears watered these seeds that started to grow inside me. My Holy Spirit was weeding, tilling soil and tending to my spiritual growth. He made sure the seeds within me were on good ground, nurtured, fertilized and growing as they should.
They planted hate, destruction while God cultivated love, perseverance, confidence and joy unspeakable. I didn’t see it then but I see it now. Come and see how they manifested.

Provide loving, nurturing home for micropreemie while working full-time
A coworker had a friend who babysat special-needs kids like mine. As it turned out, I had called her and she said she was unavailable. She actually had only one spot and my daughter got it anyway. While my daughter was chronically ill the first several years, over time she became incredibly healthy. All we needed was a fresh start and God provided her first babysitter with a heart of gold and tons of compassion. Delaying the arrival of a sibling by almost eight years had the desired effect. Her self-esteem and worth are in tact and she is growing.

Learn how to live with alcoholic, drug addict husband to preserve family
Al-Anon initially saved my marriage and my life. It was necessary and good for me to work the program with a trusted sponsor. I learned about my stinkin’ thinkin’, how much I contributed to unrest at home and how to live a happy, joyous and free lifestyle in spite of what the alcoholic said or did. Al-Anon ignited my desire for Jesus. Less than a year after I started Al-Anon, I gave my life to Christ. To say I’ve grown along spiritual lines is an understatement.

Support and care for husband through cancer treatments
Jesus gave me the grace to walk this out with my husband. It was not easy but I was able to give my husband as much grace as The Lord extended me. This was the hard part of marriage. We were knee-deep in the “worse, poorer, sickness and until death do us part” of our wedding vows. Consequently, I learned how to love more and be more compassionate. At one point Edd apologized for being a burden. I told him that couldn’t be further from the truth as he cried. Jesus used him to teach me about unconditional love, marriage.

Believe evidence of recovered incest memories that points to parents
I lost my immediate family during the darkest of days for me and my family. I gained Jesus and a whole new family. Therapy is hell but I can feel the growth and healing. I see things so much more clearly. I recognize myths, half-truths and outright lies. I see my family for exactly who they are and act accordingly. One cousin expressed envy at my having broken free of the family. Really, what I have is a more accurate knowledge of my true family history and awareness that I am neither unique nor alone. There’s a reason for child protective services: Child abuse exists and it did in my home. I am not crazy although I should be. Now my children know who their grandparents are, my history. Consequently, God has allowed me to break free of generational curses and my children will live a far healthier life than I experienced. I also recognize in others where abuse exists and won’t hesitate to call CPS, if necessary, unlike my mother who didn’t lift a finger to help her own flesh and blood.

Say goodbye to my husband on his death bed, attend funeral
I was incredibly angry with God and let him have it with both barrels after his death. However, the reality was I had no one but God, a lesson I absolutely had to learn. I know I have become a stronger person since my husband’s death. Further, my spiritual growth has been exponential. Today, I can share this hope with others because God sent me ahead for their sake.

Battle relatives in court, face widowed life isolated from family
Antics by my parents made it easy for my lawyer to understand what was going on and who she was dealing with. As it turned out, the court investigator outed my mother’s lying, manipulative and deceitful nature. I had absolutely nothing to do with the investigation or its conclusions. He wouldn’t even recommend family mediation because of my mother. He said something to the effect that it would be a waste of time. I was beginning to believe that Jesus was still looking out for me. In the second court battle, it would be affirmed in dramatic fashion. The court appointed mediator ended up fighting on my behalf because even he could see there was no reason to fight the appointment of me as my daughter’s conservator. God was there and now I believe God is always right beside me through it all.
File law suit on behalf of child against school district for incompetence
I won. Despite losing the placement hearing, I won on appeal in Federal Court. It was a thing of beauty. Now I was walking tall. I was confident in my parenting ability. I was on track. No one could tell me I was incompetent. I was right to sue them and get her out of a school district that desperately wanted to believe they were doing the right thing when it was obvious they weren’t. I had nothing and no one to fear except Jesus Himself.

Send daughter to out-of-state boarding school for three years
By the time my daughter returned home for good, she had a new perspective on life, learned much and became an incredible young adult. Although an elementary school teacher said her education would end in high school, she now attends junior college and plans to transfer to a university. Yeah, it was worth it. I am uber confident in my parenting skills and know how to advocate effectively for my son. I also can share my experience, strength and hope with other parents.

File for bankruptcy protection
While this is still a work in progress and I have yet to file 2012 tax returns since having sold my home, which involved a trustee, for the most part I don’t have extended debt. I’m learning how little I need to live on and sharing these lessons with my son. It’s important for him to understand the value and benefits of keeping all financial obligations. However, it’s equally important for him to understand he has options, exactly what those look like and their consequences.

Sell home, give away most possessions, rent apartment
I was able to make some profit after the bankruptcy trustee gouged me, which was their right to do. I was able to pay off the bank and walk away clean. I found an apartment, which is a miracle as I was getting turned down left and right. The rental agent negotiated on my behalf with the owner of our apartment. They turned down five other families so I could move in. He said he believed in me and I came across as trustworthy. He also is a Christian. Once again God sent an angel who stood in the gap and fought for me. That is nothing but God.

Moving forward
From start to finish, the Bible is about managing transitions. The solutions to my problems were at my fingertips and knees all along. Jesus knew I’d need Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (Bible) but it wasn’t enough that I knew  and studied those instructions. I had to live them out.

Truth is if all I have is Jesus, then I’m the richest woman on earth. All of these scenarios have given me renewed hope and confidence. Today, I know for a fact I am his beloved daughter and bride, and he is my God and King.

He loves me so much He’s coming back for me. Thank you, Lord. You and You alone satisfy my soul.

Laura Hacket sings, “You satisfy my soul” during One Thing conference at One Thing conference sponsored by the International House of Prayer, Kansas City, MO.

Part one: When Gethsemane strikes

Part two: It’s always darkest before the dawn


Boricua Confidential chronicles my new life as a single mom of two kids after my husband died from cancer on our son’s seventh birthday. Join me on this journey of change, revival, reformation, discovery and new direction ordered of God. Being a widow ain’t easy, that’s for sure. I refuse to rollover and die. Quite the contrary. I intend to thrive from this crazy life. You can’t keep this woman down. If I’m down, I won’t be for long.

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