The coming weekend holds a lot of uncertainty for me, and although I am very much looking forward to seeing my girls again, I'm also dreading the battle of wills that is sure to ensue. Being apart from them is difficult, and phone conversations with them are almost painful. Scratch that. They are painful. Hearing my child tell me that she doesn't care what the Bible says and I can't make her live with me if she doesn't want to breaks my heart. At the same time, her boldness is admirable. If only she would turn it on the enemy rather than her mother. I never would have dared even dream of speaking to my mother that way, but I wasn't bold enough to stand up for myself in other situations when I should have. I'm not backing down on this issue, though. I have to stand firm.
Last week, I pondered the question "What am I to do?" Do I act on my faith and enroll them in school, or do I wait and see what happens next weekend? What if I enroll them, expecting them to come home with me, and they refuse? Their dad is telling them it's their decision, and whatever they decide is fine with him. I contend that it's our responsibility as parents to make the right decision for them. Of course they'd rather stay there. They aren't required to respect any authority other than his. They aren't expected to check in and let anyone know of their whereabouts. They don't have to go to church, read their Bibles, obey God, or obey their mother.
Lindsey informed me that I can't discipline them from here, which is true, but I informed her that God can discipline them no matter where they are. I can't believe the change in her. She's saying now that she was lying when she said she would come back. She was lying when she said the change was good for her. I'm appalled at her lack of respect for me and others in authority, but the scariest part is her lack of fear of the Lord. I seriously would not want to be her.
With Sarah, it's hard to tell. She isn't as bold as Lindsey, but she does say she doesn't want to move. I totally get that. I know how hard it is to leave friends behind, but I also know that God's plans are far and away greater than anything we can imagine. I also know that without proper discipline and guidance, they are more susceptible to Satan's deception. Even with proper discipline and guidance, it's often easy to become ensnared. I know I can't prevent it, but I can instruct them and be the example they need.
I went to bed Sunday night wounded and awoke Monday morning with a strange peace. I say strange, not because I haven't felt peace, but because I don't understand what it means. Peace that surpasses understanding, maybe? I'm sure it's God's way of letting me know that He has it under control, but I still don't know exactly what I'm supposed to do about enrollment. I feel certain that they will be coming home with me, but how in the world will that be accomplished? I guess that remains to be seen.
I have no idea what to expect from their dad. More lies, yes, and threats, likely. His usual tactics. I don't know how far he'll go, violence-wise. I hate to think I might be putting my husband in any danger. I'm trying not to be fearful.
Please pray for us this weekend. We'll be needing all the backup we can get.
** For those of you who are wondering, as I'm sure most of you are, our divorce decree is rather vague on the custody arrangements. It states that the children will spend approximately half their time with each parent, according to their schedules and desires. We settled out of court.
We lived close enough at the time that this was workable, until he found out I had begun dating. Suddenly, he became very possessive of the girls and threatened to keep them from me until I came to my senses. He threatened to have Carl killed if I saw him again, and made harrassing phone calls to Carl. My lawyer informed me that there was nothing I could do if he hadn't actually harmed anyone and that sufficient time had not passed to warrant a "change of circumstance" for modifying custody. He kept up his shenanigans for over a year, and I began the process of filing for a modification of custody. Because I became convicted that God was telling me not to fight over them, I dropped the suit and tried to work out an arrangement with him. I knew he couldn't be trusted, but I had to trust God. For the very first time in my life, I surrendered everything to God. I know He is in control. His will will prevail. I just have to quit trying to figure it out for Him.