Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Facing the Unknown

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.

12 comments:

Melanie said...

Please get a copy of "The Gift of Fear" and/or "Protecting the Gift" by Gavin DeBecker. He is a leading profiler of violence. His teachings focus on trusting our intuition, which he says come from "nature", but we know where and Who it really comes from. I could go on and on...but these 2 books have changed the way I make decisions about people who may or may not be violent. (like you dropped the fight to keep peace, not something most lawyers would advise, but what you KNEW was best). And, about your girls, you already know they are in God's Hands. But, also, whether they say it or not, they are watching what you do and how you handle things. That is a HUGE influence on them, more than anything you say. And, it sounds like you have been a great witness to them. So, hang in there. :>)))
PS-The DeBecker books are going to be in one of my posts soon. I have always been on a mission to keep women and kids safe.

Brenda said...

I've learned so much about domestic violence since the divorce, and I wish I had known that verbal/emotional abuse qualifies as DV. I knew it wasn't healthy, but I didn't realize the extent of the damage. I would have pressed charges, and I wouldn't have even considered shared custody.
I knew that the example I had set was not a good one, that it was acceptable to be controlling or to be controlled, but I had no idea that ending the marriage hadn't broken the cycle.

Paulette said...

Brenda,
This is certainly a very difficult thing to be going through and figuring everything out will be tough. I am not there,because Caleb doesnt want to be with his dad after the divorce and is old enough to tell his dad he wont live there.
I hate this for you I really do. I had a friend with the same circumstance , her daughter was 15 and ran wild with her dad. She did come home but made her mothers life hell. She eventually had to let her go. Its awful I cant imagine what you are going through. I know if it were me I would definately attempt to bring them both home for sure and take it from there. Just be prepared for alot of anger from them. It sounds to me like the other daughter is led by her sister and may not be able to be honest away from you.
Who are we to say let the one stay with her dad.You have to at least try.
I will surely be in prayer for you. I will uplift you before the throne daily. You will definately know if you can get them home more what you are dealing with.
Blessings and Prayers for you and the girls.

Diane said...

Brenda,
I can't tell you I know how you feel, because I've never had to deal with what you are going through. But...I can say that my heart aches for you and your children. I will be praying for God to intervene and to give you peace about what you should do and how you should react to any situation you find yourself in this weekend.

God bless you and Carl and your girls, my friend.

BooMama said...

Praying for you and your girls, Brenda....

Kelli said...

Brenda- we will be praying for all of you. I can't imagine. But I can certainly pray. Hugs :)

Texas Gal said...

Oh wow, we all want to say the right thing. But what is the right things. There is so much to consider and so many lives that will be/are effected.
Brenda, you are a very strong person with lots of wisdom. Just know you have many prayer partners out here.

Barb said...

So the dreaded trip to get your girls is upon you. I'm not going to say I know how you feel because I don't. But I know you're not walking this path alone.

My prayers are centered around your girls. I pray they will realize they belong with their Mom.

And I pray that no matter how this painful weekend goes, you will find a way to live with it. I know how strong you are but I also know how awful this is for you.

Praying for you my friend, xoxoxo

Grafted Branch said...

That's...that's...well, I don't even know what to call that. It's tragic. It's ugly. Stressful. Maybe the anticipation and the not-knowing is the hardest part. Always for me, it's the overwhelming sense of MY responsibility that the Lord is trying to grow me in: the relinquishing control -- the rubber meeting the road when it comes to BELIEVING that He is sovereign.

As a mother of girls -- one now embarking on the spiritual battlefield we call the teen years -- I'm praying for you, Brenda!

Belle-ah said...

Praying God's Will for you and your family! (((hugs)))

Dawn said...

We have a potential situation such as this in the future. It is very sad. I'll be praying for you as you have been praying for us.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Wow, Brenda - this is my first time to visit your blog. I will be praying for you - for wisdom and strength for you, and for God to use whatever means necessary to reach the hearts of your kids, even when it seems so impossible.