This blog is simply the story about my little life
with my sweet family that the Lord has blessed me with
and the day in, day out things that we do.
It basically is my online diary/photo album of our life.
I'm glad you're here!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Holding onto God through the storm

Spring is here and, believe me, in my life it is so welcome right now. The new signs of life growing from the cold dark ground are such a reminder of the hope I have in the Lord. I am so thankful that we have such a good God who is so loving and understanding. He is in control of everything even when it is not what we want. There are times when we must simply lay down and rest in His arms and wait for His timing as He renews and restores.
I have something I need to tell you. It is very difficult for me, but here goes... eldest son, Mackenzie, has divorced his wife, Brittany.
He told Brittany he didn't think he loved her on July 5, 2014. Our family has been on an emotional roller-coaster ever since. He moved out in October, filed divorce papers in December and the divorce was final a few weeks ago.
Not only has he left his wife and their family, but he is questioning God. It is like a death to me. I have been frozen. I am dumbfounded. I have experienced so many emotions. If it were not for God in my life, sustaining me, I would be a complete mess. I have been so heartbroken for Brittany and so worried about what is really going on with my son. It's just not what any of us planned and it has been so very painful. I want to make it clear though that my son loves his son very much and is supporting him and seeing him regularly.
How can my son walk away from the Lord God whom he has loved and served since he was a little boy? How can he turn from his savior whom he wrote beautiful worship songs too? Whom he has studied. Whom he has played drums for on the worship team? How can my son walk away from his bride? The woman he handpicked. The woman he had prayed for. The woman whom he had a cozy life with. The woman whom he created a new little life with?
My heart aches for Mackenzie, Brittany and Ridley.
God has totally lifted up and encouraged Brittany. She is amazing. She is so heartbroken, but God has given her an inner-strength that surpasses understanding. She is going to be ok. Her and I are very close and I am so thankful for that. She is close to all of our family. She is our family and always will be.
We are trying to find our new normal, which is a difficult process, but we are taking it one day at a time. My son has been quiet. He doesn't seem happy to me, but he says this is what he wants. I'm so thankful that he still comes to our family gatherings. I am thankful that the divorce has been peaceful and amicable. I'm thankful that he is supporting his son. It has been hard to navigate this whole situation, we are just taking it one day at a time. I will always love my son and I want a relationship with him. My husband wants a relationship with him. I want my four sons to have a strong bond again. I want my happy family back again. I pray the collateral damage will be repaired and restored.
In the beginning of all of this, just family and close friends knew, but after the divorce was final Brittany wrote a beautiful blog post about it and shared it on Facebook. Her love for God and Mackenzie is so evident. She is amazing. She truly has taken the highroad.
I would like to share with you her beautiful post. But first, this is what I wrote when I shared her post:

With great sadness and a heavy heart, I'm sharing with you what my daughter-in-law, Brittany, posted this morning. Our family has been through a lot the past 9 months, but I am thankful to say the Lord has held us up and given us strength, comfort, hope and love through it all. While it's hard to understand, my son has fallen out of love with his wife, but our family has not fallen out of love with her her nor have we stopped loving Mackenzie. I am so touched with Brittany's blog post setting the tone of love when she has every right to do the opposite. She was an excellent wife and a great daughter-in-law and she is a wonderful mother. I am so proud to call her my daughter. She will always be my daughter and I love her dearly.
In Brittany's words ~ "I'm sharing my heart today and being real." 

Relying on His Unfailing Love
By Brittany

As I write today, my hope is that through sharing of my own sufferings, someone else may be encouraged. 
My intention is only to share my heart — 
explaining what happened, what God is doing, and how you can pray for us.

"Count it all joy my brothers, when you face trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have it's full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. " James 1:2-4 

What Happened

It was seven months ago that I wrote the above verse down in my journal. My heart was filled with hope, anxiety, and pain. It had been roughly two months into a trial that I never expected would come my way. A trial that I was determined would not happen to me…not happen to us.

On July 5th, 2014, Mackenzie told me he no longer loved me or had a desire to choose to love me. Not only so, but he told me he questioned his faith in God and the Gospel... 
Crushed. Heartbroken.  Rejected. Disbelief. Pain. Anger. Sorrow. Bitterness. Hope. These are all feelings I have felt numerous times since those words were said. I didn’t understand. To be honest, I still don’t. 
At the time, Ridley was only 9 months old and  he was (and still is) a sweet, joyful, loving little boy. Mackenzie had just started working a new job, one that we prayed for. God had blessed us with the opportunity for Mackenzie to work at a company closer to home and also allowed me to stay home with our son. 
We have an amazing community of family and friends surrounding us and loving us. We are part of an awesome church that loves Jesus and preaches the gospel every Sunday. I thought we truly were living this dream a that we both desired to have. We made plans together. 

This is what I had prayed for… Surely the words he spoke could not be real. Surely this could not be happening. It was. It is. And there was really no explanation. No understanding as to why this is all happening. 
As time passed, I pressed into God and His Word more than I ever had before. I prayed harder and drew nearer to Him.
Mackenzie pushed himself farther and farther away from me, from our friends, and our family. I pleaded with him to seek counsel from leaders in our church, to speak with friends and relatives who had also gone through difficulties in their own marriages, to read books, to go to marriage counseling with me, to have a little get-away with me, just the two of us.
Surely these would all help. I believed this because I was committed. 
What I failed to realize, is that a marriage can only be successful if both parties are committed to making it work. 
Every so often, I would speak my mind to him. I would share with him my hopes, my desires, my hurts, my anger. I would try to understand where he was coming from. What happened? What could I do to help? I pleaded with him. Nothing worked and He moved out in October. 
Hope remained in my heart. Speculation about what really was happening filled my mind. Family, friends, and even strangers lifted us up in prayer. Although I have never been in control, I realized at this point, that all of this was truly out of my control.
I felt stuck. I felt as if I couldn’t even plan for the future. I had no idea if my husband would return home to us or if he would continue along this path. I prayed, “help me Lord to be a godly wife, a godly mother, a godly woman…please heal our marriage…please open his eyes.” No change…and from this, the reality of it all began to set in. 
One night in November 2014, as I read the following verse, I felt God telling me that I had to let go and stop yearning for Mackenzie.  “But if an unbelieving spouse separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.” 1 Corinthians 7:15. 
Mackenzie chose to pursue a divorce and as of March 30, 2015 we are no longer married.

What God is Doing
Throughout this season of suffering, God has been encouraging me. He holds my hand as I walk through this. He gives me an unexplainable strength to keep moving. While many days, I wake up heartbroken and in disbelief, there are also many days that I wake up with a peace that truly surpasses any of my own understanding. He has given me my incredibly joyful, loving, sweet boy Ridley, who is, without a doubt, the biggest reason to wake up each day and keep moving and keep trusting.
God speaks to me through His Word and through encouragement from friends and family. As scripture is laid on their heart, they share it with me at just the right moment.  I am continually in awe of the community that surrounds Ridley and I. So much love has been poured out to us through our family, our friends, and our church. So much love that I feel completely undeserving of.

I am walking on a path where I can’t see what lies ahead. The reality is, none of us can. I’m scared and although I know I am not alone, I often feel very alone. BUT, I do have hope that God will bring good from this. He promises us that. (Romans 8:28) I will continue to hang on to that hope and I will do my best to emulate God’s love.

I titled this blog, “Relying On His Unfailing Love” because God’s love is truly unfailing – He loves each of us just as we are, no matter what we have done. At this point in my life, I am going through a period of great loss and truly relying on that great, unchanging, unfailing love.

How You Can Pray for Us
               Pray that I would have wisdom, patience, and discernment as Ridley grows . That I would continually be seeking the Lord and His strength – may God fill in the gaps where I fail. Pray that I would be able to show to Ridley God’s love. Oh what a precious, amazing gift Ridley is to me.
               Pray that my faith would not be shaken. That, on the hardest of days, I would be able to find rest, acceptance, joy and love in the Lord and in Him alone.

Pray for Ridley that he would be strengthened through this trial. That he will come to know the Lord and that he would know how incredibily loved he is. 

Pray for our families, that we would know how to navigate this new journey in our relationships. I am incredibly grateful for both sides and the support they have shown.

  • Pray for Mackenzie and I as we co-parent Ridley. That our conversations would remain peaceful and positive. 

  •     Pray for Mackenzie, that he would know how loved he really is. 

I realize questions may have come up in your mind as you read. Please feel free to contact me privately and I will do my best to get back to you. If you’re inclined to comment, please keep it respectful to both Mackenzie and I. ~ Brittany

The love and support that Brittany received from family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances was unbelievable. It was so encouraging. Both of us talked about how freeing it was to get the truth out there and we felt surrounded and lifted up by the prayers and love. 

This was my comment to her on her post:

Sharon: Brittany, I love you and am so proud of you. I'm so thankful for you. You are such a great example of God's love. You were an excellent wife. You are an excellent mother. You are my beloved daughter-in-law and you always will be. I know God has His hand upon you as you start your new life. I am so thankful that you are surrounded by such an amazing group of people who genuinely love you and care for you. I'm so thankful for our friendship. My heart is broken, but God is holding the broken pieces and He will bring restoration in whatever form that is.
Indeed, this has been one of the hardest things I have ever gone through, but I know, that I know, that I know that God is in control and it will all work together for His good!

Now we wait in the palm of God's hand for His next amazing steps.

"I prayed to the Lord and He answered me, freeing me from all my fears. Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy." Psalm 34:4-5a

Hugs, Sharon


Anonymous said...

o wow sharon, tears, my heart breaks too. I hope and pray in time MacKenzie will realize what he has lost. I pray for that. I pray he finds the help he needs. so very sorry for sweet Brittany and Ridley. Stay stron in the Lord and hope and pray and never give up on what God an do to turn this around.

Sherry said...

My heart hurts for you all .. i have no words at this point other than i will pray. And pray again. And again. As the Lord leads. Bless you dearly... i'm so sorry this is happening.

Sue said...

Thoughts and prayers for all, Sharon, thank you and Brittany for sharing your heart!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sharon,
I am truly heartbroken after reading about your difficult journey.Brittany is so blessed to have the mother in law and friend that she has in you. Her facebook entry that you shared, moved me to tears. Her grace and faith will surely carry her and Ridley through.

Tanza said...

Gosh, Just went on here, and had not been for weeks probably, I have tears rolling down my cheeks, so, it isn't easy even typing, I will lift you all up in prayer, and, especially, I know it sounds strange to most, but, your SON, that he may see the light, and, get back to where he is right in his Fathers' sight, this is totally Satan, and what he does to the world, conquer and divide....he WILL NOT WIN, I pray the Lord gives sweet Brittany the most unexplainable peace and calm as she weathers this terrible storm, and that Ridley just grows up knowing how loved and special he is in the EVER lasting family ....... I have seen this happen over and over EVEN in our own church home, and just know it is satan that breaks up families, I feel terrible for your precious God fearing family, Thank God she has a family like yours to pray for her, love her, and just to be there for her ...... thank you for sharing your broken hearts, because I KNOW you are being used as a testimony for others going through this same situation ..... YOU are all on my prayer list my friend ...... much peace, and praying you see some sort of blessings each day ... GOD IS GOOD!!!! And, I KNOW. I KNOW. I KNOW, cuz HE says this xo love and hugs to both of you sniff sniff

Barbara Beach said...

My heart is so sad for your family and thankful you are feeling the Lord's presence during this difficult time. I will definitely life everyone up in prayers.

Sue from Albany NY said...

Sharon and Brittany: words cannot express the sadness at yet another family is broken apart. Take comfort that God will truly help you all weather this storm. My prayers are with you.

A Romantic Porch said...

I am so sorry. I will pray.

Mardell said...

Oh Sharon,
I am heartbroken reading this. I am so sorry. When you mentioned that you were having some family issues awhile back, isn't it weird that for some reason I thought about Mackenzie and Brittany. I don't know why, there was just something that I felt was going on. I'm glad that you shared this with us. You know we're all here for you and your family, as well as sweet Brittany & Ridley. Do you think he's having some sort of depression? Like a chemical imbalance of some sort? Again, I am so sorry. I know first hand how horrible divorces can be and what it does to the family and the children involved.

Please let Brittany know that I'll be praying for her.


Mardell said...

I forgot to mention how beautiful the pictures are of your farm. The spring buds and flowers are ever so delightful. And Blondie, MacGyver and the goats. So cute. Ridley is getting so big. Again, blessings to you.

(And watch out for ticks, please!)

Anonymous said...

Dear Sharon, I have followed your blog for many years. Back in 2008 I "stumbled" on your sister, Kathy's blog. I was very taken with it as she was a Christian my age, growing up in Oregon like me and had a her last baby late in life, like me. Through her blog I began to participate in the Show and Tell Friday and I found your blog and many lovely ladies across the U.S. I was a very active blogger for several years but as I began to homeschool our daughter, my time was limited. So I narrowed down my list and was not able to comment as much as I wanted. Your blog was one of the ones I kept. I loved reading about your family. When I saw this post, I was so sad. When I went to bed last night I had a dream that I met you in person and Brittany was there too. I shook Brittany's hand and I told her I was praying for her. Her face was so loving and thanked me. When I woke up this morning, I told my husband my dream ~ Elena

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to see your news Sharon - I will be holding you and your family up in my prayers.

Tracy in UK

Anonymous said...

Dear Sharon , I am saddened to hear of this news. My heart breaks for you as a mother, for sweet Brittany and Ridley and for your son. I will continue to pray for you all. As I know you know this as a Christ follower, we sometimes must walk through difficult storms...but Oh how they hurt when our children are involved- they are our hearts! Oh bless you sweet Sharon...God be near and bless you and your family! God bless sweet Brittany!

jen said...

Sending my prayers to your whole family - stay strong and take care-

Molly Moore said...

Dear Sharon-

This is such a painful story to share, but I want to thank you and Brittany for sharing this part of your journey with the Lord at your side. I will pray for all of you as you work through this. You are strong and loving Christian women!

Blessings- Molly

Erin said...

I'm so very sorry to hear the sad news.

Mary Anne said...

I am so sorry to hear this. I will pray...

elizabeth said...

Oh Sharon! I am so sorry for what your family is experiencing. I pray that God's love will penetrate whatever struggles and confusion your son is going through.

Anonymous said...

Oh Sharon, My heart breaks for your family. I have been following you for along time now and your family kinda feels like mine. I know what divorce can do to a family. But I also know what God can do. Never give up hope!! I will keep your family in my prayers. And I send all my love and prayers. And on a lighter note Ridley is so stinking cute. You are truly blessed. Good Bless, Donna

Judy said...

Oh Sharon, my heart is breaking for you all. I am saddened to hear this about Mackenzie and Brittany. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all.

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