My dad was the foundation of Christian leadership in our family. He was truly a servant of God. My dad was a church elder, head of the building committee, and in charge of the facilities and grounds for many years. Upon his untimely death at age 54, following one of the early heart by-pass operations, an olive tree was planted in his memory in front of the church.
My dad died shortly after my son’s third birthday. His death left a huge void of Christian leadership in our family. It was like the core of our faith and stability was ripped out of our lives. The loss of my father also made me aware of how empty my marriage was. Although my husband helped with the necessary paperwork and financial decisions following dad’s death, without Jesus, he was unable to comfort any of us. I thought my husband was a Christian when we were married, because he worked his way through high school as a church custodian. However, my assumption was wrong. Shortly after our wedding, he stopped going to church, revealing that he was “getting nothing out of it.”
The lack of Christian leadership in our family lead to instability. Communication disappeared. We stopped going to church. A year after my father’s death, the unthinkable happened -- my husband and I divorced. I was now a single mom, raising a four-year-old son on my own. My dreams for a stable, Christian home for my son were shattered.
Within a relatively short period, my son and I were facing two major voids in our lives. At a critical time, we lost all paternal influence in my son’s upbringing. With the loss of my father (his grandfather), we lost Godly guidance. With the “loss” of my husband (his father), we lost a daily dad. As it turns out, my son had very little contact with his father for a number of years after the divorce.
As a result of these events, I returned to church and sought Christian support. I returned to teaching to support my family. For my son, I focused on love and a return to a basic Christian lifestyle. Through pain, I realized that the only way to fill earthly voids is by seeking our Heavenly Father in prayer. I asked God for strength and guidance – as a woman and as a mother.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold.
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