Last Updated on March 20, 2018

It’s been almost four years since my husband left. In that time I’ve learned to forgive. It was a hard-fought battle to be sure. I knew forgiveness didn’t mean I wouldn’t struggle with the continuing effects of my ex-husband’s actions on our children.

This week I’m struggling.

My children each seem to be manifesting things that are most certainly related to their father’s abandonment. The other night I saw clearly the pain in my children’s hearts. Alone in the laundry room, I had a time of ranting and raving to God. I had some choice words about my ex-husband. It really served no purpose. Well, I guess it was a little relieving to vent a bit.

I just don’t want to mess with anger anymore. But when I consider that my children will have to deal with this forever and that their father’s opportunity to build their self-esteem, impact their self-images, and provide the security all children need has been lost, I can tend to feel hopeless…and quite angry. Until I consider their Heavenly Father.

He can turn tears to joy. He can take our mess and make something beautiful. In fact, I know He will.

My prayer is that my children will know that:

• God loves them passionately.
• He will never leave them nor forsake them.
• He will be faithful.
• He delights in them.
• He longs to spend time with them.
• There is nothing that can separate them from His love.

Those are all things I would do well to remember also – for me and my children. I just have to figure out how to not focus on the future being tainted by their earthly father’s decisions, but rather touched by their Heavenly Father’s love. So often God uses the pain in our lives to bring us closer to Him – He did that for me. And I must trust that He will do that for my children as well. He is good. He is faithful.

We are healing slowly but surely. And when I feel that familiar pain in my chest as I mourn what we have lost, I pray that God will open my eyes to what He is doing. That I’ll remember that healing doesn’t happen in a day and God will stay with us during the whole process. Difficulties will end, and new ones will begin, but through them all God is faithful. And that will never end.

Join Sue at MomLife Boot Camp this year and learn “How to Dress Like a Warrior” and fight for your family!

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  1. “God uses the pain in our lives to bring us closer to Him” Beautiful words, Sue. I can’t wait to read your book! I admire how you fight like a warrior to forgive, move forward, dig out roots of bitterness, and love your children. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you!

  2. Oh sweet Sue – thank you for so bravely sharing your heart and your hurt. Thank you also for reminding each of us that our Heavenly Father loves our children and us completely! May the joy and peace of the Lord fill the remainder of your week as you be the mom daily with those amazing little ones God entrusted to YOU their beautiful, wonderful, magnanamous mama! Big Hugs and much love to you!!!

  3. Thanks for sharing Sue. This really touched me. My husband left 4.5 years ago. I am now a single mom to two young girls. I have those days when I think about what I consider a loss for my girls. But then I get reminded by the Holy Spirit that God is working in this situation. He is more then able to ensure my daughters are whole lacking nothing but blessed with all spiritual blessings. Thank you for opening your heart to us. So many women are going through this….

  4. I appreciate your ministry–I’ve raised (actually I don’t think this will ever be past tense) a son by myself by the grace of God after discovering the man I loved to be a pathological liar–and married. I lived in self-condemnation and guilt for a long time, and have struggled for the last 17 years to muddle through this labyrinth of childrearing without “a better half” on whom to rely. Looking back from here, however, I see God’s faithful provision, though I often could not see it at the time. My wounds are deep, and some scars never heal, but nothing can separate me from the love of Christ–He is my Rock and my strong Tower.

  5. We need to realize that our words and actions play a huge role on the development of our children. Yes, our spouses have left US but as mothers we must ensure that our children feel God’s love and acceptance. A difficult feat when you consider all the tough days and nights we have to face on our own, but we are not on our own. We have our heavenly Father, our own families and our church families. I have been a single mother of 3 for almost 16 years, my youngest was 5 months old when my spouse decided to move away from our home and city. Has it been easy? Definitely not. I’ve learned many lessons along the way. The most important of all not to let my feelings and thoughts stain those of my children. As young adults my children are mature and well developed, loving and kind. They have a good relationship with their father yet their eyes are open to his faults as much as mine. 🙂 God is a great God who heals and forgives. He Word gives us the tools we need to deal with all that will come our way. God bless you in this ministry.

  6. Sue,

    Thank you for sharing your heartache and struggles. My only wish is that there were a gentlemanly perspective on this. I am a single dad with 3 beautiful princesses. It seems I am the super minority when it comes to being the single dad. There is such a complete detachment by both men and women and the courts. I am praying things change and the courts start to reckognize the need for both parents to be involved equally after divorce. I am discouraged by men for seemingly not wanting to be more a part of their children’s lives. Certainly there has to be some other men out there that love their children enough to fight for their children’s time.

    1. Eric,

      I am so glad to hear a dad speak up about this. More fathers need to step up to the plate. I have friends who have struggled in the courts to gain access to their children. The courts favour the mothers and make it difficult for the fathers.

      I wish you the very best as a single dad and God give you the strength and wisdom to raise your precious girls.


  7. Dearest Sue,

    I heard you share your story on Focus on the Family. I could relate to all your emotions and feelings in every way. It was a blessing to find your website because I’ve been struggling with forgiveness and how my -soon to be ex-husband’s behavior is impacting our children, especially my 13 year old boy. What caught my ear was when you defined the process of forgiveness, “If I allow God to enable me to forgive…I made the decision…I kind of had to go through a process. I had to make the decision to forgive, that’s not necessarily forgiving, I’m gonna try to do this, I’m gonna ask God to help me through it and then I’m gonna act on that…I’m going to act like I have forgiven you, I’m gonna treat you respectfully and kindly and graciously, I don’t feel it, I’m gonna treat you that way and in doing that it takes the power of that circumstance, that situation that offends, away. I have the right to be angry but I don’t exercise that right.” This whole statement alone was very powerful to me. I can’t wait to the time when I am able to write my husband a letter, as you did, telling him that I forgive him. You are a true inspiration for me today! May you feel God’s presence with you and your precious angels every minute of the day.

  8. Hi Sue, I just heard your interview on Focus on the Family. It totally blew me away. I just wanted to say that you are a great encouragement to me and pray the Lord continues to heal you and the kids. Godbless you sister!