WHILE taking a walk one day, I thought about the richness of my life with my family in a good home, enriched by friends and opportunities to share. Yet not long before, it had all been so different! After many years, my first husband had left our home and marriage. Difficulties in the marriage had persisted for a long time. Yet because I cherished the marriage covenant I had prayed earnestly during those years for the restoration of mutual caring and fidelity to the vows we had made.
As I prayed, I came to trust the Biblical teaching that ``thy Maker is thine husband.''1 I learned to identify and appreciate every evidence of God's tender care. I treasured experiences that helped me feel worthy and loved. I was grateful for a neighbor's assistance, for example, with a job that I couldn't accomplish alone. God led me beautifully during those years; His care for me did not fail. What I was learning about God's presence illumined my day-to-day life, enabling me to see how my needs, both emotional and practical, were being met.
I didn't feel the impact of my husband's desertion as deeply as I might have without an understanding of God. Yes, I had longed for the marriage to be healed, but I had already learned enough of God's steadfast love to know that His care for me would continue.
And indeed it did, both while I was on my own and later when I married again! And as I walked along that day, I felt I had glimpsed something of eternity. I realized at that moment that instead of a long history of struggle I had a deep, unshakable conviction of God's steadfast presence. The substance of those years wasn't in the wrestlings with disappointment, bitterness, deprivation, self-doubt. Rather, it was what I had learned about God and about man as His cherished, spiritual offspring.