The last 2 years have been the hardest years of my life. This has been worse that having a critically sick child in the hospital. With the child you sign them over to the doctor's care. With a failing marriage you keep wanting to try another counselor or something to try to save the marriage. No matter what you do, you feel you have not tried hard enough. These are things that I have learned through these trials.
1. I learned to pray three times a day, not just once. I used to get a 1 hour lunch break and instead of taking a nap, it became a new prayer time. Also the importance of praying before going to bed became clear, not just in the morning.
2. I learned to pray on my face on the floor. I was so desperate for God that I spent most of my prayer time on the floor. If every tear is saved then there should be a large tub waiting for me.
3. I have been feeling the presence of God like never before. I have always felt my hair standing on end, now I also feel a cold cloud sensation. I though it was just cold air until I went to India and I still felt it even in the heat. It is a good cold; it is kind of like drinking water when having bad heartburn.
4. I have learned to "Praise Him in the storm". That is a song by Casting Crowns. I have long since learned to praise God even when my car was totaled. Can I praise Him even when my marriage is falling apart? Can I praise Him even when going from having everything paid in full, to broke? Can I praise Him even when my children disown me? For a while it was impossible to praise God, but that has changed now.
5. Look for, think about, and thank God for the positive things that do happen.For instance;
A. My daughter Hannah and I are back in good communication.
B. My van transmission repairs only cost me about $145.
C. Dale is giving me his like new furniture and appliances.
D. I slid off the road in a snow storm but drove back up on the road with no damage.
6. It helps to see God. I was praying that if I must go through loosing my wife that I could please see God first. He gave me a dream where I was leaving heaven. We were all singing beautiful songs of praise in every language and tongue, yet in perfect harmony. I wanted to remember the words to the songs but all that I could remember was "It is something ___ to be in the presence of almighty God". I asked about the missing word and was told that there are no words in any language that can even begin to describe what it is like to be in God's presence. It was kind of like when you are in church and someone begins to sing a new song that is wonderful, and they normally cannot sing that well. Everyone there in the dream was filled with so much joy that they could not help but sing the praises of God.
7. Someone told me that it is not over yet. I already knew that. I have wanted to say that 2007 was the worse year of my life, but that 2008 will be great. However I know that it is not over yet. I may be over the crest of the hill but there are many more bumps in the road ahead.