One of the scariest places in the world is in a courtroom opposing an ex-spouse. I have known few anxieties that could hold a candle to this type of fear.

God hates divorce; every divorcee knows this. But more than that God loves the divorcee, and that is where hope lies. It’s my theory that God is right about marriage but we are misguided in how we discern marriage. We tend to leave God out of the discernment instead of letting him guide us. My great grandmother was a rock star at discernment and I fear it’s something our generation has lost or even doesn’t know anything about.

One of my court adventures was also one of the most consoling days of my life. Not because everything went right in the trial, far from it, but because it was in this heralding moment that I felt the presence of Jesus by my side.

The purpose of this hearing was a general child support hearing. It was bad for me because my ex-husband quit his job and I knew my child support was about to tank. I had to work two jobs in recent years just to make ends meet, so I knew all too well how this could affect me.

Before court my mom asked me if I’d like her to accompany me. I politely told her I’d be fine and Jesus would go with me. She thought I was being facetious, but I was serious.  I hoped he would anyway.

So I went to court, rosary prayers said and rosary in my pocket. I found myself alone in the courtroom begging Jesus to be with me. My heart was peaceful, but my worry wasn’t gone.

In walked my ex-husband with his new wife and baby. There is a certain pain standing alone against someone that has moved on to a new family while I’m struggling so hard to maintain the first.

I focused all of my attention to ask Jesus to be with me. I prayed and I trusted.

Then Jesus showed up too; I know this because despite having every reason to want to climb the walls (the comments of the opposing table and the fear of what will become a financial burden for me) I was perfectly fine. My heart was peaceful.

The hearing went just like I expected: child support dropped to less than half and smugness from the opposite table. But I was okay, I knew we would be fine. Held up in faith, I walked out the door and down the stairs with my head held high. As I crossed the yard of the courthouse I could feel the bright sun and peace all over. I smelled clean laundry. That smell reminds me of mom’s house, my place of safety. This phantom aroma was a reminder from Jesus that He was with me.

I’ve done some time in the land of single parenting. I’ve cried and had breakdowns. I’ve feared and I’ve stood in faith. I’ve never regretted the days I stood in faith, and despite the fear and tears, I know the most painful days brought me a strength I didn’t know was possible.

Jesus didn’t promise we would not face hard times. He didn’t promise that the people around us would stand beside us or that we would be given a fair cut in worldly duties. He did promise to never abandon us, and He won’t. He comes into the dirt of our biggest fears and stands beside us. He brings mercy and hope that cannot be matched. All he asks is that we trust Him.

If I’ve learned anything in life, it’s that life is very simple. Trust Jesus to show up and He will. If you know someone that is heading to court, let them know you’re praying for them and help them to trust Jesus to show up. Though we’re stubborn and probably won’t ask for it, we single parents need support.

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