Another day dawns. Like a splash of icy water on my face, I awake to face the stark thought that all this has to be a nightmare and  couldn't be happening to me, to us, to our family. I couldn't be expecting our sixth baby, finishing the daunting task of unpacking after a recent move, and newly separated from my husband. I roll over and close my eyes, wanting to go back to sleep and pretend it's only a nightmare.

How am I going to manage this emotional roller coaster, unpack the house, have a baby, and start our homeschool? This was a real question I recently had to face.

Are you finding yourself in a similar situation and wondering how to make it through the next day, week, or year—much less continue to homeschool your children?

While I may not know your specific marriage struggles or what you are  going through, I hope to speak to your hurting heart and offer some encouragement and advice based on my own experience and what the Lord has been teaching me.

Death of a Vision

Allow yourself time to grieve. I haven't experienced the death of my husband, but the death of a vision I had for my family. This is a devastating experience that requires a lot of time in prayer, seeking the Lord for wisdom and direction.

I am reminded that often something has to die before it can become what God ultimately wants it to be. This is seen in the physical task of planting seeds in the earth, but also in the spiritual world. This truth helped me remember that pain serves a very useful purpose. Instead of trying to run from my pain, I chose to work through it by spending time with the Lord and in His Word.

Seeking the Lord and His Word

If the Lord doesn't build the house, the builders labor in vain. When the winds and waves of life come, you will not stand if your foundation is anything less than the Word of God.  If you have not grounded yourself and your children in the Word, when the storms of life come, you are at great risk of losing your faith in God.

During this painful time, the Lord has been my Strength, my Security, my Refuge, my Husband, my Provider, my Counselor, my Everything. He has been more than sufficient to meet every need, and let me assure you, He is Enough!

I spent many sleepless nights in my Savior's arms weeping while He ministered His Word (especially the Psalms) to my hurting heart. The Lord spoke to me so clearly and specifically during the worst of this that it has become a priceless experience to me. He has turned my Valley of Baca into a place of springs (Psalm 84:5-7) by walking through it with me every step of the way. He can and will do that for you if you turn solely to Him.

Seek Godly Counsel

I have greatly benefited from receiving godly counsel from seasoned Christians in the area of marriage. Let me encourage you to be a "Berean" and check the advice you receive against the Word of God. Ask the Lord to direct you before, during, and after you receive counsel from others. Doesn't He know your situation better than anyone? He will give you the best counsel and answer your pleas for wisdom.

I have found that there are many varying opinions and ideas as to how to deal with difficult marital issues. The process of seeking counsel can become confusing and difficult, to say the least. Sometimes you will want someone to just tell you what to do!

Prayer is key. God alone has the bigger picture, the master plan. I find great comfort in that, and He always gets the final word before any decisions are made. Ultimately, He is the One who should direct you. That doesn't mean you shouldn't seek counsel from others. In fact, the Bible tells us in Proverbs 11:14, "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." The important thing is to get counsel, while at the same time seeking wisdom from God in prayer and time in the Word.