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Jill – Being Courageous

My name is Jill Grusch. I’m the Mom in a blended family & we have six children who range from ages 8 to 26. I love to learn, read, travel, watch volleyball and especially love meeting new people.

Fifteen years ago was the beginning of the most difficult season of my life. I was a happily married, stay-at-home mom of two beautiful little girls. Gabrielle was still a baby when her Daddy came home one day and abruptly announced that he was considering divorce. I was completely shocked and never once believed it would truly happen. While everything around me was unraveling and more painful than I could possibly describe, I clung to God for life — to breathe and function through each day. I wept while singing praise songs and renewed my commitment to walk WITH God daily. When I didn’t get the answer I 100% knew was coming (a restored marriage and family), because I knew my God would never allow my children to live their entire lives with such brokenness, I almost broke down completely. The despair was indescribable. Failure was not an option I’d truly considered.

“God hates divorce.”
“Broken marriage.”
“Single mom.”
Phrases that became realities were so difficult to accept for me. Realities that changed my view of God for a time. I was angry with Him for allowing my precious children and I to face betrayal and abandonment.

One day at a time, He revealed his loving mercy to me, just when I needed it most. He had His people minister to me in loving ways – from the woman who said, “What day this week would it be most helpful to watch your girls?” to the money that would simply show up in the mail when a bill was due, to the Sunday school class of men that volunteered to take on fix-it and painting projects and the godly couple that (with shovels) helped me for many hours changing the land/dirt in the back yard to prevent flooding in my basement. I had friends that would drag me to the foot of the cross in prayer and friends who showed up on my doorstep with a Coke in one hand and a Pepsi in the other to brighten my day. One friend chose to substitute teach at least eight days (while I watched our children), so that we could use the funds to go to California during one of my first weeks without my girls.  Still, I would complain to God about my husband while mowing the yard and God would remind me of His steadfast and faithful love for me. We wrestled, God and I! He won.

 

As the years have gone by, through being a single mom and then, through something in my own opinion and experience, much more challenging — a blended family — God has remained, while I’ve ridden the extreme ups and downs of this life. I’ve tried to lean on Him and not my own understanding, while continuing to watch my children experience deep and heartfelt pain and abandonment. I’ve pleaded with God to be a Father that will never leave or forsake them and one who will be real to them. I’ve made countless mistakes and failed them too. He can cover those as well.

Out of my deepest sorrow, came joy. A beautiful blessing of a sweet, red-headed boy is walking this earth because of my heartache and the desire to have a biological child by my husband, who had previously adopted children from China and Russia. Grant is a miracle to me, someone God had a plan for who could never have been born, but for the most painful experience of my life. God is amazing!

He has also placed in my heart the desire to teach and encourage others. Divorce lasts longer than our lifetime. The consequences stay with our children and theirs. I believe some divorces result from disobedience to God and His standards. While my former husband chose a different relationship and I had no choice in the matter, there are things I wish I’d done differently before it came to that. If I can inspire you to do more for your marriage today, I’ve done my job.

Be courageous!

If you see your spouse is struggling and they refuse to seek professional help, go get some yourself. Pray continually for your spouse and your relationship, gathering with and asking others to do so alongside you. Sacrifice daily, “considering your spouse’s needs above your own,” even while getting nothing in return.

Never give up!! God hates divorce. I’ve seen and experienced firsthand the obstacles that stand in the way of people who are fighting the battles that come along with it.

I wonder how much better our world would be if all the people touched by divorce were using the energy needed to survive the natural consequences of it to do other things.
I heard Beth Moore say once that “no one’s favorite verse” is the following, but I do have to say I love it and it is one of my life goals to achieve the results of it.

James 1:2-5
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

I feel like the testing has continued to come, the perseverance is in progress and the mature and complete will be awesome to see! I’m thankful to a God who will give generously to you and to me, giving us just the right amount of courage to face today and all the days to come.


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