I couldn’t believe what I was doing.
I sat in court for what had to be the thirtieth time in the previous three-and-a-half years. The battle had been long, and exhausting, and the most harrowing experience of my life.
I felt defeated, and unheard, and pushed aside by a system that seemed to cater to men. A system that appeared to allow bad behavior to the point of terrorizing victims while the victims themselves had to claw and fight for their very safety.
It was unreal.
It was no different than the other times I’d been in court. Except that each time I sat there, I became more numb to it all.
I’d learned to position myself directly behind my ex. Enough rows that he couldn’t eye me without completely turning around in his seat—something I hoped that even the judge would notice. My restraining order was still in effect, though the power it actually held seemed minimal compared to what I’d gone through.
My faith was nearly shot. For the first time since I’d become a Christian, I was seriously starting to reconsider it. Wondering if God really was in it with me. If He even cared. If anyone did.
And as I sat behind my ex in court—again—watching his body language and wondering what the day would hold . . . I felt God nudging me to pray for him.
I bristled at the very thought.
To pray for a man that had essentially terrorized me to the point that I honestly felt that the situation would end in my death? It seemed ridiculous to do such a thing. And yet, I felt God asking me to do what I hadn’t been able to do for myself in months, much less the one person who hated me most in this world.
And though I thought it absurd, and had no idea what to even say . . . I obeyed the nudge and took a position of praying on that bench. It was in that moment that I realized something—I was giving up my toe-to-toe struggle with my ex and choosing a sideline position by giving him over to God.
I was shocked at how easy it came for me to pray for him. And it wasn’t a pat prayer, or something that was forced. My heart suddenly eased toward this man and I earnestly prayed good for him. That God would bless him. That God would heal him. That God would show him grace. That God would give him happiness in this world. I prayed as I sat just rows behind him and fully wanted all of those things for him more than I even wanted them for myself.
Then something unexpected happened.
After nearly four years of fighting him in court every single month and being worn down to a shell of the people we once were, everything was settled in court that day.
It was over.
The battle that had consumed my life, my mind, and my very sanity. The battle that had been at a vicious standstill for months. The battle that had me resigned to the fact that I had no choice but to drop everything and forget about what was fair . . . was suddenly made right.
Before my very eyes. With no one in that courtroom knowing what really happened except for me and my God.
And all it took was a little obedience, a minuscule amount of faith, and a big God who knows the heart of each of us and exactly what we need to live in freedom.
Will you consider praying for your ex?
Laura Polk is a single mom, author, writer, speaker, and friend. She has written for magazines, such as Focus on the Family, Christian Parenting Today, and Crosswalk. She is author of the upcoming release The Single Mom Challenge. She is a graduate of She Speaks and Christian Communicators. For more information, visit www.laurapolk.com.
The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com