People often ask me, "Cheryl, how are the girls doing though all of this?" Without a doubt, that question was this mother's greatest fear when Jim left. How are my children going to make it through these seven long years without their daddy? With all the scary statistics out there about how children raised without a father in the home suffer from this, that, and the other, it can be a scary road to travel. The increased risk for deviant behavior, promiscuity, pregnancy, drug abuse, neurodevelopment disruptions, abnormal social interactions, aggression, crime, obesity, poverty, poor health, failing education, compromised emotional security, susceptibility to exploitation by adult men, etc...is all supposedly knocking at my door.
Fear can really grip you as a parent if you don't know how to fight it...if you don’t know who the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is! I would sometimes find myself asking, "Can you help me fight against all these terrible odds and statistics, Lord? Can I really do all this by myself, with the head of my home and spiritual covering absent? Can I really fill BOTH roles?" Thank goodness HIS word is more powerful than our fears!
Jim did a lot of the spiritual teaching inside our home and he brought every situation and circumstance into a spiritual atmosphere, giving analogies and biblical instruction for each issue that arose. I simply had different giftings than he did (I can change diapers like a champ!) and I felt that I lacked in certain areas where he flourished. How would I fill those gaps now? Would I even be able to?
It has been seven long months since Jim left and I am blessed to report that Yahweh gives us grace that is more than sufficient, if we just ASK Him for it! He is SO faithful, even in our darkest hours. Our family is learning to take life day by day and recognize that He is our DAILY bread for a reason. We need Him DAILY! Life is too hard to not take things day by day and to not eat daily from HIS hand to replenish our souls. Everyone in our family definitely has their moments, but as a mother I have watched things transpire in my children these last several months that have been so beautiful, things that speak of the training they have received from their father. I am surely blessed! I pray the Father will continue to give our family the grace we need to withstand life's storms and help us to stay strong in the midst of this long trial.
One thing I have come to realize through these last several months is that my children are spiritually stronger than I ever could have asked for or imagined. I often find them reading their bibles or find their bibles left open around the house. I find Sierra journaling about the visions, words, and spiritual activity she's been getting in the midst of all the mess. I recently had the worst day I have ever had in my life but Sierra knew very little of what I was dealing with. The next morning, she came to my room and told me she felt like she was supposed to read me a word out of her little notebook that she had written down a year ago. I lay there reading her journal entry as tears streamed down my face. I could barely see through them to keep reading. I lay there totally paralyzed as my Father’s love washed over me like a flood. That word had been saved for precisely that moment in time. How did she know what I was feeling? How did she know what I needed? How did she remember a word given to her for me by someone who gave it the year before?
I often find myself on the receiving end of a word of encouragement or scripture given to me by one of my girls and it just blows me away. Or I will receive a text from Alayna when I'm feeling down with a link to a song that hits me straight in the heart and speaks exactly to what I'm feeling. Sometimes I feel guilty when my children are there to lift me up spiritually. I want to be strong for them and always help make them feel encouraged. But we're family and are woven together tightly. We sense each other’s pain and jump in to try and heal it.
My girls are doing better than I could ever have hoped for because they know where their hope lies. The Staleys will continue to find our hope IN the Father and in His word. 2 Cor. 12:19 says, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 1 Peter 1:3-6: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Christ. In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Yeshua from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”
The Staleys are fighters. We are worshippers of the King of Kings! We are warriors for His kingdom. Jim always used to use this phrase with the kids: “The Staleys don’t quit!” No matter what comes our way. No matter if Yahweh gives or takes away. Our hearts will choose to say, blessed be Your name!
Yahweh is sustaining our family, and we know that we have only made it this far because of all your prayers. It truly means more to me than ANYTHING. Prayer is vital, and when we as a body begin to really see what the power of prayer can do for those around us, we will truly learn to use it as our greatest weapon to fight against the enemy and his schemes. His first plan is to destroy the family; we all know that. If he can get that to happen first, he knows everything else can just fall into place. Although Abba is present despite Jim’s absence, we still desperately need your continued support through prayer. I know many are already doing this daily and we want to thank you so very much. This story in Luke has opened my eyes to the great need for me to be persistent in my prayers!
Luke 18:1-8: "Then Yeshua told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: 'In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 'For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!' 6 And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?' I pray He finds it in me and I pray He finds it in you too.
Yahweh bless you.