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I'm struggling with my faith after losing custody of my sons

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Liam2019, May 12, 2019.

  1. Liam2019

    Liam2019 New Member

    5
    +7
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Divorced
    Hi everyone, i am new to these forums,I don't usually post much on internet forums but i've come here because i really need advice. i am a 40 year old male from the united kingdom, i've been a Christian since early childhood and i'm also the father of two boys aged 3 and 5. My wife and i had been married for 6 years when we had the first boy and our marriage was still happy and healthy at that time so we decided to have another child as a brother or sister for him. But after our second son was born my wife got post natal depression and shortly after this our marriage hit a rocky patch. We stayed together for a while and tried to make it work and bring our sons up together, but then she had an affair and when our youngest son was just 12 months old she ran off with the other man and left me to bring up the boys alone.

    So i did this for about a year, i was a single dad and i was coping fine and doing my best. Then she gets back in contact out of the blue asking to see them which i agreed to as she is their mother and i wasn't going to stop her from seeing them. She also asked for a divorce so she can marry the other man. She saw them a few times and the next thing i got a letter to tell me she was applying for custody and we would have to go to family court. I got legal aid as i do not have a highly paid job and couldn't afford to pay for a lawyer. We went to court and she told lies in court about how i was a bad father and an abusive husband and how i had thrown her out and wouldn't let her see the boys (completely untrue as she left of her own accord and when she eventually came back to see them i didn't stop her) Anyway the result was that 6 months ago the judge gave her full custody of the boys and they will now remain in her custody until they are 18. I was given contact, i am allowed to see them once a fortnight at weekends. I was also told i am not allowed to appeal the ruling and i must pay child support for two boys i barely get to see.

    Anyway, the last 6 months have been the worst in my entire life, the pain of losing my children in this way is something that i can't explain, you have to experience it to understand it. To go from having them with me all the time, seeing them every day. to only seeing them once a fortnight is killing me. Knowing i was a loving father and they were still taken from me is hard to live with and hard to accept. She only did it to punish me even though i didn't do anything wrong she blames me for everything. I try not to allow myself to fall into self pity but its very harsh to live with, just incredibly difficult, i think about them and miss them every minute of every day, there is no relief from it its in my mind all the time. Then when i see them its great but its only one day a fortnight and having to wait that long between contact is hard.

    The problem is i am struggling with my faith, i feel angry about what has happened, i also feel sad and empty. I keep wondering why God let this happen but i keep trying to remind myself that God is not to blame, he didn't do this to me and i want to remember that but its hard, i keep feeling like i've lost my faith. I've stopped going to church, partly because i am so depressed that its hard to feel motivated but also partly because i feel angry and don't want to worship god right now. I don't want to feel like this, but i just do and i can't shake it off.

    Any advice would be appreciated. I don't know how i can restore my faith in God. The punishment i am living with was my ex wife's fault not Gods but i still feel angry at God. Yikes!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  2. Danielwright2311

    Danielwright2311 Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,314
    United States
    Christian
    Divorced
    I lost all my kids and non of the older ones want anything to do with me.

    At that point, I dont think I could stand loosing God to, He is the only one in my life want wants anything to do with me even if I do everything for every one, it does not matter.
     
  3. Willing-heart

    Willing-heart In Christ Alone. Supporter

    462
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    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Single
    There are times in lives when we find ourselves hanging upside-down. There are times in lives when the best of hope gets dashed. There are times in lives when the highest of our dreams get shattered. And, in those times, the natural question is – Why? I’m convinced that this question must be pounding on the doors of Heaven all the time from broken-hearted people everywhere. It probably rises to Heaven from hospital wards, lonely bedroom, grave sites and each personal Gethsemane where troubled soul plea in private agony, “Why all the suffering? Why? Why?”

    Why is the most natural question that we can ask. There is nothing wrong in asking God, “Why?” The greatest heroes in Biblical faith, they all asked, “Why?” In the book of Judges (chapter 6), when the Midianites were about to decimate the people of God, Gideon asked, why did God allow this to happen? Job, who lost his family, fortune, health and pretty much everything, sat on a heap of rubble and asked (Job 3:11), why wasn’t I born dead? The Lord Jesus Christ himself, while hanging on the cross asked God, “Why?”

    If Jesus is saying anything to us by willingly choosing the way of the cross, He is saying, God has an eternal purpose even in your unexplainable suffering. God has a longer view of life even in the painful event of your life. God has a wide-angle lens when it comes to difficult circumstances in your life. God has a higher aim, especially in those inexplicable situations.

    God never promised us a smooth sailing in the sea of life. On the journey to Heaven, we were never promised row row row your boat gently down the stream. God did NOT promise us that we will never ever have problems, trials, difficulties, illnesses, sickness and diseases in this life. But He PROMISED to be with us in the midst of it all until He calls us home. He never promised an easy ride, but He promised a safe arrival. God did not promise us days without pain, laughter without sorrow, Nor sun without rain. But HE did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way. He did promise that there will be a day with no more tears and that He will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Rev. 21:4). Psalm 56:8 reveals how precious even our tears are to God when we cry out to Him. God stores up all our tears and records them all.Tears are prayers too, they travel to God when we cannot speak.

    Martin Luther, the great reformer was known to be prone to discouragement. Apparently, he became really discouraged and started to fall into the depth of despair when his friends turned on him during a time when he was battling the emperor and the pope. In his despair he sought the Lord, and eventually found encouragement when he looked up. He later wrote down in a letter that, "I have looked up in the night sky spangled and structured with stars and found no pillar to hold them up, yet did not fall..."

    The Greatest Sacrifice
     
  4. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    +7,827
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    When my first wife left under similar conditions, I went through the same grief, anger, depression, etc., but Jesus came, put His hand on my shoulder and said, "I am your refuge and strength; a very present help in time of trouble." I told the Lord that this was the time when I would find out whether I was a real Christian or not. This did not prevent me having to go through seven years of storm and stress after ditching all my spiritual mentors and "went it alone", deciding to live my life as I wanted and not how other religious people wanted.

    I discovered that my faith was largely based on things other than the Lord Himself, and "going it alone" showed me that there is only one Saviour, and He is faithful when none of my religious friends had any answers for me. In fact I had no answers for myself! I remember getting alone with God on a country road and having a shouting match with Him about the unfairness of it all. Instead of the big thumb coming down from the sky to wipe me out, He said, "Trust Me. When I give up on your marriage, I will lead you further on."
    Then one day, I was walking along an isolated beach, and the Lord took me through what the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and the Ascension meant. Then He gave me a minds-eye vision of Him sitting on the throne in victory over the waves of the sea. He then said, "I have the victory over all your circumstances". My response was to laugh and run along the beach, jumping and shouting "Yahoo!"

    After that, the next year I was admitted to Teacher training and University (I was a school dropout, so that was a miracle), and ended up with a University degree and a teaching diploma, and a new career. After that seven years, I found a new partner and remarried, and through that God restored everything I had lost, double (like Job). He even gave me a new daughter after being separated from my first daughter because my first wife thought that our divorce meant divorcing me from my daughter as well.

    We have now been married for 28 years, with a 27 old daughter whom I am very proud of. I went on to have a 19 year career as a teacher, joined a church in 1996, became an elder, treasurer, preacher, worship leader, Sunday school teacher, and involved in an interdenominational prophetic ministry.

    What I am saying is that negative experiences like these strips all the "deadwood" away that we put our trust in - marriage, wife, church, children, home, material assets, career, ministry (all of which was taken away when my first marriage failed), and we end up as "Mr Nobody", having to trust in Christ alone. Then we realise that trusting that Jesus died for us on the cross is all we need, and when we had all those material things, the cross was all we needed anyway. It just take the loss of all things to realise that.

    All our material and worldly things, as well as church ministry, can be taken away from us, but Jesus will never leave us. No one can take Him away from us. He said, "Non shall pluck them out of My hands."

    I trust that this is helpful.
     
  5. Liam2019

    Liam2019 New Member

    5
    +7
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Divorced
    This does make me think about whether i focused too much on those two boys (i won't call them my sons anymore because maybe its inappropriate now that i don't have custody) and started to neglect God. Maybe the boys had to be taken away from me so that i can get back to worshipping God without distractions. Maybe i'm looking at this all wrong, i see the loss of the boys as a punishment when maybe its a gift because now they are gone maybe i'll get back to remembering that my faith is all that matters and the boys were distracting me and making me neglect God. you've given me an interesting thought about the boys being deadwood, maybe i just need to let go, accept the loss, move on and realise that God is all that matters anyway.
     
  6. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    +7,827
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    I had to live with not seeing my 4-1/2 year old daughter again in the short term, but I wrote to her regularly and sent presents every birthday and Christmas. Whether they got to her or not, I never really knew, but I did my best to communicate to her that I loved her and cared about her.

    And I got a verse from Ezekiel to give her the message that she was not acting according to God's will, knowing that she probably would not listen. But God told Ezekiel not to be concerned whether the people would listen or not, but give them the Word of prophecy anyway. That way, their blood would not be on his hands, but if he did not give them the prophecy, then their blood would be on their hands.

    I didn't not agree that divorce was God's plan for us, and I told her straight a number of times, but she hardened her heart and got counselling from a liberal religious counsellor who was one of those who did not believe in the historical Jesus, virgin birth or even that God was a real person but was in everything (Pantheism). So, in telling her the truth in obedience to what God showed me in Ezekiel, the responsibility for what happened to us became hers.

    Although I tried to meet my own needs in my own way, and God had to bail me out of two or three relationships (by telling me "this is not the woman for you"), it was not until my first wife married again, that I was then free for God to arrange another wife for me, and He did that, and the Baptist pastor said that I was a godsend to her, as she had lost her husband through cancer three years before and she was not coping with the loneliness. I think that she was a godsend to me too, because although she does not share my particular theology, she is a faithful, supportive wife, and we have had 28 years of happiness together. And she has never stopped me from doing anything that God has led me to do in service to Him.

    I have an Ebook that charts how God has spoken to me over the years, including that time, and I will attach it for you and anyone else who needs to know how God can guide us through the "minefields" of experiences like ours.

    I met up with my elder daughter when she was 16 years old, and have had a good rapport since. It is important that you show your sons that you really care for them, and God will arrange for you to have contact and a relationship with them in His time.
     

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  7. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

    +831
    United States
    Reformed
    Widowed
    I second what @Oscarr says. Don't think of your kids as "dead wood". You "donated the material" you are still their father; no matter what!

    I'm a 48 year old widow with a 17 year old developmentally disabled son. My husband decided he "didn't love me anymore" after a catastrophic car accident in 2010. He took off for girlfriend #2.

    We went through family court too and if you want to see your kids more; you will have to fight for it. I didn't have a lawyer either. I'm the custodial parent. I always have been. I've learned one thing from dealing with Social Security and doctors and administrative law judges and family court etc. Documentation is king! When my husband started telling the child advocate and judge that our son really didn't have all these medical problems; that I was just "manipulating the doctors" and all these agencies into putting him on meds and giving him services he really didn't need - I started making copies of his medical file and giving them to the judge. You say he doesn't have epilepsy - the hospital paper work would disagree with you.

    Well after two years of going through court; the judge finally determined that dad wasn't telling the truth and neither was the child advocate "lawyer".

    And once "girlfriend #2" came into his life as "girlfriend #2" he dropped his 13 year old son like a hot potato. And of course kept saying it was my fault.

    Well to "make a long story short"; he didn't file for divorce until he decided he wanted to marry girlfriend #2. Well, he filed for divorce in February of 2017 and on March 3, 2017, girlfriend #2 broke up with him and he committed suicide that night. The police came to my doorstep 2 days later and told me they'd found his body in his apartment.

    Well, the divorce paperwork never got to the judge, so we were still officially married and I was next of kin. I had to call the police and get a lawyer to keep the brother from stealing stuff out of the apartment. He pretty directly told me, once he found out his brother was deceased that he wanted me to sign over the entire estate to him. And after he and the girlfriend told the county Sherif that I murdered the guy - I pretty much told him where to go and how to get there. I was tired of the BS and I'm not playing these games. Even if we had been officially divorced - his son (who was 15 when this happened and still a minor) would have been next of kin and they still would have had to deal with me, because he was a minor. Well, after about 4 days of cleaning out the apartment, I found the suicide note (addressed to the girlfriend) and turned it over to the police.

    The landlord was shady too and I found a note written in the girlfriend's handwriting of everything in the apartment that she wanted. My husband had taken all of her stuff and left it in a pile on the living room floor. Some of it was in the back of his car. Well, after the police told the brother and landlord that if anything else turned up missing from the apartment, they were coming after them; that was the end of that.

    I gave my son all his father's baseball cards, his coin collection, an antique lamp, a cedar chest and a couple of paintings. Everything else got donated.

    So with 3 weeks left until the end of the month, my son missed 2 weeks of school, pretty much to help me clean out the apartment and plan the funeral. My son did most of the planning. I basically drove him around to different places we needed to go (the crematorium provider, the florist, the local newspaper, the church, the party supply store to pick up paper plates and stuff for the after service wake.

    It was hard on my son; but he stuck through the entire task and I think it was good for him. It gave him as much closure as he was ever going to get (and as I could ever give him) to a very fractured relationship.

    We go to a Christian music festival every year that's held at a theme park and last year, while we were waiting for the amphitheater to empty out after a Casting Crowns concert. My son turned and looked at me and said: "You know mom, even despite everything dad did to us; he didn't deserve to die that way." I told him "Yeah, I know what you mean. We can't control other people's actions though." He said: "I wish he'd asked God for help." - "Yeah, I wish he would have too." We both cried a little bit and then followed the rest of the exiting concert goers back to the hotel room.

    So what ever you do; I can tell you as the parent on the other side of this - as the mother of a teenage boy who's father is now dead - your sons still need you.

     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  8. longwait

    longwait Well-Known Member

    812
    +553
    Christian
    Married
    Its sad to see what people have to go through in this life. I don't know what to say regarding your situation but only a few scriptures to share which I believe will be of comfort to you. Don't let go of the Lord but draw ever more closer to Him now. Don't let the devil be victorious here. What if you are being tested like Job?
    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. James 1:2-4

    Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

    When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James1:12-15

    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

    29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

    32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

    33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

    34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

    35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

    37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

    38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

    39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:28-39
     
  9. bmjackson

    bmjackson Newbie

    517
    +172
    Christian
    Single
    @Liam2019 Dear brother you have my deepest sympathy. No-one understands this type of pain unless they go through it. You risk being retraumatised by sharing it indiscriminantly.

    Most of the people who do this sort of thing are narcissists somewhere on the spectrum and will stand up in court and lie.

    You must educate yourself about this condition and get support - online there are groups, to know what to expect and the best way of doing things and what to say to your children when you still have the chance of seeing them, but which is in danger of ceasing if indeed your ex is a narc.

    Don't give up on them, and continue to buy gifts, go to school events and show you are involved. Do not disuss anything with their mother and record every single thing because one day you might have enough proof to get custody back if you can show she is alienating them from you by not supporting and encouraging your relationship with them.

    These children are very damaged by the narc. I have lost 4 children this way.

    God has allowed it - He does not protect us from pain but He is the way you will get through. Just decide that you will trust Him whatever, and wait on Him reading His promises. God bless you brother.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  10. carp614

    carp614 Active Member

    299
    +284
    Christian
    Married
    Oh! Such heart ache! Brother my heart is broken for you.

    Lord I pray you will ease Liam's suffering. Give him peace that surpasses understanding and guide him through this difficult season so that He might see your love for him and show it to his ex wife and sons. In Jesus name, Amen.

    Liam - You are now and always will be father to those boys. It may not be how you wish it to be, but you can still be a father.

    On being mad at God - It's ok to be mad at God. In your grief the Father knows your heart. There is nothing you can do to separate yourself from God's love. Allow this process to occur. Move through your grief and anger by giving them to the Lord. Lean toward, not away from, the church. You'll find no better place from which to be ministered to.
    I think you will have an opportunity to show grace and mercy to those who have wronged you one day. Prepare for that day. I suggest you read the book of Job and the story of Joseph starting in Genesis chapter 37. Those stories have blessed me and helped me to cope in difficult times.

    I know it's hard to see, but I am absolutely certain that God loves you Liam. God Bless you Brother.
     
  11. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

    +10,085
    Anabaptist
    QUOTE="Liam2019, post: 73941781, member: 419546"]Hi everyone, i am new to these forums,I don't usually post much on internet forums but i've come here because i really need advice. i am a 40 year old male from the united kingdom, i've been a Christian since early childhood and i'm also the father of two boys aged 3 and 5. My wife and i had been married for 6 years when we had the first boy and our marriage was still happy and healthy at that time so we decided to have another child as a brother or sister for him. But after our second son was born my wife got post natal depression and shortly after this our marriage hit a rocky patch. We stayed together for a while and tried to make it work and bring our sons up together, but then she had an affair and when our youngest son was just 12 months old she ran off with the other man and left me to bring up the boys alone.

    So i did this for about a year, i was a single dad and i was coping fine and doing my best. Then she gets back in contact out of the blue asking to see them which i agreed to as she is their mother and i wasn't going to stop her from seeing them. She also asked for a divorce so she can marry the other man. She saw them a few times and the next thing i got a letter to tell me she was applying for custody and we would have to go to family court. I got legal aid as i do not have a highly paid job and couldn't afford to pay for a lawyer. We went to court and she told lies in court about how i was a bad father and an abusive husband and how i had thrown her out and wouldn't let her see the boys (completely untrue as she left of her own accord and when she eventually came back to see them i didn't stop her) Anyway the result was that 6 months ago the judge gave her full custody of the boys and they will now remain in her custody until they are 18. I was given contact, i am allowed to see them once a fortnight at weekends. I was also told i am not allowed to appeal the ruling and i must pay child support for two boys i barely get to see.

    Anyway, the last 6 months have been the worst in my entire life, the pain of losing my children in this way is something that i can't explain, you have to experience it to understand it. To go from having them with me all the time, seeing them every day. to only seeing them once a fortnight is killing me. Knowing i was a loving father and they were still taken from me is hard to live with and hard to accept. She only did it to punish me even though i didn't do anything wrong she blames me for everything. I try not to allow myself to fall into self pity but its very harsh to live with, just incredibly difficult, i think about them and miss them every minute of every day, there is no relief from it its in my mind all the time. Then when i see them its great but its only one day a fortnight and having to wait that long between contact is hard.

    The problem is i am struggling with my faith, i feel angry about what has happened, i also feel sad and empty. I keep wondering why God let this happen but i keep trying to remind myself that God is not to blame, he didn't do this to me and i want to remember that but its hard, i keep feeling like i've lost my faith. I've stopped going to church, partly because i am so depressed that its hard to feel motivated but also partly because i feel angry and don't want to worship god right now. I don't want to feel like this, but i just do and i can't shake it off.

    Any advice would be appreciated. I don't know how i can restore my faith in God. The punishment i am living with was my ex wife's fault not Gods but i still feel angry at God. Yikes![/QUOTE
    =========================================

    She was told and coached what to do and what to say every step of the way,
    regardless of if she thought it was right or wrong good or bad, true or false.

    That is how the legal system works. (in the USA and in other countries, by lawyers and social workers and pastors and priests and counselors (yes, even so-called christian counselors) ) ....

    There is little to no chance to "beat the system", especially after it has already gotten the children.

    (BEFORE THEN, the ONLY thing to do , that is recommended, is to move)

    That's 'in general', and of course where all the money / power/ is usually.

    As Jesus says, keep seeking the truth, and trusting the heavenly Father ALWAYS,

    especially through the hardest times (which are yet to come),

    for HE IS OUR STRENGTH AND OUR SONG ! ...

    Getting the children back as ought to be , rarely happens,

    but seeking the truth , KNOWING THE TRUTH as it is revealed, even

    all this hard , unjust truth,

    does set you free....... free to cry for years, broken hearted. but not overcome.

    Other people usually do not care about the truth - they all seem to go along with the system
    and to trust the system, even though it is an entirely wicked evil system.
     
  12. Joined2krist

    Joined2krist Well-Known Member

    674
    +507
    Catholic
    Single
    Cast your burden unto God for He cares for you. God bless
     
  13. Andrew77

    Andrew77 The walking accident Supporter

    +1,218
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Constitution
    Yeah, you know that G-d didn't do this, yet you are still mad at G-d. What do you expect from G-d? Can G-d turn the woman into a robot without her own will, and then program her to stay with you, and not lie about you, and so on?

    No he can not. Human beings made their choice to be evil and sinful. It was your wife's choice to become evil.

    Does that mean you are not mad? Of course you are mad, and there is nothing wrong with being mad. You need to tell G-d straight up, all your anger. Just tell him. I would even go to your church, and ask to meet with a pastor, and just tell him what you are going through. Don't ask for advice, just ask that he will listen to you. Sit there, and tell G-d how hurt, angry, sad, ticked off you are.

    And then pray for justice. Some Christians groups do not believe in this, but I do. I think it is good, and right, to pray that G-d will drop the hammer on evil. Pray that he dispenses justice on behalf of the wronged.

    Pray a strong prayer.
     
  14. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

    +4,747
    Christian
    Married
    Your sons are not deadwood. Neither is your partial separation from them a "punishment" from God.

    I don't know what pressures your ex-wife was operating under, but her affair, and desertion of you and the kids was one of those evil things we run into in this life. And to have the courts place the kids with a lying deserter must have been the icing on the cake for you. Fathers often get the short end of the stick ... when it comes to their rights to custody of their children.

    (The glimmer of hope in this situation is your ex-wife's seeming instability. It is very possible that her circumstances/desires will change again ... leaving you with more access to the kids).

    But it has happened.

    Now, depend on God to see you through ... and to carry you forward.

    Cherish your time with your sons, ... while, simultaneously making the most of the extra time that you now have.

    God will bless you.
     
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