Van living was not as bad as we were expecting. Definitely not ideal, but it worked. We ended up driving around, moving from one parking lot to another a few times because we weren’t sure if we were allowed to park in one spot overnight. This is not something you would normally need to know in life. There are a couple of parks with open restrooms that we were able to go into and change in the mornings. We all brushed our teeth on the way to school. This consists of everyone brushing, a cup being passed around for everyone to spit in, all toothbrushes being passed up to mom, mouthwash passed around, the cup being passed around again to spit out the mouthwash, mom getting the cup and then the cup being dumped outside and rinsed once we can get to some grass. We also belong to a local recreation center and were able to take showers there. Aaron and I stayed up most nights and were very groggy the next day. We napped in the van after dropping the kids off. We felt guilty for doing so, since the kids had to keep their brains alert all day at school, but we claimed old age and gave in to the sleepiness.
We lasted in the van until Wednesday, when my friend called to see how we were doing. She let us know their house was open to us at any time. We prayed about it and still felt like the van is where we were supposed to be. We talked to the kids about it again and they also said that the van was where we needed to be. The older two said they were ok with the van, but if there was an option to be somewhere else they wanted to take it. So, comfort won out again and we headed back to our friends’ house. We all knew we weren’t really supposed to be staying at their house and having our kids camped out in their living room made it even worse, so this time we had them all stay in the room with us. We made four blanket pallets on the floor and they all picked a spot to crash.
A week later Aaron took the kiddos to school while I stayed at the house to pray and write. He came back on a major rampage. He told me he had a shouting session with God on the way back from the schools. He said he informed God that he had not given up everything he had and left everything behind to serve some weak ass church god. He was tired of only hearing platitudes of “it’s going to be ok. God is going to restore.” He left everything to find and know the mighty God of the Bible, so that God had better put up or shut up. He even asked God to just kill all of us, if he was not going to show up. I really wasn’t ok with that. He didn’t ask my permission to say that to God. I scooted over to the other side of the room, because I was certain a bolt of lightning was going to scorch him, or a big fist was going to come through the ceiling at any moment and thunk him on the head. I figured if he was so intent on duking it out with God he could go right ahead and get his butt kicked. I was staying out of it, safe in my little corner. A few moments after his rant was over he heard his phone buzz. I heard him mutter, “This better be something.” as in significant from God. It was a text from a family member saying they had just finished their devotions for the day and had thought of us when they read the following verses. They felt they needed to share them, in hopes of giving us some encouragement: “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. This was Aaron’s inspiration to write the post “Pressed, but not Crushed”. I read further and felt like verse 10 was giving us the point of all of this troubling, perplexing, hunting and knocking down. “Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 2:10. We try to carefully craft our lives so that all the good things that happen to us can show people how great God is and we have it all wrong. It is through our troubles, trials and pain that he can do the impossible. It’s when there is no hope and nothing more we can do, that he can shine. It is when we die that he lives and is seen in us. It was after this that Aaron calmed down and had the realization that he was attributing things to God that are not him at all and that is what prompted him to write his, “The Day we got a Divorce” blog post.