Pat Edmiston married young. Through hard work and determination, she and her husband reached a level of success she would have never dreamed of as a little girl. Then suddenly, after thirty years of marriage, her husband left, leaving Pat to find her way - alone. "Happy Even After" is more than just the story of how Pat Edmiston handled loss and the trauma of divorce. Filled with hope and inspiration, this book shares down-to-earth principles of how to tackle life's challenges God's way.
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With each downward step that I took in order to get to the swimming pool, built beneath the main living room in my house, I could feel my spirit sinking deeper too. I had been a Christian for many years and yet, at this moment, it seemed that God had abandoned me. I walked through the swimming pool doors, and saw the bright morning light which streamed through the picture window playing on the water, causing a thousand diamonds to dance on its surface. I stopped at the edge of the pool and, as I looked down to the pale blue bottom, the thought crossed my mind that there was one quick way out of all my immediate anguish and hurt. The thought was gone in a moment – it was too ridiculous to contemplate.
Instead of getting into the pool, I started to walk around it, time and time again, praying as I walked. That morning there was a far greater urgency within me to pray than to swim. I was just a day away from my divorce becoming absolute, after 30 years of marriage. Soon after my husband left, I felt that God had given me a promise straight from His Word. As I read the Bible one morning, the words seemed to jump out at me: ‘No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper’ (Isaiah 54:17 NKJV). It seemed at the time that God was saying through the verse that whatever happened to me or came against me could never possibly succeed and that He would be my protection and help if I fully trusted Him, even though I had made numerous blunders and mistakes. Now the verse I had hung onto for months seemed more like a sick joke. Divorce was a pretty good weapon, I reckoned, and it was just 24 hours away.
Thinking back on the past
There were so many emotions going round and round in my head as I cried out to God at the side of the pool. I had been married to Bob for three decades. When we first got to know each other we were both youngsters, and we were at that time far from wealthy. In fact, neither of us came from affluent backgrounds. Bob was working as a clerk, and I was a shorthand typist in London. After we married, however, our faith in God and Bob’s business skills eventually made him into one of the richest men in Britain.
We were both committed Christians, and it had been a good marriage. Bob had been a good husband and devoted dad, taking a genuine interest in our children, providing a happy, stable home life and fun-filled holi-days, both in this country and abroad, for all of us. Our three children had developed into well-adjusted adults, who loved and served God as much as we did. People used to remark what a close, loving family we were – and it was true. Trouble seldom knocked on our door.
We had bought the house in which I was now living in 1979, and had spent two dust-filled years extending it just a few years ago. Set in 14 acres of rolling countryside on the outskirts of Coventry, it was what many people could only dream of. Apart from the indoor pool, it had a full-size tennis court, eight bedrooms, and a wonder-fully spacious living room. The house was always full of life, especially when the family were all together. It was a home that our children loved and still do today, although they are all married now and have homes of their own. It had a rich homeliness that was often remarked on by our many visitors.
I sat down on one of the chairs placed around the pool and tried to think back over the events of the last few years. Was there a point somewhere along the way where I had gone wrong, or had stopped hearing God? I needed to know for myself – reason. Too many of my friends were finding themselves in the same situation, and I needed to know why. All marriages go through difficult patches, but divorce was a completely different matter. Personalities were involved, but the problem obviously went deeper than that, and until I got some answers, I would not be able to help myself – or anyone else, for that matter.
Just like any other couple, it had taken a while for both of us to adjust to married life: two becoming one does not happen overnight! But we were both young and we loved each other dearly, and any small teething problems were quickly forgotten as we set about establishing a home together. We were both active in our local church, and we wanted to honour God in everything that we did. When our first child was on the way I gave up work to be a full-time mum, as most women did in those days if they were able to, and Bob did what he could to further his career, eventually becoming chairman of a highly successful company.
Both our daughters had married and left the family home in the same year. As they were our last two children to leave the nest, it created something of a void. Letting go of your children is a very unsettling and emotional experience which requires considerable adjustment. Angela was married in June 1996, and our eldest daughter Debbie just five months later. That had been an action-packed year for us both as we prepared for these special family occasions.
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Book Description Zondervan, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # SONG000713312X
Book Description Zondervan, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX000713312X
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