CINDY’S STORY: REDEEMED, PART 2
In May 2019, Kevin and Cindy Hicks shared what led them to participate in Calvary’s Rebuilding After Divorce course as facilitators. They were featured in the printed bulletin story, “Redeemed.” Here Cindy tells her story in her own words. She has never been divorced, but her story includes an abusive relationship, the difficult decision to raise and parent her son alone, and the unwavering conviction that God pursued her through every twist and turn.
In hindsight, I see God chasing me all through my life. My faith was very much built on the Holy Spirit way before I ever started attending church. The Holy Spirit has always spoken to me very loudly.
To clarify, I’ve never actually been divorced. I wasn’t married [before Kevin]. I was engaged twice. The first time really young, right out of college, and I just knew at the last minute it wasn’t right. I was just doing what was expected of me. So I canceled that wedding.
The second time I was in my late twenties, and it was a horrible situation. He abused me. I canceled the wedding because I thought that would be the wake-up call he needed to know that he couldn’t treat me like that anymore. And then it just got worse.
It was probably seven months after that that he hurt me badly enough that I called the police. So that night, after everything was done, he was sitting in a cop car outside of our house. It wasn’t the first time the police had been there. One of the police officers came in, and he was like, “Ma’am, I’d like to say something that I’m not technically supposed to say. Is it okay for me to, off the record, have this conversation with you?” I told him to go ahead. I mean, a female officer had just taken pictures of my injuries, so why not?
The officer then said, “I don’t understand this. You have a good job. You’re an attractive woman. You seem like you have everything together. That is not what I see when I come on these calls, and I know that we’ve been here before. So I don’t understand it. Why are you choosing this?”
“I’m going to take this guy away, but I’m asking one thing of you: when I get off my shift and I see him leaving the police station, please don’t be the person in the car. Don’t come pick him up. I will take him away if you promise not to be there to pick him up.”
That was God working through that man. He had no reason to say those things. From that moment on, I was done. I called the police to have them come with him to get his stuff so he could not suck me back in. He couldn’t speak to me. He could get his stuff and he could go.
That was first time I followed through on protective orders. That was God, in that moment, saying, “This isn’t what I have for you. I have so much more.” So I just followed where God led me really for months after that. But then once everything kind of stabilized, then I fell off the Jesus wagon and went back to all my old sinful ways, looking for love everywhere else.
I wasn’t going to church. I didn’t have community around me. My family didn’t go to church. There wasn’t anybody saying, “God saved you in that moment, now keep following him.” And when I didn’t need him anymore, I just let it go.
Learning to Listen The Hard Way
What drove Cindy back to God, or as she explains it, how he broke through and got her to listen “the hard way,” was an unexpected pregnancy a while later.
I got pregnant with somebody I really didn’t even like that much. I found out I was pregnant 2 days after we broke up so after telling him I didn’t really ever want to see him again, I had to call him back and tell him I was pregnant.” He made it clear fatherhood wasn’t something he was interested in, and broached the possibility of adoption with Cindy. He knew a couple who couldn’t have a child. She demurred. “I was like, why would I do that? I’m a 29-year-old, gainfully employed woman, who if things had happened differently, would have had a baby by now.
But then Satan got in. The only person who knew was my sister, and she was like, “I’ll help you. I’ll be there for you. You can do this.” But I grew up with a single mom. I had seen my sister be a single mom. It was one of my biggest fears in life. I felt like I could barely take care of myself, why would I do that to another human being? Why would I inflict myself on another human being, honestly?
I actually decided to have an abortion. The night before, I was in my room alone. I was preparing myself to have an abortion, and I was praying - I didn’t know I was praying at the time; I was actually asking God to forgive me for what I was going to do. The Holy Spirit spoke to me so loud and said, “This is the baby I’m giving you, and you won’t do it alone. I will always be there. This is the child I want for you.” I was completely overcome. I was like, “Okay, God. If you say we can do this, then I guess we’re going to do this.” And I was a single mom for 4-and-a-half years.
Church and the Single Mom
Thankfully, I met a lot of single moms working in the army. One African-American woman said, “Come to my church. It’s full of single moms!”
I hated going to church because if you, as a single mom, walk into a church, it’s like you have a scarlet letter. And every woman is thinking you’re there to steal her husband. So I get to African-American church, and they were all single women! Everyone was fine with that, and you supported one another. They understood that even if you had never been married or were divorced, God still loves you and he was the only thing that got you through the day.
That’s one of the things that led me to want to do Rebuilding After Divorce. To make sure that for single women, divorced women, however they end up in the church unmarried, we give them a safe space. We encourage them and let them know that they have community and help them heal. So that they go into a rebuilt life in a better emotional place than I did, than either Kevin or I did.
It’s just by the grace of God that we manage to keep it together. And he heaps grace on when we need it. I was lost and lonely and exhausted. I was trying to do it all myself, and that’s kind of the definition of a single parent, trying to do it all and be it all for everybody. But God chased me down. He kept running. The faster I ran in the other direction, the harder he came for me. That’s so humbling because I know I don’t deserve to be caught.
I feel like I live every day trying to share his goodness. That’s my job. To share his goodness and his faithfulness and just who he is. And he’s always that. He’s not going to let us down. He the one thing, the constant we can always depend on.
Click here for Kevin’s Story: Redeemed
Click here for Kevin and Cindy’s conversation about life change, going to church as a single parent, and how the church can be safe place for people rebuilding their life after a broken marriage.