For most of my adult life, all I had known was being married. When I was first separated, I would go to the doctor’s office and I didn’t even want to check the ‘divorced’ box. Just having to check that box made me anxious. I didn’t want my life to be this way. This is not how I would have written my story, let me tell you. But my prayer almost from day one has been that I would see beauty from these ashes. And I’ve seen a lot of beauty.
In the summer of 2018, my daughter, granddaughter, and I all went with the Calvary team to the Mitaboni children’s home. I felt immediately that this is where God’s calling me to serve. I wasn’t expecting that.
“God did a work in my heart and showed me singleness was kind of an unsuspected idol. I’m not trying to hold on to it, but in my effort to deal with it, to work through it, to process it, and to support others in it, it became one of my biggest identifiers.”
“We were carried along for 6 weeks: couldn’t drive, couldn’t grocery shop, couldn’t get outside the house, could barely get out of bed. During that time, we fought this peace battle. We said, ‘God is in this.’ We can only attribute that to prayer. We’ve got 60 prayer partners through our ministry, we’ve got the church, we’ve got a small group. We knew these people were praying, and they were also following up and showing up. That carried us. And it still does.”
Right now I’m reading through the Psalms and a book on lament. I never really thought about that word before. It’s a prayer in pain that leads to trust. It’s putting words to what I didn’t have words for before. Not to get stuck in the lament and the negative side of that, but to acknowledge that I can tell God what I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. He already knows.
Short-term mission trips are core to our global outreach ministry at Calvary. A mission trip shakes you out of complacency and usually puts you in the uncomfortable position of serving “the least of these.” And living out the gospel like that shifts something inside people. The obvious goal is for you to serve God by serving others, but what the global outreach team prays will happen is that you come home wanting to continueserving others, if not overseas then right in your community. That’s what happened to 7 medical professionals who went to Haiti last year. They left a part of their hearts behind and brought home a driving compassion to keep doing good where it was needed.
One of the things that shocked me was how many international families live in the Valparaiso area. I had been in a ‘bubble’ – my neighborhood, the kids’ schools, and church all consisted of the same demographic.
For Kevin Hicks, divorce was like a bomb going off in the middle of his life. And in some ways, he’s still dealing with the fallout. But he’s not alone. Kevin turned to Jesus and found someone who would always walk beside him.
“The more I live in this world,” Kevin says, “the more I’m drawn to Jesus because I need somebody stable. I need somebody that I can trust that isn’t going to let me down. I’ve gotten to the point where even if I don’t get what I want or what I’ve prayed for, or I get the opposite of what I’ve prayed for, I know there’s a reason for it. I don’t know what it is right now, but I trust that God has a plan and that it’s for my good, and we’ll figure it out.”
Kevin and his wife Cindy shared his story for the May 2019 bulletin.
In May 2019, Kevin and Cindy Hicks shared what led them to participate in Calvary’s Rebuilding After Divorce course as facilitators. Cindy 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 this lightly edited transcript, Kevin and Cindy Hicks talk about life change, the loneliness of coming to church when it’s not your weekend with your kids, how forgiveness can save a relationship, and why divorce seems like an easy answer but really isn’t. This conversation was recorded for the May 2019 bulletin story, “Redeemed.” There wasn’t space to include it, but the message is too valuable not to share.
Same old, same old. That’s the thing about routine. When you do something consistently for a long period of time, it can be a challenge to preserve the initial motivation behind it. And the more you get used to something, the less you consciously think about it. Sometimes it takes a disruption in the discipline for us to remember why we do the things we do. For Sarah Wallace, her routine spiritual life was interrupted by none other than God.
Recent high school grad Juan Gil is in transition. And not just between high school and college. Between social pressures and personal expectations, Juan found his footing in the Word of God. It’s a journey in process, but Juan’s story is fresh reminder of the power of the Bible and the need for community along the way.