Welcome to the “Be Fully Persuaded” series! Today my friend LaToya shares how God saw her through a legal battle. I pray that you are encouraged to stand strong in your faith and that God will make Romans 4:20-21 a reality for all of us as we focus on Him and His Word:
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
Romans 4:20-21 (NIV)
God is Our Advocate by LaToya Edwards
When my husband packed up his stuff and officially moved out of the house I knew that some hard times were ahead. He’d been clear that he intended to get his own place and that I would be left to fend for myself. At the time I was a full-time law student and my boys were 11 months and 3 years old. I didn’t have time in my schedule to work, and my school money just covered rent and child care. I just knew that my husband would be fair when it came to the boys and helping to support them.
As it turned out, I didn’t know squat.
A few weeks after my husband left, I had no money. The lights were about to be cut off, and there was no food in the house. The boys and I were eating a lot of our meals at my parent’s house, but I knew that couldn’t go on forever. I didn’t know what to do. My husband felt that $200 a month was all he could spare for support and that it was time for me to get a job. I knew that I just couldn’t handle working on top of everything else that was going on. I applied for food stamps and child support.
I figured that, being a law student, I could handle all the legal paperwork that needed to be completed. I did not know how I was going to pay the $425 to file and process that paperwork. When I got to the courthouse I was able to qualify for a fee waiver and only had to pay $10 for the sheriff to serve the papers to my husband. God truly stepped in there. Two weeks later they stopped doing the fee waivers, and the sheriff’s department stopped serving papers (you had to hire a private process server for a minimum of $250).
Once I filed the paperwork and went to court, I was relieved that things were settled. I was wrong again! A week after the court date, I got papers in the mail letting me know that my husband had hired a lawyer and intended to contest the child support amount. I didn’t have money for a lawyer. My husband refused to pay what was ordered in the meantime. Once again God stepped in to my rescue.
Through a community law program (that worked with my law school), I was able to get a lawyer to attend the hearing with me. It didn’t happen right away because it was around Christmas, but a week before the date I met with my attorney.
Side note: Everyone around me tried to convince me to get all the money I could. They told me that I needed the money and not to waver from the first amount set. I chose not to go that route and agreed to whatever my husband wanted.
The Lord stepped in again, and he only asked for a $100 reduction.
I wish I could say that things were okay from that point on, but they weren’t There were many late payments, lost payments and payments that were simply not made. For a long time I tried to handle things on my own, but it was way more than I could handle. One day, while I was interning at the State Attorney’s office, someone gave me the name of a lawyer that was really good with child support cases. This time the Lord stepped in in a mighty way.
I went to meet with this attorney and he agreed to help me for FREE with my child support case. He also offered to work something out to help me with the divorce. I will tell you that it took three years for my divorce to be final. The only thing that I ever paid for were the court fees. My lawyer charged me absolutely nothing to help me out. The deal was that I’d do all my paperwork (I was a law school graduate!) and recommend him to anyone who needed legal help.
Through those three years of court hearings and battles, God was there every step of the way. There were many times when my husband tried to get out of something or went out of his way to be difficult. I did my best not to let him get to me. I was always polite and fair no matter what was going on. I never kept the boys from him when he wasn’t paying support, and I didn’t (and still don’t) speak poorly of him. I believe that this played a major role in my being blessed.
Through it all I learned that God is truly our advocate.
LaToya is a single, homeschooling mom of two bouncing boys. She lives for the quiet moments of the day, which are few and far between with two rambunctious young men running around the house. She strives each day to live fully for God. Although she often falls short, she is determined to stay the course. LaToya blogs about her life at Christian Momma. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.
Photos provided by LaToya from Christian Momma.