I thought that I had to walk this season alone. It's a private matter. Oh but isn't that what the enemy of truth and love tries to do. Drag you into a dark alley and beat the crap out of your heart and soul. I was in that alley for while. I was embarrassed. I have been fiscally responsible for most of my entire adult life. Even a millionaire a few times over. I was that person who could secretly write a check to help others in need. I could open my home and allow people to sit and outward process all the hurts, and pray and support and encourage and provide a meal, and love these people.That person who did all these things for others was now living in someone else's home. That person was now the one in need. But felt fear in expressing those needs. Could I have my kids taken from me because I did not have my own address? How do I keep being the mom, friend and colleague if my own house is out of order? How do I maintain order with this confusion? Confusion was on the tip of every thought and decision I made. That is what happens when the enemy attacks in a dark alley where you are alone. And then LIGHT stepped in. Light stepped in when I chose to remember that God will give me boundless confidence in HIM. And in that boundless confidence I asked for help.
Courage, boldness and most important Truth & Love. To understand more of this story please take a moment to read my daughter's post on Facebook.
Our family, the boys and I, have been poured on with blessing after blessing. We have been surrounded and uplifted by a lifetime of family and friends. There is not one day I look back on and question evidence of God's hand. I took this case into the light. I got out of that dark alley and asked for help. Yes there are many things that happened in this case, which would never have happened had I had an attorney. Not only do I not have the means for an attorney I had no ideas on how to quickly retain one. Legal Aid takes 3-6 wks. to qualify and the opposing attorney came at me fast with motions after motion before any aid was even obtainable. Then a long time friend's son Tyler Cone stepped up and asked if he could set up a GoFundMe campaign. I told him no. I told him that it would be embarrassing to ask for money from friends. I thought for two hours over this decision. I am going to fight for my boys at what cost? At the cost of humility and humiliation? And God pressed on my heart. My heart of hope, of peace, of truth, and honesty. Going before my peers, my colleagues, and being that girl that needed help. Yes, God and yes Tyler you can do this for me.
I found an attorney. I found one who agreed to accept half of his fee up front to get started. I called him after two days of the GoFundMe campaign and said we had raised almost half and by our first meeting I could bring half. But then something happened in my heart. I went to God and asked for affirmation of this attorney. That he was the right choice, that this was a good idea. I asked God to show me and provide the full retainer before our meeting. That I could go to this attorney with this full retainer. This was so heavy on my heart that on Oct. 14th I read Proverbs 14. (Go and read this passage here.) I was begging God to affirm that the full retainer was what I needed and begging God for clarity. The weight of this was heavy on my heart. I scribbled in my journal the verses in Proverbs 14 that affirmed over and over what I was begging for. And then I asked God for the full retainer by the day of my scheduled meeting.
"Dear God, you have affirmed me through your Word, through wise people and one more thing, please provide the full retainer before this meeting. Please God."
That night at dinner. Sitting with my family, the Cone family. (Tyler one of their son's who set up this GoFundMe). As we all chatted about our day, their youngest son Jacob began to speak. Jacob is soft spoken. He gets my attention and says, "Elizabeth I want to help you. I want to loan you the full retainer for your meeting."
A 15 year old boy was willing to give up his savings, on loan, to get the custody issue handled in full force. God using the heart of a young man, a boy, friends with my boys. Everyone started crying. Jacob nor this family knew my prayers to God that morning. Yet here we all were crying over the generosity of Jacob. A loan. My heart may not have known this day, but God sure did. God has known every single one of these days. He is teaching my boys and I what complete faith looks like. Faith in HIM. Hope in HIM. Joy in HIM. Thankfulness in HIM. The God of the universe showing Himself daily through people.
One day I will write a book marking every single day God showed up.
Yesterday I got a text from my sweet daughter-in-love to go and read Ethan's Instagram post. (Ethan is my 14 year old who has struggled the most through these life events.) I opened my app and read his post. Tears started streaming. Tears turned into bawling my eyes out. Sitting at my desk and knowing that not one tear was lost. God has been working on behalf of our family. My fourteen year old struggling and now honoring me in the most public way possible. Here is his post:
My boys are currently living with their dad. On a technicality, yes a technicality. All of the past few months would have never happened had I had the means to retain an attorney. I am driving to see them every Monday and Tuesday. (They are about 90 miles away.) and have them every other weekend until the custody trial.
I am coming before strangers, friends and family. Submitting my heart and the need for help. I am thankful and grateful for how YOU have helped where the need is. I was wrong. Need does not interpret losing my kids. Need does not interpret my inability to care for my kids. Need does not discount my call to see that others can see and know the God of the universe. All the things the enemy tried to speak into me in that dark alley. Come into the light and allow God's holiness to bless you through the hearts of those whom he has designated. I always thought that my purpose in life was to mother my own children to the heart of Jesus by living in the example of Biblical truth. I always thought my call was to use the gifts God has given me to bless others, and lead others to knowing Jesus. That call has not be taken from me. Today, if you are hurting and your heart needs encouraged then guess what. God is waiting to hear from you. The God I know has me awake every single morning around 5am. NEVER in my life have I been an early riser. Yet God calling me into time with Him, in his Word and my pen ready to write what he is teaching me, and how he is guiding me through the hardest event of my life. Waking up without an alarm and going about my day sharp and ready with HIS full Armour on.
I am here for every person who reads this and needs prayer. I am here to tell you that God already knows your heart. He knows the answers to every unanswered prayer and in His time he will make all of this a beautiful testament to His glory and honor.
Please if you feel inclined to help you can pray specifically for each of my sons. Call them out to God by name, Ethan, Eric and Emerson. Pray for their hearts, souls, and minds that God will protect them from the lies of the enemy. Pray for strength for my heart. To be able to continue to show up in all the hard places. Pray for clarity of my mind. The focus away from my work and being able to provide for my family has been compromised greatly and God is rebuilding, this I know. Pray for funding that all the funding will be met.
Thank you! Blessing and Love Elizabeth
Here is Eric my 12 year old with Tyler Cone.
The GoFundMe link: https://www.gofundme.com/legal-representation-for-the-traubs-2ts2cs4