Life after divorce—it’s not something we talk about very often within the Church. But what do you do when your marriage falls apart? Specifically, what do you do when your marriage ends because of the agency of another person? On this week’s All In podcast, Judy Eror shared her experience of seeking the Lord’s guidance after her husband chose to leave after 42 years of marriage. Specifically, Judy shares two distinct prayers she remembers offering and how the Lord answered those prayers. Read below to learn from Judy’s experiences.
Listen to the episode in full by clicking here or listen in the player below. You can also read a full transcript here.
The following excerpt has been edited for clarity.
Morgan Jones Pearson: Judy, I want to touch on something that you have talked about with me in the past, and that is that you had to learn how to forgive someone who never asked for forgiveness. And I don’t think this is unique to just in marriage. I think that this is true of so many instances in life where we have to learn how to forgive somebody that is not asking for our forgiveness. What did that look like in your case?
Judy Eror: Well, there are two very distinct prayers that I remember offering to Heavenly Father, and this was one of them: I was so wound up all the time. My stomach was just in a knot, and I was so upset constantly. And finally, I remember going to my Heavenly Father on my knees and saying, “Heavenly Father, I have loved this man more than anyone on this earth ever has. But I cannot carry this anymore. I cannot carry the anger and the hurt and the disappointment. It is killing me. And it is going to start killing my children spiritually and emotionally. And so Heavenly Father, I need to just give this back to you. I’m just going to put this on the altar, and then ask that maybe at some point, Heavenly Father, you and I can talk about this face to face. But for right now. I have to hand all of this back to you.”
And Morgan, it was a physical thing with me. It was like when I had been backpacking carrying a 50-pound pack, and you take that pack off and set it on the ground and there’s this physical release. That is exactly what I felt. It was a physical thing for me. I know that there are people that feel [and] I’ve had people say to me, “I have to stay angry. If I’m not angry, I can’t help people.” And I feel like no, you can’t help people [when you are] angry because that is not the Savior’s plan. His plan is to forgive and trust that He’ll take care of things. You don’t have to go after anybody, whether it’s in a marital situation or a neighbor, or a sibling. He’ll take care of it. You just have to know that. But let it go, hand it over to Him. And then breathe, take that deep breath—that freeing breath of ”I have let it go”—and then you move on. And it was one of the outstanding, wonderful, glorious days of my life that I will never, ever forget.
Morgan Jones Pearson: How would you say that you have seen the Lord’s care and awareness of you in the years since this experience?
Judy Eror: Well, do you remember I said there were two prayers that I remember very clearly? The first one was about forgiving. The second one was, I remember kneeling down at my bedside before I was locked out of my house after I had been called horrible names. And I was feeling the depths of everything awful. And I remember kneeling down and saying, “Heavenly Father, don’t I deserve better than this?” Exactly like that. And I look at my life now. And I feel like the life I’m living now is Heavenly Father’s answer of, “Yes, my dear you do.” Because I look at the neighborhood I live in, the ward that I am in, the job that I have, and the Church callings that I’ve been able to hold.
There are the friends that have stood by me—a friend that showed up at my house and sat with a letter that said, “I was sitting in church and had the overwhelming feeling I needed to tell you that there are people on the other side of the veil that are cheering and believe in you.” I have to look at that and say that is evidence that my Heavenly Father cares about me.
I think if you look at it from a big scheme of things, every time there has been something important that has happened, it’s because people ask the right questions of our Heavenly Father—Joseph Smith going into the grove, righteous men asking, “How do we make the priesthood available to all worthy men?”, Judy Eror kneeling down and saying, “Don’t I deserve better than this?” And then if we ask those questions, and we keep our mouth shut, and listen and look for his hand, then it becomes apparent. My problem is that I tend to not know when to keep my mouth shut and listen. ... But if we are just quiet and then listen and look for His hand and look for the care, man it is there. And if we’ll just acknowledge it, then He’ll be more apparent, I think. When I prayed, “Don’t I deserve better?” I think I was praying for an Alma the younger moment. You know, somebody would be struck down and they would then see an angel and their life would change, and then wake up and then decide that they were going to be a different person. And to pray for somebody else’s free agency to be taken away is a really bad idea because it’s never going to happen. And so what I had to do is say, “Don’t I deserve better?” and then look for how Heavenly Father has made it better for me. And He has.