Within 2 years of her 19 year marriage, my guest for episode 65, Norma Zaugg, realized her hopes and dreams for her home and family were not going according to plan. Her marriage was rocky and her husband stopped being involved with the Church. Norma was left wondering how to navigate it all.
Guidance from God
In my interview with Norma, she shares how she didn’t take the thought of bringing children into her dysfunctional marriage lightly. Through heartfelt prayer, she felt guided to know the timing and how to teach her children.
She shares about the promise God made to her early on and how it was fulfilled as each of her boys have been baptized. She knows God is aware of her efforts and that He will keep His promises to her.
Hope if You Don’t Feel Your Home is Perfect
Norma’s story offers hope to anyone who feels they don’t live in the perfect “family proclamation” home. Both Norma and I discuss how there isn’t a model or one way to be a righteous, Latter-day Saint mother. We can each figure out what it means for us as individuals.
Her own experiences with a spouse who was not supportive spiritually taught Norma to teach the Gospel to her children through small, everyday moments. She has literally whispered gospel truths in her children’s ears and helped them identify the Holy Ghost.
Helping Others in Difficult Marriages
How can you help someone you know who is in a hard marriage? Norma’s advice is simple–Don’t make assumptions. Ask questions. Follow the spirit.
After her divorce, self care was the first step Norma took to start to heal. She shared, “In order for me to be able to help my boys, I have to be on top of my game. And if I’m not taking care of myself, I can’t be patient. I can’t be loving. I can’t do homework for hours on end unless I have taken care of me.” Norma says to start small and slowly add in things to do just for you.
God is There Even in the Dark Times
Overall, Norma’s story will remind you that change can happen for each of us. Starting fresh and doing something different is hard, but you will look back and be able to see God everywhere, even in dark times.
How to Listen
Quotes from Norma:
“I knew that if my boys were ever going to see something different, it would have to be because I put forth the effort.”
“It’s fascinating that sometimes we almost have to be removed from [the situation] before we can fully see how He intricately was there the entire time planning and helping and putting the pieces together in a much more marvelous way than we could have ever imagined and the gifts He would give through those horrible hardships.”
“If you are feeling lost and you’re feeling empty and you’re feeling hopeless, there is absolutely a way out but it is not magic and there is no quick solution. It is a lot of work and it is a lot of internal work.”
Download Norma’s free guide “Living with a Spouse that No Longer Believes in the Church
Listen to other Spiritually Minded Mom episodes about family members who leave the Church