One year ago yesterday my life forever changed. It was a horrible day that burned a huge hole in my heart. As the saying goes, "hindsight is always 20/20." Yes, looking back, I can clearly see signs of things and that the downward spiral really began about five years ago.
But through this last year, God has proven himself so faithful to me and the kids! I have seen Him provide a job for me that allows me to still be a mom all during the week. All of our needs have always been met. Never once through the year have I ever been late paying a bill. God has been so faithful in giving just the strength needed at the moments of great darkness for both me and the kids. I can remember how the three oldest kids banded together. For about four months, they all slept in Kristen's bed. Kristen and Bryce shared the top and Tyler slept between them with his head at the foot. Then there would be nights that everyone would end up with me!
And who could forget the darkness of the fall. This was by far my lowest point, but I am so thankful I went through that time! It made me fully depend on my Lord: my only real source of strength. Then the holidays were upon us and the generosity of God's people poured on us! With each passing day, more healing occurred.
When the new year dawned, I found my thoughts turning more toward the future. I was very discouraged at being a single mom. There just didn't seem to be enough of me to go around. It was hard to imagine that there could ever be someone out there willing to take on four small kids and a woman so "damaged" (as I saw myself.) I began to earnestly pray about it and even "looked" a bit but found no worthy prospects. I had no idea what was just over the horizon...
I would like to take this time to let everyone in on why I have been absent from the blogging world so much lately! Right about the end of Jan. I began to really take notice of a man in my church. I have known him for about three years and would have never dreamed that he could find me to be anything he would want to be a part of. Paul has a seven year old son, so they were invited to Kristen and Tyler's combined birthday party. This was the beginning of the spark. Things did not really begin to take off for another month when we all attended our church's family winter retreat. We spent a great deal of time talking and playing games with others. That was six weeks ago, and what a joy the last weeks have been! Our schedules at this point do not allow for us to be together much outside of church, so we spend most evenings (after kids are tucked into bed) talking on the phone. Sending emails has also become very special to us. We do have a couple of hours on Tues. evenings as our official date night. I'm afraid Starbucks might get sick of us- good thing that the weather is finaly getting warmer!
I really do not wish to bad mouth my former spouse, so I will leave details in the past. However, I have come to realize through the past year that much of my marriage was very unhealthy. What a refreshment Paul has been! There is so much care flowing from him. He has watched my children grow and they know him well. Although we have just barely introduced the kids to "us," we all get along well as a crew. (Can you imagine the scene of us taking all five kids to a restaurant? We did it! And outside of the boys deciding to wrestle and Bryce's three trips to the bathroom, it went pretty well)!
For all of you who may have concerns: as I have mentions several times before, I have a very watchful and caring Pastor. While we have his "blessing," he has made some very clear boundaries for us. Marriage is a long way off and will only happen when our pastor feels we are both really ready and prepared for what lies ahead. We know that blending two families is very tough and we have many challenges ahead. But Paul is a very Godly man who truly loves the Lord with his whole heart. The Lord has brought both of us through a lot, and each circumstance has shaped us to be the people that we now are: a good fit for each other!
All I have ever wanted was to have a Godly home. I now believe that the Lord has spared me from so much and given me my heart's desire. God knew what choices the former spouse would make and how they would affect our family. I have taken much comfort through the last year from the life of Job. God tested Job's faith greatly. And at the end of it, the part of his life after the trials was far more blessed than time before it. I do not know what the future holds for me and the kids (ok, I have a suspicion!) but I do know that the Light of Christ will lead us through!