Life has thrown me for a loop over the past few years; or rather I should say I had some part in the throwing of the loop myself. Things have certainly changed, and I know my readers have noticed my lack of writing. Between personal life and a much heavier work load, it’s been difficult to find time to place my thoughts into written word.
God has done some amazing things in my life over the past year, though. Last year, I found myself in some of the darkest days of my life. I pray to never return to those days, and if I could rewind time, I would do everything in my power not to end up there in the first place.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I have a newfound strength and voice that have come from this darkness, and I have every intention to use it all for his glory.
In the darkest of my days, I felt so often that I couldn’t continue. I went through many thoughts and emotions and downright stupid decisions. I begged God for mercy. I begged for the season to pass. I prayed for release of any kind. I won’t lie; more times than I’d like to admit, I considered releasing life myself. I couldn’t, though. I kept bringing my focus back to my kids, and I just couldn’t do that. I stopped going to church because I was no longer welcomed, and I heard people say the most horrible things about me, but I knew there was no way for me to defend myself.
God brought new people into my life as well as took several out, some more quickly than others. I lost one of the longest and most important relationships in my life, my sister, my best friend, the one I always went to for everything. Other than my children, I had lost everything including my faith.
I mean, I knew God was there. I knew he loved me. I knew he told me to be still and let him fight, but I didn’t see that it was happening, and I was so emotionally beaten down that I had nothing left in me. I didn’t want to go on. It was at that time that I learned the true meaning of depending on his strength to carry me – just like the old Footprints poem says. There had to have been miles of only one set of footprints for me because I know the only way I made it through was because he was carrying me.
At one point during that time, someone entered into my life. I thought this person was no different than anyone else at the pool that day – July 4, 2013. It wasn’t until much much later that I realized God had a hand in the crossing of our paths.
Over the next few months, we would see each other regularly at the pool, and we got to know one another as much as two people could while playing with kiddos at the pool.
I didn’t talk a lot about things and just listened to this new person talk about beliefs and struggles and regrets and hopes. Many times I turned down the offer to go to church. My reason: I already had a church home. It wasn’t until this friend called me out on it that I finally went back to church. I mean, what’s a person to do when the friend responds, “Okay. When was the last time you went to that church?”
I couldn’t deny it, so I agreed to go, and I haven’t stopped going since then. After being served with divorce papers in the parking lot of my apartment building, I began opening up to this person who had become a much needed friend to me. Over the next few months, I could easily say this person had become my best friend.
The problem: this friend was a guy. I had never had a male best friend, or close friend at that, so rumors started flying. This friend held me accountable for the stupid stuff I was doing and wasn’t afraid to call me out on things and truly picked me up as I had given up and wanted to remain alone in a deep dark pit of depression and destruction. To be 100% honest, I have no idea where I would be today if it weren’t for him.
I’m incredibly thankful to have Matthew in my life. I’m thankful he is a strong man of God and listened when God told him to be patient and stand by my side even during the times I tried desperately to push him out. I have been blessed with many wonderful friends, but this friendship has been the most pivotal in my life to date. I needed someone who wasn’t going to take my side just because I’m a friend. I needed someone who would lovingly point out what I was doing wrong. I needed someone to remind me of the things I was doing right. I needed someone who would hold me accountable and help me during times that I found myself weak. I needed someone who didn’t push me back to the place I fought so hard to get out of. I needed someone to remind me that God’s love is 100% unconditional, and he loves us no matter what and in ALL times. I needed someone to remind me that God never casts the broken away, and he does not ask us to cast out those who are broken. In fact, he USES the broken, and he repairs them to a condition that is far better than what they were before being broken.
God has really been working overtime for me, and he has blessed me much more than I deserve. April 14, 2014, Matthew and I both were able to see God at work in two of our 4 combined children. We were at a soccer game, and our two boys were tossing the football away from the stands. At some point my son started talking to his about Jesus and salvation and Heaven and Hell. At 8 years old and at a soccer game, my son led his best friend to Christ!
Not long after that exciting moment, I was finally looking at the end of the ugly divorce process that had been dragged out for much longer than it should have been. The papers were finally signed, and I got into my car to head home feeling . . . numb. Matthew was there while I cried for hours. I didn’t know how to feel about it all. I didn’t want to talk about it, so he didn’t ask. He just sat there in silence with me offering a shoulder with each new wave of tears.
Just recently, he did something well, pretty amazing in my opinion. He knows my kids are top of my priority list, and I want them to be happy and feel secure, especially in this heartbreaking situation. So my best friend talked to my son for a little while. He told him he really likes me and would like to ask me out on a date, but it was important for him to first check with my son. They talked for a bit, and the next day my sweet boy came to tell me about the conversation and about his feelings. It was an incredibly sweet moment between us.
Matthew hasn’t asked me out yet, but he may one day, and I look forward to having an official date with someone I have become great friends with first. There’s so much more to this story, but it’s just too much to type all in one post. Nothing happened quickly. For the first time in my life, I truly guarded my heart through this. I was not interested in the least in adding someone else to my life, but I’ve learned I don’t always know what’s best for me.
I know I may have many fingers pointed my way and many questions to answer. I’m here. Have questions? Ask away. I want to focus on my spiritual walk and this ministry. I want both to grow immensely, and the only way to do that is to be completely transparent with you. Feel free to comment, call, text, or email, and ask me whatever you’d like.