I stopped by to look at my blog today and saw that my last post was over a year ago. A YEAR. And what a year it has been. To say it has been eventful, well, that would be quite an understatement. As of my last post in August last year, I was coming to grips with my status as a single mom in the big, big world. And come to grips with it I did. I worked, I prayed, I worried, I sweated it out, I planned, I laid awake looking at the underside of my baby's bunk bed night after night thinking about what had happened. About how my life had so suddenly careened off the path that I had always assumed that it would remain on; I knew there would be changes, but they would be of the manageable sort: more kids heading off to college or the military, more marriages, more grandbabies, more wrinkles, less chaos, more freedom, more "comfortable". When I laid awake, I thought in endless circles not just about how those things would never be in the form that I had imagined, but also about how in the world I would ever even make it to the point of those things being *possible*. Everything that I have ever been convinced is right and good as a Christian wife and mother became a challenge to imagine being a part of my life. How could I stay home with my children to raise them and teach them about our Savior? How could I homeschool? Even if I could find a better job, how could I ever, financially and otherwise, care for these wonderful children of mine all on my own? How could I help them adjust to not having a father in their everyday life when I could not even be physically present with them enough hours in a day to speak words of encouragement and love to them, even if I had any energy left to talk with them? All of these thoughts raced through my mind, and I daily brought them to the foot of the cross, asking our Lord to take the worry and anxious heart from me. I clung to Phillippians 4:6-9, and remembered daily what my friend Jessica told me: He is El Roi, the God who sees. It is only by His mercy and grace that I was able to endure those months, that year. Around the time I wrote that last post, I was fairly content with my lot. I saw God abundantly provide for our needs in absolutely AMAZING ways by the hand of my church family and my dear, sweet, wonderful friends. I enrolled in school, got a job and worked really darn hard to try and do everything "right" and to hold it all together. I felt the strain as the year wore on, but still I had the support of family and friends and I had the peace of knowing that I was in the hand of my sovereign God. Our family always had food to eat and the lights stayed on and we slept in warm beds. We enjoyed a lovely holiday season. It was then, in the midst of both strain and difficulty as well as bounty, peace and provision that on December 14, 2013 that I met the man who would become my husband. Bobby found me and came to me. He pursued me with persistence. I resisted at first, as I was thinking that maybe the Lord wanted me just to be at peace being single for some time. It seemed like the prudent and wise thing to do, to focus solely on furthering my education and career prospects and giving my remaining energies to my children. Only I became increasingly uncomfortable with my theories. Simultaneously as I became more and more sure of Bobby's love for God and passion for His Word, I became less and less sure that my previous thinking was correct, Biblically speaking. Why would I want to remain single and "go it alone" when I didn't need to? Does a woman who loves God and the roles that He sets forth for men and women really need to be independent and alone in the world with no covering or headship? Is it better to be out of the home and working to provide for my children what is their father's responsibility to provide? Or if the Lord should send to me a man who loves Him and wants to lead and provide for his family and mine together, should I reject that provision? I knew I needed to search His Word and find clarity. I simply HAD to find the answers, and as I searched by studying Scripture I believe God gave me the answers I was looking for. Of course I didn't find any verses that said "Go ahead and get married", but I looked carefully and believed that the weight of the Word leaned in the direction of being equally yoked with a man who would love and cherish me, and love and cherish my children as his own. I believed I had found such a man. As winter turned to spring, Bobby and I both knew that surely God had brought us together. I finished school, we married and I moved. Of course there is so much more in between.
So. Much. More.
Wonderful things, and heartbreaking things. Small victories and painful defeats. Things like: Rachel got her drivers license. I continued a grueling pace with school, work, homeschooling, and the rest of life. Irene turned 11. I felt the pain (sometimes self-inflicted) of wounded friendships. Rachel and I received the heartfelt encouragement of our instructors at school. I sorted out, weeded through, gave away and packed up a lifetime worth of memories and "stuff". I was the given the gift of friendship and romance with a lovely and kind man, the likes of which I have never known before. I said goodbye to my sweet dog Leo, who had been my protector and guardian many a lonely night as I lay awake. The one year anniversary of both my abandonment and divorce came and went. I had the joy and pleasure of getting to know my future step children as they stayed with me while Bobby started a new job and set up a home for us in Augusta. Here is the big one that still tears at my heart even as I type....I said goodbye to friends who had been my only solace. I looked at my home, empty of all of the things that spoke of our family's life there. I grieved again the death of our first family, and grieved simultaneously the life I had built with them there in the Grove. It was a good life. It was where God placed me, no doubt about that. The only other thing that I had no doubt about was that God was calling me to again step forward and be as brave as I could be, to trust Him and move where He was leading me. Oh how painful it was, but how great the blessing He has given me. Even as I continue to miss my friends and the familiarity of the world we had in Henry County, I also see new blessings every day. God is growing me and shaping me. He is teaching me through my children, all 11 of them. (5 from my marriage to Mike, 4 from Bobby's previous marriage, and one by marriage, my sweet Abby, and one grandbaby!) and teaching me through my husband. Never have I ever imagined that it could be possible to feel so loved, by such a good friend.
Yes, there have been so many changes. It is my goal to get some pictures up that give some visual aid to the changes and events of our lives in the last year, please stay tuned and thank you if you read all the way to the end. I have so many wonderful friends and family, to all of you I am so very thankful. I hope that even if you may disagree with some things I said in this little old blog, you will still love me and that I can come back, to blogging and to getting on with living and loving. Enough dripping tears on the laptop for one night...