Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Moving forward

The other day I was having a conversation with someone and they mentioned that my upcoming move was a good thing...that I was moving on and that was good.

I thought about that comment later and realized I'm not moving on, but moving forward. Both require action, but there is a difference.

Moving on is moving past a circumstance, while moving forward is taking a necessary step.

The loss of my marriage and the life we had is not something I can move past. It will be with me for the rest of my life. And as a child of divorce myself, it kills me to know my children will be dealing with this the rest of their lives. Divorce is an awful, ugly thing.

So I am definitely moving forward; taking a necessary step.

It's hard to believe that in six weeks, it will have been a year since my husband left on what I thought was a work related trip--never to return home.

It will have been a year since I heard those awful words: I don't love you anymore and I don't want to be married to you. My heart and life broke into a million pieces that day. I am not a naive woman by any means and while we definitely had our issues, as all marriages do...I did not see this coming. Not at all. And the destruction has been far reaching.

When I think back over this past year, I remember the very intense, very personal and private pain I have felt while trying to make sense of why this happened. People asked me (and still do) how this happened? Why it happened? And if it happened to Rande and I, then what did this mean for their marriage? I don't have many answers, but what I do know is one of us walked away from the Lord. That is how this happened.

As the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months, I realized this was not just a fight for my marriage, but for Zach's and my existence. We found ourselves for the most part, abandoned. I found out very quickly that the legal system is not easy to navigate and some things are just not fair. For the first few months we were left with no income and if it were not for the kindness and generosity of others, I don't know how we would have made it. Eventually I did gain a victory when the judge ordered support and allowed me to continue homeschooling Zach until he graduated, rather than being forced to get a job immediately as was being proposed.

There has been very little communication with Rande this past year. The times I have spoken with him he has been abundantly clear that he has no desire to change the course of his life or restore our marriage. There has been little, if any, communication with the kids... family... friends... no one that once meant something to him.

So what do you do? You pray, you grieve, you hurt. But ultimately you must move forward. And keep moving forward...seeking and trusting the Lord for every unknown, unfamiliar step you take. Because what IS known is that Jesus is the same...yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is my trusted Guide, my Friend, my Jesus.

And so with His leading and the support of my family and dear friends, I am moving forward. To a new life. A new beginning. A place where I can feel again. A place where my identity is not the woman whose husband left her. A place where I can continue to heal. I am not running from my pain, as I've had nearly a year to experience it and face it everywhere I look and I need a change of scenery. I have lived in a house and town where the reminders are constant of what was...and what will never be.

My moving forward has also been necessitated by the fact I could not financially continue to stay in my house. I am solely responsible for Zach's school tuition (no complaining, just stating a fact) and while my job at the hospital has been a HUGE blessing, it is not enough to sustain me and make the mortgage payment. I've known for a long while I would not be able to stay permanently, nor did I really want to. It's too painful. And my kids don't live here yeah.

I began praying earnestly about 'where' to move this past summer. I needed to think about my mom in Alabama, my daughter who will be making a move after the first of the year and Zach, who is praying/considering continuing his education next year at a Christian college either in Wisconsin or Tennessee. I also needed to live someplace where I would have opportunity to work and go to school for better job training. So as I was praying, the Lord was working in a way I least expected...

As you can imagine, this situation has been very sad for many of our friends who have been close to us through the years. These dear ones have continued to walk this path with us, to check on us, make sure we are ok...have food, money, etc... The Lord has used them (and our family) to meet our every need.

Todd is one these friends. He has been a trusted family friend for over 22 years. And even though we have not lived near each other for years, he has always been a part of our family. When Ashleigh was a little girl she wanted to marry him. : ) He was close to my dear mother-in-law who loved him like a son. He cared about my brother-in-law. (Both having gone on to Heaven.) He remembers my dad and knows my mom. He knows and cares about everyone who is important to me.

He knows the pain of divorce himself and has been a compassionate, kind and understanding friend to me, to my kids and to my family. He has been nothing but a true gentleman and respectful of me and this process I am going through. He has been an encouragement to me in many ways, but mostly by his walk with the Lord and his zeal for God's word.

And he lives in Omaha, Nebraska. : )

I know there are going to be some (maybe most of you) who are thinking...What in the world is she doing? And that is understandable. I would be thinking the same thing if it weren't for the fact that it's my life and I am living it. I have seen the Lord's hand in this from the start and have the support and encouragement from my family and close friends. The decision to move to Omaha was not made lightly or based on emotions. It was a prayerful decision and made with the help of those closest to me. I've not jumped off the deep end throughout this whole ordeal and I am not going to jump now. It's simply the next step...moving forward...because I have to.

I have been very private with this because honestly, while most people are genuinely concerned for my well being, there are those this past year who have scrutinized my life, saying some pretty unedifying things. There are also those who have tried to gain details and information regarding my situation, not out of love or concern, but as a means to appease their own curiosity or to gossip. I understand people are going to have an opinion--good or bad--about my divorce, my move, ect...and that is fine. But please are reading my blog, which is a just a part of the picture...not the whole picture itself.

So that's the story. : ) I would very much appreciate your prayers as I prepare to move next week. I am ready and have peace, but I am also saying goodbye to family and friends and to a house that was once a home. My home...our home. And with God's grace and strength, I'll make it through and keep moving forward.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Thursday, October 15, 2009

California, I am going to miss you...

The other night while driving home from meeting Ashleigh to drop off Troy and Merritt, I caught this sunset with my phone camera.

I had the window rolled down, hair blowing, music turned up loud and realized just how much I am going to miss California. I've lived here my entire life. (Except for brief stints in Arizona and Japan, thanks to the USMC.)

I'll miss the beaches and mountains, but most of all I'll miss the family and friends I am leaving behind. But I am so thankful for email, webcams, Facebook and texting. All the technology makes it a little less painful. Or so I tell myself.

I will miss you California, but it's not goodbye. Nope.

I'll see you later... : )

Saturday, October 10, 2009 there is a story

Yes, there *is* a story as to why I am moving to Nebraska.... of all places.

It's a good story. A God-has-His-hands-all-over-it story. : )

But I don't have time to tell it right now, because I worked 12 hrs at the hospital today and I work 12 hrs tomorrow. And my children are coming tomorrow night. Zach is coming home from school. Ash, John and the boys are coming after church tomorrow night. We'll be together for 24 hours, but it's going to be busy, busy, busy as we pack up the house.

You can be sure we'll shed a few tears too. While we are ready to move's because we have to...we must...but it's not without sadness because of all we have lost.

We have weathered much and we'll weather this too. Because we are the Lord.

So I'll get to *that* story soon. Promise. : )

Hugs and love to you all...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Me and my girl...

I love this girl...I truly do. I don't know how I would have gotten through this past year without her.

More than a few times she has picked me up off the ground (in the beginning, that was literally true) and helped me to keep going. Both my kids, in the midst of their own pain, have been a continual source of encouragement to me. I am grateful to them both.

Ash came out on Monday, with Troy and Merritt. We were supposed to start packing up the house (more on that in a minute). We had BIG plans. We are always on the adventurous side when making plans. Following through is a whole 'nother thing. : )

We did manage to have a girls night--a movie and dinner at PF Chang's. We had so much fun! I love that my daughter is one of my very best friends.

We didn't get much packing done though. In fact, we didn't get any done. But we did talk and laugh a lot...and take care of two precious, albeit very active little boys.

It was exactly what we needed to do, because in 4 weeks I'll be moving. Moving from the house we've lived in for almost 20 years. And as hard as it's going to be to leave, it's time. One more step in this 'new beginning' season of my life.

And my girl (and John, Troy and Merritt) will be by my side as I make my way to my new little home.
So...Omaha, we come!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's time...

Do you know how many times I have come here, ready to write a post and yet unable to put thought to keyboard and get anything out?

Too many times to count, I'm afraid.

Ashleigh's design handiwork is a great motivation...

but I am still struggling with my blog.

What do I write?...What do I say?...How much do I tell?...How personal do I get?

When Ashleigh and I discussed redesigning my blog, I thought about removing any posts that specifically pertained to my life before December 2008 (i.e. before my husband left). Ultimately I decided to leave them, because that was my life and it was real (for me, anyway) and it's part of who I am and this journey I am on.

In the past 10 months, so much has changed concerning my life and at times it was just too painful to try to write what was going on. It was hard enough just living it, let alone writing about it.

But one thing I can say that has not changed, is who I am in Christ. And I can declare with total and complete certainty that God is faithful. All the time.

And that I am still a mom, daughter, aunt, friend... : )

So it's time to enter a new season of my life and I want to share it with you, my bloggy friends.

My broken heart is on the mend. I am healing. God is restoring beauty where gray ash once covered everything. And for the first time in a long time, I see a new day on the horizon.

Thanking the Lord for your love, support and prayers this past year. I love you all...