I have not shared many of the details of this story with anyone other than my closest friends and family. And to this day, even they don't know the whole story. Truth is, I don't either.
I'm sharing it now because there is nothing left to fear.
Years ago, while in the middle of a divorce, I met a man who was a client at my place of work. I didn't know then what I know now. Had I, my life would be radically different because I would not have my two youngest children. I can look back though, and say with full assurance, that blessings do exist even in the darkness. And although God doesn't seem to be around at the time, He is most definitely right there with you in the middle of the mess.
I am sharing this for several reasons. First, to obliterate any sense of shame that anyone else who has shared in a similar experience may feel. I know too well how humiliating it is to have to face the reality that the life you thought you had is a lie. I know how hard it is to swallow the realization that the person you most trusted could so easily gamble with your life, and those of your children. My second reason for sharing is so you can understand that God is working in your life even though you can't see it, let alone feel His presence.
I could never have conceived at the time that the man I had met at work was a sociopath. It would cost me dearly—emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially. For those seven years, my life was a sham, only I didn't know it. Others could see what I couldn't see. In fact, it wasn't until three months after he turned himself over to authorities to serve 34 months in prison for fraud, that who he actually was became clear to me. There I was, on 13 acres of farmland, in a condemnable and dilapidated house with four young kids, no job, and no back-up plan.
I didn't have a strong foundation of faith. I believed in God. But at that time in my life, He was a distant, far-off God, who may or may not decide to help. What I couldn't understand was that He was there all along working behind the scenes even when I didn't know how to pray, or what to pray for. He was there when I was too numb to feel anything, and too unsure to take a step. I was living day by day, moment by moment, and doing it blindly. And yet somehow, I managed to find a job after being a stay-at-home mom for nearly eight years. I was able to find reliable, loving, and affordable childcare for my children while I worked. The homeowner of the rundown farmhouse we were in had to declare bankruptcy. And because of it, I was able to break my lease and not pay rent for two months while I found us another home. That extra money went toward the security deposit needed to move into a townhouse surrounded by caring neighbors with children the same ages as mine. As time passed, and my salary gradually increased, I was able to chip away at the thousands of dollars of debt my ex had accumulated against my personal credit.
Maybe these miracles happened because my family was praying for us. I know they were praying for us. But they had to be praying in generalities because they couldn't have known to the level of detail what would need to take place in order for our lives to level out again. They couldn't have known because I wasn't sharing everything with them. But Someone knew.
Please understand, I am not trying to convert any of you. I have vacillated quite a bit when it comes to faith. It wasn't until recently, and by that I mean within the last two years, that I truly found it. And it likely wouldn't have happened had things with my ex not come to a head.
In 2014, my ex petitioned the court for sole custody of our two children. The thought of losing them nearly killed me. Up to that point, I had taken a lot of pride in all I had accomplished. I had worked my ass off to get us to normalcy again. I was making a six-figure salary, had earned a life-coaching certification, and had met my future husband. I had done it all with little support. For over seven years I was a sole parent. But none of it prepared me for the test ahead. Every night I cried myself to sleep and prayed that my kids would not be taken from me. And every morning I woke up, still clutching that cross, and still praying that the Judge would be fair and impartial. I prayed ceaselessly for nearly a year. I say this because my own strength, my own grit, my own will, my own intellect, my own gifts and talents, or those of others were not enough to get me through that experience. I had nothing. I had no fight left. I was at the full mercy of God. I had to believe. There was no other option. I clung to Him with my life and the lives of my children.
At the end of the trial my ex got joint legal custody, and an order to attend therapy indefinitely to repair his fractured relationship with the children. He went three months and then quit therapy, and eventually ceased all contact with the kids. Last month, because of his absence from their lives for longer than six months, my husband was able to file for adoption, We received the signed orders yesterday.
When I look back at everything that had to happen to get us to where we are now, there is no doubt that God was with us the entire time. He was there when I didn't know what to pray for. He was there when I had little to no relationship with Him. He was there when I was at my most desperate moments. He was there for me. He was there for my children. He will be there for you too.
God is there in the mess.
Glory B's unifies all of what I love most—the earth and its natural elements like stone and wood; the creative arts, whether through the written word, or photography, or paint; and helping others to make the world a better place.