It never ceases to amaze me how much can change in one year. A year ago, almost to the day, I was preparing Halloween costumes for the girls (Strawberry Shortcake & a strawberry…and they were SO incredibly cute 🙂 ), living in Morgantown, having no idea how close I was to having my life take its’ biggest turn yet.
Sometimes I wish God would tell me more about what’s to come, or give me a warning at least.
But most of the time, I’m glad He only quietly prepares our hearts, even while we are unaware.
Tonight I sit in this beautiful new home. It is officially mine. In my name. I have pretty much signed my life away to pay for it 😉 The more I stay here, the more I love it. I love how open it is. I love how we have our sweet little back yard that’s not too big but not too small. And that big back deck with the big windows that reminds me of being up in the mountains or out in the country, yet I can be in downtown Lexington within 15 minutes tops. I love how accessible it is for Zoe. How good the schools are.
I am still a bit awestruck that God would not only provide a home for the girls & I, but give us this. And no, it sure as heck didn’t come free (although it would be pretty darn sweet if it did!), and in fact, I have not only a full-time nurse practitioner job, but a back-up PRN (which means “as needed” for those of you who might not speak medical jargon) position I can work at if I need or want to supplement my income. And…considering I still own the home in Morgantown (still for sale…hint, hint!) that second job comes in handy sometimes.
But I am thankful that so many years ago, when I was basically a baby nurse fresh out of school, I decided to go back. I love my career, and although I had not a clue how handy pursuing further education would be, it sure did serve me well!
I feel like a kid at Christmas lately. And I feel like I can totally relate to Job. No, I haven’t lost everything I have. But I have lost a parent, lost a spouse, lost a dream of a future the way I thought it would go, taken a different course in what it means to have a “healthy” child.
But I have gained so much. And there is no way to explain it.
I have learned that good step-parents are amazing, because they make a choice to love. They don’t have to. No one forced them to sign up to be a parent. They chose.
I have learned that having a child with a disability changes you. You are better than you were before you went down that road. You love deeper, appreciate more, taken less for granted, celebrate every little “inch-stone” (hey–that’s what comes before a milestone!), and you realize that so many of the things the world thinks are necessary for a good life, really aren’t so much.
I have learned that sometimes something completely unexpected like a divorce can be one of the best things that ever happened to you. And don’t get me wrong–I have nothing negative to say about John on this blog and I think he would probably agree with this anyway. In the midst of the divorce, he & I have been very diligent about maintaining a good relationship for the girls. In the beginning, clouded by hurt & disappointment, this was more difficult than now. But now, we co-parent well together. He & the girls made cookies for a housewarming gift for me. He came and helped haul off some unneeded items from my apartment during the move. The hurt has been replaced by the realization that this divorce has turned into good for both of us.
I still cannot celebrate divorce as a good thing. I do not believe it is God’s plan for marriage in the least. However, I believe we serve a great God who makes all things new, including hearts, and will continue His plan to perfect us and do things far greater in our lives than we can imagine. Even despite the messes we make. I believe it is Him who has brought me to the place I am now, allowed good to come from what I originally perceived as bad, and brought an amazing Christian man into mine & my girls’ life. It is Christ alone who continues to heal our hurts, and I am continually overwhelmed by all that He has brought into my life, and more often than not, I feel so incredibly undeserving.
But for tonight, I am enjoying our amazing new home. I am so excited for the future. For holidays. And lazy Saturdays. And rainy days. And summer cookouts. And heck–murder mystery parties 😉 (even though I am horrible at them even if I was the killer, lol!).
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21