Tuesday, November 5, 2013

2/3 of a year as a single mom: ramblings.

Eight months ago today I found myself sitting in a law office in front of the cutest, spunkiest, kindest lawyer filing for a legal separation from my husband after he packed a bag and walked out of the house, leaving me and his children the day before. 
It felt drastic.  It felt dramatic.  It felt life changing and stomach turning. 
And it was all of those things.  In the moments leading up to that decision so many things took place in my life and in this home that were heartbreaking.  But I knew the second that he walked out of this house that he wasn't coming back.  Although my life felt like it was torn upside down, I decided that I was not going to sit around and be a victim.  I was going to grieve and mourn.  I was going to allow myself to venture through all of the emotions that would follow. 
But I was also going to be proactive.  I had three children, a home and myself to take care of now and I wanted to do it the very best that I knew how, as always. 
In the days that followed, several people pulled me through.  As I sat in that law office, tears falling from my face but determination in my heart, I came face to face with the reality that my life was going to change forever.  I purposed in myself to let it be for the good and not for the bad.  In those moments I decided that I would not let my husband leaving, my child dying or my broken and shattered dreams dictate the joy that could be found in my future. 
Several months before Daniel left, I stopped going to church.  It wasn't for my lack of faith or belief in God but more because of the practical logistics of my life.  Mabel couldn't make it through a service without getting agitated and crying and I decided that it was best to be at home with her on Sunday mornings and always.  What I've found in the last three years about 'the church' or the churches that I have been involved with are that they are wonderful in supporting you when they are actively seeing you.  Strangely when I stopped going, they sort of stopped coming. 
Mabel's name was taken off of prayer lists, I was told that my heart had hardened, no one called and that was just the way it was. 
 I was incredibly hurt by the so-called Christians in my life during a time when I could have truly used the love that I believe Jesus calls us to.  When I was brokenhearted, when I was weak, when I was alone and abandoned--they didn't come, or not in the ways that they should have. 
There were Christians around me who told me that they didn't understand why I wouldn't allow my husband to leave for awhile to 'figure out what he needed,' and made me feel like it was my fault that he was unhappy and needed to leave his wife and children.  There were Christians who made snide and mean comments online about our family's situation publicly. 
Rather than see the bigger picture that I was inevitably facing every day at home-
2 very competent and hurt children and a little girl with a terminal illness draped over my shoulder, these followers of Jesus turned their backs and literally walked the other way. 
The truth of our marriage, separation and ultimately our divorce was our business and rather than look past it in order to reach out in the midst of disaster, the church looked away.  They could have plugged in with love.  They could have overlooked the details to simply show support. 
But they flat out turned away. 
Thankfully for me, I had a foundation rooted in Jesus and not in a building.  Not in a group of friends or people who I depended on to uplift me or carry me.  Not in a ritual or Sunday morning routine.  Not in a prayer group, not in a schedule. 
In Jesus.  My Lord.  My God.  My forever and faithful King.
Because of the hurt caused by people, I was able to bury myself deeper in Him.  Because of the abandonment I felt by the ones that I thought would always surround me, I had no choice but to cling to Him.  Because my home has become a hospital for my daughter, a place I am essentially bound to, I had no choice but to make it my sanctuary; a place of worship and a place of safety that I share with Him and Him alone. 
Somehow, he used these eight months and the 3 years prior to draw me closer to Him.
As He promised He would do. 
Please don't get me wrong.  There were wonderful people that love the Lord who stepped into my life in huge ways, faithfully in the last eight months.  They continue to do so today and I am forever grateful to them for loving me and these kids in the valley and upon the hill.  They have shown the kind of love that I vow to try to always show in my walk.  There were amazing friends who love God quietly and yet show His love boldly in their actions and in their words.  They are kind, meek and have been a blessing to my life. 
I pray, as I grow in my love for the Maker that I would never be so devoted to a building that I turn my back to His people.  I hope that my eyes will always be open to the hurting and that I will be able to exercise my faith by giving to them in their times of need and in their every day.  My hope is that I will be able to always overlook the circumstances surrounding a situation, especially based out of my own opinions that are not only invalid but also not mine to have in order to better give of myself to others. 
 To reach their hearts.  To hold their hands.  To walk through with them no matter the cost. 
I believe I am not better equipped to do just that.

In eight short months my life has changed in every possible way. 
My kids went to school for the first time.  I am a single mom.  We are trying new medicine with Mabel.  I am dating a wonderful man.  I am not actively involved in a church.
On that first day alone in this house I wondered how anything would ever feel happy again.  I wondered if I would ever be carefree or in love or not grieved over something. 
But I have learned that life is just too short. 
I didn't want to wait to feel happy. 
I didn't want to wait to feel care free.
I didn't want to wait to possibly feel love again.
I didn't want to wait to sing, or dance, or worship, or surrender.
I didn't want to wait to cling to Jesus. 
I didn't want to wait to forgive.
I didn't want to wait to live my life fully.
My daughter is dying.  My husband left. 
But my children are growing.  Life is moving. 
And I wanted to be part of it.
So here I am.  Eight months to do the day later.  Somehow it feels like an eternity.  It feels like I have been here in this home, raising these children alone for a very long time.  There are definitely moments that are hard, especially for the kids, and it is incredibly gut wrenching for me to watch and help them get through.
 I would have given my life for this to be different for them and I pray every day that they know that. 
But it is what it is and I have done the very best I could do with it and in it. 
I am happy, confident, content, at peace and light. 
I am at a greater place in my faith walk than I have ever been, and I say that confidently.  I long for a church and cannot wait until the kids and I are actively going again.  However, for now, I am really proud of the growth that I see in the hearts of my kids and I believe that God is fostering our love for Him, even here. 

Although I have been hurt, like most people probably have over the years, I still very much believe in the church.  Even greater than that, I believe that there is truth, growth and maturity in being with other believers.  But I know for certain that this time of solitude for my family has been necessary.  Essential for the greater plan of our lives. 
It has been 16 months since Mabel was diagnosed with Batten Disease and half of that time since my husband left. 
And I am ok. 
I am happy.  I am strong.  I am proud.  I am living. 
None of it is how I imagined it would be and in it all I have learned that it is ok. 
The story is not mine, after all. 
The Author of my life still holds the pen....


Andy and Jenni said...

Wow. Such powerful words. I feel like you may have been looking in a mirror when you described that attorney :) You are a strong, wise woman. And an amazingly loving mom. xo

Mrs. RN said...

You are doing a wonderful job and are so strong! I admire you for that. Well, and for the red hair ;)

Tiffany said...

I love you. I could not be more proud of you - or more FOR you. I see Jesus ALL OVER this and all over your story. <3

Tonja81 said...

Ramee, you are absolutely amazing in every sense of the word. You have remained strong when so many would not be able to. You have risen above and you have not lost your faith. I have the utmost respect for you as a person, as a mother, as a friend, etc. I hope you always know just how amazing you are.

Verena said...

Wow, the church story is hard to believe. As a christian you shouldn't act like this ....but in those times you see who is your real friend and who is not .
I am really looking up to you Ramee...you are such a powerful woman and you are doing such a wonderful job as a mom . God bless you !

Nicole R said...

Hi Ramee, I have been reading your blog for just a little bit (not sure how I found you) and I haven't ever commented on anything before, but I had to tell you today how deeply your words touched my heart. While my situation doesn't look exactly like yours, I too am struggling with many aspects of the "church" and your transparency in your experience have made me feel not alone. Thank you for listening to the Lord and sharing what is an extremely private part of your life.