Lessons In the Fire

A journal of things I have learned walking through this fire

A New Life

As the school year was winding down in late May 2012 I sat in my empty classroom filling in the same thing over and over on record forms. It was then that the tidal wave of fear and anxiety over the impending doom of my marriage threatened to over take me. I could feel it coming from behind I could feel the emotional and spiritual force of devastation rushing at me. It began to crest over my head it’s force breathtakingly fearful. It was as if God hit the “pause” button on it, it loomed in midair just over my shoulders and He spoke to my soul or was it my spirit….. I can’t remember they are so close that it takes something as sharp as God’s word to separate them! Regardless, God spoke to my inner person God spoke not with words to my ears but with knowledge to my inner being. What God said was so awe inspiring, so hope giving, so kind and strengthening.  He told me “I am giving you a new life.” In a moment the tidal wave of darkness receded for whence it came and hope was restored.

As I have moved through this flaming circumstance I have found myself so angry that my plan didn’t work out.  That I married a man incapable of loving me or any of our four children with authentic love.  I was angry that it was all a lie, then I was devastated over it. Then I angry again, then devastated, then angry then devastated, then angry then devastated, you get the point. That was the life I built with my husband, my partner, yeah he was a jerk and yeah he made me feel like a piece of dirt but I loved him and I loved our family and it was my ONLY plan! They were my life, my love, my passion.  Now don’t get me wrong, I loved the LORD and sought HIm, but my family was my life. And like an atom bomb it was gone. There was no repairing it no possibility of reconciliation, that life died. And it H-U-R-T really really really bad. I’d remind God He said He was giving me a new life and that what I wanted was the life I had….just not with the jerk I had. No, wait yes with the jerk I had just him not a jerk. Nothing is impossible for God and everything is permissible for us, yet not everything is beneficial. That life was not beneficial for me. Anyway, I have moved through times where I look up towards the heavens and ask, when? When do I get this grand new life? I have also been through time that I have looked up to the heavens and thanked God for the new life I now had, it wasn’t what I expected or planned and it is still painful, but it is good.

Then there was today. Today started off terrible.  When I walked into my first class a half an hour late, I went ahead and warned them that I was not in a good place and not to cross me. Happy Monday Morning Ya’ll!! Ugh, I have never told my class that because I have not ever been quite that foul any morning. I did something I never do at work, I colored. I just wanted the day to end. So I colored, this act is so very out of character for me, just as my good morning announcement was. When school was over I drudged home to mow this big farm yard. I did something else I never do (unless I am on unlimited wifi – which isn’t available out here in the country) I listened to Pandora. Oh my gosh! do you just LOVE that app!?!? – I digress. I have my favorite artists stations and instrumentals mmmm, good stuff. So I weed eated first because I hate it so much. Well hate is a strong word, it hurts my hand after twenty minutes. I am so glad I don’t have neighbors out here and I hope the ones I do have couldn’t hear me. I sang my heart out to our LORD. I sang, I praised, I lifted my hands off the steering wheel. I anticipated getting stuck in the normal places, jumped off and pushed the mower never stopping my love song to Him. As I rounded the trampoline for the last time I could see the beautiful sky changing colors as the sun sank low in the sky. The smell of the fresh cut grass filled the air, the temperature was 72 degrees , I could see the awesome farm house God provided for the children and I. My heart was overwhelmed with His joy, His peace, and my gratitude. He nudged my soul and reminded me of His promise of a new life and posed the question to my inmost part –

“What do you think?”

What I think cannot be expressed with mere words my King.  The tears that fill my eyes cannot convey the meaning behind them to any but You. The chills of my flesh cry out a song of unity that only You can know. The beat of my heart and the billows of joy in my being, these are my song of thanksgiving to you. If I were more like David LORD, perhaps I could express it for other humans to understand in a Psalm.

I think You are awesome, powerful, wise and full of kindness to this child of yours with the wayward prone heart.

I think You my LORD are the love of my life and that no other could bring me the purest of joy that You do. May I honor You with this new life. May I tell others about You and Your goodness, may I bring honor to Your Holy Name.

If you don’t know what on earth I am talking about, please message me so I can tell you more.

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The Meeting

Today I had to meet with the ex narc and his new wife and the children’s therapist who has just recently come to the knowledge that the narc is a first class liar and manipulator. This is the first meeting in 3 years without my awesome attorney rite by my side. This is the first time I’ve sat across from this vicious enemy and both of us having to play nice in order to help our son who has Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Yesterday I started having anxiety attacks in fear of sitting across from the man who had done all of this to me. Today, not even a tremor of fear as I sat in the room with him.

I’ve been through absolute hell with our oldest son. Since the divorce began 3+ years ago his narcissistic father has done everything he could to turn the child against me. I have done everything humanly possible to hold onto him for his dear life. In August as we prepared to go to court for custody it just worked out that no one could be there to testify for me. I didn’t understand why it was happening the way it was but I knew full well if God wanted it different He would have orchestrated it to be different. So with trembling hands and a broken heart fully dependent upon God I finally let go. I gave the ex narc and the ODD (disorder – not odd as in weird) child what they both so wanted, he got main custody of our oldest son. I would get him every other Thursday through Sunday. We would split the other three children 50/50.

I wish words were a better form of communication or that I were better with them. I wish I could convey to you the absolute heart break and agony of releasing him. I think Abraham must have felt this way as he laid his son down to be sacrificed. He knew God’s promises for him and his family but how could such be accomplished if his son were dead? Can you imagine his anguish? I can. I released my death grip on my son and cried my heart out to the LORD. I know the promises He has made me.

The LORD has promised good to me. He promised I would walk through fire and not be burned. I’ve just began my descent out of the flames and ashes but I was not burned. Quite the opposite. I was strengthened. The things that created weakness in me were burned away and His strength filled me. I believe this is called being refined.

Yesterday as the fear swept over me and I felt the pings of dread and fear I recited scripture, I asked for prayer and reviewed it, I reached out to my therapist whose last words to me on the matter was:

Boldness is an attitude not a feeling. Be strong. I know it’s challenging but a good workout in being confident in Jesus.

His words strengthened me, then my pastors assistant prayed with me in person, that also strengthened me. But the greatest strength came when my sister called and told me I was a dumbass. I drew a line in the sand told her she was being condescending and I didn’t like the way she was talking to me. She hung up on me.

Your probably wondering how on earth that gave me strength?!? Well the old me, the unrefined me would have first never drawn a line and would have just resented her. But I did speak up because it’s not okay to talk to me that way. And it’s not. She did what I was always so afraid of, rejected me. But when she hung up I laughed. A real laugh. It didn’t even bother me. I didn’t react to her I wasn’t  angry.

Oh me oh my, God has changed me. How can it be?  He has crowned me with wisdom and discernment. I could not be more grateful!

It was good that I had to suffer in order to learn your laws. Psalm 119:71

I go through deserts of barren dryness in my soul at times and am quenched to the marrow of my bones at others…..I am steeped in His love right now and am so very in love with my God and my Redeemer and my Guide.

Oh and by the way, the child who was reported to ONLY be defiant towards me (his ACCUSED abuser) all of a sudden is having trouble in his “perfect” fathers home and showing his ODD behavior with his dad the woman he now refers to as Mom.

What is done in the dark will be revealed in the light. Thank you LORD!

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I’ve been thinking….

But that’s about it.

I’ve been away and not posted in a very long time.  I’m betting if I looked back it would be around the time my son came out of states custody.  When my doctor and I looked at when I started gaining weight, that’s when it was. When the abuse began again. Not from the ex narc who still has an order of protection against me (thanks small town good ole boy network) but from the child who has been poisoned against me. The fourteen year old who now stands at a shocking 6 feet 4 and 3 quarters of an inch tall, holy cow almost 6’5″!!! The hatred and demeaning returned to my life the constant battle too, ugh.

Anyway, I’ve been seeing my therapist and moving through daily life, a little more healing each day. I noticed through that I seemed to be stuck.  I couldn’t get any traction on healing on moving forward on rebuilding my broken-shattered-crushed-pulverized-and-ground-to-a-fine-powder- life. I’ve been struggling with self control for a loooooong while now. I just couldn’t seem to control myself on much of anything. Finances, food, time management, notta. For the last few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about why that is. My therapist pointed it out – “You have no plan or vision.”

AHA! that’s true, I don’t.  My plan and my vision was always to have and build and grow my family unit.  The only thing I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother.  God called me to be a teacher and I embraced His calling. But my original vision was destroyed and now what?

Day after day, week after week, month after month. Just keep moving don’t stop just do what has to be done and survive.  That IS EXACTLY how I survived. I just did what had to be done and abandoned all outcomes to the LORD. But now I am past the surviving stage now it is time to develop a new vision and move forward to place of thriving.

This is hard.  I have grieved the death of my marriage and family…..

Now what?

Now what?

Now what?

Now what?

I started the Financial Peace University class at my church.  I realized that I have no plan for ANYTHING in my life. My former plan was developed through passion and love and over time. After my ravenous divorce I have just been a vessel in the wind with no direction in any area.
I made a budget and a cash flow plan and let it bleed over to my daily life.  I printed new calendar pages and made a daily plan. I started reading the book Audacious by Beth Moore.  She asks what am I most compelled by the love of Christ to do?

The answer I received “share, tell, teach”.

I have a new vision, one that scares me, challenges me, strengthens me, and gives me a new purpose. God is good all the time.  In the pit, in the fire, in the ashes, in the storm, in the valley and on the mountain. This is what I am compelled to do, tell my story and allow it to honor the One Whose love cannot be fathomed and Whose goodness in beyond measure.

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His Hands and Feet

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When my ex-husband and I decided to leave the non-denominational church we had been attending for three years we visited several churches.  There were really two in the running, neither First Baptist.  After deciding another non-denominational was not for us we landed at a little country church.  I sat in the pew of that church church asking the LORD to tell me what to do and where He wanted us.  The answer was very clear in my soul, you have not tried First Baptist again.  (We had three years prior.) So we went to First Baptist to see if that is where the LORD had us. “Home” resonated in my spirit and we agreed, we would join FBC.  But then the pastor made an announcement that he was leaving and there would be an interm.  My ex didn’t want to join until we knew who the new pastor would be. 18 months (I think) later we got our pastor, and he is a GREAT one!  It was around Christmas 2011 and I was ready to join.  But my ex had this reason or that each Sunday and we didn’t join.  The last Sunday of April 2012 the pastor taught on membership, I almost left my ex sitting in the pew to go down and join, but I didn’t.  I didn’t want another fight.

Four days later I found out he was sexting my daughter Mothers Day Out teacher from FBC and by the way, we sat with her on that Sunday. She lost her job and he was told to leave and not come back until he could show some definite signs of repentance.  This woman was not the first woman to lose her job at the church over an inappropriate relationship with my husband.  (Narcissist love church going nurturing empathetic women.) The children’s pastor told me the children and I were welcome and wanted at the church but I did NOT want to go there anymore!  There were actually three women but one didn’t lose her job and I don’t know how far their relationship went.  And I did not want to see any of them.  I was so disgusted that Satan was all wrapped up in God’s house and seemed to be targeting me.

The children and I started going back to the little country church we had been to before.  When my ex got an order of protection against me and I lived at the women’s shelter in a neighboring town I would get my children at 8:00 in our town and wait around here or there until 9:30 when Sunday School would begin at that little church. Again I sat in the pew at that church and asked what do You want me to do LORD? As clear as it was the first time the LORD spoke to my soul – return to First Baptist. So I did (a little uneasy because by this time I had felony drug charges against me and the whole town knew it) there was an 8:15 service at FBC so all I had to do is pick up kids and go.

I am so glad that I was obedient to the LORD in returning to my church home.  I did eventually join and three of my four children have been saved and baptised there. (The child that wasn’t and why is another blog post for sure!) This church has been exactly what Jesus said for His church to be in my life.  At a service while I was still at the shelter a woman who sat behind me asked me if she could give me money to buy my children lunch after church, said she had felt lead to offer.  That is where the generosity began and it has yet to end.  When I moved into a 2 bedroom house I asked my Sunday School teacher to ask our class of women only if they had household items the were looking to get rid of.  Like lamps, dishes, towels, curtains, she mentioned it at some meeting and all of a sudden the women’s ministry went out and purchased me all new things.  Last Christmas I got a call that I had a package at the church, gifts for my children and me plus cash, giver unknown. When I couldn’t swallow Matthew 5:38-42 or even figure out how to apply it to my life with the narcissist and when I had crisis of faith after the custodial evaluation sent me into the darkest of places, my pastor met with me and shepherded my heart, mind, and soul. When I got a really large unexpected bill, I called and asked my church for help, the church paid the whole bill to my astonishment.  People there have loved on me, prayed for me, took my hand and lead me, they have supplied my needs physically, mentally, spiritually. They have done what was commanded of them in my life.  This very morning as I arrived at Sunday School my class had purchased items for my children for Christmas four children, four massive bags of gifts, pictured above under my tree. After loading the gifts in my van as I headed into my Sunday School classroom one of the pastors met me there and handed me an envelope.  He said it was from the pastors at my church who wanted to help me out. Say what?  I just filled my van with gifts and here as I came in another blessing!!

I am overwhelmed with….I don’t even know if there is a word or combination of words to fully express what I am overwhelmed with right now. It would have to be love, that’s the closest word. But not just love. More like…

Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe lovE Love lOve loVe 

That is what we are called to be to the people in our church and outside of our church. Love. I am thankful for my church family, for my Sunday School class and teacher, for all my pastors, and every person who serves at our church. May each person who walks through those doors know that Jesus loves them.

Matthew 25:34-40

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

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I’ve been thinking about Mary

As my ex husband turns more and more people against me, I have been thinking about Mary.  Mary the mother of Jesus that is.  I wonder how she felt when people would snicker behind her back, betrothed and pregnant. What a shame they must have said. I am sure they assumed that Mary and Joseph had jumped the gun.  I wonder about the scorn she felt when she KNEW the truth.  How did she cope with it?  How did Joseph?  When people were probably cruel because in their eyes they “knew” the truth when in actuality they knew nothing of the truth. The people who surrounded her couldn’t fathom the greatness or terror of the truth which she not only knew but lived, breathed and birthed.

When Mary gave birth in the manger, did she question God and His ways?  A manger, really for the King of King and Lord of Lords? Was she puzzled why on earth God wouldn’t make sure she was at least comfortable? Why this sweet little baby couldn’t have a place indoors? Why He would have His son born where livestock slept?  Why couldn’t they have a room at the inn? Did she look around and wonder “Why LORD…..I promised myself to You and Your will….how can this barn be Your will?”

What did she think as she watched him be crucified?  Did she wonder if she herself had been mistaken? Did she question how the God she swore to be a servant of could crucify this God/man she loved so much? Did she regret pledging herself to God? Would she undo it if she could? Did she feel like she had been deceived or mislead? Did she scream and cry and tear her clothes?  Was she consolable or not?  Was she angry and confused?  Or did she accept this as His will even though she couldn’t understand?

We know the next part, Jesus raised from the dead, how joyful she must have been.  But before He returned, how did she feel?  In the darkness of His death and the brutality of His end….did she question God?  Did she question herself? Or did she lean further into her God and press on in faith because what was happening did not make any logical human sense and faith was all she had left?

My darkness is not that of Mary’s but it causes me to wonder and to ponder how she felt during these times when life made no sense.  My life makes no sense.  I have screamed, I have cried (I have not torn my clothes – I’m broke), I have questioned Him, I have questioned myself, I have doubted, I have run from Him and I have run to Him. He is my strong tower even when I cannot perceive it. I don’t know how this fiasco is going to turn out.  But I do know that I am a much better person for having gone through this and that God is good…all the time.

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Divorce is worse than death

Perfect. ❤

My condolences as I hug my grief stricken friends going through a divorce…"I know sweetie, all your dreams, all your plans have died. God can give you new ones. Until them, I'm here for you."

howileftastalker's Blog

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It sounds like a horrible thing to say especially coming out of a domestic violence situation. The sheer fact that I’m with my children and we’re in a happy loving safe home, it truly is all I need, but given I live in a first world country abiding in it are first world problems; therefore divorce is worse than death.
Dramatic as it seems, think about it. When there’s a death people expect you to walk around in a daze to go through the stages of grief. Your loved ones send flowers, neighbors and friends sign up to bring meals.
People give you consideration. It’s an excusable absence from work or school. Airlines even offer bereavement discounts. Death can bring insurance pay checks, social security may start sending checks. Again I’m merely comparing two losses!
Divorce on the other hand for me anyways has been lonely. Friends can shy away…

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Mommy

As I checked my 13 yr olds phone I came across devastation. I am saved by my first name and the new wife is saved as “Mommy”.

Say WHAT!?!?

I quit reading things on One Mom’s Battle on Facebook. It was so discouraging to read how other Moms in similar circumstances were being treated. I would read an be horrified and think God will never let that happen to my kids or to me. But almost everything I read on there has happened to me now.

I don’t doubt God’s love. I don’t doubt God’s word. I don’t doubt God.
But I do not understand.
I can’t see the other side. It could be full of wonderful things. It could be full of this continued misery.

I’m told that I’m going to make it. I’m told it can’t last forever. But I just don’t know on either.

I see my son turning into his father. I can’t stop it. I see my children living 2 different lives. I see their childhoods slipping by into this dreadful nightmare.

I see me trying so hard to not react not respond. To keep shoving Mama Bear back down. I see me getting weary. I see bankruptcy coming. I see no end.

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I Want to Heal

I want to heal.

I don’t want to educate myself on the narcissist I don’t want to know anything else about these people who are vortexes of darkness to those who love them. I don’t want to know what he is doing, I don’t want to know what he said. I don’t want to know what she is doing or allow her messages on my bathroom mirror torment me. I don’t care when they started dating nor when their sham of a marriage will end.

I want to smile at the memories not cringe because it was all a lie.

I want to find acceptance of reality and shed the bitterness of mutilated and murdered dreams.

I want to be free if his insanity and how his grime can smudge my smile from miles or just blocks away.

I want to move forward and not look back anymore. I want to feel joy again and find peace despite the chaos. I want to let go of the anger and fear and replace then with peace and security.

But…

I don’t know how…yet.

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The Dark Night of My Soul

Parental alienation had been occurring in in my divorce and I was quickly loosing my son and my other other three too, just not as quickly. I was desperate to prove it and get my children away from a man who would use our innocent children in such a way.  A custodial evaluation was the way to prove it in a court of law.   I was warned by my attorney that it could get pricey. However to prove what was happening, I felt like it was really worth it to go into credit card debt to prove what this monster was doing.

I had my attorney file the motion.  The judge required a vitae, a resume of sorts from each attorney on which elvaluator they’d like to use for the evaluation.  Of course our attorney’s had different submissions.  My attorney was ready the day of the motion with his choice for an evaluator and her vitae. My ex husband’s attorney wasn’t prepared and did not have his choice’s viate.  I thought, “YAY!” we will get to use the one my attorney wants to use. But the judge told the opposing counsel he had so many days to get his choice’s vitae in. A week later, it was his choice the judge went with, we will call him Dr. J..  I liked Dr. J.  he seemed sincere and appeared he would do a through and fair  job.  Before I could meet with Dr. J. for a second time, he had a massive heart attack and passed away.

I assumed that we would get the deferment to my attorney’s choice for an evaluator, but it was not to be.  The judge ruled that we would use Dr. J.’s partner, Dr. M. I met with Dr. M. for the first time in summer 2013. When I met with him he questioned me about my family of origin. The evaluation process took eight months with Dr. M meeting with my children only once and him never observing anyone with the children.

I waited anxiously for the doctor’s suggestions. My attorney and I were ready to pounce on an emergency custody motion. There is absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for what I was about to receive.

I was (by this time) accustomed to the absurd and cruel lies and antics of my now ex-husband. But never ever not once did I suspect that a man who holds a doctorate in Forensic Psychology could or would misrepresent facts, twist my words, use my words out of context, and out right lie about me and my family. Every accusation (which were lies) my ex had against me were in this 17 page report but not one of the truths I told the man about my ex was in it. The evaluator recommended that the man who neglected to be a father for 11 years have full custody and I the mother who saw to every need the children ever had see them every other weekend.

Even after seven months, I can barely write about it. I’m going to take a break before continuing, it is STILL THAT hard to believe and accept.

This was a blow that I cannot describe. It hit me in places of my being I didn’t know I had. In the Bible it talks about people so overcome with grief they tear their clothes and put ashes on their heads. This was that grief. I have an app on my phone that records any noises I make in my sleep and recognizes tossing and turning. The night I got this news it recorded what a person must sound like in hell. I screamed until I could scream no more. I cried until I could cry no more. I couldn’t even think of eating. A few days after as I attempted to teach my students asked me what was wrong with me and where was my brain. My brain was withering in an ocean of absolute devastation.

The second night after this evaluation (that was nothing of the sort) came back something really terrible happened. As I laid in my bed and cried and asked God “why, Why, WHY”? A darkness that I have never known came over me. This was a greater darkness than I could have imagined before or describe to you now. Pitch black has nothing on this darkness. Now when I say came over me, it was all around me but not in me. Thoughts started coming to me that were not my own. Thoughts I have never thought before, thoughts I would have never though of on my own. Dark sinister thoughts. Thoughts of raging revenge on all the people who had contributed to this insanity of lies I was living in. Especially the doctor. Ways in which that revenge could be carried out. This lasted for hours. For a moment in there I was at least relieved that my ex-husband was not the one enduring this, he could not have fought it off, he would have acted. I would have acted if I had been just a tad bit weaker. If I had not laid in the bed calling out the name of Jesus over and over through sobs, screams, and groans.

Another thing happened around this time, God left. Well, of course He didn’t actually “leave” but I could no longer feel any sense of God. To my being He was gone along with His Son and His Holy Spirit. And I was ALONE. Completely and utterly alone. Could I call on family and friends? Sure but what on earth could they have said? Nothing, there was nothing that could help except the TRUTH but it was veiled and it’s Author MIA in my life.

I kept going to church, seeking God, and praying, but still there was nothing. One particular Sunday our service was so awesome I knew that the Spirit was so heavy that I could almost see it, but I could not feel it at all. I cried through the entire service and at the end, I sought out my pastor and told him I was having a crisis of faith and I needed his counsel. I met with him and told him about the evaluation, the darkness, and God being missing in action in my life. He told me he thought I was suffering “A Dark Night of the Soul”. He explained what that meant in Christianity and told me to look it up. He told me it wouldn’t last forever but would last longer than a night.

I looked it up. Several things out there on the dark night of the soul, many from different religions. But my pastor was right. As I read about it from the Christian standpoint and experience. It is described as a time of great darkness and confusion with seemingly no care or comfort from God. I held tight to my faith, when my head said “this” I would rely on “that” which I held as a truth in my life. It was really, really, did I mention REALLY hard and frightening. I just wanted to die in all honesty, death seemed like a really nice exit. However, unless something happened to take my life, I’d be staying, suicide though tempting was not an option. It was a constant battle and I felt very often as though I might end up in a mental hospital, which also seemed like a nice exit.

None of these words really do justice to the anguish and terror I felt over this evaluation, the loss I felt over losing my sense of God, over the betrayal of a professional who charged me $5,000 to metaphoricaly slit my throat. All of that on top of the two years leading up to this with a cheating husband, divorce filed, felony drug charges, having an OOP against me from my abuser, living in a battered women’s shelter, my son being in state’s custody because his father turned him against me, loss of my career, my fathers cancer and death, it was just too much. This evaluation was supposed to stop some of the insanity, but it did the opposite.

After a series of events the “doctor” was deposed. He was deposed by my attorney, my ex’s attorney, my ex in-laws attorney (they were trying to get custody of my son), the department of children’s services attorney, and the Guardian At-litem. His testimony proved to be useless for the opposing side. It was told to me that one of those attorney’s asked my attorney how it felt to have the other side pay for his witness. Well, it felt like CRAP for me! I sat there and listened to lie after lie, twisting of words, taking my words out of context, dismissing the drug charges that stuck to my ex (but not me!) deflecting questions, talking in circles. It was infuriating and exhausting.

But then…… the next morning, God returned. The dark night of my soul ended. I want to tell you that I could have walked on clouds that day. As I was getting ready for work I felt God like I never had before! I knew that if all I had to get through this was God, I would be just fine because He was all I needed.

That is not to say that I don’t still struggle because let me assure you I do. Just thinking about what this PHD did to me.  It still hurts and is the reason I have not blogged since it happened.  Even though God returned, His presence did not negate the mental rape (and I do not use that term lightly) I endured.  I continue to struggle and custody has YET to be determined. Pray for me to keep my eyes on the Lover of my soul.

Psalm 28:7 (NIV)

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

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St. John of the Cross, 1578

The Dark Night of the Soul

St John Of the Cross

On a dark night,
Kindled in love with yearnings–oh, happy chance!–
I went forth without being observed,
My house being now at rest.

In darkness and secure,
By the secret ladder, disguised–oh, happy chance!–
In darkness and in concealment,
My house being now at rest.

In the happy night,
In secret, when none saw me,
Nor I beheld aught,
Without light or guide, save that which burned in my
heart.

This light guided me
More surely than the light of noonday
To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me–
A place where none appeared.

Oh, night that guided me,
Oh, night more lovely than the dawn,
Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover,
Lover transformed in the Beloved!

Upon my flowery breast,
Kept wholly for himself alone,
There he stayed sleeping, and I caressed him,
And the fanning of the cedars made a breeze.

The breeze blew from the turret
As I parted his locks;
With his gentle hand he wounded my neck
And caused all my senses to be suspended.

I remained, lost in oblivion;
My face I reclined on the Beloved.
All ceased and I abandoned myself,
Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.

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