Today’s post is going to be a little different. I am not specifically referencing the “W” words in this post but am trying to relay just one of the bazillion stories of why I felt…
Worthless, Weak, Weary
From 1990 until mid 2006, I worked for a health insurance company. I loved this company but they sold their health plan division and I would eventually be laid off. Our company held a career fair for the employees that worked in the health plan division to help us find new jobs. I was approached by our Human Resources personnel and encouraged to apply for a Call Center Supervisor position for another health insurance company. So I did.
In August of 2006, I started my new position… It did not start off so well.
During the first week of employment at my new job, I found out that my husband had been having an affair and I received an e-mail telling me that my stepfather, Gary (one of the most loving men in my life), had passed away from cancer. That very same night, I found out I was pregnant.
There were days my husband was excited about the baby and then days he did not believe the baby was his. My ex-husband (the father of my children) told my children that I wanted to start a new family and did not want them any longer and they believed him. My relationships with them were ripped apart by the vicious lies he told them. Thanksgiving came and only my daughter came to see me. My 11-year-old son spewed words of hatred that ripped my heart apart. My husband went on a “run” the night before Thanksgiving and left me in a position to confess to my mother, who was visiting, of his addiction. The day after Thanksgiving, I went in for an ultrasound and was told that my baby was very sick and would not survive.
On December 31st, 2006, my baby was delivered by c-section and taken to heaven a few short minutes later. I was anemic and had lost so much blood that I almost died with her. A dear friend from CR sat by my bedside all day but my husband was not there. When he finally came to see me that night, he stayed for 10 minutes, took my car keys and said he would be back in an hour. He did not come back. Instead, he headed for the Oregon border. I lay there that night with a heart so broken; all I could do was cry and beg God to let me die. He said “No”.
Over the next several months in 2007, I walked through my “dark valley”. My husband was in and out of jail and rehab and falling deeper into his addiction every day. I lost a close friend to alcoholism. Threats were made against my life and my children’s over drugs. I kept finding digital recording devices all over my house and car. Any possession I owned, worth anything, was hocked or used to buy drugs. My daughter ran away from her father’s and I entered into another custody battle for her. Life had become a nightmare and I couldn’t seem to wake up.
I came home one day after work, to find every single item of clothing and every single pair of shoes and every stuffed animal I owned, slashed to pieces. I filed for a restraining order and a kick-out order, but they were not granted. A few days later my husband was taken to a Recovery Ranch in Nevada and told if he did not complete the 6-month program, I would file for a divorce. He lasted 45 days and my divorce was final in May 2008.
On September 24, 2007, I crashed. My ex-husband arrived at my house with the sheriff to take my daughter back. She was crying and didn’t want to go but the sheriff threatened if she didn’t leave with her father, they would pick her up and put her in the car. She left. It was an awful, heart wrenching scene. At that point, I could take no more. I was done; done being strong, done holding on, done looking for the blessings. God had been telling me to grieve but I didn’t how or where to start. I called a couple of people from CR crying incoherently. When I hung up, I went to the store and bought a bottle of liquor and began to drink. Late that night, God sent another dear friend from CR, to just sit with me as I drank the entire bottle and grieved my heart for every loss and hurt the year had brought me. I cried and drank for hours on end while she just sat and listened. No judgments, no condemnation, no disapproval; just compassion and grace.
A few days later, I met with my counselor and told him that I didn’t even know what to hope for anymore. I had no more hope. So that’s where we started. I had to learn how to hope for hope. I had to learn how to live by faith and know in my heart that if I did what God would have me do (the right things), everything was going to work out the way it should and I would be ok. I began praying for and clinging to God’s promises and the Full Serenity Prayer became my hourly prayer during the hardest and darkest of times.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us…” Romans 5:3-5
“We know in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28
I had to learn that God would not waste a hurt or disappointment in my life. I had to learn He had a greater purpose for my life. I had to learn what trust was and I had to learn how to forgive.
The process of learning about myself, dealing with past hurts, forgiving others and accepting forgiveness, has been a long and sometimes difficult road. There were many tears upon this journey and much stumbling. However, I had a choice: stay in the sickness, pain, chaos and ugliness or learn, grow and change. I obviously chose the latter and have no regrets about my past. I am not proud of my past but I would not be the woman I am today had I not gone through these things.