Saturday, September 7, 2013

Songs from Heaven

As I'm pulling into the grocery store parking lot, my little Valor asleep in the backseat, Revelation Song by Philips, Craig &  Dean came on the radio.  I don't know what it is about this song, but every time I hear it, the Holy Spirit shows up.  It feels as if this song must be what the angels sing in heaven.

Randy Phillips said about the song:
“This song captures the moment of looking up into Heaven, peeling back the curtain of eternity so we can peek in."

He said it so perfectly.  This song is eternity, love and revelation.  I sat in the parking space, hands held up to God, eyes closed, tears running down my face, softly singing along.  He was there, with us in the car.

This isn't the version I heard today, but the video is beautiful.  At the 4:13 mark, when Mary runs to both toddler and adult Jesus, I weep for her.  The anguish she must of felt knowing her baby boy's fate, the love she dared to have for him anyway, amazes me.  She is the ultimate picture of a mother's love.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

In Memory of Silas Rondomanski

I ask for prayers for my new friend, Tiffany Rondomanski and her family.  She lost her sweet baby boy, Silas, just a few weeks ago. 

I met her for lunch this past Sunday and let me tell you, she is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!  Her strength in God astounded me.  She recounted the past few weeks, but what stuck with me was the absolute peace she carried, the clarity she had of her Father holding her and her resolve to make Silas' life a thing of beauty, not sadness.

In her church, it is believed that babies pick their assignment before they are born.  She told me she believed he chose this short life to teach her deep, instant love.  He looked into her eyes and she could see how much he loved her.  How beautiful is that? 

While I sat there in tears, listening to her journey I could feel the Holy Spirit with her.  I mean, His presence was thick.  I don't know if I've ever felt Him so strongly through someone else.  I just kept being reminded of Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves those who have a crushed spirit."  He delivered on that promise and surrounded her in an almost tangible way.

I am sad I never met Silas.  Never got to hold him or kiss his soft hair, but because of his momma, because she has valiantly made the decision to celebrate her love for him and her testimony with God, my life will never be the same.  I am blessed by this child.

If you want to read more about her story, you can here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Eight Years Ago Today

Eight years ago today, I woke up in the arms of my new husband.  It was our first official day as husband and wife.  Just the day before, we had pledged our faith, love and fidelity to each other.  I never could have foreseen the path that we would journey.  The hurt, lies and betrayal that followed seemed unimaginable that day. 

As I look back at year two, knowing he spent the week of our anniversary flouncing around with a woman who was newly married herself, a marriage I witnessed I might add, breaks my heart.  I remember going to that wedding with him sitting next to me, him telling me how beautiful she looked, and having NO CLUE.  To be hones, it still makes me a bit angry.  He took her with him on trips.  I'm sure they watched movies and laughed and of course, banged it out more times than I care to imagine.

For a few years I lived in that place.  Wondering how he could have done that.  How could I ever make it out the other side.  And when he cheated again, with no seeming care for me or the children, I found myself in a more callous state.  This time, I promised myself, I would not crumble at the pain.  This time I got mad.  This time, he would not make a fool of me.  Turns out, I was able to do that all on my own.

And so, I spent our sixth anniversary, banging it out with a rebound.  I remember coming home that weekend, and he had roses sitting on the table for me.  I CHOSE not to care.  I reminded myself I was done.  He wouldn't change anyway therefore our anniversary had no meaning. 

I continued to cheer myself on, and away from him, for seven months.  Continued to shame him for his indiscretions while carrying on my own sin.  But something happened while I was away.  He began to change.  He continued to fight for me and I continued to hate him.  I now see I continued on the affair to numb my pain of inadequacy.   I was hurting so bad, I pretended casual sex meant something.  That I was worth something, because in reality the enemy had convinced me I was worthless. 

We didn't buy gifts yesterday.  I had a Jesus moment when I realized every day in my present life was the gift I had dreamed of as a little girl.  No flower, jewelry or dinner could be as good as what I have now.  Contentment is the joy of everyday.  Contentment was my gift.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Other Son

I have a son, who although I didn't birth, I love him just the same.  His name is Damien and although I had a rough time accepting the idea of myself as a Step Mother, I am a better person because he is in my life.

Damien is respectful, kind, easy going and his sister and brothers love him.  He recently stayed with us for almost two weeks and although it was exhausting, we had a great time.  Most days we froze our brains with slushes during happy hour at Sonic, we watched movies until we passed out and spent many hours frolicking at the pool.

Being happy to see Damien is just another place I never thought I would be.  I love that boy. :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Update 2+ Years in the Making

It's been more than a year since I have visited my blog.  I am in a really great place right now and I think the fear of looking at my past pain has kept me away. 

Here is a quick timeline of the last three years:
  • I started Celebrate Recovery to help me heal my wounds and forgive.  I learned a lot and forgave a lot.
  • I started attending a Wives group for men who had been unfaithful.  It taught me boundaries and how to protect my heart.
  • We started weekly meetings with one of our church pastors.  He seemed disconnected and defiant.
  • As a result of learning how to implement boundaries, I wrote out a boundaries plan for our marriage and told my husband he must abide by them or he needed to move out.  It's not something I would suggest except in extreme circumstances, where a spouse is being completely reckless.  He agreed to the boundaries.
  • He promptly crossed the boundaries and moved out.
  • He bought flowers for his "mother" on Valentine's Day.  Guess what?  They weren't for his mother.
  • He cheated again.  It was painful, but not nearly as painful as the time before.
  • I retained a lawyer for divorce.
  • I rebounded with an affair of my own.  I justified it by telling myself that since I had crossed this line, I wouldn't be able to take him back.  I had convinced myself I was happy and over Mr. B.
  • I moved out of our house and moved back home with my parents.  He moved back into our house.  (I didn't want to take care of his dogs that needed that back yard and I couldn't afford the upkeep.  Plus, I had a built in baby sitter so I could go out with the rebound.)
  • I drank and slept away my pain.
  • He graveled for me to come back (not knowing about the rebound).
  • We continued to go to church together because "it was good for the kids".
  • One week, after church, I just sat in the pew and cried.  The sermon had been about hypocrisy and boy, had I been convicted.
  • A fellow church member saw us and was led to talk to us.  He introduced us to a couple who counseled spouses going through shit like this. 
  • I continued to deny having an affair.  I rationalized it by listening to Satan tell me Mr. B would never change.  He never had in the past.  He would change for a while, but it was always a front.
  • After months of seeing him suffer, of him not going out, working hard, calling me every night to pray with me and the kids, really seeing Jesus in him, I realized if I were to look for a new man, it would be all the qualities my husband now had.  I decided to dump the rebound and give this marriage a distanced, trial run.
  • Boy did I make him work hard for it.  I continued to play innocent victim.
  • By February 2012, we were living together again. 
  • March 2012, we went to a presentation about infidelity.  I actually made him go, another way of guilt tripping him for what he had done.  While there, the pastor went over the differences between real and fake repentance.  He said that someone who is truly sorry, confesses before being found out.  I was CONVICTED.  I knew I had to tell him.  I knew it was going to suck.  I broke his heart.  He worked for 7 months to win me back and I completely betrayed him.
  • Spring 2012 we started Married for Life, a 12 week course learning tools for our marriage.  We were 100% back in. We renewed our vows and in December, had our 4th baby.

Valor Lynn - 12.20.2012
The hurt and pain I read here breaks my heart.  Our lives are so drastically different now.  As I type the timeline, I wonder how I made such poor decisions.

We are currently in training to teach our own Married for Life class.  We are also helping to plant a new church in Wichita, KS.  We tell our story with sadness, but without shame.  God has redeemed us and we know both our lives and our marriage are a new creation.  Gone are the days of Facebook, locked phones, late nights and selfishness.  We pray and do devotionals together daily.  We spend our free time together.  He is my best friend, my leader and I see Jesus in him every day.  I am beyond humbled to be his wife and to do this work with him.

I didn't think this day was possible, but God promised me a family.  He promised me joy over pain and he delivered ten fold.  Because of His faithfulness and goodness, I will go wherever He asks.

Proverbs 3:5-7

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

New Living Translation (NLT)