I'm assuming anyone reading this knows that Doug & I have been separated for almost a year now. At this time last year, we were living in West Plains and had just sold a business that I was running. Things in our house were not happy, which is an understatement. I was exhausted, depressed and our marriage was failing.
In July, I moved out of the house and out of town, to live here in Springfield, where I had a job waiting for me in August. I brought the boys with me, of course, and began living the single-mom life. Honestly, it was a relief. I was really happy, although I felt guilty for feeling that way. I knew the best thing for the boys was for them to have their family together. But, even though on-lookers were wondering what I was doing when I left, I truly felt that the Lord was leading me. The Holy Spirit had really been speaking in my heart that I needed to start being honest about my feelings and telling the truth. The real truth then was that I wanted out. The marriage had been failing for a very long time, and I was really tired of speaking and not being heard. Tired of all the pressure to be a "good" wife and mom when that's not what I felt like at all.
So, I left, much to the dismay of everyone we knew. The last year has been difficult in many ways, but I have always felt the Lord's presence. He has taken care of us at every turn and been with me in every decision that was made. In December, just before Christmas, I filed for divorce and felt good about the decision. Doug and I were getting along, but felt that it was the best thing to do at that time. The paperwork began and the arrangements started to be made. Custody was set up, assets divided and everything was finished. The court date was scheduled.
However, my heart was so sad for the boys. My parents are divorced and I knew what it was going to mean for my babies, and it certainly wasn't what I had ever wanted for them. So, I called Doug and we talked. I told him that I would postpone the hearing for 40 days. I figured that God had used 40 days in several scenarios in the Bible. If he could flood the earth in 40 days, He could save my marriage if He wanted to. Long story short - that's exactly what He did.
I told Doug that I would do whatever he arranged as far as counseling was concerned, if he wanted to go. He hadn't been open to that before. He made reservations for us to go to an "intensive" at the National Institute of Marriage in Branson, Mo. It was a 4-day group counseling program, founded by Gary Smalley, which was the turning point in our journey. That was the first week in March.
Today is May 10, approximately 60 days since the intensive. We are still separated, still seeing a counselor who is connected to NIM, but working toward Doug moving in with us. I turned in my resignation this past week and informed the school that I wouldn't be teaching in the fall. I'm so looking forward to being at home with the boys. It's Mother's Day and the five of us went to church together this morning, after the boys coming in with cards and gifts for me this morning.
Wow. God really is in the miracle-making business. I'm so amazed, there aren't even words to describe it. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this is nothing but the work of the Lord. I've given you the "nuts and bolts" of a very long story with all the details missing. God was in ever detail. Every decision. New friendships created. New churches. New sermons & worship experiences. New jobs. New homes. New neighbors. New small groups. God was in every single one of them. He didn't leave us - not for a even a moment. I tried hard to listen and be open and follow....and He led us here, to May 10, 2009. Mother's Day at Parkcrest Assembly of God in Springfield, Mo. To a house at 3312 S. Leawood Ave. where one toddler is taking his afternoon nap and two "big boys" are working with their Dad in the garage to build mom three new garden boxes. There are nine more "work days" (as Carter says) until I get to spend every day with the people I love most in the world. I am so blessed... it's unimaginable.