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Life was not good. Things didn’t work out for T. and me. I was never good enough, and his personal choices finally caught up to him.
Where did this leave me? I was a 29 year old woman, who had never been out on her own, and now I needed to be the sole provider for myself and my 3 year old son, J. I was, by nature, a helper, a second in command. My resume consisted of my working at a church, selling retail, working at another church, and selling Mary Kay cosmetics. I wasn’t exactly a hot commodity on the job market.
My parents helped me to buy a small trailer near the church. My church family helped me when I was honest enough about my needs. But…I was cryptic. For one thing, I wanted to be in control of my own life. For another, no one likes the person who cloaks their needs in a prayer request. Our basic food groups were milk, cereal and ramen noodles.
My married friends, with the exception of Steve and Sue, quietly exited my life. My single friends didn’t have children. I felt like I fit no where. There was no one to turn to, except Jesus.
I remember once, when someone dear to me reacted to my pipe dream of making it “big” in Mary Kay. They wisely answered, “Are you sure? Because I don’t see you doing that.” It wasn’t that they thought I couldn’t do it, it was that they knew me better than I knew myself at that moment. I gave myself out of a business. After all, who could tell the dear elderly lady that she couldn’t have a lipstick at cost? I certainly couldn’t.
One day, my pastor called me asking if I would work for the church. I was relieved. I was disappointed. I was grateful. I adored working at the church. I had a constant support group loving me toward wholeness. I was in a positive and warm environment, and I found the work tremendously fulfilling. But it still wasn’t enough to make ends meet. Every demon in the county seemed to be whispering, “T. was right. You can’t do anything right. You can’t even take care of yourself and J.”
I often found myself flat on my face before God. In actuality, this was one of the best times in my life. It was a Wilderness of sorts. Everyday, I waited on God for manna. Everday, it came. Everyday, I asked God why I wasn’t able to make it on my own. Everyday He answered, “My grace is sufficient. I don’t want to to make it on your own. I want you to depend on Me.” Often, I would have to scour the car for loose change to get a gallon of milk or gas, which ever one was most necessary at the time. But we always had what we needed. Always.
It was during this time that my parents invited J. and me up to Wisconsin for a much needed trip to New Glarus. I packed my little man into the backseat of my 1988 Chevy, and slid in through the passenger side since the driver’s side door was broken. It was a far cry from the Lexus and Porsche that used to be parked in my garage.
“I must be the most proud woman in the world, otherwise why would I need to be humbled so greatly?” I wondered.
Three hours later, I pulled into my parent’s long black driveway, remembering the horror of Sue’s accident. Shaking the memories away, I pulled J. out of the car, his chubby little arms encircled my neck and his rosy cheek pressed against mine.
Mama knows how to present food like no one else. She had an alfresco lunch complete with linens and china, waiting for me under the locust tree. The lacy shadows flickered on the dark green carpet of grass.
“Welcome to your day at the spa!” She announced. J. ran to give her a hug, and I collapsed in the chair. There was cool cucumber salad and homemade macaroni and Wisconsin cheese. Mozart blasted through the house windows, and J. and Grandma played Zorro with an oversized black scarf and hat. The comfort of home wrapped around me like a warm blanket just taken out of the dryer. And even if it was just for the moment. Life. Was. Good.
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Linking up with the talented and beautiful Jen.