Even in Our Darkest Hour, Life. Is. Good. New Glarus Series

If you need to catch up on the New Glarus Series, check out the New Glarus page

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.

For the next installment click here
Linking up with the talented and beautiful Jen.

33 thoughts on “Even in Our Darkest Hour, Life. Is. Good. New Glarus Series

  1. Hey, now, if you’re gonna trash Chevys, I’m gonna take my toys and go home! Who needs them over-priced rice-burners and former Nazi-mobiles? Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet, baby! And is there any chance that 1988 was a Cavalier? 😉
    (Ahem.) ‘Scuse me, the Y chromosome got out again. It’s safe, I got him crammed back in his cage. And now that his crude, gearhead sensibilities are gone, can I ask a SERIOUS question?
    Was that 1988 Chevy a Cavalier, by chance? 😀
    “The lacy shadows flickered on the dark green carpet of grass.” Great imagery!

    • I didn’t purchase the foreign cars, T. did. They were used, if that makes any difference. I don’t remember what model the car was, it was gold, and the seats were tan velour. I ended up giving it to some missionaries when my parents blessed me with a Honda Accord, another over-priced rice-burner. Wouldn’t be great if they actually burned rice?

      • Well…. they can run o rice. Just ferment the rice to sake. Post-1996 cars can run on grain alcohol without update – prior to that, you need to flow more fuel, because grain alcohol has about 70% the energy per gallon as gasoline.
        Ain’t it frightening when the logical guy and the gearhead conspire in an answer? Now all we need is the rabid Trekkie part of me and we can PAR-TAY!! 😀

  2. Rolling on the floor, laughing out loud at John’s comment!

    And now gathering myself… ;o)

    “His Grace is sufficient…” He speaks this to me regularly. It’s no coincidence that my daughter’s name means Grace.

    Thank you for sharing this. There are times that kindred connections in circumstance help dull the reality and bring joy to it somehow. Although your kids are now grown and mine is still little, knowing the love He lavishes each of us across the years and miles…brings comfort. Hope. On the hard days. I’m not alone.

    I’m so glad your mama gave you a spa under the tree. :o) Sounds so heavenly.

    • John makes me laugh just about every day. If there are awards given in heaven for making people laugh, he’s sure to get a bunch of them.

      Nikki, you are not alone. The more years you put into your journey, the more you will be able to look back and see His hand…
      Always here for you,

      • It’s one of the few talents I have. And my father taught me that humour is just like manure – it’s most successful when you spread it THICK! 😉

  3. Although I too am (mis)fortunate enough to enjoy John’s comment, I appreciate your story. I’ve been hear enough to know a little about your struggles, but I also know about your heart, mind, & faith. Keep smiling and keep looking forward.

  4. … and they all exited your life except for two – the church just sometimes doesn’t know how to deal with people who don’t fit into the pattern they choose to have. I’ve been single my whole Christian life – actually my whole life – and the marrieds who were my age – they wanted to hang out with marrieds – and the singles – they were all younger. I’ve only been a member of one church – even though I’ve graduated from seminary – and the church only one single mom – and her parting was a fresh one so I decided to keep a distance. If we do nothing else in the church we need to make sure that everybody is loved on. And we to often fail. And your homecoming – “like a warm blanket from the dryer” – I’m glad you had a place to have a homecoming. The best love is like a warm blanket from the dryer. I hearted this – and I think I’ll heart reading you more. God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours.

    • Thanks Craig! Many of my friends did feel awkward…and I understand this. I know I’ve felt intimidated by a miscarriage or death, not quite knowing what to say… The staff was always there for me, and provided more than enough social interaction. They really went out on a limb to spend time with a woman who was getting a divorce. I was the first high profile divorce in our church. I remember saying to my pastor, “If you need to distance yourself from me and my son, I’ll understand.” (There were ugly legal things going on with my ex and unfortunately they included other members of the church.) But he responded, “If we abandoned you, we would be abandoning our responsibility.” I am forever grateful to he and his wife.

  5. I treasure this story, not only because I get to learn more about you and your life, but the way you have so written this story with the glory of God in mind. Through your words, I know that you will bless so many people that need to know that He is our ultimate provider. Would you consider linking this up to SDG tonight?

  6. I am so glad you linked the story up to SDG.. I needed right in that moment to remember how God is a God who will provide for me! Thanks .. it’s interesting because He as shown me that over and over but I just needed that reminder in the midst. God bless you. I love love your writing!

  7. I kinda jumped in here in the midst of things. I need to start at the beginning. But even still, this spoke to me — encouraging me to shelter others more quickly, to shed some focus on single mothers and to urge others to do the same.


    • It’s so early 90’s isn’t it? My little man starts college soon… Thanks for the compliment. I really want to take the time to be more careful in my writing, but for now at least blogging keeps me consistent. Maybe I’ll write less and edit more???? We’ll see.

  8. it’s only your continued allusions to hope and happiness that keep me reading through the pain of this! you’re doing a great job. . . sharing the story with integrity. painful stories can be hard to do that with, and i know your desire is to continue to do so. i do think that you have so many that are benefiting from the telling. so much to relate to. so hang in there–it is worth it.
    of course, you run the risk of people reading you simply to get to John’s comments!!! oh. my. 🙂 blessings to you this day!

    • I’m so glad I’ve been receiving encouragement about writing this. It is the most difficult thing I’ve ever written. I don’t want to say too much for the sake of forgiveness and my son. Just enough to give a hint at the life I lived. If I can’t share the life I’ve lived, what do I have to give?

  9. What a beautiful, beautiful piece of your story. Reading through the comments (laughing at John, feeling sad for Craig, grateful for your pastor and his wife) I feel so thankful for your community of followers. I’m going to have to go back and read more too. Thank you for linking up to Playdates this week. I have been so blessed by your sharing.

  10. Pingback: Leah’s Question – New Glarus Road | Journey Towards Epiphany

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