September 15, 2012

Stepping Back to Ponder

Today is Saturday, and it is a lovely late summer day. I think it will still be hot and humid (96-98), but survivable for Phoenix. I am glad we are on the waning end of the summer. It has been very hot and humid, with some good storms to help offset the miserableness of the season. I am so ready to live somewhere else, and to have four distinct seasons. I miss Fall, and I miss Winter. Yes, I even miss the snow. I so much want to see the leaves change colors, and then drop to the ground. I so miss seeing the winter white of snowfall. I am ready to leave Phoenix for a different climate, and for a new start to my life.

I spent some time today reading through my blog. I went back to July 2011, and read about my job opportunity with UOPX. I forgot what day I had interviewed, and I forgot just how difficult my life was back then. In just one year's time, so much has changed for me, and my life has improved one hundredfold. I am a different person now, and I am able to comprehend moving my son and myself across the country, purchasing a new home, and settling in to a routine in another state or even another country.

I had thought about this before, before last year; but, I wasn't able to really let go, to let it be and let it come to pass. I wasn't ready mentally. I wasn't ready to see myself as a fully functional single woman, empowered by the Grace of God, to go and do whatever the Lord wanted for my life. I am now, however, and I am ready to ROAR!

As I step back to consider my life of one year ago, I see a woman stuck in a very difficult situation who tried every possible way to get herself free from the life she had made for herself. Yes, it was my life, and yes, I made a lot of mistakes. I was living with the consequences of choices I made as a young person, and later as a young adult. Not all of my life was bad, mind you -- I do have a blessing in my precious son, whom I cherish. Most of my life was bad, though, and not for lack of trying on my part. It was more like when you put on a pair of shoes, hoping they will be comfortable, and then finding out they rub you the wrong way. The shoes are not to blame. Rather it is the fit that is off. This is exactly how it was in my life. I realize now that my husband was not to blame for anything that happened to me. Yes, he was a partner to it, but it wasn't directly his fault. It was my fault for putting on a pair of shoes that hurt my feet, and not choosing to take them off as being a "bad fit."

I hope this makes sense, because while I am not absolving my DH of choices he made (just like I accept my choices), I realize that our marriage was a 'bad fit.' It was this way for both of us. We both were poor choices for each other, and we both struggled to make it work. He tried, the good Lord knows he did, and I tried too. We simply were not meant to be together, and we were not meant to spend our lives as one person in Christ.

I know now that I was created to be single. I was designed by my Creator to be a single person who was wholly devoted to God. I know it, and I accept it. I have never been so comfortable in myself, so happy in being alone, and so content in my place UNTIL the day I came face-to-face with my Creator as He called me to live this way. It is my perfect fitting pair of shoes. Singlehood FITS me, and I love it.

My husband is the same, though he desires companionship and I am sure a relationship with someone with whom he can be devoted. I certainly tried to be his companion, but I was never able to do it because I was designed to be a companion to the Lord. My greatest FRIEND is God. I mean He is my BFF. I love Him, I talk with Him, and I spend every single moment with Him. I am most happy, most content, and most intimate with One person only, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

In looking back, I see the pain of a relationship ending. I see the dissolution of a marriage, and the walking away of two people who were joined together by God and man. Yes, God joined us, but only after I made the decision to go through with my marriage. I made the decision to be faithful, and to remain loyal to the man I said "I do" to some 28 years ago.

My life since then has been liberated. Most of my friends do not understand how I can be married, but be single. Well, this is not the perfect situation, but it is what it is for now. I am not sure how the Lord plans to work things out, but for now, I remain where I am because this is where He has called me to be.

Reflecting on the last year, I see the following:

  • One year ago, I was living in my home on Hearn Road. It was in foreclosure, and I was trying desperately to save it. I was trying to remortgage it, and to pay off the debt that we owed to a private lender.
  • I had just started working at UOPX, and was thanking God for His Provision of a job, benefits, and a steady paycheck.
  • My son was in his second semester at our local CC
  • I was in my second year as a Graduate student at Mercy College
  • My husband, while working, was not able to move out of our home, so we shared it as a separated couple
  • My parents were pushing me to move out or to divorce
  • My husband's parents had relocated to Kansas City, and were not on speaking terms with either of us
Since that time, my life has changed around:
  • I lost our home to the private lender (in January).
  • I moved to a lovely rented townhome, right down the street from the CC
  • I worked at UOPX for 15 months, managing my own finances, and rebuilding my credit.
  • I am now moving to a new company, CVS/Caremark, which will provide a more advanced job, along with better pay and better benefits (more growth).
  • My son is in his Sophomore year, and will be graduating in May 2013 with his AA degree
  • I graduated in August with my Masters degree in English and I am now applied to a PhD program at Regent University (beginning May 2013)
  • My husband is living on his own, paying his own way, doing his own thing
  • We are separated, but we are friends. I pick him up for church, and we have breakfast as a family each Sunday.
  • My parents have let go of their insistence on divorce, and are now reconciled to my state of separation
  • My husband's parents are supportive of what has happened, and are in communication (both ways)
I see the plans the Lord has for me coming to pass. Much of what He and I have talked about over the past three or four years is happening. Not everything is as I thought it would be, but much of what I envisioned is actually possible now.
  • I am ready to start a doctoral program, having graduated with honors 
  • I am working for a large company that has offices all over the US -- and with whom I could potentially relocate
  • My son has decided on his major focus: Norwegian or Scandinavian Studies. He has chosen North Park University in Chicago, so it looks like we will move to Chicago next year.
After looking at so many schools, so many possible states for relocation, it looks like I will be finally going home. It is weird because lately I have heard myself saying "I want to go home, I want to go home." I often will hear myself say this even without thinking about it. The words just come out of my mouth. At first I thought it was my way of saying, "Lord, take me home to be with you" which made sense since last week was so stressful for me. Truthfully, while YES I want to be with the Lord, I can resolutely echo the Apostle Paul's words in 2 Cor. 5:8. I would prefer to be at home with the Lord, but I know that He has called me to specific work here in Earth, and I am ready and willing to stay and do what He has asked me to do.

I think today that my words of home going had more to do with the fact that I have always looked to one place as my home. I have lived many places in my life, but Hazel Crest, IL, was probably the closest thing to home for me. It was the last time my entire family, brothers and all, were together. We lived there nearly 8 years, and while it wasn't perfect (by no means), so many memories are tied to my life there. I went through elementary, Jr. High, and part of High School there. My life in San Jose, while welcomed, was difficult and even though I came to know the Lord there, I never really fit in nor did I have friends there. It was a transitional place, a place where I lived with my parents, but where I felt isolated and so very alone.

No, Chicago is where my home was as a child, and it is where I long to go in my dreams. Is it nostalgic? Of course. I am not innocent here to think it will be wonderfully reminiscent of what once was, by no means. It is more that there is something about this place that beckons me to return, and while I have tried very hard to say "no" to that feeling, it never quite goes away.

I am stuck, I guess, forever in this place where I live -- in between here and there. I really want to be over there, but for now, I must remain. I am trusting the Lord to provide a way home, a path to follow, and to align every area of my life so that it fulfills His Will for me. I know He will do it -- He is so GOOD like that.

Today I do what I must, and I give praise to God for His Faithfulness and His Good Provision of Care for me and for my extended family.

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