Friday, March 5, 2010

I want to start out by saying I am grateful for those who have welcomed me into their homes over the last few years. I do not know what I would have done without you.

That said, I am living in a difficult circumstance. My income is limited, consisting of Social Security Disability, short-term alimony, and some unreliable past due child support. I would love to hold down a job, but every time I've tried I've gotten too sick to last more than a few months. Hence, the SSD.

Because of my limited income, I am dependent on others for a place to live. I have not felt "home" since I moved out of my home, 1-1/2 years ago. It was this problem that kept me in the same house for 6 months after I knew there was no hope for the marriage.

It became apparent in May of 2008 that my marriage was over, despite all the "chances" and patience I had shown towards my husband. The more I tried to work with him - ie believed his lies - the more he lied. He confessed on May 9th, just 3 days after my birthday that he purposefully ignored, that he had resumed seeing his girlfriend the previous year. He decided to confess now because they had again broken up and he felt it was time to be "completely honest" with me.

"Remember a few months back when I was so depressed?" he asked me. "It was because she told me her bishop told her she needed to stop seeing me, so we broke up."

OH BROTHER!!! And yes, she was also a member of my church, different ward, but same church. Wards are congregations that are set up by geographical boundaries, we are assigned to wards according to where we live, so neighbors are in the same wards.

My response was "Do you remember what I told you I would do if you ever saw her again?"

"No, what?"

"We're through."

"I don't remember that!!" He was quite indignant.

"The marriage is over"

"Well, I'll just find another place to live!!"

Yea, right, like he could afford it and continue to make the house payment that was in his name only. We talked for a long time, then I told him I wanted to pray and wondered if we should even still pray together. He wanted to..

So we prayed, he went first and I don't remember what he said, but I doubt I believed any of it. When it came my turn I didn't know what to say, I was pretty numb inside. So I said - and I quote because I actually wrote this in my journal - "Heavenly Father, for now he is still my husband. But I don't know what to do with him. I give him to you, do with him as you will."

I didn't sleep well that night, but the next morning I knew what I needed to do. Neither of us had enough money at that time to make it alone, so he would move into the living room and I would stay in the bedroom. Something inside said it would take 6 months to get things in order for us to really separate and get the divorce started.

His response? "What will it look like?"

OH BROTHER!!! Who cares???? What does it look like for a man to cheat on his wife over and over and over again???

I really didn't care what it would look like.

At that time I was determined to keep the house. I didn't know HOW, but I felt that with the Lord on my side, the way would make itself known. I was wrong... not about the Lord being on my side... but about what the Lord had in mind.

It took several months for me to finally change my prayer from "How do I make enough money to keep the house?" to "What is YOUR will in this matter?"

His will was that I had to be willing to give up my house. The only house that had ever been mine in my whole life, I had to be willing to walk away from it. Understand, having a home of my own was at the top of my list of earthy desires. To have my roots in the ground... even Arizona desert ground... was so important to me. I was so tired of moving, I felt like a nomad. On the flip side, being homeless is at the top of my list of fears. I've come close several times, that happens when your husband won't go to work and the rent is late month after month... or when your house catches fire in the middle of the night... but that is another story.

I searched my heart, really searched it. This was probably one of the hardest things I was ever asked to do. I knew I needed to give my will to the Lord, but I also knew I had to be 100% sincere about it, nothing wavering. When I was able to bring myself to the place where I could, without doubt, tell the Lord I was willing to walk away, to give up my home, a miracle happened.

My daughter-in-law Crystal called. She and Chris had been trying to sell their tiny, one bedroom condo ever since they found out she was pregnant with Kullie. Kullie was now 1-1/2 years old. They needed to buy a bigger house. Crystal told me they had been praying about their problem and came to realize that they needed to include me - and at the time Chris's brothers too. She invited us to live with them when they were able to get a bigger house.

Well, circumstances developed that made it possible for Danny to move back to Oregon, so with my encouragement he took it. Now it was just Bobby and me.

Then Chris and Crystal got approved to buy a house AND keep the condo, so they started looking and found a huge, 3000 sq ft, 5 bedroom home they could afford. The condo got rented, they got the house, and on November 15th, 2008, Bobby and I moved in with them. It did take 6 months, just as the feeling told me.

Living with an autistic person is hard, and especially hard if you have not grown up with it. Bobby is difficult, even for those of us who are used to him. He may be 20 on the outside, but he is only 7 on the inside. He is stubborn, self-centered, loud, argumentative, and he has violent meltdowns sometimes when he doesn't get his way. He was really hard on Crystal. I again prayed for answers as to what to do.

Don't get me wrong, I love my son. He has been a blessing to the whole family. I thought I would be taking care of him for the rest of my life. I was willing to do it. Again, the Lord had something else in mind.

Another miracle happened... My daughter, Bridgette, and her husband were also able to get a 5 bedroom house, finally, after years of trying. Bridgette called and asked if Bobby could live with them. At first I said no, because I knew he would test her to the limit. But my mother convinced me to give Bridgette an ear and hear what she had to say. Then I prayed.... The answer was to let Bobby move in with her. Another hard thing to do.

So right before the start of the school year, we moved Bobby to Oregon to live with his sister. I went back to Arizona alone.

Shortly after that my sister asked me, again, to move in with her. This time I decided to take her up on it. With the help of my mother and step-father, I was able to move, again in November, to be near my sister, 3 daughters, 2 sons and 8 grand children.

Like I stated in the beginning, I am grateful for those who have given me a place to live. I really am. But something is missing. I do not seem to be able to connect with my surroundings. I'm not grounded. I feel like I am floating, for 1-1/2 years now, like I am a perpetual guest. My belongings are still largely packed in boxes, kept in an attic I cannot access. Climbing a ladder is near the top of the list of really dumb things I could do. Right next to stepping in front of a moving truck. I have a fragile spine, as my chiropractor put it once, and it would not be good should I fall... Think wheelchair...

This has been a matter of prayer as well... I feel the Lord isn't finished moving me around. So far I have moved 13 times since I was 19 and newly married the first time. That is a lot of moves for someone who has a core desire to stay put.

I need to find the way to feel grounded and okay in however I find myself. But I would also really like to access my belongings... as few as I have left... in order to function in daily life. I would like to resume my crafts like scrapbooking and other things. I would like to find my books.

I would also like to resume building my food storage. Especially now, with the condition of this country and the world, I believe a good, working food storage is a wise thing to have.

Every time a change is coming, I feel it before I know what it is... I'm feeling it now. I think I know what it is. I pray I will make the right choices, that I will recognize the Lord's will and not confuse it with my own.

I also pray that at some point, the Lord will see fit to let my roots take hold. That I will finally, someday, be really, truly, home.

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