A few weeks ago, a friend of mine from high school asked me if I ever thought I would be a writer back then. I never even thought about it. But after almost 6 months of blogging I guess I can call myself a writer. I didn’t think I would consider myself one until after I published and got paid for it. In my mind, that was the proof I needed be a successful writer. But I believe that this is what God has called me to be right now. I don’t think I am particularly eloquent. I often don’t even know what I am going to say. Like tonight. But if God has made me a writer, then that is what I am. Someone once told me that the pen would bring healing in my life. Writing would heal my broken heart. There is amazing power in a story.
It is hard for me to believe that this blog will soon be 6 months old. It is hard to believe that it was almost 6 months ago that we were acknowledging the 19th year since my second-born came into this world. It is hard to believe that it was almost 6 months ago that we marked the 3rd year since she went to heaven. 3 1/2 years. So recent. But a lifetime ago.
These 3 1/2 years have shaped my life in ways I cannot even fathom. A friend and I were talking about it recently. How Arlynne’s death has changed me. How do you start to answer a question like that?
I was always the weak one in my family. My brother always wanted to be a vet but after the devastation of having our family dog die when we were kids, we never had another animal. Until high school. I guess my parents figured that James would be a better vet with a little more live animal experience. No, we didn’t get a dog or a cat. The solution was 2 teddy bear hamsters. But these were not ordinary hamsters. These were the tamest hamsters on the planet. They were almost never in their cages. They were always with us. I was particularly partial to the male. He was the cutest little ball of grey fur that I had ever seen. And he was incredibly tame. He would sleep in my hand. He just seemed to love the attention. I don’t remember how long we had had him when he ended up getting sick. My mom and brother took him to the veterinary clinic where my brother was doing a co-op but there was nothing they could do. I woke up the morning that would be his last to whispers between my mom and brother. Xavier’s cage was covered in a towel to shield me from what was happening. He died that day. And I was devastated. I cried over a hamster.
I guess that is why I was always protected from the tough stuff in life. Little did my parents or I know what lay ahead for me. After 2 miscarriages, a divorce, a child with special needs and Pete’s fight with addiction, you would think that would be enough. It felt like enough to me. But it wasn’t. We still had to say good-bye to Arlynne.
God has allowed me to go through some difficult things. Things that I helped orchestrate, like my divorce. And others that were completely random. I have always believed that the tough things that I have lived through needed to be shared in order for them to be redeemed. I needed to talk about them so that someone else could be blessed and God could get all the glory. It was like that after I found out about Pete’s porn addiction. Here I was, an absolutely devastated wife and I wanted to share my pain. There were other wives like me. I wanted to tell them that they aren’t alone. I wanted to point them to the all loving God that had soothed me as I wept. I wanted them to sense that there was a day coming when they would be able to have peace. It was a passionate desire–at first. It got squelched. Person after person told me that no one wanted to talk about porn addiction. Especially not wives. They didn’t want to expose their husbands. I needed to keep quiet. Maybe take part in some anonymous phone support group where no one would be exposed. All the while, Pete was willing be let out his secrets. Maybe not as candidly as he had revealed them to me, but he believed that the exposure of his problem would just make it harder to flourish. Dark things grow best in the dark. They don’t like the Light. But I stayed quiet.
I wonder now how my life would be different if I got the desire of my heart back then? If I got to talk to women about addiction and marriage and pornography. I guess it was like my friend and I were discussing the other day. She had also come out of a terrible, horrible situation and she wanted to share what God had done. Now, many years later, she is surprised to look back and see where God has brought her. The same is true of me. I have learned so much since then. God has been shaping me, honing me, developing my character. So much so that I hardly recognize myself. If He had given me what I wanted then, if He let me run on my own power, would I really have been reflecting Him? Or would I have done more harm than good? Would I be the woman I am today?
This blog has been a way for me to speak out about the stuff in my life that has changed me. But it has been a venue where there is very little interaction. That is a good thing and a bad thing. No one has left me a comment that has been derogatory. Then again, I haven’t gotten many comments at all. It hasn’t gone viral. Sometimes I wish it had. But my subject matter is not everyone’s couple of tea either. At times I even wonder if I should keep at it. It has been a tough week to get started again. I am afraid I have nothing worth saying anymore. But God always seems to put people in my path to encourage me. I am so thankful when I have people I know stop me and tell me that they read my blog. That they are getting something from it. And I pray for the people who read it. Maybe not as much as I should. And I pray that God will reveal Himself through it. That He will get all the glory. It is all about Him anyways.
So I press on. I pray that God will guide me. And I pray that the one person who needs to know that there is hope will read this. I pray that the person who needs to know the height and depth and width of God’s love for her will know it is true. I pray that the one who needs to know that God can sustain her even though the most difficult circumstances of life will read it in these lines. I pray that someone who needs relief from her pain will find healing. Supernatural, divine healing by my Father’s hand. It is possible. I know. Because it has happened to me. It is all in my story.