In 1998 I was pregnant with my youngest (my 4th) and I became a single Mom. It was one of the toughest years of my life. I had no idea how I was going to survive. I was left with a car payment, a mortgage, a credit card bill, a job making $8.50 an hour, 3 kids with one on the way. It was pretty dismal. But God showed up, in a matter of speaking. He was always there but he was put on the back burner so I could 'run' my life. So when I hit bottom, what did I do? I looked up. I asked Him for help. At first I just survived. I would rely on him and then fall back into old habits of relying on myself. But he never let me fall far. I had a healthy beautiful daughter join our family. A daughter who's name means beloved, and that she was! She filled a hurting heart. I then transferred into a different position with a great increase in pay, found a wonderful daycare provider (who is now a dear friend), paid off the credit card with a hefty tax return, met some new friends and grew a deeper relationship with my niece who would hang out or let me hang out with her and all my kids. It was a dark time that lightened in no time at all.
Over the course of 7 1/2 years I, with God's mercy, became a stable God loving person. I had known him since I was 8, gave him my heart. In 1988 I gave him my soul but never fully gave him my life. In 2003 I had given him my life. My 4 kids and I were happy and I was making a living for us. BUT...this heart of a woman felt something missing. That deep seeded feeling of not feeling complete. I would lay out my desires to God. The Desire to share this life with a God loving spouse yet always completing that request with "thy will be done." I wanted what God wanted for my life. I would also qualify it by saying "But if you choose to give me a life partner, this is how I would ask I meet him...just so that I would know he is from you." lol...I know, sound quirky but it was my heart. I had made so many bad mistakes I wasn't going to risk this strong will independent woman making another stupid heart related mistake!
In 2004, I was a member of a very large Portland Area church. I was participating in the music ministry. At this time I was part of the Christmas program, a vocalist in the choir. It was grueling. A lot of music to learn and hours and hours of practice. But it was glorious. I loved it. We had a Friday night service, 2 on Saturday and there would be 2 on Sunday. The first service of the morning went great and I was expecting my best friend Amy to be there. After the service I went looking for her. I was in a hurry for we had 1 more service to finish out the season. As I was coming to the end of the hallway and had given up finding her in the multitude of people I became aware there was someone in front of me and coming towards me, not moving out of the way. I then look up and there was the huge smile. A big man with a bald shiny head and a big smile. He struck up a conversation with me about the music. Before I knew it I was taking his email address (to send him some church info) and just before we parted he asked if he could meet me for coffee. It totally floored me. One I had never been 'asked out' before and second this was what I had asked of my Lord. That if he had planned a spouse for me, I would meet him at church! Well...to be honest I wasn't actually flattered, irritated is more the word. I was there focusing on the worship and here was this guy trying to set a date! But I was cordial. It took me almost 4 weeks before I emailed him. I didn't want to step out of Gods will. I wanted to be sure I wasn't opening a door that God didn't want open and would be difficult to close.
His side of the story is this, when Larry was watching the choir sing he was looking at each member to see who he recognized and that's when he saw me. He said he couldn't take his off of me. "You were glowing..." he said. Then a soft voice in his head told him, "she's the one." He said, "she's the one what?!?!" "The voice said, "she's the one" but he just let it go. After the service he went to leave, he looked up and there I was coming towards him. Out of the 1,000's of people there, what were the odds of me coming towards him? He knew he was suppose to talk to me and that's why he didn't step out of the way.
We did eventually meet for coffee, then later we met for lunch and then we were together as much as possible. We dated a year and then married. We joined our lives and the lives of my 4 kids and his son. After 7 1/2 years of being single, God married me to Larry on January 16, 2005.
It has NOT been all peaches and rainbows...but we are where God has us. We are learning and we are changing. Old dogs can be taught new tricks! We can learn to live Gods way and not our way.
God now has me at home raising our kids, caring for our house, and taking care of business. We have lost two kids to adulthood (while gaining their spouses and grandkids) and added 3 kids to our well blended family, three foster kids. We are in the process of adopting one of them. God had his plan in motion and we have been willing pawns. "Move us Lord where you choose. Keep us in the game until there is a check mate!" If in 1998 if someone had told me where I would be today....I wouldn't have believed them. It's a God story!
Our blended family and our two best friends!