Life throws some curve balls along the path to happiness. Some of them, I’ve been able to hit while others have struck me out and led me to the "dugout of devastation." I write this story to share with you how being 48, Single and Losin It was the best curve ball I ever missed and how the "dugout of devastation" became my life’s restoration.
The year, 2002, when my husband of 23 years at the time announced to me and our two daughters that he no longer loved me, wanted a divorce and was moving out. It was truly a night I will never forget! I remember so vividly the look on his face. No emotion, no love or compassion for me let alone for our two daughters. I didn’t even know this man or did I? It wasn’t the first time he had broken a promise to love and cherish, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health until death. It wasn’t until 3 years post the divorce that I realized what I thought had been a marriage made in Heaven was in reality a marriage made in hell and God did me a favor when my ex walked out.
I was in the "dugout of devastation." Everything I had built my life around…my husband, children was ripped to shredds. How do I pick up the pieces of shattered lives left behind and have some normality of life within our home? Oh, I had plenty of advice from family, friends saying, " It’s easy, just forget him and move on with your lives." I can’t begin to tell you how many times that same thought crossed my mind but putting that thought into action was a whole different ball game. The biggest question that plagued me everyday…"Could I do it?" Could I be everything my girls needed and could I recapture my self-worth, self-confidence needed to begin a new life without the man I had given my love, faithfulness and life to? Or would it just be easier to sit in the "dugout of devastation" and watch the game of life from the sidelines?
No way! It was time to step up to the plate and hit a homerun for my girls. So with the support of my family, I returned to college as a full-time student while remaining employed full-time and raising my girls. It wasn’t easy. I wanted to quit and give up so many times using the excuses; I’m too tired, too old, too stupid to do all of this. But my girls, Courtnee and Alicia, were my rocks, my encouragers. I remember specifically one night after the girls had gone to bed, I settled in to tackle a paper that was due the following week. I was so tired yet I knew I needed to get the draft done to turn in for review that Friday. I became so frustrated that I started to cry. I didn’t realize my youngest Courtnee, was standing right around the corner listening to me. she came and gave me a hug and said, " Mom, it will be alright. Don’t quit mom because you can do this. We believe in you Mom. God will help you do this!" As I clutched her tightly in my arms, I told her how much I loved her and appreciated her words of wisdom. We smiled and she went off to bed. What is the saying we have all heard, " out of the mouth of babes!" Well, it is true. Sometimes God uses the children to remind us of His never ending love and source of help.
I didn’t quite! I graduated in May of 2005 with my BA degree in Business Management. It was a new beginning for all of us. My brother Baz, who lives on the west coast had been talking to me and asking that I consider moving to California for a fresh start. I had visited with him a couple of times since my divorce and I felt a belonging there. I felt alive and inspired. So after my girls became adults, we talked about my making the move. I was hesitant because my parents, aunts and uncles, more importantly my two girls would still be in Florida. California was a long ways away! But my girls knew I needed to make the change. I needed to build a life for myself now. So on a step of faith and with everyones blessings, I made the move to California June of 2007 with no job to go to, no friends and knowing only my brother. Was I scared? You bet I was! But God gave me Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding: In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."
God did direct my path! God gave me from June 2007 to October 2007 to work on me. I had never had any time for myself and I had let myself go physically, mentally and spiritually. My brother is my best friend and with his guidance, words of wisdom and constant encouragement, I was able to physically get back in shape, mentally focus my attentions on who God had made me to be and spiritually develop my relationship with Christ in a way that made me realize my strength comes from Him and not of myself. I went from 189 pounds to 126pounds over the course of 1 year. I found a job, new friends and more importantly I realized I was 48, single and lost the dead weight of my old life! I decided I would no longer walk with regret or fear.
To date…at the age of 51, I am in the best shape of my life! I am confident in who God has made me to be. I will be running my first marathon in September. He has gifted me with the best family, two beautiful daughters, one son-in-law and my first grand-baby girl Amelia Elizabeth Ann. And the added bonus…a loving man to share my life with!
So when you think your life is destined to remain in the "dugout of devastation"...remember your next hit may just be a homerun to your "life’s restoration!" Don’t give up and don’t give in… expect to WIN in this game of LIFE!