I'm currently doing a Bible study by Beth Moore on the book of 2 Timothy. One of the questions in the homework last week asked, "Do you feel like your story is under recalculation as you begin this series?" Ummmm......that would be a big fat YES!!!
She says, "Our own biographies are still underway. They are subtotals - bits and pieces of our stories vulnerable to recalculation with every next ordeal."
As I look back over my life, my story, I can see many recalculations. The first one that jumps out at me was towards the end of my Senior year of college. I planned to join the Army Nurse Corp. I went through all the physical testing and was even sworn in. I just had to take the state boards and get my nursing license. I had been a great student my whole life. Valedictorian of my graduating class in high school and 3.5 GPA in nursing school. I went into the test with so much confidence and preparation. But I failed it. That meant no Army Nurse Corp. Recalculating.
New plan. Just need to study some more. Retake the test and I could still join the Army Nurse Corp.....just a little later than planned. While working towards that plan, I learn that I am pregnant. Army Nurse Corp is not an option. Recalculating.
Fast forward several years. I am now married with 4 children age 8 and under. Husband has a great job that allows me to stay home with the kids fulltime. He comes in one morning and tells me that he has been laid off. Recalculating.
We move out to the West Coast. The kids and I get involved in an amazing church. I begin growing in my faith and relationship with Christ for the first time since I was in college. I meet an amazing woman who shows me what it means to be a praying wife. She changed how I looked at the issues I had with my marriage. Recalculating.
Our next stop took us to Kentucky and to another great church. This area was perfect for me. Just a 5 hour drive to visit family, great church, and good job for my husband. After about a year, another company reached out to my husband wanting him to come to work for them in Dayton, OH. I did NOT want to move again. I loved where we lived. I loved the people at church. I loved being able to visit family for the weekend whenever our schedules would allow. He took the job and we were moving. Recalculating.
We found another great church. This time my husband got involved too. I worked in the kid's ministry. He worked with the teenagers. The kids were involved in Awana and youth discipleship. We went on missions trips. He left his job in manufacturing and began working for FCA. Recalculating.
As he worked in the schools, we realized something else was needed. There were young men and women who were struggling and needed guidance and one on one accountability. Power of 3 Ministries was born. And to help pay the bills while the nonprofit got up and running, I started a job at the airport. Recalculating.
Keeping up with it all was challenging and hectic and rewarding. PO3 was growing but financially it was hard. I loved my job but it required more of my time. So I stepped away from the day to day of PO3.
The issues and disconnectedness in our marriage that we had ignored could no longer be ignored. Something needed to change. There was too much fighting and arguing. We needed a break. A chance to catch our breath. So my husband moved out to stay with friends to bring some peace to the house. Staying with friends then changed to him getting his own apartment. Recalculating.
His own apartment then led to him having an affair and him telling me that our marriage was over. Our family was forever changed. He was removed as director of PO3 and subsequently the ministry was shut down. Recalculating.
Now it's lawyers and support orders, financial obligations, visitation schedules and property divisions. Recalculating.
I feel like the past 6 months has been a constant state of recalculating. I feel like everyday there is a new ordeal that I am faced with. I have to handle all of the household tasks and expenses with minimal financial support from my husband. I don't always know how I will pay the monthly bills, but I know that the Lord is my provider. So many unexpected blessings have come along that keep me getting back up each morning.
I have had to come face to face with my own self-righteousness and self-reliance. I can honestly say that I am getting closer place of true and complete forgiveness. I want to be angry and hateful towards the other woman, but while her actions were wrong she is not to blame for the actions of my husband. I have prayed for her and her kids a few times over the past couple of months. And just last week, I received a message letting me know that she is now a child of God. She has left her old life and choices and has become new in Christ. She is no longer listening to the devil and his lies.
In the moment that I received that message, I was so torn. I was celebrating for her new life in Christ but the selfish side of me that wanted to hold the hate and anger against her was not thrilled. Recalculating.
God is continuing to do a work in my heart. I don't want to "stunt his redemptive work in my midst with my bitterness, unforgiveness, slander, blame, chronic regret and unresolved guilt" Instead I am asking Him....no begging him to "do something bigger with the broken pieces than He might have done with the whole".