I've spent my day today with my "family" and it's been a really great time. I always have a good day when we're here, and Teenybop and I are so fully accepted by Fiance's family that it's as if his mother is more family to me than my own.
We didn't just come here to hang out though, because Fiance's stepfather is gone out of town indefinitely (long story, he's a jerk). So while he's gone and the rest of the house is happy and clean (without the stepfather's contagious bitterness), we came over so that Fiance can play handyman for his mom.
There were a lot of little jobs around the house that she'd been asking her husband to do that simply weren't getting accomplished, so we came by to lend a hand with those jobs, and being here just serves to remind me of how very blessed I've been in the past few years. God's word promises a return on things lost or sacrificed for His glory, and most Christians see that as being the Heavenly rewards we receive from Jesus himself in Heaven. But I have seen great returns in the past years on all of my losses ... I've seen all my "tragedies" used as blessings in my life, and I've seen the truth of the phrase that when God allows you to lose something, he's only preparing your hands to hold something better.
In 2004, just after Teenybop's birth, I saw my marriage truly fall apart. In the space of so few months my small hope of a family with my husband and daughter was crushed, and due to his drug addictions and infidelity I was on my own with a baby.
A single mother ... ALONE.
I believe God allowed me to lose my marriage because it was not a true union of souls and because with that loss, I was truly broken. I was poor, alone for the first time in my life, and with a helpless child who depended on me for everything. I also believe that God was trying to reach me. When people are broken and lonely it's so much easier for them to hear him, for him to reach them.
I spent four months of lonely nights reading and staring out the windows of my apartment in the night. Getting to know myself. I found inside myself a void, a gap ... and I put God there, perfectly filling the space. Four months later, He sent someone to fill another gap. He sent Fiance to fill the other half of my lonely bed, to be a companion to me, and to be a daddy to my fatherless infant.
With Fiance came his family, a loving, accepting group of people like none I'd ever met before. Certainly more loving and accepting of me and Teenybop than her biological father's family had ever even pretended to be. Like I said before ... they have been even more family to us than our own family has been.
So I lost a marriage that was so unhappy, and through that God has given me the family I have always wished for.
We've lost places to live, jobs, cars ... We've almost lost each other in the midst of all that we've been through together in just three short years. But each job gave way to a better one, each home lost to a better one, and each car lost to something more dependable. God has so truly been a large part of our lives together, and I believe that that's why we've made it so far and so long, through so much.
We still struggle ... We both desperately need new clothes, as some of his have lasted him through the whole of his adult life, and some of mine are literally in tatters ... but that's okay. God brings us through everything ...
We have a deep longing for a home of our own; we want a second car, too. But groceries are expensive, and gas right now is FIVE DOLLARS A GALLON! Teenybop wants ballet lessons that are sixty dollars a month, and we barely get by on our income in this economy.
But we don't care. We're responsible enough to take care of food and bills first, and that's really all we need. Because we are all richer in each other and what each of us brings to the table than either of us could ever dream of apart.