Sunday, March 18, 2012


four days out from court and no report. sorry about that.

it took me a few days to start feeling again.
start thinking again.

it went well. they pulled shenanigans. as a result, the battle continues- we were given a continuance.

The Bible says that the peacekeepers are blessed.
I want peace.

He wants war.

he laughed at me and smiled throughout my entire testimony.
it made my heart sad
his heart is so broken, so dark, so angry.

the details are unimportant.
what I know is that God has this
and I have to continually give it back to Him

that is harder to do
than it sounds
when one decision
changes your entire life

anyways, I will work on this story
to close the gap between then and now
without letting you fall behind

are you still there? are you still reading?
let me know.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


jumping back to the temporary orders hearing

we had a long day ahead of us, many things to do.
documents to collect
and then court.

I had an agenda- complete with times and maps. My Plan.

Every single item on that list went as planned. Down to the minute. 12 errands. Down to the minute- how often has that EVER happened in your life? EVER?

Every single time, I felt God tug on my heart.

Pay attention.
This is so you trust me. 
You need to trust me right now. 

Last item: picking up my witnesses and driving to court- one hour away.

There are two roads to court. If you take one, it is 45 minutes to backtrack to the other.
It is an either/or situation.

We chose either, and at the very end of the road- right before it reconnected with the freeway- there was an accident.

I looked at the clock.
30 minutes until court.

If I am not there, I forfeit, and he gets everything he wants.
I lose.
I lose the kids.
I lose custody.

It is impossible to go the other way and make it.
If we wait for the accident to clear, it could be hours- what do we do?

I start to feel desperate.
How is it possible?
How is this possible?
How can EVERYTHING today have gone completely on schedule and THIS goes wrong?
This makes everything else pointless!
Did I leave an abuser just to lose due to an accident?

My mind races, and the others in the car start to panic.

After some debate, we decide to turn back and go the other way.

The clock keeps ticking.
Court is approaching.

I try to stay calm.
It is so far away!

How is it possible?
How is this possible?

My mind cycles in useless circles, retracing the day, trying to find my error.

There was no error. This was completely out of control. The plan was perfect.
THIS was GOD'S plan.

Every passing second imprints itself in our bones, deeply and painfully building the tension.

We make it to the city with five minutes to spare- but then need to find the courthouse.

There is a cop right in front of us!!
We follow him in, he does the speed limit the whole time.

I am having trouble describing this moment.
Everything was on the line, and everything was out of my control.
Nothing was working.
The cop in front of us was going exactly 25 mph.
The clock threatened to hit the time, 4 minutes.
We knew we were more than 4 minutes away.

I couldn't think, panicking,

I was in the car. Shaking. My whole body quaked with the fear, caved to the anxiety.
I stared desperately at the clock, and could not stop screaming prayers.
And when I say screaming, I mean screaming.
In front of my mother.
In front of my witnesses,
with total reckless abandonment,
the car echoed with my pleas.

I need more faith God, I need more faith. Your will, Lord, your will... I need more faith, please more faith. You have been with us all day, building up for something. I know you are working on something big. I need more faith. Please, give me more faith. 

Over and over again, I begged and pleaded for faith, for patience, to understand His will.
I pleaded as the clock hit time, and we weren't still there.

The prayers turned to sobs.

Please, God, don't let it happen like this. Please, I need more faith. I can't understand, I am trying to understand. Why bring us this far? I need more faith, Lord, I need more faith. 

Finally, we turn into the courthouse, and before the car is parked, I am bolting up the steps to the courthouse.

I get in the elevator, breathless, face streaked with tears, disheveled.

I look to my right
and see
his attorney.

They were late too.
Exactly, to the second, as late as we were.

I get upstairs, and the court had not started yet. I had a chance to go in the bathroom, clean up, and collect my witnesses again.

Later, in the court room...

My witness to that day, the one who had helped me leave, was on the stand.
His attorney was drilling her about my mental state at the time.
She was saying I was afraid and very distraught.
The attorney pointed out I could just be upset, like any other person who has just fought with her husband.

My witness stops for a second.
Then she smiles and says, "No. I know her. She is never upset like this. I have known her for years, and never seen her cry or yell. Today, in the car, she was upset. I saw upset. I saw anger. I saw her pounding her fists on the dash, screaming at God. I saw different things that day. This was not anger, this was not a normal fight."

God whispered in my heart, All things for a reason, child. Have faith. I was there the whole time. This needed to happen just as it did.

The judge understood the distinction, we won the trial.
I walked away with everything I asked for.

Now, since then, I think of car accidents as a metaphor.
Sometimes God uses awful moments to His good.

Without that car accident, sent at just the exact right (or wrong?) time, my witness would have stumbled and the case could have been lost due to a manipulative attorney. Instead, God had given her a direct illustration of what she had seen and not seen.

HIS timing was PERFECT.
HIS plan was PERFECT.

We had a safe, uneventful trip back.
I believe there might even have been wine when we got home.

God blesses us with car accidents and wine.


six weeks out
the boys don't mention their dad
they don't miss him
which strikes me as clinically significant.
I am worried about them
and their trauma
what they saw
what they went through
that day
that night
and now
their lives are changed, too
their sense of routine, security- shattered

We worked to establish a new routine right away
made them a bedroom
a playroom
enrolled them in school
attended church regularly
anything we can do to reconstruct some sense of normalcy
as quickly as possible

But why don't they talk?

I am in new parenting territory
how to help them navigate this?
I lean heavily on my clinical training
and psyche research
and try to pull them through this.


in the Bible study
I look at insecurity
completely differently
than I ever have.

Insecurity is not about looks or shallow things
it is about not having security
lack of security
and looking to God in those moment

There couldn't be a better book
for this moment in my life
I read this book
as though it was written for me

I have no security
no idea what is to come
no idea where we are to live
no idea...

but I learn to look to God
not for outcomes
but for the Grace to accept his outcomes

and it changes my life
and the experience
and now
I see
God is working in my life
to make something amazing

but I am still numb
and terribly unsure
and frankly don't have too many memories

go to church

one week into our new life, Saturday, driving.

A conversation with God.

Go to church.
     I can't go to church. It's Saturday. I'm not Catholic.
Go to church.
     I can't go to church. It's Saturday!
Go to church!!

Just He said this, I passed a giant church with a sign out front advertising a Saturday service. I pulled in.

Go sit in the front.
     No way. I never sit in the front! Nooooo.... back for me, thank you very much.
Go sit in the front!

I sit in the front, behind this beautiful blonde lady.
She turns around and introduces herself.
Invites me to Sunday School, a women's only Bible study group. They were doing a study on Insecurity by Beth Moore.

     I just started a new life! I am NOT worried about my looks right now!
     I don't really understand right now, but fine.

The next morning...

I enter the Bible study, and feel very out of place. The new kid in a room of people who were obviously very close.

I talk. I briefly cover my story. I tell them I need a church family right away. They pray with me.

After the study, I go to the church bookstore to flip through the book for the study, knowing I cannot afford it. I have nothing.

I was surrounded by strangers.
They bought me the books for the study.
They bought me a beautiful new Bible.

I dive into the Word and the Word brings me comfort.
The emotional waves subside.
I start healing.


The next month
I know I was functioning
I know things got done
people were called
papers were filed

I was numb
except when I wasn't
When I wasn't, emotion would flood me
my heart raced
my body heaved sobs
it would hit like a train.

Driving, singing my favorite song
sunlight in the window
and then... darkness, pain, fear, sadness...
too much
(i thought my body would break)
how can anyone survive such extremity?

I had lost everything
packed two kids and a van
drove away
he emptied the bank
he turned off my phone
trying to leave me without resources

I had his children!

more anger
and terror
what if he hurts us?
the statistics say that now we are in more danger
than we were a month ago.

I left my church family, my friends, my business, my home, my community...
I walked away from my entire life. 
Everything was gone in a day.
A chaotic cardboard and pizza day.

Thank you, God, for surrounding me with love and support.
Thank you, God, for providing.

I immediately got a new phone.
I immediately had a safe refuge.

Every day, even to today, our first prayers as a family are thanks.

Thank you, Our sweet Heavenly Father, for giving us enough food to fill our bellies and a warm, soft place to sleep. Thank you for sending Grammie and Grandpa to help care for us and to love us. Thank you for surrounding us with friends and family who love us. 

Every night. For 9 months.

Wow. 9 months. We are going to court on the 9 month anniversary of the day we demanded a new life.
It is like a pregnancy.
The time has fully come.

I remember in Church a few months back.
I was anxious, tired, and sad
but mostly tired
existentially tired.
I prayed for answers.

I heard him remind me of Galatians 4:4. "When the time had fully come..."
Things happen on HIS time.

Our "pregnancy" is almost over.
We are full term
the time is fully come

I am getting ahead of myself. Sorry for the rambling. We are talking about the first month now.

The restraining order was challenged
I won.
The Temporary Custody order was challenged.
I went with God as my attorney, he went with an actual attorney.
I won.
God was with me, holding my hand.

Resources presented themselves before I knew I needed them.
I watched in amazement as He walked with me, providing

It felt like manna from Heaven
small things
hard to list
but they were constant.

but still.
I was numb
and having waves of too much emotion
and just trying to deal
with the fact that I had never prepared
for the fact that
meant the death of my entire life.
it was over.

I was a blank canvas,
begging God to hurry up and start painting,
trying to find a place
in this new life.

thank you

I am almost crying right now.
Just saw how many page views yesterday, every day since I started writing.

THANK YOU for coming with me.
This isn't easy.
But it is easier knowing I am not alone.