Those that don't know me would guess that perhaps being raided by a gang led by an mentally ill rage filled animal rights activist was probably the worst thing that has ever happened to me. They'd be wrong. While being the target of a cyber lynch mob, a massive slander of my reputation and a terror attack that stole all of my champion dogs and financially bankrupted me was certainly no picnic, I got through it all simply because I knew I was innocent. There's a lot to be said for that.
It took me almost 5 years to dig myself out of that financial hole and start my life over again only to face literally the worst 18 months of my entire life, much worse than facing Satan eye to eye in my home. In an amazing way it started with finally meeting my soul mate. I have patiently waited for 28 years for God to send me my mate. I've tried to date over the years but today's emasculated American men do not fancy me anymore than I them. I'm a genuine Christian woman. Caring, bluntly honest, upfront and I expect to be treated as a lady. I don't play games. If I'm available I say so, I don't play coy. I'm loyal to everyone who is loyal to me. If I make plans, I keep them. If I make a promise, I honor it. I mean what I say and exactly what I said. I deserve a man who would treat me like the lady I am and not force me into a masculine position of being in charge in the relationship. I deserve a man I can respect. One day I met him.
Suddenly on a train, God sent me my soul mate. A man from Ohio. I literally spent a month thanking the Lord every day for the fact that Mr. Ohio had never married meaning he was actually available to me. God is clear that he does not tolerate divorce. When you marry you become one in God's eyes. The only exceptions are marital infidelity and abuse. One of the first things Mr. Ohio told me was that he was a Christian man. Be still my thumping heart. A single Christian man somewhat near my age range. Can it possibly be true? All I've ever wanted in life is to be a loved and cherished wife of a Christian man. To be as loved as my Grandma Bert was. When she died my Grandpa Claire literally could not go on without her. He died one year later missing dying exactly when she did by less than 24 hours. Grandma Bert was so very blessed.
As I got to know him, Mr. Ohio and I fit like a pair of comfy old shoes. He was funny, weird and quirky but funny enough his quirks suited me. He was quirky in the exact same way I was. His sense of humor was the same as mine. He was willing to lead and let me be a woman. We were like two halves of the same whole and I said to myself that at last I had met the man from whose rib God had made me. Had we started a relationship, I predict that we would have become one of those annoying couples that end each other's sentences and dress alike. Listening to him speak was like literally listening to myself talk. Unfortunately we were ships passing in the night. Mr. Ohio was coming off breaking up with his ex-fiancé and selling the house he had bought for her and he was honest that he was not ready to be in a relationship.
It wasn't just him. Neither one of us was in a happy and healthy place, ready to move on. I was coming off 5 years of incredible turmoil in my life that also included selling a house and moving. Until I met him I didn't realize what a river of rage and despair was inside me. Rage at what the animal rights terrorist did to me and despair at living so long a life walking this earth completely alone. Meeting him calmed and quieted that rage until it vanished. The despair I had forgotten to give to the Lord to carry for me. Mr. Ohio reminded me that my joy comes from God, not this broken world.
Even though neither of us were ready most of our "not a date" get-togethers were 19 hours long. He may not have been ready to be in a relationship but he sure had a hard time leaving my side. Then suddenly out of the blue everything imploded over a garbled text message. Of all the idiotic things. I know God is in control but this was literally the hardest thing I ever lived through. I have no experience in communication between men and women so I asked friends for advice instead of asking the Lord to show me the way. That was my first mistake. My friends advised me to "stand up for my rights" and other bullshit, spending hours working on me to convince me that I had been mistreated when my heart cried that I hadn't. The devil was whispering in their ears and things quickly spiraled out of control. Then Mr. Ohio over-reacted to my over-reaction and suddenly it was all over. He was gone.
But the Devil wasn't done yet.
We still had one last phone conversation after Mr. Ohio left but I wasn't speaking to him. Instead the devil was speaking, hitting me with a wall of hurt to add to the hurt from the last time I saw Mr. Ohio in person. I could only listen in stunned horror desperately trying to rally my thoughts enough to ask Jesus to help me. But it was too late. Mr. Ohio was gone for good after telling me that he couldn't see me anymore and maybe he'd run into me again someday after his second wife.
Say what? I'm not a toy to be placed on a shelf for him to come back some day when he can't find anything better. No Christian man who has never married talks about maybe running into me after his second wife. How sad for him to think that his only future is serial divorce. I have prayed for him. Prayed that the Lord would show him the way back to him for he has lost his way. 18 months later I still can't believe he told me that. He was right, he was not remotely ready to be in a truly healthy and happy adult relationship. He never will be unless he heals himself and trusts God to show him the way. But then, who am I to talk.
At the same time as Mr. Ohio left I lost my job and hit absolute poverty for the 10,000th time in my life. Just as I had dug my way out of the financial hole the animal rights terrorist put me in and got back on my feet again, the Lord knocked me off it again. In the last 18 months I've lost everything, savings, retirement accounts, I've even sold off possessions and dogs in the expectation that I'll be living out of my car once again. As Job says, the Lord gives and the Lord has the right to take away. Blessed is the name of the Lord.
I was homeless and lived out of a car at 18, you can imagine my thoughts as I face my upcoming 50th birthday with the thought that I'd be spending it living out of my car. I prayed to die and asked the Lord please let me go; but the Lord slapped me in the face and told me to keep going.
I've also had to face such hard facts that with the meeting and loss of my soul mate, I'm now too old to ever have children. I will never be a mother. I have very little family on this earth. Holidays are difficult and each year that goes by gets harder and harder. People ask me what I'm doing for the holidays and laugh when I say, "nothing."
I wasn't joking.
I spend most holidays just working through it to stay alive and provide for myself. The actual holiday I stare at the wall and pray for the day to end. I have no idea what it's like to have family traditions, to receive presents, to spend a holiday in festive joy at a family dinner, to watch little kids faces as they open their presents. I never have. Maybe once every five years someone invites me to be part of their holidays but most years I'm forgotten. It's not their fault I'm alone. It's times like this that I think of all the children in foster care who age out and are never adopted. What do they do for holidays? Do they spend them all alone too?
I decorate my home in garland, lights, decorations everywhere but no one sees them but me and Jesus. The devil wants me to dwell on the fact that I am alone, but I'm not rushing around looking for presents and buying useless things that no one needs in an effort to show "love". Instead I am still. I am quiet. I am reveling in the birth of my Savior. I am immersing myself in the fact that God lowered himself to come down to my level because he loved me so much. It doesn't matter that I am not a priority in anyone's life, I am a priority to God. And that's all that matters.
Adding to the misery, my health collapsed once again under the weight of auto-immune disorder I have that spiraled out of control when I got Lyme disease. My bones, joints and muscles are on fire with constant pain. The soles of my feet feel like they are on fire and like I'm walking on shards of glass, a typical symptom. Sometimes I can't even walk. I can't even describe the horror of watching my body bloat up as my face is covered in fat because I can't absorb synthetic drugs. Only 3% of thyroid patients are on Cytomel and of that only 1% of that percentage is allergic to the binding ingredients in the drug but that's me. I gained 30 pounds when my medication stopped working and I'm too poor to afford the lab tests and additional medication I need to get back on the road to good health again. Looking at me you'd never know that I'm battling such a horrible disease. On the surface, I'm just a dowdy fat middle aged woman. I have prayed to die and the Lord said, "No."
Every day over 18 months I struggled to survive under the biggest crushing burden I have ever born at once. No job. No money. No health. No home. No family. No Mr. Ohio. All I have is my trust in God.
Suddenly one day a small glimmer of light began to show. I got an email offering me a job. It isn't much of a job but it's a job. With it comes health insurance. I won't lose my house after all. My heart is singing. I will not be losing my home to foreclosure. The heat is on, I am warm and I have shelter over my head. God is so good. This year I have plans for the holidays. I'll spend it on a ladder painting the walls of my house in endless coats of paint, slowing turning what was an almost condemned shithole into a work of beauty while Christmas carols play in the background.
I am truly blessed. I trust God. He knows what is best for me. I still pray for Mr. Ohio. I pray that his heart would heal. That he would grow up. That he would turn back to God. That he would learn to trust. Wherever he is, I hope he is well and happy and safely with God. And some day, I pray the Lord would cause our paths to cross once more. And no, not after his second wife. Once he marries, he is lost to me forever. To God be all the glory.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3: 5-6
Pray. Wait. Trust.