(I wrote this post near the end of October, but Superstorm Sandy and then the election, along with playing catch up and taking the girls to activities, took over my focus. I am so sorry for those who are without power, those who lost their homes, belongings, lives. My heart and prayers go out to all of you.)
I’ve dreamt about Sam and Thorin the past two nights, and in both dreams, they were happy. They both used to scramble under my foot rest where I sit on the couch, and I’d have to check every time to make sure they weren’t under there, so I wouldn’t crush them, before putting it down and getting up. I still hesitate, thinking they might be there, looking for them, before realizing they don’t live here anymore. Laina cried last night, saying she was depressed and missed her dogs and was still furious at her dad. Finding them good homes…we did the right thing for where we are in life right now, but it still haunts us. It will haunt us the rest of our lives.
Through this whole experience, I have noticed parallels, commonalities between all of us—animals, pets, people. We all need food (good nutrition), shelter, and other basics, such as health care. We all need to be taken care of to varying extents. We all need hugs and belly rubs. And, we all need to be connected to others, to know we matter, to know we are wanted, to know we are loved. Ultimately, we all need to know we have a place where we belong, a home and family.
Home. Family. Belonging. My deepest daily desires. Divorce has a long reach, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Not only does it impact the two people who had promised forever as well as their children, but it also affects their extended families, friends, and even their pets and futures.
The last part of our Nehemiah study discusses how important children are, and Kelly Minter writes, “Nehemiah knew that ‘A single generation’s compromise could undo the work of centuries,’ and he couldn’t leave this up for grabs.” It is true that our children are the future and so important, and the generational issue can go both ways. A positive century can be broken by a generation, or a negative century can be broken and set on a new path by a generation.
The end of the book also discusses continuing to “cast our gaze forward,” so our group extended the session to allow time for us to share what the study has meant to us and what we feel God has called us to continue doing. For instance, one woman is starting a redemption group to help support those in need of recovery and change. I am continuing to find where I can bless others as well as remembering the importance of what I am doing now by focusing on raising my two teenage daughters.
During the last session, I shared my story, which helped me to let go of it and find a new way forward. One of the women said that they were going to pray for “breaking the cycle” so that my daughters can have a true fresh start on a new path.
We have met so many kind and giving people since we moved south. All of these people along with this experience have helped restore my faith in humanity, Christianity, and God. When writing morning pages last month, I found myself thanking God for using these amazing, generous people to show His kindness, grace, and love and for allowing me to be part of the testament to prayer power and real life miracles.