This week as the anniversary drew near, a battle raged within me. Regret and gratitude. Today, by the power of Christ in me, I can say gratitude won. But in the heat of it, I was choking. Choking on the ghosts of who we were, where we came from.
One year ago I wrote, "He Said It With a Note"
He left today. Left me and our children. He said it with a note. We've been in on again off again counseling for years. But I didn't see this coming. Not so much that it's over; the end was near. But that he deceived us. That he snuck out of this family during the second church service. Came home, packed his clothes, left a note on the table and the song Forgiveness repeating on the kitchen stereo, and has refused to answer my calls. He said, "I'll see you later" to me at church and left a vague outline for visitation in his letter. He didn't even say goodbye to our children. In the first hour I would have crawled on broken glass soaked in lemon juice, done anything. But the longer he won't answer my calls, the more I read his Dear Jane letter, the longer I contemplate how I alone have to explain this to our three children... Please pray for them. Us grownups, we'll be fine. The children will too, but they'll never be the same. My heart is more broken for that than all the love lost. I have no words.
Last night, as I got my children ready for trick or treating alone, I remembered every minute of being a family at the same time a year ago. As I fought the panic rising in my throat, I put one foot in front of the other. Just as I have for 364 days. The house filled with people. With laughter; with love. Yes, I cracked when the children weren't watching. But yes, yes, yes He was with me.
Max Lucado wrote something to the effect of, when sheep come before their shepherd to be anointed with oil, they do not understand the oil soothes, or repels the flies. They simply know something amazing happens in the presence of the Master... and so it is with us. Amen.
This morning we went to church. We came home. And I did not, as my sister assured me, turn into a pumpkin. I raise my hands in praise to the One who knows. And He holds me close to the Father's heart with His. I still limp, but I'm not angry. Today I choose forgiveness again.
The Lord giveth and taketh away... Blessed be the Name of the Lord,