- We refinanced our house in January. Let me back track a bit. We looked into selling our house to an interested party back in October 2010, with the intention of moving to Central Florida where our daughter was in school and our oldest son was considering moving to because there are more job opportunities. The deal fell through, but my husband decided we should refinance our current home, take some of the cash out of our equity, and use it to buy a new house. With the savings we already had we could buy a house free and clear and rent out the house in South Florida. I didn't like the idea of refinancing our house and increasing our debt, but my husband had already decided he didn't want to sell our current house, and with it being rented out it would be paid for, which meant it was an investment.
- I spent a few days in Central Florida in February, where we found a couple of houses we liked. One was a foreclosure, the other a short sale. This is very common right now due to the economy. We decided to put in an offer on the foreclosure home, but were outbid. We then put in an offer on the short sale home, and our offer was accepted by the seller. We were on our way.
- Several months later, after packing up our house and waiting patiently for an answer, we found out the house we were trying to buy had 3 investors that couldn't come to an agreement on the cost of the house. We continued looking at and bidding on houses, but were outbid each time. By May it was clear to me this was not the direction God wanted us to take. My husband, on the other hand, was trying to find any possible way for me and the kids to move. I say me and the kids, because he'd decided he wasn't going to move up with us. His job had originally been sending him regularly to Central Florida to work, and it was the reason we were looking there in the first place. Now he was telling me he wasn't going to be traveling up for work very often, nor did he want to. He intended on renting the South Florida house to his sister and living in it with her. I argued repeatedly that we wouldn't be able to afford what he wanted to do, but he would get angry and start yelling, so I dropped the subject and left it in God's hands. I knew if He wanted it to happen it would, and if He didn't, no matter what we did it simply wouldn't work out.
- My daughter's lease on her apartment would be over in July, and with no other prospects I told my husband I was going to find another apartment for her. My oldest son would be moving up with her. I cried bitterly at the thought that both my children would be leaving, but I accepted it and did what I could to help them with their move. We found an apartment just 15 minutes from the university, with plenty of room for both of them and very affordable. We would be back to help them move in and get settled.
- June, July and August were a blur, with us traveling back and forth from South Florida to Central Florida and back. It was a difficult time for me, trying to keep my youngest son busy and entertained, helping the older kids get everything they needed for their new place, and dealing with a cranky husband. It was during this time that I discovered why my husband was so intent on us moving to Central Florida at any cost. He was having an affair. If that wasn't enough, when I confronted him about it, he acted as though I was making a big deal over it. He never showed any remorse nor made any attempt to fix the marriage. I was devastated.
- Thankfully God has placed people in my life that love me, pray for me, and help me in those moments when my world seems to be falling apart. I sat with my pastor and his wife, and told them what was going on. Pastor Frank gave me biblical advise, but he didn't stop there. He gave me two phone numbers: one for a lawyer (a Christian one in our church), and a counseling center. It was overwhelming at the time, but I'm so glad he gave me those numbers, and thankful the Holy Spirit gave me the strength to call.
- I spoke with the lawyer to get legal advise. I just wanted to know what my rights are and what the law in Florida states. It took longer before I made the appointment to see the counselor. By the time I got in to see her, I was an emotional mess. I was being filled up with anger, bitterness, confusion and distress. Through counseling I was able to deal with the emotions I was feeling, It was helpful to understand I was grieving what was clearly the end of my marriage. My husband was unrepentant and unwilling to make any changes, and I was unwilling to continue living this way. There was no longer any trust, and after all the emotional and mental abuse I'd been put through I knew it was time to put an end to it.
- It took a couple of months but Thanksgiving weekend, while I was in Central Florida with my children, my husband moved out. Even though I knew it was coming, it didn't make it any easier. It was especially hard to have to explain to my youngest son that his father no longer lived at home. He knew we'd been arguing, and he was aware Mommy wasn't sleeping in the same room as Daddy, but it still caught him by surprise. Again, the Lord has been with me, and my son has been dealing with the situation much better than I'd expected. And although I've cried more tears in the past 6 months than I have in the past 6 years, the Lord has given me peace.
- I was settling in to the idea of being a single mom. I'd decorated the house for Christmas and made plans for the month. I went to bed the night before my birthday feeling pretty good. Then, at 10:30pm, just an hour and a half before my birthday, my daughter woke me to say my sister had called her. They were taking my mother to the hospital with chest pains. I was in a daze. I told my daughter we needed to pray, though it was probably nothing.
- I woke up several times during the night and prayed. Then in the morning I texted my sister to see what was going on, I was sure mom had gas or something simple like that. Instead I was shocked to find my mother had had a mild heart attack. As the week progressed, we found out my mom had complete blockage in one artery and partial blockage in 2 more. Before we had a chance to react Mom was scheduled for open heart surgery. I was so far away, unable to be with her, wondering how a 74 year old woman would handle such delicate surgery, and wondering what else could possibly happen? But again, the Lord was with us, and Mom is back home after a triple bypass.
During this time, I've learned more and more to lean on the Lord. Yes, there are times when I'm sad and depressed. There are moments of despair as I'm overwhelmed with all that has happened in a short amount of time. Yet I remember Job, who lost everything, including his children, in a matter of minutes, and still he never spoke against the Lord nor sinned with his words. The Lord blessed Job with double of everything he'd originally had because he was faithful. The Lord has already done so much for me, I have no doubt He will continue to walk with me through this ordeal. There will be difficult moments in my life in 2012, but I also believe God will bring blessings to me and my family this year because He is good.
"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!"