February 2, 2013

My crazy, upside-down life

My life has changed so much over the past year and a half.  But before I get into that, let me give you a little background information.  For those of you that don't know me, I grew up in southwest Nebraska in a little tiny of about 625 people.  After graduating from high school, I went off to a Christian college in Northwest Iowa.  After finishing one year there, I decided it was too expensive to go back so I looked into different colleges that were closer to home and not nearly as expensive.  I decided on Chadron State College but after being there for only a week I found myself miserable so I called my parents, and they came and got me.  One semester later I was starting school at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff.  One year later I met a man online who turned my world upside down.  In hindsight, the relationship was horrible from the beginning, but I was so young and inexperienced with men that I got sucked in.  By the end of that year (2006) we were married. A little over nine months later Jabin arrived.  From the beginning Jabin has been my joy and pride of life, but caring for him has also been challenging since we found out he has developmental delays.  It can be very challenging for both of us sometimes, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.  He can be very ornery, but he can also be very loving.
Anyway, after many years of some ups, but mostly downs, I decided it was time to leave my husband for good.  So.. I packed up my car with my stuff and what I could fit in there, and Jabin and I moved back to Nebraska and away from Louisiana and Jon Paul's family.  That was almost exactly a year and a half ago.  We (Jabin and I) moved back in with my parents until I could get back on my feet.  I got a job at the local grade school as a teacher's aide which I really like. I love the people I work with, but I also really like working in the same school where Jabin is going to school.  Jon Paul and I were on and off for about 10 months before my mission trip to Mexico in May of last year.  While I Mexico my life flipped even more upside down.  I came to the conclusion that my relationship with Jon Paul was hindering both of us.  I was miserable all the time and by staying with him I was giving him permission to not grow up.
A little over two months later, he filed for divorce since I didn't have the money at the time.  About a week later, we had a huge argument that occurred after his visitation.  Since then the relationship between the two of us has quickly become hostile.  He would call me a dozen times a day and harass me.  He sent me mean text messages.  He has lied about me to the court.  I have learned over the past six months how to refrain from lashing back at him.  I try to remind myself that the problem is not me, but him.  I do want him to be happy, but my main concern is my son's safety and well-being.  He has done nothing but harass me over the past six months.
The amazing thing about this whole situation is that through it all I still have peace, for the most part.  I am learning to really trust God with everything and leave Jabin in His hands.  That is the hardest thing for me, especially since Jabin came back from his last visit with his dad with a black eye.  I keep reminding myself of the verses in Philippians 4 about peace and trying to do the right thing.  I know God is working in this situation because I can feel it.  I am just trying to remind myself to be patient. Patience isn't something I've been very good with.  In fact, my lack of patience has caused me a lot of grief over the years.  Maybe God is teaching me patience, also.  I guess some day I will find out.
So... I've been a single mom for a year and a half.  It's been a crazy journey; one I never saw myself facing, but I've made it thus far and plan on making it a lot farther.  My son means the world to me, and I wouldn't trade him for anything.... no matter HOW ornery he gets.