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A true story of one woman’s triumphant rise from the devastation of divorce and spousal abuse.
Starting Over Again
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Starting Over Again
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©2008 by Susan Voyles All rights reserved. No patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of the information contained herein. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. ISBN 0-7414-4619-7 Author's photograph courtesy of Picture Perfect Studios Scripture quotations marked (GNT) are from the Good News Translation in Today's English Version- Second Edition Copyright© 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission. Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
“I'm not saying that I have this all together. I'm off and running and I'm not turning back. I will forever be grateful. don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this. To all the people who loved and supported me during this time in my life... And especially to all the women who have suffered. that I have it made. The Lord Jesus Christ who is my best friend and never left my side.. Friends. I want to say thank you. reaching out for Christ. who has so wondrously reached out for me. but I've got my eye on the goal.” Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV) .. But I am well on my way.Starting Over Again 4 This book is dedicated to. where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.
Starting Over Again 5 .
You try to shame . rejected. What about money. You keep telling yourself this is just a bad dream. You try to make him feel guilty by telling him how it is going to hurt the children. What happens when your spouse comes to you saying they no longer want you. Many questions begin going through your head. betrayed and deceived. At first you are in denial.Starting Over Again 6 Chapter 1 Starting Over Again are three words that can be very devastating and frightening to think about. let alone mean it. You feel angry. cannot breathe or think. Now you begin to panic. he did not say that. He's about ready to leave and you begin to feel desperate. instead they want a divorce. You cannot hear anything except those words. Still you see him packing his bags as he is getting ready to walk out the door. For that moment in time your world stops. He tells you by getting the divorce it will be better for everyone. Surely. we take a vow we are going to be married to that person for the rest of our lives. 'I don't want you'. These words can symbolize the ending of one thing and a new beginning for another. When we get married. Especially the children since all the fighting and arguing will stop. What am I going to tell the children? How are they going to react to the news? Will they blame me or be mad at their father? What are people going to now think about me? Will my friends treat me different? What are they going to say at church? Will God still love me? After all God hates divorce. you suddenly go numb. how am I going to pay for everything? The life two people built is now going to be mine alone. You're trying to think of anything you can say to make him realize the mistake he's making. Your mind is scrambling.
it will make him happy. You really shouldn't be surprised though. You cannot understand why he doesn't realize what he's doing or the pain this divorce will cause you and your children. As he leaves taking his bags. although at this time you do not care. This tactic works. he blames you and you blame him. If you do this. This has completely caught you off guard. One time will not fix anything. as you calm down and tell yourself there is hope. You begin to think about all the things you can change about yourself. You believe in a few days he will realize . He says. your children are standing there wondering what in the world is going on.” None of this is working. He tells you. a real man would stay and work things out. You tell him. you cannot form a logical thought. remember?" You remind him you only went once. You have so many emotions going on right now. How does he know if it will work? He didn't even give it a chance.Starting Over Again 7 him by saying he is being a coward. You are in shock and you're angry. He will never see his children again. You have temporarily forgotten about them as you desperately try to save your marriage. He wants to see if your marriage can be worked out. It is not as though your marriage hasn't been in trouble for some time now. To calm you down he tells you this is only a trial separation. the only way to solve our problems is by getting a divorce. That is what you want him to do. if he wants to leave go ahead. now your desperation is turning into anger. He will notice this change and want to come back home. "We tried counseling several years ago and it did not work." You know this is going to really make him mad and he is going to walk out. “It does not matter. "Fine. You begin to argue. All this time you are arguing. you have this strange sense of happiness.
The devastation of a divorce does not only affect the people involved. He will miss the life he had and want to come home. One man's betrayal cost one man his life. . two children their fathers. he never had any intentions to come back home. This is my story of how I took a journey through my wilderness on my road to redemption. The price of one decision or action can be very costly. What you do not know is.Starting Over Again 8 what he has done. and two families were destroyed. Before I can begin to tell you about my journey through my wilderness. A story of how two people changed the lives of many others who knew them. It also has a ripple effect on the people they encounter in their lives. let me first tell you how I managed to get to this point in my life. He was leaving you and walking into the waiting arms of another woman.
When I came out he was standing there waiting for me. in March. He was tall. I was hoping I would meet someone because I'd lived in this town for almost a year and yet not managed to find anyone to date. my sister had recently remarried and all my friends seemed to have boyfriends or husbands. It was Kenny and he was with his wife. I was feeling kind of sorry for myself. I was thinking to myself why are all the good looking ones married? Watching all of them together was doing nothing to help my already low self esteem. the thought of being tired no longer existed. Let's face it. Here I was alone. My heart began to race when I realized he was interested in me. turning twenty-one and being able to legally drink. It was now closing time so I made a trip to the ladies room before going home. He had broad shoulders like a football player and muscular arms that you could just melt into and the whole world would disappear.Starting Over Again 9 Chapter 2 I met my husband. He asked me. I was excited. on my twenty-first birthday. Having worked all day I was just about to leave. She invited me to stop by after I got off work to celebrate. My self esteem was pretty low at the time. A few drinks and a couple of hours later in walked a friend of hers. he was married. this is a day we all look forward to. Why was fate doing this. Suddenly. "Can I have your phone number . Upon arriving at the bar there were several of Nina's friends already there having a good time. Knowing that going home to an empty house meant spending another birthday without a man in my life. had dark hair and the most beautiful blue eyes you had ever seen. A friend of mine was working at a local motel bar her parents managed. when he walked in.
I asked him." This is just not fair because I cannot have him. Finally. "Please?" I kept shaking my head. I was just about to give in and give him my number. It was the enemy playing on my weaknesses trying to take me to a place of destruction. saying. my legs were shaking and I know the smile on my face was a mile wide. After . Before I could get to my car. My heart was racing. I dodged a bullet there." Even though I really did want him. I did have some morals. "How did you get my phone number?" He told me he'd been calling all the printing companies in the area looking for me. He was married. I have been praying for you to bring someone into my life and the only one who is interested in me is married. beautiful blue eyes.Starting Over Again 10 so I can call you?" I responded by saying. Before I went back to tell everyone good night. standing behind me asking for my phone number. I knew if they saw me like this they would want to know what happened in the bathroom. but you are married and I won't do that to someone else. I knew I had to regain my composure. no. I said my goodbyes and left to go home. He stood there looking at me with those big. Somewhere throughout our conversations that night I must have said I worked for a printing company. His wife was sitting out there. there he was again. We were the only two who went there and I had to get it together. "I'm sorry. Now I knew the Lord had nothing to do with that meeting. About three weeks later I got a call from him at home. Whew. he turned around and went back inside. I was glad he left because I was very quickly losing my ability to say no. I told him one more time he was married and I would not do that. All the way home I kept saying to myself “Lord. Every good thing comes from God and this was not good.
here he was on the phone telling me he had. This seed I just planted was going to bring me a harvest I did not want. I did not think at the time about what this man was really doing. I did not think about what it was going to do to his wife. This time to tell me he left his wife and he was temporarily staying at his brother's house. I didn't even know her but I convinced myself I must be a better person than she is. He asked me. I thought to myself. I will also admit I did like the attention he was giving me. Now. Why else would he want to leave her for me? I must have something he wants that she is not giving him. if he was still married. I would have enough money to pay off the debt of the nation. "If get divorced. I . A few weeks went by and he called me again. It had been a long time since anyone was even remotely interested in me. They gave him my phone number so he took a chance and called me. He didn't know if I would remember him or not.Starting Over Again 11 calling several companies he finally found the one I worked at. I never thought about the fact. and he told me he was. My excitement began to fade as I reminded him I would not have anything to do with him. "How could I forget those beautiful blue eyes?" I was thinking he must really like me. If only I had a dime for every woman I've heard say this. I asked him how he was doing. will you then go out with me?" I told him maybe I would. At first I was shocked because I didn't really think he would leave his wife just to go out with me. I was only thinking I would have someone and not be lonely anymore. he would one day leave me for someone else. I was trying to play it cool and not sound desperate. if he left his wife for me. but not unless he was divorced. This act of selfishness was all the devil needed to begin his reign of destruction in my life. I would finally have someone who would spend time with me.
He worked the night shift so he would come over when I got home from work. We must be careful what we wish for. If only I wouldn't have told him this maybe he would not have left her. Instead. I convinced myself no one else ever would either. He'd bring me flowers and we would go out to eat. I was not the cause of their marriage ending. I was also trying to satisfy my conscience by telling myself. Even knowing this now. I wanted to take some time to know him better. it still does not excuse what I'd did. He wanted to come over to my house but I would not tell him where I lived. In May. I could have encouraged him to save his marriage. This was my one and only chance.Starting Over Again 12 did not know what to do because I told him I would go out with him if he left his wife. I had to take it. I thought if I do not see him then I am really not going out with him. I knew he said he was going to leave her. . Finally someone was paying attention to me and I loved it. In my old age of twenty-one. I was so happy to have found someone who would do this for me. instead of waiting for what God had for me. I'd managed to meet a few men whom I dated. to marry me. The pain she must be going through and it was because of me. I knew what I was doing was the same thing but I was trying to justify it. But no one had shown this much interest in me. He had found out she'd had an affair with his brother. We began to talk on the phone every night. I started to have feelings of guilt thinking about how his wife must be feeling. and take care of me. I finally told him where I lived. I was only thinking about myself and what I wanted. I settled for the first thing that came along. yet I did nothing to stop him. I just wanted to have someone for myself. I know now he would have left her anyway. sometimes we get it.
I loved this man and I was so happy. I was just a mess and trying to function because I still had a life to live. I told my parents all about this wonderful man I was dating. Not knowing why. When people asked me how it was going. I didn't want to seem desperate or begging. I had to get on with my life and I slowly put . Slowly I began to put the pieces of my life back together again. All I wanted to do was stay home and hide myself from the world. But I was blinded by the fact I loved him. Now he was gone and I didn't know why. he suddenly stopped calling and coming by. Maybe he found someone else? Maybe he just used me for an excuse to leave his wife? Now he's left her and he didn't need me anymore. I did nothing. I felt like such a fool for being so excited about him and telling everyone how great he was. Just before the July 4th holiday. it was just too embarrassing.Starting Over Again 13 We continued dating. I would tell them everything was great. Trying to find some answers. If I said something or did something I shouldn't have. This made me so depressed and I cried every night. Not wanting to embarrass myself if he didn't want to see me anymore. I could not understand it. I knew I was hurting and needed an answer. seeing each other every chance we could. I kept checking the phone to see if it was working. I could not tell them he left. I would drive by where he worked. I would replay every detail of the last few times we saw each other trying to figure out what went wrong. but still it did not ring. This should have been a sign of what was to come. I was trying to see if his truck was there so I could leave a note for him. but I wanted to know why he left. I didn't say anything about how we met or about his wife. I would sit by the window just looking at the driveway praying he would come over. My thoughts would race in my head.
as I was afraid if he did I would never see him again. He would be mine alone. I was telling myself okay. I loved him and wanted to be with him.Starting Over Again 14 one foot in front of the other. He had things he needed to take care of. Now our relationship was going to move to the next level. So I did not say anything. He just left his wife and the last thing he wanted was to have another woman causing him problems. I would have liked to be angry with him. I finally had what I so desperately wanted. . I was so surprised and happy at the same time I just wanted to cry. I wanted to be mad at him for what he put me through but I was afraid if I expressed how he made me feel he would go away. God can't work where there is sin. I did not want him to leave. I was just so happy he called I told him yes and he came over. but at the time I was eating up every word. We were going to live together. We talked for a few hours and then he went to work. Little did I know what I really had. This turned out to be a line of crap. I should not be so selfish and be considerate of his needs. He told me he wanted to come over and see me that night. he had a good reason for leaving. In August the phone rang one night and Kenny was on the other end. but I was just so happy to hear his voice again. It was during my divorce I found out he lied to me. this meant he wouldn't be tied to her anymore. The next day he moved his things into my house. His divorce would not be final for another six months. He told me he just had to get away so he could think. I was excited to hear about his divorce. Now his divorce was final. During this time he said he finalized his divorce. He began to tell me how he'd fallen so in love with me it scared him. This relationship was already in trouble because I took God out of it.
I'd seen him drink a few beers. I loved him and wanted to be with him. I did not know what to say. The night before his court date he said he wanted to talk to me about something. This was all new to me. but he wanted to go by himself.Starting Over Again 15 Chapter 3 We spent the next few months adjusting to our new life together." That night all I thought about was what he . I never saw it coming. I knew I must respect his wishes. Even though I couldn't understand why. I didn't want to give up my family nor my freedom. As the court date approached I asked to go with him. If he was given a jail sentence he was running to Mexico. I was so scared he was going to jail for a long time. but I didn't want to live the rest of my life as a fugitive. He wanted to know if I would go with him. I was stunned. "I need to think about it. Instantly I perked up and I just knew he was going to ask me to marry him. This is when he told me during the time in which we were separated he was arrested for a DWI and now he must go to court. he told me he was not going to jail. I said. Everyone deserves a second chance. In October things changed and my life began on a slow downward spiral that would take me places I never thought I would go. but never saw him drunk. As I intently sat there listening. I'd never lived with a man before and Kenny had to adjust to being with someone other than his ex-wife. We spent our free time doing many things together and life was great. I reminded myself we all make mistakes. I know I've had many of them in my lifetime. This news caught me off guard. That was not what I was expecting or wanted to hear.
They bring you down and most of the time you don't even know it. Why was everyone being so mean to him? I did not want to see the truth for what it was. My heart sank because I knew that meant we would be going to Mexico. I was praying it would all turn out alright. Finally. Once you get out of the situation. I was thinking about all the things I would need to do before I left. It doesn't work that way though. so many thoughts were going through my head. His things were still there so I didn't think he already left without me. You think because you are a good person. I stood there for several minutes not saying anything. you look back and see just how far they took you down.Starting Over Again 16 said. I prayed he would not go to jail because I wanted to be with him. . All throughout the day I was a nervous wreck. he asked if I was going with him to Mexico. I rushed home after work to find out what happened and he was not there. The next morning before he left for court. he came home and told me the verdict. He did something wrong and now he had to pay the price for it. 180 days in jail. There was nothing I could do but wait. I was already sinking into his way of thinking and I didn't even realize it. I was feeling so sorry for him and what he had to go through. Was he worth all that I was going to give up? To my surprise I said yes. All the people I would have to say goodbye to. If they did. My mind was racing. I was going to walk away from everything. I could not eat or concentrate at work the whole day. I hoped he would be able to call me to let me know. but honestly I did not want to go to Mexico. He began to tell me what took place that day and how the judge was out to get him. that if people are around you they will themselves become good. Maybe they just took him straight to jail.
so they could help me if I needed anything. During these few weeks. talked and enjoyed each other’s company. On the weekends he would have to stay in jail. He had no idea of how much I loved him. We were trying to make up for the time we . He also told the men in his family." I immediately said. I had heaviness on my heart at this time that would not go away. We laughed. he did not want them coming over to his house while he was gone. Everything was going to be alright. To me it was like he was going away and would never come back. We had a few weeks before he began his jail sentence.Starting Over Again 17 The courts gave him work release so everyday he was going to be able to go to work. He was with me even though I was not with him. Now. When he got off work he could go home for a few hours before going back to jail. We had such a beautiful weekend. I was going away and we were going to buy what we needed. What it really was though is. He was afraid I would have an affair with someone else while he was in jail. He took me on a surprise trip out of town the weekend before he began his sentence. but I could visit him each day. Even though I was not living my life in a way that was pleasing to the Lord. We were not going to Mexico and I was not going to have to give up everything. I wanted to spend every second I could with him. He came home from work and said "Let's go. I was always trying to do everything I could to save money. He still loved me. we moved into a mobile home in his grandmother's mobile home park. "Don't pack anything we will get what we need once we get there. I give up my house and he had control. I'd never done anything like this before." This was so exciting. He said he wanted me to be close to his family while he was gone. "Let's go where?" He told me.
I was alone again. This would make him so happy. It was so hard to do. everything seemed so quiet. eat. I asked myself. and take a shower. I was going to take care of everything so he would not have to worry about anything. and just lived every second as though it was our last. We went shopping for clothes. "Now what. We would talk for a few minutes while he ate his supper. had our picture taken. Neither one of us could think of any words to say so we just stood there crying and holding each other. After he got off work he would come home. This was going to be our life for the next few months. He worked the midnight shift so I would be there at eleven waiting for him. The night for him to begin his jail sentence finally arrived. It was hard. We had to say goodbye to each other and the life we had known. They said their wives would never do for them what I did for him. So many times he would watch TV or take a nap before returning to jail. I was being a good wife." I could not sit around and feel sad because I had to be strong for him. We connected and grew so much closer to each other on that trip. This made me feel proud. We were not married at this time. After he left. Every night I would meet him where he worked so I could give him his supper and clean clothes. The men he worked with would always tell him he was lucky to have me. . but we did live together as husband and wife.Starting Over Again 18 were going to lose while he was gone. I stood there and looked around. but I loved him and it was my duty to stand by him. On Saturday and Sunday I would go to the jail to see him and we would have about thirty minutes to visit with each other. He would call me every chance he got to check on me.
Again I believed him and felt sorry for him. This was another time when the Lord tried to show me but again I did not want to see. I was excited. I didn't know you can never go back to where you have already been. It is never the same and neither were we. He told me how he wanted to be in his life but how the mother would not let him know where he was. He was convinced I'd been with someone else while he was in jail even though I tried many times to explain to him it wasn't true. for good behavior. was his relentless abuse. but he always seemed so angry. After what happened to his first child. We were arguing all the time about everything. He acted like he didn't love me anymore and didn't want to be . He didn't see him and was not a part of his life. but he would be out before the baby was born. Kenny was finally released from jail at the end of January. Each day I tried really hard to be the best I could be. Kenny was still in jail. He already had one son from a previous relationship. he was telling everyone who would listen. I would never do that to him. He started staying out all night drinking and going to parties. I was so happy I was going to be able to give him a child since he wanted to have one. No matter what I did or said he would not believe me. now we could get back to our life where we left off. I was glad he was going to get a second chance. He was excited about being a father. Little did I know the truth about what lay ahead for me? The truth as to why she stayed hidden I would later find out.Starting Over Again 19 Chapter 4 In the winter of that year I became pregnant. I would do my best to make him happy.
I was going to make this relationship work. He didn't ask me to come back or say he missed me. I did not want that. I didn't have enough wisdom at the time to know by doing what was best for me. I was going to have this baby by myself and start my life over again. I left him to go back home to my parents. I was angry because all this time I would get up in the middle of the night and drive to his work to take him supper. I was always putting everyone before me.Starting Over Again 20 with me. This is where I made a mistake. The saying goes. I was having his baby and he wanted nothing to do with me. I could not deal with it anymore. He was out of jail and no longer needed anything from me. Well I was going back to lie in my bed. I completely stopped my life to take care of him and now he was tossing me aside. I would make sure he had a hot meal waiting when he got home from work. It seemed more and more like I was an obligation to him because I was pregnant and he didn't want to look bad. He shut me completely out of his life and I was tired of begging him to let me back in. Not once during this time did he try to contact me. I would be doing what was best for my baby. Finally. Not for me. I no longer had anything he needed. one day I had enough. 'you made your bed. nothing. He didn't even know I was coming back. but for my baby. I wonder sometimes . So one day I decided I was going back to Texas. I was there a few days and my family was trying to advise me about what I needed to do. I felt like I was an embarrassment to him. My dad was always there during my childhood and I wanted the same for my baby. I began to think about the fact this child was going to grow up without a father. I'm not sure what happened while he was in jail but he didn't return the same man who went in. now you must lay in it'. I would do what was best for everyone else and not myself.
Just because there is a warm body in the house doesn't mean you’re not alone. I can do nothing to change the past. I couldn't though because deep in my heart I knew I wanted to be loved in return. yet I didn't realize just how alone I was. I knew in time he would love me again. I was trying to love someone who didn't love me. At the time I thought I was doing what was best for everyone. This would cause the baby to have the hiccups. He would go out with his friends. I know I can't live my life with any regrets. In the mean time I would just love him enough for the both of us. he informed me he was moving on with his life. He loved to grab my stomach and shake it violently.Starting Over Again 21 what my life would have been like if I would have stayed. drink. When he was angry he would slap me around. I had to later forgive myself for this decision I made. My biggest fear was being alone. If I tried to say anything to him about this. I discovered he bought a mobile home and had it moved to the same park we already lived in." It took no time for him to get me out of his system. I would beg him not to do this. I can however learn from it and move on. Although I was only been gone about a week. What's done is done. "Boy that was quick. He wouldn't have bothered me. but to him . When I returned. and stay out all night long. I thought to myself. As the birth of our child drew closer and closer things began to get worse between us. We didn't talk about things nor did we try to correct the problems. I just didn't understand this concept. it would cause him to become angry. His anger turned from words into physical violence. My side of the bed wasn't even cold yet and he was moving on. It was like I never left. I quickly settled right back into my life with him. Some of the loneliest people are married. We just resumed our normal everyday life and never spoke of it.
One day in particular he became angry and he was yelling and cussing at me. My family lived so far away and I could not tell them anyway. me. Kenny never felt any remorse after he abused me. I was the one he took it out on. He always said if I made him kill me. Not to mention the fact I was pregnant with no job and no money. I was tired of him hitting me and I wanted to make it stop. He said they knew what he had to live with. I was in so much pain and scared for my unborn child. I had no one I could turn to and no place to go." I didn't have any friends and the only people I knew was his family. I could not call the police because if I did things would get worse. I didn't want anything bad to happen to my baby. not a joke. They would tell Kenny what I said and this would cause the beatings to become worse. It could be someone at work or somebody he dealt with that day. He would never say he was sorry or buy me any gifts. I could not call anyone for help. I most certainly couldn't tell them what was going on. no one knew he was abusing me. Maintaining his happiness was hard and exhausting. When he was mad he would go into a rage and lose all control. I was trying to calm him down but nothing I tried was working.Starting Over Again 22 it was funny. He knew the cops in the area and they would never charge him. . The last thing I wanted to hear was. It was hard at times to keep him happy because it wasn't always me who made him mad. The only thing he would say would be I made him do it. "I told you so. so I would do everything I could to keep him from doing this. No matter who or what made him angry. but I did not know how. He always told me if I did tell anyone or call the cops he would kill me and I believed he would. This was my unborn child. He hit me in my stomach and I fell to the floor. he would plead temporary insanity and he would get away with it.
The day before my daughter was born Kenny ordered me to mow the lawn and change out a window air conditioning unit. He would never check to see if I was alright. I finally finished mowing the yard. but I still did not know if any damage had been done. It was hard to do anything . it was my life at home that was causing the problems. I felt like a pin cushion from the entire test they'd ran and I was seeing the doctor every week. The pain slowly went away. Our yard was not really big so we just had a push mower. They were heavy and with my huge belly it was going to be hard to pick them up. There was nothing wrong with me physically. I was trying to do my best to remain calm and healthy. he left the house as he always did. but still it took me over an hour to mow it. I was seven months pregnant and I could not move very fast. it didn't matter to him. I thought about it for a few minutes while I caught my breathe and cooled down. I wanted to do everything I could to give my baby the best chance it could have. I had a doctor's appointment a few days later and I told them I fell down. They checked the baby and said everything was alright. It was June in Texas and it was hot. He bought a bigger unit and wanted it put in so the house would be cooler for him. and then turned my attention to the air conditioners. I was already having a troubled pregnancy. They couldn't regulate my blood pressure or my sugar. I needed to come up with some plan so I would not have to lift them. but they wanted me to rest a few days. I was afraid I would go into premature labor.Starting Over Again 23 After he hit me that day. I felt as though I was having a heat stroke and the baby was restless. I went to lie down in the bed for a few hours and I began praying my baby would be okay. I didn't need anything else to happen. I was only around six months pregnant at the time.
I came up with a plan and put together a little contraption. The next morning I woke up to find the couch was wet. I didn't know what was happening so I called my mom. I was afraid to stand. I laid down on the couch and quickly fell asleep. I did not want this baby falling out of me. She said I needed to call my doctor but I didn't think that was it. This was not how it was supposed to go. If I called the doctor and they told me I just urinated on myself I was going to be so embarrassed. The doctor told me to have someone get me to the hospital immediately. He wanted to take a look at things and to see if my water had broken. After I finished with this I went inside to cool down. I drank some water and then realized I'd not eaten anything yet that day. I knew what took place the day before was not good. After he left for work. I needed to get it done before he got mad and as usual no one was around to help me. I prayed this would work or I was in trouble. She told me it sounded like my water had broken. Kenny was asleep on the couch and I was not feeling good. I was scared I'd done something to hurt my baby. My body was shaking and I felt sick.Starting Over Again 24 when it was kicking and moving. I was so scared to death. If my water had broken the baby could literally "fall out of me". My plan worked and slowly but surely I was able to change the air conditioners out. . I called my doctor. I made myself something to eat and went to take a shower before I had to cook dinner and get him up for work. Reluctantly. I wasn't due for another eight weeks. I was angry with myself for being so afraid of Kenny I would jeopardize my unborn child. Not to drive myself and to walk as little as possible. Maybe that was why I felt so bad. I felt a little better but I was tired and wanted to go to bed.
The hospital I was at did not have a neonatal unit.Starting Over Again 25 Kenny was at work so I called his grandmother and she took me to the hospital." If I would have been able to get out of that hospital bed I would have hurt him that day. "What. I decided to call Kenny at work to let him know what was going on. I thought to myself. He didn't believe me and finally his grandmother took the phone. just once could you think about someone other than yourself. They wouldn't know exactly how developed the baby was until it was born. Because I was eight weeks early the doctor did not know if she was going to be able to stay there or be flown to another hospital. He told me my water did break and there was nothing they could do but deliver the baby. Here I was lying in this hospital bed. I became very upset and started to cry. the doctor came in to examine me. She told him to get to the hospital. He could tell I was mad so he said to me. Women do it all the time. I had nurses shoving papers at me to sign and I could not read them so they told me it was consent to keep the baby in the hospital morgue. All throughout the day they continued to run test and tried to induce my labor. Here they were basically telling me they believed my baby was going to die. not knowing whether or not our child was going to live or die and you have to have a nap. Hearing this made me so mad. they were rushing me into the operating room. you are just having a baby. Several hours later he finally made it. if it died. After I got there. Suddenly the baby just stopped breathing. took a shower and laid down for a short nap. I told them I needed to wait and talk . Several hours later they began to talk to me about a c-section. The monitors started going off and things got crazy. As the baby coded. He joked about how he knew it was going to take a while so he went home. The baby was on a fetal monitor to keep track of its heartbeat. my body just was not ready to go into labor. It's not like you are doing something special.
When I woke up. thinking to myself. they were going to deliver this baby. love. I could see them standing there with the scalpels ready to cut. Later that night I woke up and Kenny told me we had a daughter. I finally understood what love truly was. I just signed the paper and said a prayer. please save my baby but wait until I am out before you start to cut. I asked the nurse to see my baby.Starting Over Again 26 to Kenny. I was now responsible for this beautiful child. protect. There were people running everywhere trying to put me to sleep as fast as they could. They politely to me there was no time. nurture. I wanted my baby to live. As they rushed me into the operating room it was so dreamlike. and teach this little girl everyday for the rest of my life and it has never been the same since. I did not want to think about this. When I held her for the first time. my life forever changed. I was in recovery all night so I didn't have a chance to see her until the next morning. . He was outside smoking. I would need to provide.
1994. One night when she was just a couple of months old he became really mad. He said he was tired of dealing with me. She'd been telling him how he needed to marry me. This time he put a gun to my head and He was going to kill me. I hoped he would love me more because I was her mother. right? Wrong.Starting Over Again 27 Chapter 5 After we brought her home I thought things would change with Kenny. It was during this visit he decided we would get married. I tried to lay her on the couch. After all he was her dad. I spent my whole life dreaming of my wedding and this was not it. I hoped since he was marrying me the abuse would stop. All I ever did was made him mad and he was tired of it. He wouldn't marry me if he didn't love me. I can remember standing there holding my daughter telling him to please let me put her down so I wouldn't crush her when I fell. after all he was finally marrying me. I wasn't going to complain though. I was scared and shaking so much I was afraid I was going to drop her. We were married on August 8. in the back room of a local jewelry store. Hoping this would cause him to see what he was doing. I didn't know until later he said the only reason he married me was to make my sister happy. it was a hope that was not to be as he continued to abuse me. He stopped me. Two months after she was born we took her to see my family. He said he wanted me to hold her so I would . He was going to love her as much as I did. by a county official. What a reason to marry someone. No matter what happened to me I did not want her to be harmed.
How she was going to have to grow up without a mother. My legs were shaking so much I thought I was going to fall. I knew I was about to die and I began to cry. If I was going to die I was going to die fighting for my life. You could just be sitting there on the couch watching TV. "Just shoot me.Starting Over Again 28 have to look at her while I died. Sometimes that would be all he would do but other times he would become enraged. As I sat there thinking about this I fell asleep holding her. I managed to make it to the couch where I sat there holding my baby. I knew she did not know what was going on but one day she would. He would comment about something and if you did not say what he thought you should he would reach over a slap you. My last thoughts would be. Just shoot me. Over the next several years the abuse continued. knowing she would grow up without a mother because it was my fault he had to kill me. I knew I did not deserve it but He loved me enough to show me mercy. After what seemed like forever he put the gun down and stormed out of the house. I didn't want to put her down. sobbing. I had to protect her because I didn't know when Kenny would be back. My tears turned into anger and I began to fight back. Get it over with. He'd been abusing me for a long time but this was the first time he'd pulled a gun on me. I began to yell at him. I started praying for the Lord to protect my child and keep her from harm." I acted as though I was not afraid and this caught him off guard. This baby needed her mother and I wanted to see her grow up. I was frightened to say the least. I prayed He would cause Kenny to put down the gun and spare my life. I started thinking about all of the things I was going to miss out on. All because this man got mad about something. I just sat there thanking the Lord for sparing my life. He . How could I raise a child in this kind of environment? You never knew what was going to set him off.
He started throwing tools at me while he was walking towards me. I told him he could hit our daughter. He was screaming. There were many times my daughter would have to come in just to help me get up. He began to get mad about something and ended up knocking me into the shower. She was playing nearby. you are going to die. I was finally able to get out of the shower but I had to crawl to the bed. He was yelling at me. she came out of hiding to help me get up. "I will.” She needed reassurance she was not going to lose her momma. my daughter would always ask me. I made a big mistake doing this. One day I was in the bathroom getting ready to go somewhere. He became enraged. When you do. You have to stop sometime. He was working on something and it was not working out. With each step he took the rage inside him began to build. are you going to be alright?" I would always say “Yes. I had to watch him and my daughter.Starting Over Again 29 would do or say anything he could to hurt me. I broke the door with my fall. the fall hurt my back and hips. He started throwing things and I asked him to stop. momma is going to be fine." I began stepping backwards trying to keep my distance. I could not get up by myself because of the door and I was in so much pain. If he didn't like something I said or did. just calm down. "You can run if you want but I will catch you. I told her to go play on the front porch. After each and every beating I received." I told him. When my daughter heard him leave. "If you are so big and bad you bitch then you do it yourself. “Momma. A few weeks later we were outside working on the house." I can remember my daughter standing on the front . I could not walk. He began chasing me around the yard swinging a hammer trying to hit me in the head. he would just hit me. Everything seemed to be going good until he became mad.
This game helped my daughter and I escape the reality of what was going on. turned around and went somewhere else. I had no idea where he went so I kept looking around every corner expecting him to show up and finish what he started. As we continued to run around in the yard he finally ran out of breath. I took my daughter and we went inside. As we drove by. After several miles he backed off. I grabbed my keys. I was shaking so much I could hardly hold on to the steering wheel. In spite of everything.Starting Over Again 30 porch screaming at him. I was functioning solely in survival mode. I knew I didn't want to go home. When he came back he acted as if nothing had happened. She was tired and wanted to go to bed. We stayed in town until dark and I made it seem like we were on an adventure. This was how he was every time. If he was not there it meant he'd gone out and we could go on in. I made sure not to remind him either. As we reached town. He was trying to run me off the road while I was trying to out run him.” Over and over again she screamed this at him and it did not faze him. I noticed he was not there. jumped in the car and we left. I was no longer afraid. I did not know what I was going to do. “Please don't kill my momma. I knew he would not be back until the next day and by then he would have calmed down. My car would go faster than his truck but the road was so curvy I could not get away from him. While he was catching his breath I ran and picked her up. He got in his truck and began to chase us. Once it was dark I knew it would be easier to sneak back to the house. I . Each time he would say these things to me it was like sticking a knife in my heart. Kenny was always telling me how fat I was or how stupid I was.
heartless. It was easier to hide the bruises. today would be the day he would start to love me. No one knew what was going on still. The abuse began to escalate over time. I was married to him and I had to do my best to make the marriage work." I told him to be careful what he says. Then I would remember what he said about how he would kill me. "After. he would walk away and leave me there. I was too ashamed to tell anyone. When I would get ready to leave the house he would say to me. After he made sure I was no longer conscience.Starting Over Again 31 still loved him. If I died. I'd seen a few glimpses of kindness in him before and I knew he was capable of it. "Next time he hits me I am going to call the police. I would begin each day with the hope. His method of choice now was choking me. Each time I didn't know if I would wake up or not. Amber would be by herself until I would come to.” This would hurt me so in return I would say to him. what do you think I am. although it was hard to explain a turtleneck in the summer. “I hope a semi runs you over and kills you so I do not have to deal with you anymore. He would just laugh in his smug and arrogant way saying nothing was ever going to happen to him. then my daughter would be left alone with him. I . She would be scared because she did not understand why her momma would not wake up. What you wish on someone else could happen to you. When I did come to she was always sitting there beside me trying to get me to wake up. I would always tell myself. He was getting better at making sure he would not leave any marks. "Do you want it to be before or after I drop Amber off at day care?" He would get mad and say. I lived with the pain in silence. He would choke me until I would pass out. I knew if I tried to talk to anyone all they would say is how I needed to leave. I never knew how long I was out." I was tired of this.
I knew he would not dare hit me while my father was there. I would be brave. You no longer trust. If only you could learn to be better he would not do this. They may convince you to leave or he may begin to lose his control over you. If you weren't a bad person he wouldn't be abusing you. While they were there. He had to keep his appearances up that he was a good man. Unless you have lived with an abuser it is hard to understand. crazy. and you are a shell of your former self. Kenny would hate it when my family came to visit me. An abuser will tear down your self . I was beaten down so far mentally and physically I didn't even know who I was anymore. I had a sense of security knowing I was not alone. You make him do it. "If any man were to hit me. You are no longer the same woman you once were. There was a time in your life when you had dreams and aspirations. stupid. The abuser will tell you no other man will ever want you or put up with you. He will destroy your confidence. You were not always like this. Before I got married I would say. They get you to believe you are ugly. Your abuser doesn't want anyone around you who will tell you what he is doing is wrong. He will make sure you have no friends and you are not close to any of your family members. I would hurt them. your spirit is broken. He will beat you into submission so he can make you what he wants you to be. They want you to believe you cannot make it without them. Your abuser has total control over you." Now I was living that life and it was different. There was once a time when you believed in yourself. and your self-worth. or a bad parent. that you are no good. He was always so nice to me during this time.Starting Over Again 32 didn't think anyone would understand why I could not leave. your self-esteem. I didn't always think this way.
I would have to take more and more aspirin to try and subdue them.Starting Over Again 33 esteem. I would just take some aspirin and pray it went away. I started having really bad migraine headaches that would occur frequently and make me sick. It was hard for me to function when one came on. I did not have health insurance so I could not go to the doctor. As time went on they became worse. I would try to do everything I could to keep him from hitting me in the head as I believed this was what was causing them. . The abuse began to take its toll on me physically.
He made me sit there while he did this. He asked for her phone number and he called her. I was supposed to feel lucky I had him. You never knew if he was going to give you any money or if the bills were going to get paid. After that night I told myself I needed to work on .Starting Over Again 34 Chapter 6 I was working full time now to make sure I could take care of my daughter. All he wanted to do was show me he could be with another woman if he wanted to. I wanted to know if he left. He would spend the day looking at pornography or chatting in online chat rooms with women. He was there when I left and when I came home. This was a rough time because I could not escape him. I could take care of my daughter. Then he got laid off from his job so he was home all the time. I would do everything I could for my daughter. I wanted to stay home with Amber but I no longer could. It was pretty easy for a while because he worked nights. I did not want to live anymore depending on him. He made sure I knew he was in control. I was trying to compensate for what she had to live through. When I got home he would show me the women he had found. Didn't our vows mean anything to him? They made arrangements to meet but I don't know if he ever did. One night he was chatting online with a woman. He wanted me to know how much they wanted him. I also did my best not to be at the house when he was there. I never knew if he meant it or if he was just mad about something. I couldn't believe he was doing this. Every other day he told me he wanted a divorce. He was married to me.
I tried to change how I looked. He would talk about all the women who were going to be at these truck stops. On weekends we would drive around looking for a house we could buy. I needed to become like those women on the Internet. acted. Amber and I worked really hard to get the house ready to sell. I didn't even know who I was. so if I looked like that he would be happy with me. It was so much smaller than our old home and I was just going to have to like it. Once his unemployment ran out he went to school to become a truck driver. I was still working and he told me I had to sell the house. I would get so depressed because the one thing I feared most was he would cheat on me. During the week we would pack boxes getting ready for the move. He graduated and took a job in a different town. He was driving a lot of miles back and forth to work. I wanted so much for him to want me. About how he was finally going to be able to find a real woman who could make him happy. and dressed.Starting Over Again 35 how I looked. We hadn't bought a house yet so one day Kenny saw a place and decided this was going to be our new home. I placed the house on the market and it sold in three days. I would also need to find another place for us to live. It was during this time he became angry with our mortgage company so he decided we were going to move. I would do everything he wanted even if I was not comfortable with it. . He would love me and he would not be interested in these other women. I was no longer me. Anything to try and please him but nothing I did seemed to change anything though. I didn't want to know what that betrayal felt like. He was looking at them and it made him happy. We then would finally be the family I desperately wanted.
Up until this time he had been driving regionally.Starting Over Again 36 I decided I would give this move a try since it would be a different city and different environment for us. His uncle had started a company and he wanted to go to work for him. it would be the end of our marriage. always doing things as a family. He didn't want to be gone from home for days at a time. That we would be fine. After a year and a half the company he was working for sold. He would wait until we were in the bedroom or she wasn't around and then the abuse would begin. This was not what it was like before and life was great. The man I fell in love with had come back. I tried to talk him out of it telling him if he did. We were right back to where we once were. “Look how our life has been for the last year and a half. For the next eighteen months our lives were great. The man who abused me all these years. I knew if he went back to being in that environment he would go back to being his old self. She could tell someone and he didn't want that to happen. the trouble in our marriage began again. He would not come home. He was once again talking to women in chat rooms and looking at pornography. A few months after he started working for his uncle. If this did not make any difference in my marriage then nothing would. He laughed and said they had nothing to do with it.” he would tell me. I knew in my heart though what was going to happen. Each time just like before I did . When he did come. The new company that bought it was going to make him start driving over the road and he did not want to do this. He stopped hitting me and was treating me decent. and his rage returned. The physical abuse began again but now our daughter was getting older so he had to be more discreet. We would take weekend trips. he started drinking again. home he would sleep or be online.
we had one of our arguments and he said he was leaving the house. now he could not drive twenty-five miles. I put so many years of hard work into this marriage. I always felt it was my fault and I needed to apologize. He was going to town to have a beer. at my age with a child. I convinced myself though he really loved me and our daughter. After nine years the love and caring had been beaten out of me. having nothing is better than having something bad. That being said. I don't know what made me think he wouldn't. I began to get suspicious something else might be going on but I kept telling myself he would not do that to me. I didn't want to start over again. I was so tired of it. Suddenly.Starting Over Again 37 not know if I was going to live or die. Sometimes he would get in such a rage he didn't care who saw him. I still feared him finding someone else and leaving me. I discovered though. Each year you get older the number of fish left in the pond gets smaller. By this time I was truly glad because I didn't want to deal with it anymore. right? I didn't like for things to be bad between us though. The motel he was staying at was only twenty-five miles away and he was too tired to drive home? I'd seen this man go for hours without sleep when he was driving a truck. After everything else he had done. To have to start dating again. I remembered the struggle I had finding someone before I met him. At this point I really didn't care either. One Saturday night in early May. . He could do whatever he wanted as long as he left Amber and me alone. I knew would be hard to say the least. he would just reach out and slap me so hard I would fall down. I said I didn't care. Now he started calling to say he was going to spend the night in a motel because he was too tired to drive home. I still stayed up all night waiting on him to come home.
He was only tired because he stayed out all night long and that was not my problem. His phone rang and he answered it. so he didn't want to come in the house. I wanted to make him suffer a little. What could be more important than this? I asked him who it was and he told me it was a woman he met the night before. I don't think so! How stupid did he think I was? I just wanted him to tell me the truth for once. Now he was telling me he spent the night driving around. By this time I was mad. I didn't care how tired he was we were going to talk. I could not believe it. I'd been up all night waiting for him. I called several times but he had his phone turned off. I marched my little mad self outside and woke him up. After a few minutes of the conversation going nowhere. I waited several minutes for him to come in the house. I could not believe it. He came in the house and I asked him where he'd been. He looked at me and said he'd been driving around. I got up and looked outside. I wanted to explain the concept of having a cell phone and turning it on. He'd fallen asleep in his truck. I was ready to let him have it when he stepped in the door. About seven Sunday morning he finally came home. This man did not like to drive. Not only did he answer the phone but he told me who it was. Whenever we went somewhere I had to drive. They talked for a few . All you have is two bodies in the same room. I was getting mad and so was he. After waiting all night long. He needed to know I stayed up all night waiting for him. who abuses me in anyway. He knew I would be waiting to nail him. He was always tired of driving. there is no relationship. I nearly fell off the couch.Starting Over Again 38 being by myself is better than being with someone who treats me bad. I knew he was lying. By this time. Abuse is not love. Without love.
. I was completely blindsided. I just assumed it was his brother and he said it was a woman because he was mad. That was May 5. I could not move. He's lied to me so much in the past I didn't believe him. I sat there not knowing what to say. When he finally hung up the phone he looked at me and calmly said he wanted a divorce.Starting Over Again 39 minutes and he was making plans for later on that day. I didn't know what to say. 2002. I felt like I had just been hit by a truck. the day I began my journey through the wilderness. I sat there not saying a word.
we had one. It cannot be one or the other. She was nice to him and she wanted him. He said I didn't and I wouldn't act like I did. He told me they just met and he wanted to take some time to get to know her. I used to say all the time. How our . Who was this woman? Where did they meet? How long had they been seeing each other? How did I not know what was going on? After all I did not think he was stupid enough to walk out on our marriage for a woman he only met a few hours before. I was totally devastated. We didn't have both. it has to be both of you wanting to work out your problem. but I wasn't going to live that way. My biggest fear had now become a reality. There is nothing two people cannot work out if they BOTH want to. Our problems were not that bad.Starting Over Again 40 Chapter 7 He left that Sunday telling me this was only temporary. That night I lay in bed crying myself to sleep. He packed a bag and was getting ready to leave and I was pleading and begging him to stay." I didn't want to married to a man who was with someone else. He wanted to take a break and see if we could work out our problems. I remember thinking to myself. I told him we could work this out. Your right. I told him to think about Amber and what this would do to her. None of this worked and he left anyway. "How could this be temporary. I no longer wanted anyone abusing me. I remember all sorts of things were going through my mind that night. I was a married single woman. That didn't mean I no longer wanted him. I felt so betrayed and rejected. Then I began to remember how we met. You said you were seeing another woman.
As long as she was with me. taken care of him and he just walks out that door to go be with another woman he just met. and that was to just lie down and cry. he left anyway. I had worked to help him acquire all he had. I had responsibilities to my job. I did not know anymore if I was crying because he had left. I never felt so betrayed and deceived in all my life. I had done my best to put them back together." I just couldn't believe it. I'd been with this man all these years and I really didn't want to start over again. my daughter. How could I have done this to another woman? Now I was really crying. She was almost seven years old and spent very few nights away from me. The next day I went to work and my daughter went to school. or for what I did years before. This would mean she would be away from me. I could protect . I began to think to myself. The only difference was now I was on the receiving end and I did not like it. He walked away and I was left to pick up the pieces of what was once our life. gave life to his daughter. I began to feel so guilty and condemned. He said he just met her and this was temporary. After all I still had my daughter to take care of. He was doing to me exactly what he did to his previous wife. Life was going to go on whether I wanted it to or not. I also knew if we did get a divorce Amber would have to go and see him. and at the time it seemed like everyone else in the world. I wanted him to come back because I loved him and didn't want to be alone. For the first time I truly understood how she must have felt. I didn't have time to fall apart or to do what I wanted. I felt like such a fool. I wasted all these years trying to make him happy when in the end it didn't matter.Starting Over Again 41 relationship had begun. "After all these years I have suffered from his abuse. Even though I knew he was with another woman I still hoped he would come back.
There is a difference. this was the beginning of my journey through my wilderness and it was not going to be easy. I'd made a mess of my life and God was trying to clean it up. it wasn't a competition. You can't lose something you don't want or have in the first place. He was doing what was best for me. Each day he didn't come home. I loved being someone's wife. What you worship doesn't have to be a person. I was hurting. The whole world revolved around him. It can be your job. We had a child together and years worth of memories. I was mad at God because He was not doing what I wanted. One day about a week later I was heading home after .Starting Over Again 42 her. I had nine years with him. This had to account for something. As I said. I told myself she could not compete with me. I spent every night for the next several days praying the Lord would bring Kenny back to me. we are to put no other gods before Him. He was setting me free from the bad choices I made. money. why couldn't God see this? Why would He not make it stop? I didn't realize God was delivering me from my suffering. I discovered I wasn't in love with Kenny. He didn't want me. possessions. He knew what He had planned for my life and this was not it. I began to get upset with God for not putting things back like they were. not necessarily Kenny's wife. God did not like this and he was removing what I had come to worship. The Bible teaches us. There was nothing for him to come back for. He was everything to me. Kenny had become my God. I would ask the Lord why He wasn’t answering my prayers. I was in love with the idea a being married. I was wrong though. so he lost nothing. or anything you hold more valuable than God.
Maybe I would find out who this new woman was. I didn't care though. I was going to leave him a message. They were living in an apartment together at that time. It did not change anything but boy. I just wouldn't find out the truth until later on in the divorce. The truth was they didn't . for a moment. after I calmed down a little. Somehow I managed to get into his voice mail and his messages started playing. I yelled and screamed at him. He said she was talking about her house. All those years of pent up anger and hurt came flooding out. He said he was staying at his brother's house. I started asking him if they were living together. I called him. I knew he was lying I could tell by his voice. He told me they were not. if anyone had the right to be angry it was me. How did they have a “home”? I realized at that very moment he was not ever coming home. What did she mean “home”! They supposedly just met. I told him how he ruined everything. Soon after that he got a new phone number. He wanted to know why I was asking and I told him about the message. The dam on my emotions just broke loose. The first message I heard was from her. I felt a little guilty but I listened to them anyway. Later that evening. I let him have it. He didn't know what hit him. it really felt good. He told me they didn't want me to listen to anymore of his messages. They were both lying and deceiving me with their affair. How the two of them deserved each other and how he was a sorry man for what he was doing. All my hopes were gone and I sat there for several minutes just crying. She was asking him if he was going to come “home” before they went out to eat. I had to pull over to the side of the road because I just lost it.Starting Over Again 43 work and I called his cell phone. He became angry at the fact I listened to them.
I knew once I filed. I shouldn't have listened in the first place. . I felt guilty and very small. The next couple of weeks I didn't hear from him much. her or your daughter? He started asking me if I was going to file for the divorce. It meant I had to admit it was over and I was not ready to yet. I assumed it was hers'. No one answered the phone but I was more than willing to leave a message. I knew right then I had to get control over my emotions before I hurt someone else. I was just hurting myself. there was no turning back." He and his new girlfriend needed time to themselves to adjust. He said she was going through a rough time because her husband recently passed away.Starting Over Again 44 want me to know what they were doing. I hoped it was her phone. I didn't want to hurt anyone. he could pay for it. Now I did feel bad. I let her know the man she was with was married and the woman he was married to was me. When I asked him if he wanted to see Amber he said. This was between Kenny and I and no one else. I couldn't just continue to go around saying what I wanted and lashing out at people. I had a number on a deposit slip I found in Kenny's bag one day. That was fine. I guess he thought I was supposed to care. If not someone was going to get a surprise. but who was more important. Everyone else should not pay for what one person has done. I was still a little ticked at the fact this woman thinks she can just come into my life and treat me like I am worthless. You are the one who walked out and you need to "adjust". I was his wife. This was your daughter we were talking about. I was like “what” you have got to be kidding me. Kenny called me back to let me know my message upset her. "Not now. I told him no. I knew his girlfriend's husband passed away. So I called her one day to let her know this.
I'd not been going to church. Everyone welcomed us and we sat in the back pew. I went to church as a child and I knew the Lord loved me. but that was before all of this. I was so distraught with everything that was happening I didn't know where else to turn. I felt happy. I didn't feel worthy to be there after everything I'd done over the years. I haven't felt good in such a long time. He didn't believe in God and he convinced me I didn't need God anymore. The week after he left we visited a church at the end of our road. I was broken inside and hungry for more of this feeling good. I knew this was where we belonged and we began going to every service. but I think it was only for show. The moment we walked in I felt such a warm presence come over me.Starting Over Again 45 Chapter 8 I pretty much quit going to church when I met Kenny. One time I was able to get him to go with me when I visited a friend’s church. For that few moments I felt like everything was going to be okay. I was hanging on every word the pastor was saying. I was going to be okay. I still believed in God and Amber and I would go sometimes when he was out of town. "Welcome back. I felt like I'd been in a desert for so many years and . By the time the service was over I actually had a smile on my face. As we sang I began to feel like I'd been there my whole life. It was as if someone was hugging me. I had him. I was excited he went. I felt like the Lord was hugging me saying. I was enjoying this. How could God still love me after what I'd done? I'd not exactly been living my life for Him." It felt so good. I have missed you.
all grown with families of their own. Job had a wife. He said "the LORD gave. During this time I came to learn the story of Job.Starting Over Again 46 I'd finally found a watering hole. One day. I had to make a choice. He was sad and devastated. I could go one way and follow God or I could go the other way and follow the devil. The devil took this as a challenge and he spent the next several years trying to prove me wrong. guilt. joy. He’d been in control of my life for so long. I began to read my Bible every chance I got. The devil's way led to pain. his children. blessed be the name of the LORD. the devil approached God and said. and condemnation. "You have blessed Job. I told the devil he may have Kenny but he wasn't going to get me or my daughter. "Do what you want to him but you cannot touch him. If you would take away these blessings. It was at one of these services I rededicated my life to the Lord and vowed I would never leave Him again." God then said to the devil. As I read this story I began to understand the goodness of God. Job loved and worshiped God every day. He was not going to let me go without a fight. I'd already been on the other road and I was tired of it. Job would no longer praise you. you have given him everything. This is the only reason Job worships you. I realized at that point I was at a cross road in my life. Even after everything that happened Job fell to his knees and began to worship God. peace. there was no in between. seven sons and three daughters. God's way led to love. He had land. and the LORD has taken away. prosperity. in one day. livestock and men to help him work. I chose God's way." The devil left and began to take away all that God had given him. He was still . suffering." This was still not enough for the devil. everything he had except his wife. The devil was not happy about this decision. He lost his livestock. and happiness.
I realized God was showing me the journey of long suffering that I was about to endure. "Do we only take the good and not the bad?" His friends told him that because he had sinned. This made the devil happy. God gave him twice as much as he had in the beginning. In the end God restored to him better than what he had lost.Starting Over Again 47 not through with him. this pleased God and he began to restore Job's life. As I read this story I saw where Job never lost his faith in God. He was giving me instructions on how to endure it. God told the devil he could do what he wanted but he could not kill Job. As he did. I was going to have to go on this journey to find redemption and healing. He told God if Job was sick then he would curse God. This renewed a hope inside of me I never known before. I'd been angry with God. I was on a journey of self discovery. God returned to him what the devil had taken away. a hope I could . God had allowed these things to happen to show his goodness and to put the devil to shame. He told them that he loved God and had not sinned. Job asked her. He also revealed to me what was waiting for me in the end. The devil then caused painful sores to cover his entire body. I must praise him no matter what I was going through. these bad things were happening to him. Job's friends felt that Job thought he was better than everyone else because he would not confess of his sins and repent to make things right. He loved God and praised him every day. An unfailing hope. One day God spoke to Job and had him to pray for his friends. I felt like he had left me. But still Job praised God. Job's wife tried to get him to just curse God and die. It was a true hope. I did not understand why God didn't make things better. God gave him seven sons and three daughters and another one hundred forty years to live.
. What I did not understand is how hard the enemy was going to fight to make sure this did not happen.Starting Over Again 48 actually believe in. My hope was not in God it was in man. I began to believe if I did not lose my faith and maintained an attitude of praise God would restore to me better than what I lost. False hope was what I had before.
I made sure he received his copy and explained to . We worked together on completing the papers and we were both in agreement as to what was filed. 2002. His girlfriend was pressing him to get his divorce. He said to me. The Lord would give me the answer as to what He wanted me to do. He encouraged me to try to save my marriage. God's utmost plan was man and woman would remain married for life. but since we were all sinners God knew there would be divorce. He told me he could not tell me one way or the other about getting a divorce. I was then able to move forward with the divorce proceedings. One day I got the nerve to talk to my pastor about it. I finally filed the papers to begin the divorce.Starting Over Again 49 Chapter 9 I had questions about how the Lord would view me if I was the one who filed for divorce. I had to go before the Lord in prayer. the Lord spoke to me. On June 10. As he prayed with me asking the Lord for His wisdom in this matter." He told me God hated divorce. I wanted to know what it said about adultery. I am getting a divorce. This was not something I just went around telling everyone. "I love you and because of Kenny's unfaithfulness to the marriage you are released from it. This brought peace and understanding to me. Kenny and I already talked about this. She did not want him to reconcile with me." I left there and went home to study marital unfaithfulness in the Bible. "Hey guess what. I explained to him Kenny left me and was with another woman. we were going to remain civil and not retain attorneys in order to try to save money.
There was nothing I could do about it.Starting Over Again 50 him what we had to do next. The very next day I hired an attorney. Diana (his girlfriend). were going to take Amber to Six Flags. I do not advise anyone doing this. I hung up with her and called them. I called a friend of mine. The hope was he would bring Amber back without having to use the services of the sheriff's department. I was beside myself. The attorney would have to file papers with the court in order for them to be able to go get her. I did not know how or if I was going to get her back. That evening around six he called and said he was not going to bring her back. June 28. Big mistake. Since we did not have any formal orders in place he was going to keep her. Especially if you have children. He immediately filed an Amended Original Petition for Divorce. Everything seemed to be okay and he was happy with it. who told me to call the sheriff's department. 2002 Kenny came to pick up Amber for the weekend. He told me he would bring her back on Sunday at six. The papers were basically just to inform him I was not going to mess with him. I met with the process server and gave him the . and then I began to cry. You took my daughter and forced me to get an attorney. They said as long as he was not hurting her to wait until the next morning and speak with an attorney. On Friday. He was going to have Kenny served with the papers that night. Kenny. I wasn't going to play around with Amber's life. Tanya (her daughter). I was trying to do everything I could to get her back without causing her anymore trauma. At first I was angry. I wanted Kenny to know I would not be bullied.
I knew he would be mad I hired an attorney. The next day Kenny brought Amber back home to me. A few minutes later I received another phone call. She was always ready to go home. pending the final hearing. he had been served. what he was driving. he did. This was the first time I was not with her on Christmas morning. As noon approached I became even more excited. Amber went to her dad's for one week of her Christmas break. I was expecting this call. called me so many names. . At least now I had legal grounds to stand on if he tried this again. and told me all the things they were going to do to me. I just couldn't believe he would do this again to Amber. She was now safely home with me. In December that same year. 2002. He said he would call me after Kenny was served the papers.Starting Over Again 51 information he needed on Kenny. Trust me she always watched the clock. Our plan worked. At this time the judge ruled Amber would live with me. Later on that day I received a call. As it became later and later I started to get worried he wasn't going to bring her back. As I waited expectantly for noon to arrive I envisioned her opening gifts. and so on. He cussed me. She knew when she was supposed to come home. Where he lived. Noon arrived and she was not there. The day after Christmas at noon. Our first of many court hearings was scheduled for July 10. Kenny would get visitations and pay child support. This time it was Kenny on the other end of the phone. I will just tell you now. She was supposed to come home the day after Christmas at noon. I could not wait until she came home so we could celebrate Christmas. I waited another half hour thinking maybe Kenny was just running a little behind.
They were expecting a phone call from Amber to tell them what she received for Christmas. When I later tried to show the courts what he was doing.Starting Over Again 52 I tried several times to call him and he did not answer. "This was better than nothing. Kenny came outside." I knew Kenny would not cause me any trouble with the police there. I told the police she was my daughter. He immediately stopped. As I drove into the parking lot of the apartment complex where Kenny lived. the judge would not hear it. I noticed Amber playing outside. I obtained a copy of the police report in case I needed it later in court. He saw me. I thought to myself. As we talked. started cussing and ranting at me then noticed the police sitting there. Before I could get to the door. They informed me they did not like to do that. I decided I was going to call the local police where Kenny lived to see if they would assist in returning Amber to me. They told me to inform Kenny I was leaving with her. walked over to the officers and told them he had called me earlier saying he would be late in returning Amber. He never called and would not return my calls. but they would meet me in the parking lot in case I had any problems. I called my parents to tell them what was going on. . He was just trying to make himself look good and me look like a bitter ex-wife.
but in this day and time that doesn't mean much. The only thing Kenny said before was he passed away. Who she was and what kind of person she was. Amber knew her daughters last name. I needed to know when and how they met. anything I could find that would help me understand who she was. I remembered the number I called that was hers'. I ran a check on it.Starting Over Again 53 Chapter 10 All throughout this time I was trying to acquire information about his new girlfriend. I still couldn't find out what her name was. I knew I . Husband? Suicide? I could not believe it. Her name was Diana. marriage records. He forgot to hide the name and sure enough there it was on my caller ID. It was a start though. I began searching the Internet for anything I could find relating to that last name in the areas where Kenny was spending the night. One day he called me and made a mistake. I wanted to know everything I could about this woman. and court records. How long they had be having this affair. No one said anything about suicide. Kenny would not tell me what her name was. One day when Kenny was talking to me. he became angry and spouted off about how her husband had committed suicide. I wanted to know who was going to be taking care of my daughter. I will admit there was a part of me who also wanted to know what I was left for. I began searching property records. What had Kenny gotten himself into? What had he dragged my daughter into? I was even more determined to find any information on her I could. but it was unlisted.
After reading the report I could not believe what it said. I did not want Amber to get hurt or caught up in something bad. upon arrival at the house they found her husband in front of the house dead of an apparent gunshot wound to the stomach. First. 2002. I spent many hours searching the Internet for information. The obituary stated he died on May 11. This was just too coincidental. How her daughter must be feeling? First she was hit with the news of the divorce and then a few days later her dad dies. Kenny just left me six days earlier on May 5. The report stated. I didn't know what to expect when I read the report. I couldn't imagine how she felt. During their investigation the sheriff's department learned that Diana stated her husband . What this poor family must be going through? She leaves her husband and then a few days later he dies. I felt guilty even though I had nothing to do with it. I based this information on the area in which Kenny would spend the night. All I had was a last name and the area I believed she lived in. When I discovered this I knew I had to keep digging until I found more answers. I waited on pins and needles. 2002. I called them and they sent a copy to me. I asked several other people to read it just to make sure what I was reading was correct. They suggested I contact the county sheriff's department to obtain a copy of the police report. Finally. I knew it was her husband because Diana was listed as his wife. I had to find out who her husband was and when he died.Starting Over Again 54 really did need to learn everything I could about this family. So this is how the investigation into the death of her husband came to be. I showed the obituary to a friend of mine. My heart just grieved for this family. I found an obituary for him.
She went to the sheriff's department after she allegedly received this phone call from her husband.Starting Over Again 55 called her at work around twelve-thirty that morning. She said a few days earlier he threatened her and they were getting a divorce. He took $200 and opened an account . A juvenile investigator then arrived. The envelope contained a ring that was said to be his wedding ring and a bank statement dated the day before. that at this time. He told her to come home and get their daughter. her husband's brother arrived. who stated she was asleep and did not hear anything. noticed her husband on the ground and told Diana to stay in the house. They began talking to his brother who informed them. Diana informed them her husband was going to be cremated. the deceased had recently came back into town and found out she had a new boyfriend (Kenny). The officers stepped in and separated them. She furthermore stated to the investigators that he'd talked about suicide and sounded intoxicated. Diana went inside calling for her daughter. The officers also noted in their report. Upon arriving at the house. She demanded to know what they wanted to talk to her about. While she was in the house the deputy who was standing on the steps. Soon after. Her husband's niece then produced an envelope to the officers and told them her husband had given it to her. She wanted them to go with her to the house to pick up her daughter. Diana did not want the officers to talk to her daughter. The report then stated Diana was accompanied by a male companion whose name was Keith Falen. and according to her report she interviewed her daughter. When the funeral department arrived on the scene. He told her not to give it anyone. A confrontation between him and Diana began. Diana was distant from her daughter.
I continued to investigate this case. Now I will admit for a brief moment I thought about doing it anyway. They asked me why he would give a false name and who was Keith Falen. After reading this report I called the sheriff's department. When Diana learned this she demanded they give it to her. This was a small town and they didn't look at any other possibilities. I knew I could not do this though. She began to yell at the officers and Diana's parents had to calm her down. Unfortunately they could not make any determinations. I told them I would not be able to positively identify it because it did not have any distinguishing marks. it was him there that night. They asked me if Kenny owned a gun similar to the one used in this accident. It would be dishonest and I could not live with myself. Later a member of law enforcement looked into this case because of the suspicion surrounding it. The officers stated they could not because of her husband's wish that no one was to have it. The police stated at the time. They asked me why I thought this. Things just didn't add up. to confirm if he was the one there that night. I told them yes so they asked me to come in and identify the gun. so I explained to them what had transpired in the proceeding few days before his death. .Starting Over Again 56 the day before. I conducted interviews and looked for information anywhere I could. due to the fact the body was cremated and the scene was not processed thoroughly. they were not aware he was her boyfriend. The investigators asked me to send them a picture of Kenny. This would cause suspicion on him and would help my case. After examining the picture the investigator confirmed. They were also not aware of the insurance policies. I told them I did not know. I spoke to the investigators and told them I suspected the male companion with her was Kenny.
In fact he seemed happy and was doing alright. It was also determined that her husband had a fifteen thousand dollar life insurance policy and a one hundred fifty thousand dollar A. Diana said her husband called her at work at twelve thirty that morning. &D policy would not pay out. Her husband left his niece's house around twelvethirty to go home. Diana called her husband somewhere between twelve and twelvethirty that morning to tell him she was ready to leave the house. Diana was so furious when she found this out. Between two-ten and three thirty-two that morning Kenny made several one minute calls to Diana's cell phone and home phone. Diana would also draw around seven hundred dollars a month widow's pension from his union.Starting Over Again 57 I was able to learn some new and interesting information though. D. Things didn't quite work out that way though. I learned she was not at work at the time because she did not work that day. They had an arrangement where only one would be home at a time with their daughter. His death was not going to cause her any financial strain. In my investigation I learned he'd not talked about suicide. She . Her daughter would draw around two thousand one hundred dollars per month from social security plus as the caretaker Diana would draw a matching amount each month. Why did he do this when he was with her at the crime scene? Was he trying to give himself an alibi? When they found the body the cordless phone was beside him and it was on but the police did not push redial to see who he was talking to. Since his death was ruled a suicide the A. Kenny received an incoming call at twelve twenty-seven in the morning on May 11th which lasted twelve minutes.D&D insurance policy.
On May 14th Kenny and Diana moved into their apartment to begin their new life together. She was furious because she thought since he terminated his parental rights to these children they did not have rights to his social security. Diana sent her daughter to stay at her sister’s house for two weeks. I do not know how she was able to get this money. The day after her husband died. This was when Kenny's family met her for the first time. Her husband did not talk about suicide. Diana thought Kenny had money and Kenny thought she was going to get money. Diana and Kenny were in the process of getting an apartment at this time and Kenny was staying at his brother's house. but it was her daughter's father. but that policy did not pay out if the death was by suicide. two days before he died. She was still living in the house at the time of his death. They told everyone there. Until that time they didn't even know she existed. She may not have cared about his death. I guess they both fooled each other. They would meet at a motel nearby her home during the week before they leased their apartment. Not only did her husband just pass away. On May 13th Diana threw a big birthday party for herself. She did get the fifteen thousand dollars from the life insurance. On May 17th Diana and Kenny left for a four day fishing trip.Starting Over Again 58 was overheard cussing the insurance company and anyone else who was within hearing distance of her. He was not depressed. She was wrong again. but she wasn't even with her daughter. It was a fishing trip Kenny took every year. The amount of money her daughter would draw from social security was reduced to seven hundred dollars per month because her husband's other two daughters made it a three way split. No one could believe it. Diana had filed for divorce on May 9th. her husband killed himself several . Kenny left me six days earlier on May 5th.
She was forced to leave the only home she has ever known in order to move to a new one in a different town. She also went from being an only child to suddenly having to deal with Amber. or to enjoy the grandkids she might one day give him. Throughout all of this no one seemed to even think about this poor child who had just lost her father. Kenny also told his employee several weeks prior to her husband death that he had killed himself. Diana would not pick up his remains. She was his whole world. and put the container in the trash. they moved on with their daily lives as though this man never existed. No one knows exactly what happened that night but one thing we do know is one man was dead. wasn't it? They didn't have anything to do with it. and a child no longer had a father. She didn't want to pay the bill. a mother lost her son. They planted a tree. She would not take care of the tree and it did not take long before it died as well. Why were they telling all these lies? What was so secretive? Why could they just not tell the truth? It was just a horrible tragedy. to walk her down the aisle at her wedding. a family was destroyed. This . It was said she died of a broken heart over the loss of her son.Starting Over Again 59 months before in another state. She took her daughter back to the place of his death. Her mother expected her to call him daddy. She would not have her father there when she graduated. Her husband loved his daughter. He existed to somebody. Finally after a few months she picked them up. She had to leave all the family and friends she had ever known. Now she instantly had another one. After her husband was cremated. Her husband's mother passed away the following month. Her husband's family tried to get her to let them have the remains but she said no. did they? No matter what happened. threw his ashes on the ground.
I did not want someone this cold and calloused taking care of my child." In theory maybe not." If they were making these kinds of calls to me. "I didn't have anything to do with it. Kenny would tell me how much better she was than me. The calls were to reference their sex life. She enjoys herself. Kenny would say. He would say "At least she doesn't just lay there. When Amber would go to her dad's for visitation Diana could not be in the house. They did not care who knew or who they hurt. It's not like I pulled the trigger. People might say no one could control what he did. but sometimes what we do or say can have a direct result in the lives of others. There was an arrogance about them when it came to their relationship. What he would do is take Amber over there to play .Starting Over Again 60 was such a sad event. what would make me think she would care for one that is not even her own? I immediately moved to have a restraining order placed on her to have no contact with my daughter. Kenny was furious because he would have to go to his brother's for the weekend. This was caused by the decisions two people made. who knows what they were saying to her husband when they called him. Her husband made that decision. I became increasingly afraid every time I thought about it. What I told Kenny was if she had suspicions he was suicidal they could have handled it differently. How was she going to love and nurture Amber when she pushed her own daughter aside after the death of her father? If she would not care for her own child. This was the woman who was going to be caring for my child. They would make phone calls to me during those first few days after he left. I was granted the restraining order by the courts. Diana could not even speak to her. If this is what really happened that is correct.
This made me furious. I had to give up something to get something. I brought this to the attention of my attorney. a life insurance policy on me was discovered. My first thought was they were planning to do the same thing to me. It was at this time I was forced to have the restraining order removed in order to have the ability to live where I wanted to.Starting Over Again 61 with her cousins and leave her so he could go be with Diana. He spoke with Kenny's attorney and soon after the policy was canceled. A bill for this policy was mailed to my address by mistake. Soon after learning about the circumstances surrounding the death of her husband. Why even get her if you are not going to be with her? This went on for a few months until we went back to court. .
He always left without Amber. but Amber as well. This was a very busy time for me. I knew how he was when he was mad. It was also during this time the goodness of God shined through. Kenny would arrive at the house to pick up Amber for his visitation. he would leave without her. I could not catch a break. Knowing she did not want to go. If faced with enough suffering they would rebuke God. That is why he was videotaping the whole event. “No. If I said that. These trials and tribulations were attacks by the devil to cause me to renounce my faith in God. here she is take her with you. Everyone had their breaking point. even if it landed in my lap. I was not going to rebuke God." I would tell him.” I really didn't want her to go but I knew he was trying to get me to say I would not let him have her. “So you are not going to let me have my daughter. As he was leaving he would say. It seemed as though the attacks were relentless. When he arrived he would have someone with him. he could then go to court and charge me with contempt. the devil wanted to prove to God he was right. This happened many times over the next several . Just as with Job. This other person always videotaped the exchange. he hit things or people. Kenny would start cussing and ranting just to cause a disturbance. By doing this he would not only upset me. I began drawing closer to God seeking shelter from these attacks. trying to get evidence. He knew if he did this Amber would not want to go with him and I would not want her to go either.Starting Over Again 62 Chapter 11 Between July 2002 and December 2002 I encountered many trials and tribulations.
but I would have to make sure when I left the house I had her bag with me. This was now an inconvenience for me but that was what he wanted. Kenny stated I violated the visitation agreement by refusing to let him have Amber. These exchanges took place every first. I soon learned you can do everything according to the court's orders and it still not matter. and fifth weekend of each month. He could file a complaint with the court. I worked in that town. and I still had to defend myself. He would not be punished for continually filing false charges against me. one day I get a letter from my attorney telling me Kenny had filed contempt charges against me. the court ordered for the exchanges to take place at the police station in that town. Suddenly. All he was doing was trying to do was set me up to go to jail. I was not doing that so I didn't worry. I thought I had. third. I knew what he was trying to do all along and I had tried to do my best to avoid it. he would now pick her up from school and take her back the next morning. I was being punished when I had done nothing wrong. He wanted nothing more than to see me in jail. After we'd been to court several times. even if it was not true. Over and over again he would do the same thing. He said as long as I did not refuse to let her go.Starting Over Again 63 weeks. I told my attorney what was going on. He wouldn't pick her up and then charge me with contempt. Even though the exchange was taking place at the police station with the police present. This was his motivation behind everything he did. I was so upset and frustrated because I knew this was not true. On Tuesday's. he would still have . By the time I got off work I had just enough time to drive the thirty miles one way to pick her up from day care and quickly make the drive back to meet her dad. don't worry about it.
he would come up with some charge and I would be back in court. I didn't know if she would be there or not. I waited and waited but she did not show. he was. "If you two cannot get along I will place Amber in foster care. I was so embarrassed. I did not want to miss it if he did show up. but the law and the courts allowed him the right to attend school functions. he would take her bag and look through it. I stayed .Starting Over Again 64 someone with him to video tape them. The idea was to try to make it appear I was an unfit mother. He was only there to ask her questions. so I went. I asked him if he was going to have her there and he would not say. The play was on Tuesday night and this was his night to get her. The teacher had to get another child to take Amber's part and the child did not know the lines. She was so embarrassed and uncomfortable. but since I was the ex-wife I was presumed guilty. In December 2002. The judge was already tired of us. I could not change him so I focused my attention on helping Amber cope with all this. Amber was in her school play. This would have been great except he was not there to eat with her. When we would walk into the police station. The last time we were there he said. I made sure I faxed a note to his attorney asking him to inform Kenny. I tried to stop him. I also faxed Kenny a note telling him when she needed to be at the school. He would have someone video tape her while he was interrogating her. I was so angry with him for doing this and I felt so sorry for her. If I did. Kenny was so filled with hate he would show up at Amber's school to have lunch with her." I was not the problem. The police officers could not believe he was doing this to Amber. She had a speaking part and she worked so hard to learn this part. As the person was videotaping he would go through each and every item making some kind of comment. All I could do was stand there and say nothing.
at least she was able to see the performance. I told him everything did not revolve around him. I was embarrassed for Amber because the next day. I knew she would want to see it. . Even though she did not make it. I know she was upset because she did not get to go. I questioned Amber about what it was they did and she said they did nothing. she had to face her friends at school and their questions. His philosophy was I knew when his visitations were so I should make sure she doesn't get involved in anything that conflicts with them.Starting Over Again 65 for the entire performance and videotaped it for her. I asked Kenny why he didn't take her and he said they had something else they had to do. She watched it and enjoyed seeing her friends.
constantly looking over my shoulder. A few times of this and it will make you a little gun shy. I needed to be able to prove what I did or didn't do. It was a terrible way to live. I would walk away from court worse off than I was when I walked in. The judge in my case was once a divorce lawyer. No one who heard about this case. I had to thoroughly analyze it and look at it from every angle.” Throughout my divorce I learned of many other cases where woman were treated the same way in this court. to other attorneys. I was living as a marked person. What I said or did not say. I was paralyzed with fear and was afraid to do anything. It seemed everything I was doing appeared to be exactly what his wife must have done. I thought of filing misconduct charges with the judicial review board. will it give Kenny anything he can use to against me in court? If I buy this is he able to file any contempt charges against me. If I do this. could believe what was going on. In the town the saying goes. This judge was so partial to Kenny. “Well it just depends on what side of the bed the judge got up on today as to how he will rule. I was powerless in this. from people in the town. I knew if I did this it would be legal suicide. Every decision I made. . but God wasn't.Starting Over Again 66 Chapter 12 Kenny's constant filing of contempt charges caused me to make sure I could document every minute of my life. How did one man have so much control? Why did I let him? I tried to fight against his control in the courts but each time I did. But thinking about it was all I did. He was divorced himself and had children. It appeared he was not going to let this happen to Kenny and he had the judicial power to make it happen.
He and his girlfriend told me they would do whatever they had to in order to break me financially and break my spirit. Everyone viewed me as a bitter ex-wife who was only trying to get at her exhusband. I warned them of the situation and reminded them not to let him have her. He did know however. The one way Kenny knew he could really hurt me was to take away my daughter. He expected me to live by every order of the court but he was . He knew he couldn't get custody of her. He didn't make it to the school in time to pick her up. One particular case in point. I knew if I allowed it one time. The fight for my life and freedom began.Starting Over Again 67 So many times I just wanted to scream at the top of my lungs. My ex-husband was only using my daughter to control me. I am the one who is trying to take care of Amber”. or when it was going to happen. I still called them. He would tell me. if I went to jail he would get custody of her. He would call me at work to tell me he was going to be sitting on the side of the road somewhere on my route home. He was not allowed to pick her up from day care. when he gets custody of Amber he would give her to me and not make me pay child support. Kenny would abuse it. I am not the bad one. You couldn't compromise with him. he called me at work on a Tuesday to say he was going to get Amber from day care. He was going to shoot me and I would not know where he was going to be. Although the day care had a copy of the court orders. Now does this sound like a man who loved his daughter? This was their plan. He thought his adultery would be my downfall and here I was still standing. It just seemed like no one would listen to me or see the truth. “This is not fair. How could a father not want or love his child? It took me a while but I learned it was possible. No one wanted to believe what I was saying could possibly be true.
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going to do whatever he wanted. I had to hold my ground whenever I got the chance. I was desperately trying to end his control over my life. I explained to my supervisor what was happening and he told me to leave. I went to the day care only to find he had already been there. He demanded his daughter and the day care would not release her to him. They told him the court orders they had did not allow it and they were responsible for Amber. He argued he was able to pick her up from school. He argued that the day care was a school. He became enraged and the day care had to call the police. As soon as they did he left. Now I was standing there so embarrassed and apologizing. It was a good day care and the only one in town that bused the children to school. If they kicked Amber out I would be in trouble. I would understand if they did though. They had to consider the lives and safety of all the other children. Those children did not need to witness Kenny's rage. I was a parent myself, so I understood. They agreed to allow Amber to stay, but if Kenny continued to cause problems they would have no choice but to remove Amber. They were good people and understood the situation, so they were willing to work with me. They felt sorry for Amber, but she was not the only child there to consider. Fortunately, he didn't go to the day care anymore after this. He didn't want Amber; he just wanted to cause trouble for me. I was living in constant fear and this is just what he wanted. I would pray, “Please Lord just make him go away and leave us alone.” I would pray this over and over again. It seemed like the Lord was ignoring me. I did not know this at the time but the Lord was more interested in me than He was Kenny or my circumstances. The Lord wanted to change me. He had the situation under control and didn't
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need my help. Even though it didn't seem like it was at times. I had to live by faith and the promises of the Lord. The Lord wanted me to draw closer to Him and to have faith in Him and not myself. I was used to doing things by myself. I'd become so independent I thought I didn't need anyone. God was showing me I could not do it by myself, I needed him. He wanted me to become totally dependent on him.
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One day a lady in my church gave me a silver cross. They knew what I was going through and the battles that were before me. I clung to that cross and what it represented every time I stepped into the courtroom. There were times at night I would just look at it and cry out to the Lord, "Please just help me." I remember people always telling me the Lord will not give you more than He has equipped you to handle. There were many times I was on my knees praying to the Lord, "Please lighten the load on me." I would yell, "I am at the cliff about to go over, please take some of it off of me." I would enter into a time of rest and it would seem like nothing bad would happen for a short time. I was able to get rest, regain strength and get ready for the next round. One of the things that used to get under my skin was to have someone. Who didn't know anything about my situation tell me, “Don't worry, it is going to be alright”. How would they know? They've been married for 30 years. They didn't have a clue what I was going through or what I was feeling. What I didn't know was that the Lord was trying to talk to me. He was letting me know He held me in his hand. Everything was going to be alright. I look back now and I see how many times the Lord told me that. I thought those people were just saying that to make me feel better. It wasn't them though; it was the Lord offering encouragement to me. He didn't want me to give in or give up. I still have that little silver cross today and I carry it everywhere I go.
I told my attorney this was a policy we had purchased together. I had no reason to. just as he did mine. It was not as though he remembered it. He wanted it cleared before we finalized the divorce. This time it told me my “forgery case” had been filed with the district attorney by Kenny and his . We didn't separate until May 5. If I was trying to hide it. This made Kenny mad. Kenny was out on the road driving a truck. I received another letter from my attorney. This part of his plan didn't work out. He was just looking for anything he could put me in jail for. Kenny was making a last ditch effort for custody and he needed something. The policy in question was only a twenty thousand dollar policy and I gave the only copy to him during the discovery process of our divorce. The event supposedly took place on January 7.Starting Over Again 71 Chapter 14 On September 17. The letter stated Kenny had filed a complaint with the county sheriff's department alleging I forged his name on a life insurance policy." and that is what I did. I was not trying to hide anything. 2002. I wouldn't have given the policy to him. My attorney had our hearing continued due to the investigation. He told me. When the insurance company returned the policy. On November 12. "Just sign my name. At the time. 2002 I received a letter from my attorney. I mean we were married. while we were still married. Our final hearing for the divorce was scheduled for the end of September. I signed his name so many times during our marriage. 2002. 2002. the instructions were to sign our names on the policies and file them away.
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attorney. It would go before the grand jury on December 19, 2002. My heart just sank when I read this. I thought this was over and now I was going before a grand jury. This was a felony charge. My attorney told me even if the grand jury came back with a true bill I would be acquitted at trial. I would not go to jail. This brought little comfort to me because by then it would be too late. If the grand jury came back with a true bill, I was going to have to turn myself in to the police. I would be booked into the system and I would have to bond out of jail. This meant I would now have a felony arrest on my record that would never go away. Meaning, I would never qualify for anything from the government, such as college grants. I worked hard all my life trying to be a good person. To treat others as I would want to be treated. I led a good, clean, and honest life. I've never had a speeding ticket. Now all that could be for naught if the grand jury true bills me. My life could forever be changed because one man, out of hatred, made one statement. We don't realize sometimes how powerful our words are and the effect they have on other people's lives. I was feeling pretty frightened about now. I dropped to my knees and asked the Lord, "How is it possible for him to keep doing this to me and there is nothing I can do to stop him." It seemed as though I was constantly fighting for my life and freedom. This was what the Lord wanted me to realize. I could do nothing by myself; only with Him could anything be done. I would ask myself, was this ever going to end? Our divorce was not even final yet and I still had eleven more years before Amber was eighteen. Was this how it was going to be until then? I did not think I could last that long. To
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Kenny it was just a game of control He had nothing to lose. For Amber and me it was our life. Once again the Lord told me He had me in the palm of his hand and he was in control. I told the Lord, "It did not seem like he was because all this stuff kept happening to me." I could not get one battle finished before I was fighting another one. I cried out, “THIS IS JUST NOT FAIR!” The Lord was using my circumstances to change me. He was building in me character, patience, perseverance, integrity, and strength. I didn't see it this way so I had to continue on my journey through the wilderness. I asked the members of my church to stand in agreement with me praying for the outcome of the grand jury would be a no bill. I learned the Bible teaches, when two people stand in agreement and believe for what they ask, it shall be done. We prayed and we prayed asking the Lord for his grace and mercy in this matter. I prayed the truth would come to light and the members of the grand jury would return a no bill. I gave my statement to the district attorney and on January 7, 2003, I received a letter that told me the grand jury returned a no bill. There was such celebration that day and God's glory was shining throughout. I know God was working on my behalf that day. He was fighting this battle for me and let me tell I was glad to let him, I was tired of fighting.
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December 3, 2002 was another beautiful day. It was the day my divorce was finalized. I had to wait 30 days after it was signed for it to be totally official. This did not stop me from celebrating. I was thinking to myself, now the divorce was final, he would back off. He would not need to do anything anymore. He had nothing to gain. He was dragging his feet in signing the divorce. I had to file a motion forcing him to sign the divorce decree. I do not know why he was doing this, since he received everything he wanted. I believe he did not want to lose control over me. Kenny and Diana joined forces to come after me. This kept their relationship going. She would keep the animosity between us stirred up. She wanted to make certain he didn't reconcile with me. When she was not around, Kenny and I were civil. It wasn't often though she was not around. I learned Diana did the same thing to her first husband. She kept things stirred up until he terminated his rights to his children. Do I blame her for what was going on in my divorce? No, I don't, Kenny had freewill to make the decisions he did. He didn't do anything he didn't want to do. Without the fight of this divorce they would have nothing to feed on except each other. Finally he was forced to sign and everything became official on January 31, 2003. I was free to get on with my life, so I thought.
I put signs out saying the house was monitored by cameras hoping this would deter him. My closest relative was ten hours away. With the job he had he traveled all the time. I made the decision I would have . I knew it was Kenny but I could not prove it. He told me if I did to be sure and notify Kenny. I tried to call him but his phone had been disconnected. It was stamped.Starting Over Again 75 Chapter 16 One of the things I was granted in the divorce was custody of my daughter and the right to live anywhere I wanted. I went ahead and moved. Three different occasions one or more of my birds would be dead. I would not be in Texas by myself anymore. They knew if I did I would have people to help me. Once I made the decision to leave I sent Kenny a letter to the address he put on the divorce decree. He was picking Amber up from school for his visitations so I no longer had any contact with him. So many times in the past several months. They feared for my life. No one knew what Kenny would do. I would come home from work and things would be missing from the garage. One time my front door was broken into and things were missing out of the house. I thought about this for a while and talked to my attorney. “Address Unknown”. I decided to move to Joplin to be by my brother. but it didn't. My parents wanted me to move closer to my family. I lived in the country and my house was isolated. Amber and I left Texas in March 2003. After speaking to my family. I waited to hear from him and one day the letter I sent was returned to me. After speaking to my attorney.
One day while looking on the Internet." He suggested I began to look for a house to buy. so I asked my dad to go with me to look at it. but I was not going to lie to them. . I called the real estate agent to see if it was still available. I was a single mother. Finally my dad told me. So I was looking for something I could pay cash for. My application would never get approved. I was just going to rent at first. I didn't want a house payment or a big mortgage. I searched and searched for several days. I searched and searched finding several places that would work for us. I came across a cute house in Kansas. The agent confirmed it was. but no one would rent to me. you need to stop doing the same thing and go in a different direction. I had some money I managed to save up. we went about looking for a house. Once I decided on a place they would ask me. It was too hard for them to evict someone who had children. The house was just across the border and about eight miles from my brother. "When something is not working. I would explain to them I would be willing to pay one year of rent in advance. It was my emergency fund but this is what I was going to use to buy my home. Once Amber and I arrived. until I got my feet wet and learned the area. I was single. These were some of the excuses I heard.Starting Over Again 76 more opportunities in Joplin. this meant I would be having parties and a bunch of men would be coming in and out of the house. “What does your husband do?” I would politely inform them I did not have a husband. This did not change anything. I was just starting my life over and I didn't know where it was going to take me. I was still rejected. This happened over and over again. When I would turn in my application.
You will just make them mad and they will no longer entertain any other offers you have. During this time I was just praying the Lord would find favor on me and let me have that house. "There's no way the bank will accept that low of an offer. but it was nothing I could not do myself.” We got out of the car to take a closer look at it. I was making plans for all the . A few days later I received a call from her. I hadn't even thought about it. We wanted to see what chance we had at getting the house with a much lower bid. out of my mouth came eight thousand dollars. My dad and I talked to the real estate agent. She asked me how much I wanted to place the bid for. It needed a little work. I was speaking as if I already had the home. but it would not leave me enough money to get my things in Texas moved. I asked my dad if he would loan me enough money for the move. The realtor looked at me and said." I told her it would be alright and to please submit the bid for me. The asking price was twentytwo thousand dollars. Much to her surprise the bank came back with a counter offer of seventeen thousand dollars.Starting Over Again 77 As soon as we pulled in the driveway and I saw it I said. Finally I told her I wanted to place a bid on the house. I wanted to pay cash and the asking price was way more than I had. Again. before I could think about it. They wanted to know what would be my best and final offer. out of mouth came nine thousand dollars. Before I could think about it. The house had been empty for about a year and it was a foreclosure. She reluctantly submitted the bid and said she would let me know when she heard back from them. I could still pay cash for the house. He said he would so I told the agent to submit my new offer. She did and told me to wait. “This is my house. We talked to her for a little while and I explained my situation.
Finally. I began to shout and praise the Lord. to a home that was two stories and twice as big. I might not be here today to tell this story. If it would have been me though. No one wanted me to go back there for fear of what Kenny might do to me. She was excited and told me the bank accepted my offer of nine thousand dollars. More important to me was the fact it was paid for in full and it didn't have wheels under it. He turned around and quickly left. God was doing what he promised he would do. I quickly closed on the house and after about a week we were able to move in. He had my phone number and I knew he would call me when he wanted to see Amber. I left a mobile home that had 840 square feet with a mortgage. I told her I knew it was going to be my house the moment I saw it. He was beginning to restore unto me what the devil had taken from me. After a few more days went by. I would drive by it and tell everyone I was going to live there. Sure enough they did and Kenny showed up.Starting Over Again 78 things I was going to do. We would need to make arrangements so Amber could visit him. I received another call from her. He was surprised though when he found out it was my brother. He was taking care of me and His glory was shining for all to see. The real estate agent told me she never thought in a million years they would accept nine thousand dollars. something good happened to me and worked out in my favor. No matter what happened in my life I always had a place to live. I was so excited and happy. Since he changed . I knew when someone pulled in the driveway one of his friends would call him. My family went back to Texas to get the rest of my possessions. I believed I was going to get this house.
We tried to get on with our lives. My parents came to live with me because their house burnt down a few months prior and they lost everything. After they returned with our things we were able to get settled in. With everything Amber had been through.Starting Over Again 79 his phone numbers and didn't give me a correct address. We hadn't heard from Kenny for several months so I thought to myself. I can now try to rebuild my life. I began to look for a job and after a little while I was able to find one at a printing company. He never did call though. I was in a position to help them and they were going to help me with Amber. I always knew he didn't want anything to do with Amber and one day he would just disappear. I had to wait for him to contact me. I decided to home school her for the rest of the third grade and in the fall she would begin the fourth grade in public school. . Amber and I settled into our new lives and I was trying to climb out of the financial hole this divorce left me in. finally this was over.
I was so afraid. As I began to think about it I wondered. One weekend in July my parents were taking Amber to visit my sister for a few days.Starting Over Again 80 Chapter 17 That summer I met a man where I worked. His divorce did become final and he was doing his best to move on with his life. Each day I would listen. I found myself looking for a way just to bump into him. "How can I date this man. I finally began to think about maybe dating again. I was hoping he would notice me. right not I don't even like men?" I began watching him at work. I didn't want to spend the rest of my life alone. He had choices you know. I started making sure I looked nice before I left for work. I would listen intently to every word he said trying to get to know him. I thought great the last thing he wants to do is start dating. and then one day I heard him talking about his divorce. I was not the only single person who worked there. Now things seemed to have settled down so I began to think. Every day for a week I thought about inviting him over for dinner. I didn't even know if he would be interested in me. I mean I haven't dated in . during lunch and at break time. I was trying to find out if he was married or had a girlfriend. Several of us would take breaks together and he was one of them. I couldn't go because I had to work. It'd been over a year and I really hadn't given much thought to it. This went on for several weeks. I was going through so many battles with Kenny and dating was the last thing on my mind. We still had said no more to each other than "Hi" in passing. The last thing I wanted to do was make a fool out of myself. He wasn't even divorced yet. maybe it was time.
now I've done it. Perfect. There wasn't a manual on dating for a middle aged divorced woman." The night of my first big date arrived. so one day I walked past his office and he was gone. my gosh! What if he wanted to have sex? I'd been with Kenny for over ten years and the thought of being with another man terrified me. My family was giving me all kinds of tips as to what to say and do. I was too afraid to ask him face to face. He didn't know what I liked so he brought a . and a pie. What if he did say yes. I placed the invitation on his desk I'd been carrying around all day. I didn't know what to do. I went back to my office to wait to hear what his reply would be. I didn't want to have physical relationship with anyone. Oh. I was smiling but inside I had things going on I couldn't even identify. I had no idea what his answer would be. I didn't study this hard when I was in school. Let's see how long it takes me to scare this one off. It'd been forever since I had to worry about all of this stuff. Then the panic started to set in. "Oh boy. When he arrived that night he brought me flowers. I was a total mess. As we made arrangements for that evening. "What in the world did I get myself into?" Later that day he came by my office and accepted my invitation. How in the world was I going to handle this without hurting his feelings? Men have fragile egos you know. I was thinking to myself. I was already tired and the date hadn't even started. I couldn't decide what to wear and my hair would not cooperate.Starting Over Again 81 over ten years. I sat there holding my head wondering. a cake. what was I going to cook? What would we even talk about? Then the alarms in my head all started going off. I had my checklist and I was studying it real hard. I really began to panic. I was so nervous and my hands were sweating. but if he turned me down I hoped he would be gentle with it.
I didn't know what this was like. yes this is not a misprint. but I didn't know what to do. I no longer trusted . I knew I was going to have to put together a portfolio to have on hand. He was actually interested in what I had to say. I quickly discovered we had so much in common. couples did not waste any time. and you read it correctly four children. Here I was. His divorce was nasty just like mine. Time was precious and you just cut to the chase. He would call me and we would talk for hours at a time. You compare the court ordered requirements of each other to determine if you would even be interested in pursuing this any farther. I had one child and it does not matter what form a math you use four plus one equals FIVE. at my age. so I was going to give this a try. I found this amusing. This is what I have. I kept expecting to wake up. I loved every one of them. He was not cussing at me nor was he violent. I'd never known anyone like this. only to find it was a dream and his true colors would come out. I kept waiting for the other shoe to fall. we began talking to each other more.Starting Over Again 82 variety of things. It was so easy to talk to him. I didn't know when people who are divorced begin to date it was like a business meeting. Can you live with this? Why waste time going out with each other if you know you cannot deal with their situation. It was like now. It was so funny though. You compare the assets and liabilities of each other. As our friendship developed. I'd already been fooled once. It was going to be like taking a football team out every time we went on a date. I referenced my list but this was not on there. This is what I pay. Now what? This was not going well. You don't want your children to get attached to someone you know is not going to be around long. He had four children. but he was such a nice man. By the end of the evening I was going to either need an aspirin or therapy.
When he didn't come over we talked on the phone. It was a new adventure and I was excited. On the weekends Amber and I would spend the entire weekend with him. as I didn't do a very good job the first time. It didn't matter though. We lived over an hour apart. but this was no movie. Neither one of us had much money so we did not go out much. we were spending time together. I was going to be meeting someone else's children. What did you do on a date with children? How was I supposed to know? I was so nervous I thought I was going to throw up before I even got there. one weekend Amber and I went to his house for dinner. with our children. Chris would come over to the house and he would go out in . I thought. This was real. I was still alive. We sat down and had dinner. This wasn't so bad. I decided I liked a lot of children. Amber and I would sleep in a separate bedroom. I'd watched movies like this before. What if they hated me or Amber? What if they did mean things so I would leave? I didn't know what to expect. This might not be so bad. He would come over after he got off work and have dinner with us. so it was a long way to drive back and forth. Finally. Just like any other normal couple. wow I can do this. I did not want to leave.Starting Over Again 83 my own judgment. It was peaceful and there was so much laughter. That fall Amber decided she wanted to play softball. The children played and had such a good time. We would attend his church with him and were welcomed in his circle of friends. No one has tried to kill me yet. We started to see each other more and more. long time I had found happiness. For the first time in a long. I was in uncharted waters here. His children were going to be there. it was such a wonderful place to be.
I was scared to let anyone close. I couldn't understand at the time why I had this problem. I didn't know how to let someone love me. He taught me how a man wanted to be treated and how a man should treat a woman.Starting Over Again 84 the yard to practice with her. It finally made sense to me and he was so right. I could talk to him about anything and everything. He showed me a man should say what he means and do what he says. he would just sleep or watch TV. Kenny was never home and even when he was. This was the closest thing to a family she and I had ever known. He did not interact with us at least not in a good way. It would be a comfort to me because this was all I had ever . They told me all the time how much I needed to marry him. they did not know how to handle it. I knew exactly how to handle that. I would always make sure I kept him at a comfortable distance. but I wasn't ready for the real thing. He taught me to trust again. He taught me more about relationships than any other person I'd ever known. I didn't know how to get past this. Everybody loved Chris. I never had to wonder or guess what he was doing or where he was at. If you were to give me a man who would physically and verbally abuse me. We would go to every one of her practices and her games together. Yet. It was such a beautiful relationship yet I was still having trouble. He was a good man and he treated us good. One day I talked about this with him. I loved playing "house". He told me women were so used to being treated bad. He made me feel so beautiful and loved. when they found someone who treated them the way the Lord had wanted it to be. If he told me he would call me at a certain time he was going to call me or he would have one of his friends call me to let me know what was going on.
She had a man who would go to her school programs and her games. He was very patient with me and did his best to help me. I was so used to turmoil all the time now and there wasn't any. I became addicted to the pain and suffering. I was like an addict needing a fix. She could not get enough of him and she knew this was something she wanted for the rest of her life. She no longer felt like an outcast because she did not have a dad. a good man. I did not have to work hard to keep him happy or to maintain peace. Chris was such a blessing for Amber. For the first time in her life she discovered what a dad was really suppose to be like. now this was so different and it was scary. I needed to have turmoil and pain. This different type of man. I felt naked and lost.Starting Over Again 85 known. I was confused as to what I was supposed to do. Now I did not have it. What needed to be done to maintain peace? In this relationship though. I was going through some sort of withdrawal. Things that were bad. The turmoil had become such a part of my life and it was my identity. . I was the poor woman who was being abused and was trying to keep her marriage together. I did not know who I was. We were two people who had been deeply hurt and we were trying to find our way back. I began to find myself trying to find things that were wrong. She would go on to measure every man who came into her life by what Chris had meant in her life. I didn't have that anymore. I did not know what to do with all the extra time and energy that I had. I knew what to do to try and keep Kenny happy.
After all these months Kenny had reared his ugly head and here we go again. I got her number and decided to give her a call. How could he? He didn't have any contact with her in seven months. It was a small town and everyone knew about this case so finding an attorney was not going to be easy. My heart sank and my bubble just burst. She did not need to live with Kenny. I was just crushed. She'd just been served papers that were for me. He was not doing anything and here he was suing for custody. She told me how she helped her with her divorce. I talked to my friends who still lived in Texas and one of them told me about a friend of hers who was an attorney. As we talked on the phone she told me it was a Motion To Modify A Parent-Child Relationship and an Order To Appear. He had not changed and I did not want him to hurt . He wasn't paying child support. He did not want to deal with Kenny. I needed someone who would help me. What was it going to hurt? The worst thing that was going to happen was she would say no. I was the one who was taking care of her. My last attorney already told me he did not want to work on this case anymore. In other words he was suing for custody. The other shoe just dropped and my great life came to an end. I could not lose custody of Amber. I received a phone call from my sister who lived in Arkansas.Starting Over Again 86 Chapter 18 In September of 2003. I was so sure he had gone away and moved on with his life. Besides the fact I know lived in Kansas. Now I had to find a new attorney. The only question was what it was this time.
The judge did not like me to begin with and the picture Kenny's attorney was painting of me was not a good one. and Amber headed off to Texas to face this new trial. I was feeling so much dread. I called her. I ran off with her and he had not been able to see his daughter for seven months. I told her I had a job and Amber was in school but I would try to get a few days off. She wanted to know when I was coming back to Texas. I met with my new attorney. We waited in the court room until our case was called. His attorney was telling the judge how I kidnapped Amber. we talked about what was going on and what had transpired. Amber was scared and nervous because her biggest fear was the same as mine. doing his best to support me. I. "Can't you see . My parents. The day of court finally arrived and as we entered court room. My mom stayed with Amber at my friend’s house. I wanted to scream at the judge. My dad was there. I was just sick to my stomach. Just the same as he knew my phone number. I was so frustrated.Starting Over Again 87 her. told her what was going on and she agreed to help me. My entire body began shaking and my mouth just went dry. I wanted to ask. she would have to go and live with Kenny. As the hearing began I had this feeling inside of me this was not going to be good. how then did he find my sister to serve the papers? He knew her phone number and address. Nothing good ever came out of us going to court. There was a lot to tell her so this took some time. He continued to tell the judge how Kenny didn't know where I was or how to contact any of my family members. I saw Kenny and his girlfriend. I could not breathe nor swallow.
My dad returned with Amber and she was so scared . Here I had all this evidence and he did not want to hear any of it. it was about me. After Kenny's attorney was through. the judge wanted to know if Amber was with me. How can they continue to lie and get away with it? Why did the judge allow them to do this? I knew why. The judge didn't want to hear any of it. It was not about Amber. Kenny's attorney was portraying him as father of the year. she was with my mom at a friend’s house. I was praying the Lord would step in and rescue us one more time. the judge wanted Kenny to have Amber. My dad had one hour to go and get her. He was standing over there so arrogant and crying on command looking like he was such a victim. He wanted Kenny to have Amber so he didn't want to hear anything that would not allow him to make the ruling he wanted. I was so angry and frustrated because I knew the truth. Not in this courtroom. I was a woman and I was using my child to hurt him. My attorney tried to explain what really happened and what was really going on. I thought you had a right to defend yourself. This stereotype image of me was all they saw. I said. at least not me. He already made up his mind. innocent until proven guilty. He appeared to be this poor innocent father who loved his child so much and I had done this horrible thing to him. I thought the justice system was. "Yes. When this happened I knew it was not good but I was trying to have faith. He would not let me leave the court room until my dad returned with her. as it always was." He told my dad to go get her.Starting Over Again 88 what he is doing?" He knew everything and his attorney was standing there telling this judge he didn't. The judge was trying to do whatever he could to give custody of Amber to him.
The judge knew I live in Kansas. . so when he made his ruling she would already be there for Kenny to take her. To add even more misery he ordered I post a three thousand dollar cash bond before I was able to see her. He finally won and got what he wanted. She was going to go and live with him. He took Amber away from me. "That would be fine but you must remain in the courtroom. He looked over at me and just grinned. He only wanted me to produce her. This ruling was to deter me from seeing Amber. He further ordered I would have visitation on the first and third weekends of each month. Kenny was standing there with a smug smile on his face. This meant if I wanted to see her I would have to stay in a motel for the weekend. He looked at me and said. It was going to be expensive to drive to Texas two weekends every month. The judge already knew what his ruling was going to be. How was I going to do that? I lived 450 miles away. I could not leave the state of Texas with her. The judge sat there and looked at me and rendered his decision. He didn't want to talk to Amber. My body went numb and I collapsed. Although. she was afraid of him. I would have to pick her up and return her to Kenny's house." He ordered the bailiff to make sure I did. With a smile on his face. which was four months away. She did not want to live with her dad. My attorney had to hold me up.Starting Over Again 89 because she did not know what was going on. My attorney asked the judge if I could have a few minutes to talk with Amber and explain what was going on. After Amber arrived at the courthouse the trial reconvened. A final hearing would be held in January. She told me to keep it together until the judge left. She was expecting to go home with me just like all the other times before and now she had to go into the courtroom. he announced he was giving Kenny temporary custody.
The life we had built in Kansas. Now what was I going to do. How was I going to tell her?" There was a chilling silence in the courtroom. All her security. She was asking me if she was going to see me and I explained to her I would see her on the first and third weekends of each month. “Momma what is wrong?” Here stood before me this beautiful ten year old child and I had to explain to her what just happened. This was September and she was in school. trust. I explained how it was going to be about three weeks before the judge was going to let me . I never felt pain like this before. Everyone in that courtroom was now crying and when Amber entered. The judge's bailiff and court secretary hung their heads in disbelief. My heart was being ripped out of my chest. This was the darkest hour and lowest point of my life.Starting Over Again 90 What was I going to do? The courtroom was full of people. She looked at me and said. As I explained to her she would now have to go live with her dad. Although. She was just getting adjusted from all of the earlier turmoil that she had gone through. I could not stop crying. She wanted to know if I was going to stay in Texas or go back to Kansas. I was in no shape to go anywhere. Amber had just been ripped out of my life. I just kept saying over and over. she broke down and began crying. Her worst nightmare had just come true. After the judge left the courtroom. I started crying uncontrollably. I had no clue how I was going to do this. "They took my baby away. the one she had come to know was over. and faith in everything had just been destroyed. she knew something was wrong. No one could believe what the judge just did.
I did not care at that moment. I felt so guilty. Everything was my fault. I wanted to give up. At that moment. We would discuss what we were going to do next. It was unheard of. My dad sat silent in the front seat as he began to make the long drive home to Kansas. She didn't know what to do herself. To tell the truth there was nothing anyone could do at the moment. She knew I would not just leave her at her dad's and forget about her. They didn't know what to do or say to try and console me. She was doing the best she could not to break down. What this judge did was a shock to her. As I stared blankly at the front seat all I could think about was what Amber was going through. She believed in me and all she wanted was her momma to be close. "Don't lose your faith in momma. It was too painful to continue fighting. where my mom was waiting. this was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. I will never stop fighting for you. I had to go back to work but I would figure something out. I could not . I did not want to think about it. I had not protected her and kept her safe. Through my tears I told her.Starting Over Again 91 see her so I needed to go back to Kansas. my attorney told me that she would talk to me a few days. I failed as a mother. I wanted to die." Knowing this brought some comfort to her. There was no more fight in me. I would see her each time I got a chance. She did not understand any of what was going on. I just crawled in the back seat and laid down. When I had to tell her goodbye. I knew she was scared and I could not do anything to help her. I was blaming myself for what she was going through. As my dad and attorney helped me out to the car. My mom cried silently.
Amber would be better off because the fight would be over and she would not have to go through this anymore. I wanted to hit a semi head on and die. I no longer wanted to live. but there was nothing anybody could do. My dad was really tired so I told him I would drive for awhile. especially not over the phone. He would want to know what had happened.Starting Over Again 92 hold her and tell her it was going to be alright. but I knew he was waiting to hear from me. It was dark out by now and my dad laid down in the back seat to take a nap. I couldn't do anything right and I just kept causing pain in the lives of the ones I loved. I was driving through Oklahoma. I would not be able to see her smile in the morning or hear her laugh when she came home from school. Chris did his best to try and console me. Now. There would be no more twenty questions or hugs and kisses. . After we'd driven for several hours we stopped for gas. I would give anything just to have her beside me. I'd been dreading this phone call because I knew he was going to be upset. It would help to keep my mind off of things. on this stretch of highway that was desolate. My mom and I did not talk because no one knew what to say. I knew I needed to call Chris. I remember driving down this road and all I could think about was the fact I wanted to move the car into the other lane. They thought this would be a good idea. I no longer had any reason to live. I kept thinking about all those times when I would think to myself if only I could just get a break for a couple of days. I started crying once more and fell to my knees. I crawled out of the car to use the restroom. It was like Amber had just died. As my dad finished getting the gas. I called Chris.
This pain is just too great and I cannot take it anymore. I did not want to go inside the house. He could not handle it anymore. They told me Chris had already told them what happened. but suddenly I heard a voice. Is it fair to them for you to make that decision for them?” I began to cry because I knew it was not fair to my parents. . I loved them. “What about your parents? You are going to kill them to. How could I do that to them? As the semi passed. I could hear his voice so loud and clear. I somehow made it into the house. With my parents help. It was just going to be a reminder of how Amber was gone.” He spoke and said the same thing again. I called my supervisor and explained to them I was not going to be able to make it in that day. “What about your parents? You are going to kill them to. My mom and dad were both asleep. I just crawled in my bed and cried myself to sleep. It was so clear and it said to me. I just wasn't going to hurt my parents. toys in her room and her clothes were in the laundry room. I told him. They understood and to take all the time I needed. You are not giving them a choice if they want to live or die. I still wanted to die. I laid down with my mom and she just held me while I cried. but I do not want to live anymore. My dad already left the house. We finally arrived home early that morning. Everywhere you looked in that house there was going to be a memory of her. I woke up around eight the next morning. There were many pictures on the wall. “I know it is not fair.Starting Over Again 93 As a semi came over the horizon I knew what I was going to do. I went upstairs to my parent’s room. You are not giving them a choice if they want to live or die. Is it fair to them for you to make that decision for them?” I knew it was the Lord talking to me. I stayed in my lane and continued to drive home.
As I told her what transpired. The Lord knew this day was coming and I would need it. As he held me. She began to panic and called my dad's cell phone. Later that morning one of my good friends from Texas called me to see how things went. I still had my house in Texas since Kenny would not sign the papers to sell it. They told her I was fine. The next day I went to work. I started to feel the desire to fight again. telling me everything was going to be alright. This turned out to be a good thing. turned in my resignation. scared and there was nothing he could do. I was not answering the phone and she knew how despondent I was earlier. I just couldn't talk to anyone. I handed the phone to my mom and she finished explaining what happened. it would be best if I moved back to Texas until this was over. She would feel better knowing that momma was close. I told her I could not talk right now. in case something happened. He answered. During the next few weeks I was getting everything ready to move. He held me for hours. it was like reliving a nightmare all over again. His daughter was hurting. When Chris got off work that day he came straight to my house. the despair I felt slowly began to leave. It was so hard on everyone.Starting Over Again 94 He was feeling the same thing I was. and began to get ready to move back to Texas. Later on that day she called and I did not answer the phone. I was trying to get together the three . We were going to get Amber back. My parents did not hear the phone ring either. She called and called and could not reach me. We talked and we reached the conclusion. she was worried I'd killed myself. It would be the best thing for Amber. I couldn't do it.
She said she wanted me there as soon as possible. Even though I did not feel like it. I knew I had to remain faithful to God. I had a grand jury hearing in one week. I guess it wasn't enough though. How many hits could I take and still remain standing. I was struggling to pray or ask him for anything. Amber would be grown before I got out of jail I would miss everything of her childhood. My parents were going to stay at my house in Kansas while I was gone. I didn't even get the chance to get back on my feet yet and now I just took another hit. Hadn't Kenny done enough to me? Wasn't the pain of losing Amber enough? He won. he got what he wanted. let them take Amber from me. I was going to take just what I could get in my SUV. My mind kept going back to the story of Job. I had to do this in order to see Amber. Now I had to deal with another grand jury. in my eyes. The charges were Interference with Child Custody. my attorney called to tell me Kenny and his attorney filed charges with the district attorney. To tell you the truth at this time I was a little upset with God.Starting Over Again 95 thousand dollars so I could post the cash bond. I didn't know what to do. This time if I lost I was facing somewhere around ten years in prison. now he wanted to put me in jail. I had to give him praise and believe he was with me. As if I did not have enough suffering in my life at this time. God. It looked like I was going one way or the other. I was still reeling from the custody hearing and now I had to face another grand jury. Good thing I was already planning on going to Texas. Hadn't I been through enough? What did I do that was so bad I deserved all this pain and suffering? As I would later . and he hurt me.
The day of the hearing finally arrived. "I feel like Shadrach. but I was going to come out the other side unhurt. There was no one else I could turn to who could help me. The Lord was going to take care of me. I was so scared. As I entered the jury room. I knew the district attorney was aware of what happened a few weeks earlier in court with Amber. At the same time I was happy because soon I was going to see Amber. This was a small town and everyone talks. I said to everyone. I was so sad to be leaving Chris and my family. it wasn't about me it was about God's glory. My faith was being renewed on that drive. During my drive to Texas I listened to praise and worship music. I was going to stay with her until after the grand jury hearing.Starting Over Again 96 discover. Completely depending and trusting in him. The day I left Kansas was a bittersweet day. I was going through a fire. I just had to get past the grand jury first. I . Everyone was so scared this time I was going to go to jail. I knew I would not see them for four months. This is just where he wanted me. I kept telling them I was going to be fine. When I arrived in Texas I went to stay with my friend. I was sick to my stomach and shaking at the thought of seeing Kenny one more time. As I walked into the courthouse. The bailiff knew he was going to be there and had instructions to keep Kenny away from me. my attorney and I spent hours going over what I was going to say. Kenny was supposed to appear and testify also." As the day of the grand jury hearing approached. Meshach. I looked around and there sat people looking at me. As I sang those songs. and Abednego. I found courage and strength. With each mile my love for Jesus grew.
I had to go through the lobby where I knew Kenny would be. I was so nervous my teeth were chattering. I would have to answer a question. My body was not working properly. He didn't think he needed to. I knew the Lord was in that room. Psalm 55:22 (GNT). He did not show up to testify. From time to time. in your goodness save me from my troubles!" Psalm 143:10-11 (GNT). My life hung in the balance of these people and their decision. I could not say anything. To my surprise. There was no other way to explain what happened in there. The district attorney turned on the video camera as she began to speak to the jurors. and guide me on a safe path. The other one was. teach me to do your will. He had taken charge over those proceedings. I did not see him. I spent the days listening to praise and worship music. but it would only be a yes or no. This would always keep me in a positive mood and not allow me to become afraid. The hearing was held on Monday and I would have to wait until Friday before I knew their decision. "I leave my troubles with the Lord. As I walked out. and He will defend me. Be good to me. During that time I continued to stay at my friend’s house. Rescue me. I couldn't remember anything I was supposed to say. She did all the talking.Starting Over Again 97 suddenly felt so small and I couldn't speak. as you have promised. I began to thank the Lord for his favor with the grand jury and for the promises he gave me. The first one was. Lord. It was a miracle. I would read my Bible and one day I came across a couple of scriptures that really brought comfort to me. "You are my God. These acts of faith were . He was positive I was going to go to jail. After what seemed like forever. He never lets honest people be defeated. I was excused with the instructions I could not speak of what went on until they had rendered their decision.
but to Him. As I hung up the phone I dropped to my knees and began to cry. thanking Him for granting me a miracle. He was with me through it all. I was praising the Lord. She told me they had returned a no bill.Starting Over Again 98 drawing me closer to the Lord. I could not breathe as I waited to hear what she said. They were either going to tell me to turn myself in to be booked or they no billed me. . He never left my side. it was the district attorney's office. over and over. I nearly dropped the phone and all I could say was. That Friday the phone rang. He brought me through the fire and I came out the other side unhurt. “Thank you”. but the Lord. There was nowhere else I wanted to go with my problems. No one else could help me.
I was setting up house. All I could do was remain in faith the Lord would meet my needs because it was going to take a blessing from the Lord for me to make it. I went to a garage sale and found two cheap chairs. I didn't have a job so my savings was all I had and that was not much. I needed to get the utilities turned on and make some repairs to the house. His quest to financially break me was on its way to becoming a reality. The house still had the stove but it did not have a refrigerator. Over the next few months I would drive to Kenny's house to pick up Amber. She was more important than the boat. I wonder who that was. clothes. I didn't have anything more I could sell. microwave. Someone cut all the screens and broke the water pipes. I would put it on the floor and it would have to do for now. I did not want to sell it but I had to in order to see Amber. I now had two houses I had to maintain and another attorney to pay for. I sold my boat so I would have the money to post the bond. I loved that boat. computer. I found an old mattress in the barn and I was going to use this for a bed. I had a small SUV and this was all I could get into it.Starting Over Again 99 Chapter 19 With the grand jury behind me I could now begin to focus on the custody battle. It was an hour and a half drive one . All I brought with me was a TV. My boat was the last thing I had worth anything. few dishes and toiletries. The first thing I had to do was get moved into my house. The small cooler I brought with me was going to be my refrigerator for the next few months. I was only going to be there for four months.
I was living and breathing this custody battle. Kenny was buying her everything. scared. taking her to Six Flags. I would begin to feel sorry for myself.Starting Over Again 100 way. My friend was dating someone at the time so she was busy. I had to get custody of Amber back. As I lay there. it was an adventure. She thought this was neat. This was so great. She was just a child and I could not blame her. and eating out every meal. Some nights I would get a little sad. Love was about the only thing I could give her. if someone did that for me I would want to be with them too. I didn't have any money. I was lonely. every day. My days and nights were spent working on my case. "Why do I have to go through this? I am tired and I can't take this anymore." For some reason my eyes opened and I saw this . I would find myself lying in the bed staring at the ceiling thinking about things. I was so lonely when she was gone. I asked him. I was there by myself all day. I was afraid I might lose her to him because of this. It is too hard. I mean. I had no money. I was tired of fighting for my life and the life of my daughter. I began to speak to the Lord. so I couldn't do anything. One night while I was laying there in the dark with my eyes were closed. I would do this every first and third weekend. I could not do that. The cooler would only hold one day's worth of food and ice. When she would come for visitations we would make a game of going to the store everyday to get food. I was tired of living like this. He was trying to buy her and they were doing whatever they could to do it. She was so happy to see me and to be with her momma. I could feel tears streaming down my face. We didn't have much. but we did have love.
I was lonely and tired of living like this. I just stopped crying and a warm feeling came over me. I heard the Lord speak clearly to me. only the light but I knew the Lord had visited me in my room that night. I was borrowing money just to make the payments on it and the house. I have seen every tear you've cried and I am holding them in my hand. As I looked down the hallway. I could see two lights coming toward me. God was in control. God wanted me to see he sent my angels to watch over me that night. It startled me and I tried to focus my eyes so I could try to figure out what it was. I was feeling tired. I read the entire Bible during those four months. As Christmas was approaching. One day I will turn them all into blessings if you do not give up the good fight of faith. My faith was growing stronger. He wanted me to know he was there with me. I am in control of everything.Starting Over Again 101 bright light on my ceiling. The room was dark so I knew turned the lights off. He told me. I could rest peacefully now because I knew I was not alone. They were going to protect me. Feeling better. I didn't have any money. "I love you my child. They would always be with me. I turned over to go to sleep. My heart jumped in my throat and I wanted to scream but I couldn't. wondering what I was going to do for Christmas. I never saw his face. I do not know how long I was asleep but all of a sudden I opened my eyes. Suddenly. I was attending my old church and the same people who supported me earlier were supporting me once again. watching over me. As the lights came closer to me I realized they were angels. I didn't have to worry anymore. the tags and insurance on my car had expired. I had to go to the store . I was sitting in the living room one day. By now.
To me it was a million dollars. but . She told me she wished she could give me a gift. We didn't have many presents. one box of lights. We made lots of ornaments out of that construction paper. I didn't have enough money to buy wrapping paper and tape. I would have to put back two presents and I did not want to do that. She did not care that there weren't many gifts. and ten one dollar presents. I had blisters on my hands but I was determined to have a Christmas tree.Starting Over Again 102 everyday so I could eat and I was tired of eating TV dinners. all around the house. I was going to be able to give my daughter a Christmas. I headed out to cut down a small cedar tree. I used some of the construction paper to make them look more like presents. Amber and I would make ornaments out of construction paper and we would make it look pretty. This was going to be our Christmas tree. I knew I could go to the dollar store and buy a few things. Although I didn't have any money. So armed with my steak knife. I got the idea to go out in the back pasture and get a tree. I just wanted to go home. It took me a long time to cut it down. That was one of the best Christmas's I can remember. We sang Christmas carols and just enjoyed being together. It was the best I could give her. I wanted Amber to have a nice Christmas. I searched my car. I would just wrap them in the sacks. I wanted to live like a normal person. I wanted it to be a good Christmas. When she came home for Christmas she was going to be able to stay with me for one week. I told her she was the only gift I needed. I managed to scrape together about fifteen dollars. and barn looking for loose change. If I did. After everything she'd been through she deserved it. She was home with momma and that is all she wanted. I was rich and so thrilled. I bought some construction paper.
At the end of my week with Amber. What happens if this does not happen? What is it going to do to her? The day of the trial finally arrived. What if the judge did not give me Amber back? What if he made me stay in Texas? I had lived there before. but I did not want to anymore. . While we are waiting for the trial to begin everyone was sitting outside the court room. as I took her home. The trial began. but inside I was falling apart. The witnesses would come in one by one to testify and then go back outside. He loved her and it was important that he do all he could to ensure she came home with me. Was this going to be the last time I saw her? Was this how it was going to be for the next eight years? She was so excited about the hearing because she was expecting to be able to go home with me to Kansas. me and our attorney's. I was trying to state the facts and Kenny was trying to attack my ability as a mother. I began to feel that knot in my stomach again. The only people allowed in the court room were Kenny. Just as the love God shows to us. I knew once this week was over. I wanted to go home to Kansas. Both my parents and Chris made the journey to Texas to support me. He testified when Amber came to live with him. He said he had to be there for her. be with my family and Chris. I was a little nervous. I was doing my best to be strong for her.Starting Over Again 103 we had a lot of love and love was free. Amber did not know Chris was going to be there. and one by one the testimonies started. There was mud slung in every direction. If I had to stay in Texas for the next eight years I would have to end my relationship with Chris. it was going to time for the final hearing. All I wanted was Amber back and to go home to Kansas. It was going to be a closed court trial.
Again to him. I told him no. Chris and I went outside. She'd had enough of this judge and his tactics. I was so angry. He was not impressed to hear this. left to get her. While we waited for Amber. He testified how Amber would be better off with him and his girlfriend. He said. we were not married. He didn't. I could not believe what was being said. She'd been home schooled so therefore she was behind.Starting Over Again 104 they had to potty train her. God is just sitting up there with a bowl full of blessings for you. My attorney told me if the judge did not give me Amber back. He said he wanted to talk to Amber. it was wrong. Kenny was better. We began to pray. If you give up now you stop him from turning that bowl over and . This was an intense two hours waiting on her to get back. He testified how they put her back in the third grade because she did not know anything. he just put her back in the third grade. She was in school and the school counselor. She was ten years old. asking the Lord to please let us take Amber home. "It would be a shame if you gave up now. If he did not know if she knew enough to be in the fourth grade he could have asked the school to test her. we were going to the press with our story. who was there to testify. She had been potty trained since she was eighteen months old. Finally after about six hours of testimony the judge suddenly called the trial to a halt. He kept telling me to keep in faith. There was two of them and only one of me. The judge ordered no one to speak to Amber when she arrived. The judge was just having a field day. They were a couple and could give her a better life than I could as a single parent. The judge asked if Chris and I lived together. I had to answer to God. I was not going to move in with Chris just to please this judge.
We prayed the Lord would give Amber the courage she needed to make the best decision for her. Chris and I were standing outside. Kenny was sitting in that courtroom looking at me. She never took her eyes off him until she was inside. After all she'd been living with him for the last four months and he'd done his best to buy her. To do what her heart told her. Believe God will defend you against the horrible things that are being said about you." I repeated scriptures over and over. I was so scared of losing her all over again. I was on pins and needles. The judge had . I knew what he was telling was true but it was hard. Immediately. The struggle she must be going through and the heartache she felt. After about thirty minutes the judge came back out to render his decision. I began to get angry with him.Starting Over Again 105 pouring those blessing out for you. "No weapon formed against me shall prosper. He was sure she would want to stay with him. than he that is within the world. It was about Amber. He had such a smug grin on his face and I wanted nothing more than to just slap it off his face. This was not about Kenny or me. Amber finally arrived. How awful it must be to be in that position. A child wants to please both parents and she knew no matter what decision she made someone was not going to be happy. Greater is he that is within me. She had the biggest smile on her face. they took her back into the judge's chambers for him to talk to her. He did not care what he was doing to Amber or what she had to go through? She was in the judge's chamber right now having to make a decision as to who she wanted to live with. I had always told Amber just to tell the truth. she saw Chris and her eyes just light up. As she walked up to the courthouse. I didn't want her to ever have to make that decision.
I knew in my heart it would be best for Amber to live with me. He started spouting off he will never see his daughter again and all kinds of other things. I didn't want her to continue to go through this. I was still working on trusting. but I prayed he would give me the strength to accept it. He was telling her how I kidnapped her and took her away from him. As he began to speak he said “I have talked to the child and I am not going to go into details as to what she said. Then came the pause which meant a there was going to me more to his order.” Immediately Kenny became furious. I was going to pay all expenses related to his visitations. I am going to give custody back to the mother and I am going to allow her to return to Kansas. but I knew Kenny had been working really hard to brainwash her for the last four months. At the same time I had an obligation to protect her. I would accept the Lord's will no matter what it was. My heart was just leaping inside my chest I was so happy and praising God for the miracle. The judge began to speak.Starting Over Again 106 to return Amber to me. She told me he was abusing his girlfriend. He was trying to make her feel guilty for not wanting to be with him and wanting to be with me. I would have to make all the arrangements and let Kenny know what they were. I knew the Lord had heard all the prayers and He loved me. I was going to have to fly her every first and third weekend. I may not understand it. It's always been Amber and I. My attorney turned to me and told me to keep my composure. It was such a hard place to be. No one was in the court room but us. His attorney had to calm him down. I just wanted Amber to be happy. It was only a matter of time before Kenny would turn on Amber. this meant .
In his eyes. He said twenty five hundred dollars went to Kenny's attorney and five hundred dollars went to my attorney. The judge was going to make me pay big time. the judge was going to reduce it. I was going to have to wait a few more days but that was okay. I told the judge I wanted to go home with you to Kansas. I was ecstatic. Her heart sank. Now.” She thought she was leaving with me right then though. I was counting on this money to pay back what I'd borrowed from my family during the last four months. Even though I complied with the court orders I had to surrender it. but it was going to cost me dearly for this opportunity. she was afraid to go with her dad now. I was getting Amber back and we were going home to Kansas. The distance for him to drive to the airport was no different than the distance he drove to get her when I lived there. He was already not paying the child support nor was he providing medical insurance. He wanted him to have some more time with her. This was a big blow to me financially. even with all the things he was making me do. Amber was going home with me. He further ordered Amber was to go home with Kenny until Saturday at noon. The three thousand dollar bond I was supposed to get back if I did what the court ordered was gone. After the trial was over I was given the opportunity to speak to Amber for a few minutes.Starting Over Again 107 the flights. This was only Thursday. I told her the judge said she had to go with her daddy until Saturday. I did what I was supposed to do and still lost. She knew he would be furious with her. I told her she was coming home and she said “I know momma. . Still. I was stunned. The judge was going to reduce Kenny's child support by one hundred dollars to cover his cost to go to the airport.
My prayers were answered. I'd been praying for a long time for this day and it appeared to have finally come. We had so much to celebrate. I called my attorney. He was standing outside the court room just ranting and raving. He wanted to make a deal and I could not. I told her he would not hurt her. It was just that. If he was ready to turn her over to me. if I would forgive all the back child support he owed. she told me to tell him to contact his attorney and have him draw up the papers for the relinquishment. Later on that evening I received a phone call from Kenny. As for the child support there was nothing I could do. He wanted to relinquish his rights. he would have to bring her to my house. I did my best to calm her down.Starting Over Again 108 she'd betrayed him. He told me his attorney would not do it. Oh my goodness. I reminded him the judge said. I was not going to violate those . a miracle. she still chose me. She did not want to go with him. “Just come and get Amber right now. I told him I was not going to sell my daughter. but it would only be a short time and she would be going home with me. He said he would not relinquish unless I agreed to forgive the child support. I told her she had to. He left with Amber and we went out to celebrate. I was going to get another miracle that day. she was to stay with him until Saturday. It was finally over and Amber was going home. He was getting frustrated so he said. She was right.” I told him I could not do that. After all he did trying to convince Amber to live with him. I just kept thanking the Lord for the miracle He'd given me. I told him this was the only way it was going to happen. he was furious. I wasn't so sure though he was so mad. I was not going to "buy" his rights. If he really wanted to relinquish he would do it.
He knew the judge was on his side and wanted to do whatever he could to me. If he could play on that. I had to say goodbye to Chris. This could just be a trick to get me out there. then he could file charges against me for violating a court order. I was never going to let go again. She said no. They all came back out with food and drink but she could not have anything. Every time I heard a noise I was at the window looking to see if he was pulling down the driveway. He knew it didn't matter anymore. I waited and waited it seemed like forever. I asked her if she'd eaten anything or had anything to drink. When they got back to the house they made her go . This is how Kenny worked. She was so hungry and thirsty when she got there. We celebrated yet another miracle from God. I would for sure go to jail this time. “You mean to tell me you have not eaten or drank anything since lunch yesterday at school”. We ordered pizza and had soft drinks to celebrate. As I waited for Amber. He knew how much I wanted Amber. He wanted to wait and see Amber but he had to go. nor did I know if he would hurt me when I showed up at his house. He did not want Amber anymore so he was going to bring her to me.Starting Over Again 109 orders. I ran outside and just wrapped her in my arms. Kenny showed up with Amber. She said no. Kenny did not send her to school that day. I couldn't believe it. Early the next morning Kenny called again. She said when they left the courthouse everyone was so mad at her because she'd chosen to live with me. They stopped at the store to get something to drink. He needed to get back to his children. Everyone got out but they told her she had to stay in the truck. Finally. get me to come to his house and get her. I told him that was fine and I would be waiting. I asked her. I didn't hear from him anymore that night.
The next day we loaded everything into my SUV. It took me losing Amber. I do not think she slept the night before. I was so thankful to the Lord for giving me my precious baby back. . I could not wait to get back to Kansas and start my life over again one more time. She was so tired. My parents followed me and I was never so glad to leave Texas. They no longer wanted anything to do with her. To them she'd betrayed them. The game was over. they no longer had to play nice to her. I just sat there and held her as she slept. I did not want to ever let go of her.Starting Over Again 110 into her room and stay. I had choices when I married Kenny. She didn't choose any of this. She had to do whatever someone else decided for her. She was not allowed to come out except to go to the bathroom. to truly find her. She was suffering through no fault of her own. She ate and drank until she finally was full. Amber didn't have any choice when she was born and now she was suffering because of choices other people were making. They were through with her. She could not have anything to eat or drink. Once we got the clearance from my attorney we headed off. We were on our way back to Kansas. As I looked at her sleeping I began to cry.
Everyone was coming by the house to welcome us home. My mom and I went to the school to explain what had happened. She struggled.Starting Over Again 111 Chapter 20 Once we arrived in Kansas. I knew it was best for her to be in the fourth grade. they agreed to give it a try for a little while to see how she does. She felt like a failure and she was dumb. We wanted to see her succeed. We couldn't rest too long because she had to get into school and I needed to find a job. I knew I could not allow her to continue to be this . we took a couple of days just to get settled back in. Even though it was the second semester. They were so glad to see us again. Amber was also becoming increasingly angry. After we talked to the school. I knew I wasn't going to get any child support. I tried before to get the child support and the judge just let it go. She was mad at the world and she took it out on everyone. I was broke. it was the mental damage we had to overcome. This is where she belonged. Although I didn't blame her because in many ways I felt the same. it was not her intelligence we were fighting. Her confidence was low because her dad enrolled her in the third grade. My mom and I worked with Amber. Kenny knew the judge would not do anything to him. I had flights to pay for now. If she stayed up with the class then at the end of the year they would give her credit for the fourth grade and promote her to the fifth grade. Even with the obstacles in front of me. Her self esteem was damaged and it was going to take some time to build it back up. Amber and I'd both been gone for four months. we wanted to ask them to place Amber in the fourth grade.
. Love covers all and boy was I trying to cover a lot. I didn't want her to become bitter. I would talk to her about her attitude and just love on her.Starting Over Again 112 way. I wanted her to love others.
You just cannot do this. It was so nice to talk to him because he really knew who I was. I'd know him my whole life and I felt I could be myself around him. oh how I tried. His love for us was genuine. Still it just wasn't the same. At the end of January. We tried to make up for lost time but something was just different. We both needed to forgive our ex's. They had done too much to hurt us.Starting Over Again 113 Chapter 21 My relationship with Chris continued after I came back. I had just gone through a tremendous ordeal and he was going through his own ordeal with his children. Around this time a childhood friend had come back into my life. but it was just different. I really did love this man and he was so good to me and Amber. He didn't want anything and it was a nice distraction from everything that was going on in my life. We were trying to love and hate at the same time. We had so much to catch up on. I hadn't seen nor talked to him in probably fifteen years or more. I do not know what it was. We were getting along great and we were happy. He'd known me since my childhood. but we tried really hard to move back into the life we had before all of this happened. His life changed while I was gone and so did mine. I tried. Somehow this brought comfort to me. I still hadn't received any child support and I . yet we just couldn't. I was gone four months and it was a strain on our new relationship. Amber was to make her first flight to Texas. After all he'd just traveled to Texas to be with me in court. Both of us had so much suffering in our lives at the time.
I made all the arrangements for the flight and notified Kenny through the attorney's. As I stood there in the airport awaiting the departure of her plane. I began to pray. Seeing Amber was not his interest. I tried to book the flights as far in advance as I could. Now there was nothing left to do but make the one hundred ten mile trip back home. I knew she was going to be alright. It was at that moment a sense of peace came over me. it was knowing I had to spend the money on the flight. I saw the Lord's reach his hand down and place it on the plane. I asked the Lord to keep her safe and bring her back to me. I didn't want her to go and neither did she. I made arrangements with the airline that if he didn't show up they would fly her back. This first flight was so hard for me. We left around three that Saturday morning. I didn't know if he would be there or not. but we both knew we had to do this. It usually took me five hours to make the entire . so I borrowed the money from my parents to pay for the flight. Amber would just get in the care and go to sleep. It was the closest airport with the cheapest airfare. Even though I had no money I had to fly her anyway or I was going to jail. She'd never done anything like this before. She was going to fly out of Tulsa which was one hundred ten miles from me one way. Amber finally boarded the plane and left. He was going to protect her. As I stood there looking out the window at the plane. This would give me a cheaper airfare and save me some money. It was so difficult to get up that early and drive.Starting Over Again 114 didn't have a job yet. I was going to turn my child over to complete strangers and all I could do was hope and pray they took care of her and did not lose her. Amber was only ten years old. She was going to fly as an unaccompanied minor and it was a nonstop flight but all that didn't matter this was still my baby.
The courts wouldn't do anything about this. This would be our life until July. I wasn't getting ahead and I was barely holding on. work. they told me it was my problem. I had to fly her on the earliest flight possible on Saturday and the latest flight possible on Sunday. It was like I was paying him to see his daughter. school. It would be two weeks before we had to do it again. There was no extra money at all. Her flight was not scheduled to arrive until around six. We hoped to get home around nine so she could get a shower and get ready for bed. yet he had all the rights and power. Although Kenny was supposed to provide Amber with insurance he didn't do it. During this time I was not receiving child support. It is hard to do when you have an additional four hundred to five hundred dollars per month coming out for flights. I did not want her to be without insurance anymore so I signed her up. Once she arrived.Starting Over Again 115 trip there and back. I was doing everything and Kenny did nothing. and fly. The next day after church I always came home. but if something happened to her I would have to pay for it. it would then be an hour and half drive back home. took a nap and around three in the afternoon I would leave again to go pick her up. every first and third weekend. . In March. I had to pay for everything. It was a long weekend but she was home safe and sound. It was another expense. If anything happened in my life I was in trouble. plus the cost of raising her. She had school the next day. We continued to do this for the next several months. I was able to get a job with a good company that offered health insurance. We continued to do the flights and I was trying to climb once again out of the financial hole I was in from the divorce. Believe me Kenny checked with the airlines so he knew what flights those were.
I did notify him of the flight information. She had to attend summer school to help prepare her for the fifth grade. He and his attorney had words I guess Kenny was still mad about the outcome of the custody hearing. he didn't get one of his weekend visitations. He was not using his attorney because they had a falling out after the custody hearing. It was twenty-five counts of contempt. I guess it meant he found something. he did not get to talk to Amber on her birthday. He found twenty-five something’s. She did not want to talk to him on her birthday and I was not purposely ending his summer visitation early. I told him when I was going to send her for the summer. How could this be? He hadn't missed a visitation. I was doing everything the courts ordered so what could he possibly have to charge me with. not a requirement she attend. For some reason Kenny wanted to be there. this was just . We had to make an appearance in court for something. This still did not change the judge's opinion of Kenny. He stated I did not notify him of the flight arrangements. and I was purposely having her fly back early just to deny him his sixty days of summer visitation. I do not remember what it was. To him. The bailiff had to remove Kenny from the court room and the police escorted his attorney back to his office to ensure his safety. his summer visitation did not start when he thought it should. the weekend he allegedly missed was right before spring break. He was representing himself. I was served with papers. It was contempt charges again. I sent him the letter from the school but he said it was voluntary. She was already going to be there a week and he knew this. but my attorney handled it. Since I was holding these papers. We were still playing catch up with Amber's academics.Starting Over Again 116 As I was leaving the house to go to work one morning.
"He will never quit and he is crazy. Amber did not have eighty one days for summer break. The courts awarded Kenny sixty days visitation during the summer and twenty-one days to me. told them this and they said it did not matter as long as I was served before the hearing. This is what made him so dangerous. She said. By the time I was served I had less than a week before the hearing. the attorney didn't want to deal with Kenny. No one wanted me to go by myself. He had nothing to lose. Chris said he would go with me to Texas so I would not have to go by myself. I had to be there or he would win by default." I knew I didn't have the time or the money to hire another attorney. so I had no choice but to be there. He knew no matter what he did the judge would not do anything to him. This judge was not going to be happy to see us again.Starting Over Again 117 a trick to cut his summer short. I called the court. Who was going to go to jail if I did not get my twenty-one days? No one I can assure you. I knew the judge would have no problem putting me in jail. This is how mentally disturbed Kenny was. I was the one who had . He didn't care if he lost his visitations. He wasn't though. I prayed to the Lord for his help. I didn't have an attorney because like the last one. Each count carries a jail sentence of eighteen months. I asked him to be my attorney in that court room. I had to defend myself. I had more important things to do than waste my time plotting with the school to come up with a plan to cut his summer short. We were both going to have to give up something. We were just there six months ago with the custody hearing. It was a long drive and we didn't trust Kenny. He didn't want to deal with Amber anyway. The judge said he had sixty days and he was going to get it or I was going to jail. I was going to have to represent myself.
that was alright too because he'd caused me aggravation and cost me money." He informed Kenny I had the right to an attorney but before he ordered that. My voice was just as bad.Starting Over Again 118 everything to lose. I did not want to see Kenny. I would go to jail. . If he did great. As the hearing began I was right. the judge was not happy to see us. He would then make his determination if an attorney was needed. 2004. Even when he was getting his way he still tried to cause trouble. I want her to go to jail. My hands were shaking so bad I couldn't hold on to anything. The hearing was the next day. we left and headed out for Texas. Amber was with Kenny for summer break and I was hoping to see her. Nothing was going to make him happy. I would rather face the judge than have to see him. The hearing was scheduled for nine the next morning and after the hearing we would drive home because Chris needed to get his own children for his visitation with them. What he was really saying was he wanted to see if I had done something wrong. For Kenny. he was not worried about whether he won or not. When Chris and I got off work on July 29.” Kenny did not hesitate he said. I had those same feelings when I entered the court room that day. I spent the last few days gathering all of my evidence to prove these charges were false. It was an eight hour drive and we arrived in town around two in the morning. We rented a motel room and laid down for a few hours. I knew this judge did not like me and every time I went in there I always left with more rules and more expenses. "Oh yes. “You are seeking jail time for her. If he didn't. I didn't see her though. He started to read the charges and asked Kenny. he would listen to us.
When we were about half way through he stopped the proceedings. I was maintaining two households because he would not agree to sell the house in Texas." Finally. "Right now" and I said. He did not understand I served a God that was just." He was not too pleased we were in his court on contempt charges when Kenny had Amber. He would just take Kenny's word and I would be left hanging out to dry. It cost him very little money but for me I had the expenses to travel down there. Kenny would get one more week before school started. motel. I told him she was with Kenny. the judge was beginning to see it was not me. He said. He knew I was paying for all the flights. My nerves had calmed a little by now. I loved a . he was not paying child support. I had to pay that. He stated Amber would return on July 18th so she could attend summer school. He was doing everything he could to financially break me so I could not fight anymore. As we began to go through each count I had my evidence ready. I would be in his total control then. plus insurance. He told Kenny he was being petty and before he brought any more charges against me he would have to post a five hundred dollar bond. I thought to myself. Kenny knew I was struggling financially. he'd accomplished what he'd set out to do. The house in Texas had a mortgage on it. “Yes. He declared me innocent of all charges. I would present it and pray the judge accepted it. he asked where the child was. Kenny was not phased.Starting Over Again 119 Before the judge began hearing the case. He had a tendency in the past to not want to hear or see my evidence. "It's about time. and the taxes until it was sold. That is where he wanted me. Someone was going to walk away with that money and travel expenses. food. and lost wages.
Starting Over Again 120 God who loved me and protected me because I was His child. . Chris was just as excited as I was. Who I knew was more powerful than Kenny or the court. We began our eight hour drive home. We were both so tired yet the adrenaline from my victory gave us enough strength to get home. We both began to praise the Lord because once again He'd given me another miracle. we'd finally won one and I didn't get punished for anything.
I was going to have to have surgery. As soon as I found out about the surgery I sent Kenny a letter explaining I would not be able to fly her unless I received some child support. I never heard from him nor received any money. It would pay me one hundred sixty-eight dollars a week while I was off work. I was only thirty-two years old. When I got out the doctors told me the endometriosis had escaped out of the . so she did not go. I had severe endometriosis. They were going to remove my uterus and give me a partial hysterectomy. So I went ahead and had the surgery. I had not been feeling well for a long time. The doctors ordered many test. With my policy at work I was eligible for disability insurance. so I canceled them. go take a test and then go back to work. they were about to began those test when I was notified I had to go to court. I worked late to make sure I made up any time I missed. I was so thankful for this. now I was faced with more bills and loss of wages. I was getting very sick and weak. The stress of my life was beginning to take its toll on my body. I would leave work. Just before this trial I'd been to the doctor because I was losing a lot of blood. After several weeks of tests the diagnosis was. It would go a long ways toward paying bills. I just started to get my life going financially. I just didn't have enough money. so I began to take them one by one. Now I was back. I needed forty hours a week.Starting Over Again 121 Chapter 22 After we got home I had to go back to the doctor. My surgery was scheduled for the end of August.
They were giving me different medicines trying to figure out what was going on. they had to do what they needed to. This was a difficult time for me. I explained to them I understood. It was not pleased to be cut on for the third time. If it did indeed return. I could hardly move. I continued to get worse so the doctors decided to open me back up. They were short staffed while I was gone and this made it harder on everyone else. They were thinking the endometriosis had returned. I was in so much pain.Starting Over Again 122 uterus but they believed they removed all of it. . I felt like I was being stabbed everywhere. I was going to have this surgery in two days. When I left the hospital. They were going to do exploratory surgery to see what was going on. They were sure they'd solved the problem the first time. My employer was holding my job for me. The doctors started running more tests. I laid on the couch with an electric blanket on me trying to get comfortable. It seemed like everything was being taken away from me and I didn't have a say. Let me tell you it was letting me know. I'd already had two previous surgeries on my abdomen. I would be fine now. The doctors explained it was going to take about six weeks for my complete recovery. I no longer would have the choice. If I was not able to come back to work soon they were going to have to get someone else. I also struggled with the fact I would no longer be a . They explained how they left my ovaries and believed this may be the problem. This would mean a full hysterectomy. Although I really didn't want any more children. they were going to remove my ovaries. After about four weeks I was still not feeling well. knowing I couldn't was different. but they could only hold it for so long though.
They did the surgery and when I woke up they said the endometriosis had returned. but I think I heard them say the exact same words to me before. but they believed I was going to be fine. I knew I didn't have a choice and once it was done there was no turning back. I needed to be healthy because I had to be there for Amber. It was going to be another six to eight weeks for my recovery. My ovaries were destroyed so they had to remove them. It was also attached to my colon and caused some damage to it. I am either fighting a battle with Kenny or it is something else. I was trying so hard to put my life back together. I knew he was right. Chris told me this would not change a thing about me. If it's not one thing it's another. My parents were . get back on my feet but every time I stood up something knocked me back down again. What if I met a man and he wanted more children? I could not provide him with anymore. I had a car payment of three hundred six dollars a month plus I had a household to upkeep. These were some of the things going through my mind. I just cannot catch a break. The only thing I needed to be concerned about was my health.Starting Over Again 123 complete woman. This surgery hurt worse than the last one because they'd been so close to each other. The day of the surgery arrived. How was this going to change things? Would this change how a man would look at me? I was now barren and could not have children. It may have just been the effects of the anesthetic. I would still be a beautiful woman. I'd already been off six weeks and was only making one hundred sixty-eight dollars a week. but that didn't stop me from thinking about the other things. I was admitted and as I was laying there I thought to myself here I go again.
If you take a look at it on paper it does not add up. I didn't know it at the time. We always had food to eat. God was faithful to me and blessed me. I'd still not heard anything from Kenny so Amber was not flying. As Christmas approached I was once again trying to figure out what I was going to do for Amber. I felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. even if it was only two pennies. She wrote her letter to Santa with all the things she wanted. he would remain faithful to me. For me though I knew it was the Lord hiding me from him so I could heal and not have to deal with it. I always gave my tithes to God each week. There was one time when we went to church and all I had was two pennies to my name. My heart grieved while I listened to her telling me what she would love to have. but all that money went to pay for her flight. This was why he was being quiet. So many people were depending on me and I was sick. He provided me with what I needed and we never missed a bill. just as all children are. Amber and I put it in the offering plate and we believed with all our heart and faith the Lord would meet our needs. We set up our tree before she left and she was so excited about Christmas. I did not have time to be sick. but I never missed a bill nor did I miss a car payment.Starting Over Again 124 still with me and I had all these responsibilities. The Lord was working everything out for my good. Kenny sent a child support check at the first of December. Every once in a while though Amber and I would sneak off to the dollar movies and watch a movie. I learned about tithing and how important it was to give to God. I . If I would remain faithful to Him. He is truly a great God. I had very little money. He taking care of me and I was not out the expense of the flights during this time. but Kenny and his girlfriend were separated.
He had every other time and this time was no different. . I believed he would work this out for my good. They were my Christmas angels and my baby was going to have a nice Christmas. I would still have my disability and I was thankful. A couple of days before Christmas I received a phone call from Amber's school.Starting Over Again 125 wanted to give them all to her. I was beginning to heal and in January my employer informed me they just could not wait for me anymore. The doctor would not release me to go back to work. We had so much to be thankful for. she hung in there with me and didn't lose faith in me. She deserved it. I was trying hard but I just couldn't seem to get it together. I didn't have to buy wrapping paper. I was able to get her three shirts for not much money. When they brought the gifts over. they were wrapped which was a blessing. she had been through a rough year. I knew I could not give them all to her but I just wanted to be able to give her something. I understood their reasons but this meant I was going to have to find another job. Something as simple as wrapping paper was such a blessing to me. They knew what we had been going through and wanted me to put my name on the gifts. The Lord not only blessed us with his birth but He met our needs. After I hung up the phone I began to cry and give the Lord praise because he was meeting my needs just as his word promised. I could not draw unemployment due to the fact I was not medically released to find work. She came back from her dad's on the twenty-sixth and even though it was late when we got home. Several of her teachers went together and bought some gifts. I just prayed the Lord would show me what He wanted me to do. we still had Christmas. They were sorry but they had to let me go. While she was gone I went to the local thrift store and they were having a sale.
I was having a difficult time even with my family. Nothing else was going right so why should this. I didn't understand I had to make myself ready to receive such a man. but I wasn't learning how to overcome my past. . I was learning to love the Lord and the principles of how to walk in His ways. That is what the scripture said. the only trouble with this is I did not know what the truly meant. At least not in the way I was longing for. Everything would just be normal. We just had too many things going on in our lives at the time. No one was ever going to really love me anyway.Starting Over Again 126 During the past year. I desperately wanted a man to love me as Jesus loved me. I did not realize my problems went with me into every relationship. I wanted a man to love me as Christ loved the church. my relationship with Chris had ended. I didn't know any different and I had too many responsibilities to not be okay. I just thought a man would come into my life and make it all better. I had to heal myself. Until I solved them I would continue to have the same results. Before that man was going to come into my life. He was going through a difficult time and I didn't do anything to help it. I only knew the words. I didn't know how to deal with what was going on inside. I was so full of pain and bitterness I was pushing everyone away.
I knew I had to move to Oklahoma before this happened. I only knew how to give. It was the only way of life I had known.Starting Over Again 127 Chapter 23 I'd been talking to Vernon and we had developed what I perceived as a relationship. He lived in Oklahoma and I lived in Kansas. A relationship is supposed to be a two way street. I decided I would move to Oklahoma. That didn't matter to me I was in the business of doing whatever a man . This is what he wanted. Kenny said he left because I didn't do enough to show love and I didn't want to make the same mistake. He said he never had any runs that went by my house. I was only good enough to be used for what you could get out of me. The only time we saw each other was when he came through on a run or when I went to see him. he would just find someone who would. This was okay because I did not know how to receive anything. This way he could see me all the time. This relationship was just like my marriage. I did not believe I deserved anything good to happen in my life. I was the one who did all the giving and I received very little in return. In February. Vernon told me how much he would like me to live in Oklahoma. I had talked to him about trying to work something out so we could see each other more. I would then be there for him. I was afraid if I was not there for him when he wanted me to be. I was not worthy enough for anyone to love me that much. He would love me more for the sacrifice I was making. How could you not love a woman who would move just to be closer to you? I never stopped to ask what he was going to give to me.
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said to do. No matter what it cost me. If I did exactly what they said then I would be loved. What I wanted or felt did not matter. Only they mattered. I did not seek the Lord before I made this decision. I handled this one on my own. I convinced myself if we were able to see each other more, this would make our relationship grow. My parents did not think I was making a very wise move. They knew all they could do was offer me their advice. I thought I was in love and nothing was going to change my mind. I did not want Vernon to look for someone else. I had to get out there. My dad went to Oklahoma with me to help me find a place to live. My mom stayed with Amber so she could go to school. I had relatives who lived out there and as a child I had lived there for many years so I knew a lot of people. I was so excited I was moving. New place, new start and I had my relationship with Vernon. This time everything was going to work out. My dad and I found a mobile home out in the country for Amber and me. It was nice and just perfect for us. We loved living in the country and it was remote so no one would bother us. We talked to the landlord and he agreed to rent it to me. Everything was falling into place so I just knew this was what the Lord wanted me to do. I used this to justify what I was doing. This was really about what I wanted to do. I did not take the time to ask the Lord if this was His will. We have to make sure we ask the Lord if this is His will before we do anything and be patient to wait until we hear from him. The devil will appear to bless us too. He will make something look like it is the will of the Lord so he can destroy us. The devil wants to kill, steal, and destroy lives. If he can get us in bondage then he has control. We came back to Kansas and started making arrangements for the move. I rented a moving truck, took
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care of the school and started packing. I was not going to take everything because my parents were going to stay at the house. Just in case this relationship did not work out I could come back. I had so much faith in this relationship I was making sure I had a backup plan. That should have told me something but it didn't. I would not listen because I was doing what I wanted. "I" will always get you into trouble. We have to seek the Lord before we do anything. We cannot do anything by ourselves. We managed to get everything loaded and said our goodbyes to my brother and his family. My mom and dad went with me to help me unload the truck when I got there. We arrived on February 13, 2005 and I was so excited. Some of my other family members came over to help unload the truck and get settled. They were happy I was there. I called Vernon to let him know I'd made it and he said good. He would call me back later, he was in the middle of unloading his load. This was okay. I understood. Although I did think he would be a little more excited. I mean I just moved out there for him. My parents spent the night and the next day they left. It was really strange because for two years they had lived with me, helped me with Amber and now I was on my own again. The next day was Valentine's Day and I tried to call Vernon so we could go out to celebrate. I tried to call several times and I left him messages. He never did call me back. I was devastated and my heart just broke. I could not believe he did not want to be with me on Valentine's Day. This was the day to celebrate love and we loved each other. My cousin called me to ask if Amber and I had any plans for that night.
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It was now late in the day and I'd not heard from Vernon. Sadly I said, "No". I was so embarrassed because they knew I had moved out there for Vernon. He told me to get dressed and he would take us out. At least I didn't have to spend Valentine's Day home alone. As the days went by and I did not hear from him I began to sink into a depression. I just moved out there because he wanted me to be closer. I'd been here two weeks and had not even talked to him, let alone seen him. I felt like the biggest fool in the world and I knew everyone was going to say, I told you so. I knew I had to make the most of this situation, so I enrolled Amber in school and had begun my search for a job. I did have a little savings but not much. Here I was I had to do the best I could to make a life for my family. I'd moved Amber here for me and now I needed to do the best I could to make a good life for her. I did not want to turn around and go back to Kansas. That would be too embarrassing. I had to succeed here. One day about a month after the move, Amber came home from school and told me there was this boy in her class who told the teacher his mom was dating Vernon. Amber was confused because she knew he was dating me. I mean, that is why we moved there in the first place. I couldn't believe it. It had to be a mistake. She must have misunderstood. So I started asking her questions and she was giving me all the details of what the little boy had said. It was no mistake his mom was dating Vernon. My heart broke all over again. Up until this point I still had hope he would call. I tried to act strong for Amber. I didn't want her to see her momma for the fool she was. I told her it would be alright, it just meant he was not the one. What it really meant was I was a fool. I didn't listen to anyone and did what I wanted. You know the
Even though we were divorced. This was not good either. The next week I was blessed with a job. I found myself looking forward to his calls. She hoped we would get back together so she would not have to go back and forth between us anymore. We would talk and Amber loved to see us getting along. Amber and I began to settle into our daily life. I went to bed that night and I asked the Lord why couldn't just one thing work out for me in my life. I didn't realize I was causing myself this pain by what I was doing. Well I was reaping again. When we say goodbye and let go of someone we . he was making runs to Oklahoma City so I would take Amber there to meet him when we could. At the time. I had been through so much pain and suffering. All my answers were in Jesus if I would just ask him and not me. Kenny was calling Amber several times during the week and I was talking to him also. After all he'd been my husband for all of those years. He helped to destroy it in the first place. I was working as an office manager for a staffing company. Was it too much to ask for just one thing to work out? I went to sleep that night crying. I would go to work and we became involved in our church. When he would do this. It was like we were still married. I was continually looking to myself for all my answers and I didn't have any answers.Starting Over Again 131 saying you reap what you sow. I did not stop loving him. Sometimes his trip would take him close to the house and I would not have to drive to the city. it was just like old times. Sometimes on the weekends we would go visit my relatives to have dinner with them. I was now leaning on him to feed my self esteem. I was lonely and it was so easy to fall right back into this. This way she did not have to fly. She would go to school. There was even a few times when he would actually come out to the house and stay for a while.
It is . Once again I got things ready to move. I called the realtor who sold me the house and asked her to put it on the market. By this time I was really getting good at moving. I did not know what to do. I told them I would accept the transfer. My parents believed it would be a great opportunity for me as I would be closer to them. The same as I did when we were married. Before you do you must really look at the situation to see if anything has changed. Amber was really enjoying it and for the first time he was really acting like a father. I decided to sell my house in Kansas because my parents had moved back to Arkansas. I could pack and be ready to go in no time. The house sold for my full asking price. I had just moved here in February and this was only June. It sold within three weeks and I was scheduled to close on it while I was there getting the rest of my stuff. I talked to Kenny about it and he was okay with it. We only say goodbye to the life we had with them. We were entertaining the thought of trying our relationship again. The same amount the bank originally wanted for it two years earlier. It is so easy to move back into a past relationship. They asked me if I would be willing to move.Starting Over Again 132 love. I listed the house for twenty-two thousand dollars. If it hasn't nothing will be different from when you were there before. I was told my job was going to transfer to Memphis. I would make his favorite foods and pack some for him to take on the road. During the summer she went with her dad on the truck. we still have the love in our hearts for them. I was in dangerous territory. What we were really doing was using each other to ward off the loneliness. My relationship with Vernon did not work out so I really had no reason to stay. He even offered to help me move. I would no longer need it.
I had the money from the sale of my house and I enjoyed not having payments. I did not have time to stop. I hired a high school boy to help me load. Early the next morning we took off heading to Memphis. A couple of weeks later with no luck. Once I made it to Kansas I spent the night with my brother. We loaded all day and finally around six Saturday evening I headed to Arkansas. . Early the next morning he and his wife went with me to my house to help load what I could in the truck. Each day after I would get off work I spent a few hours looking for a house. found the storage building and unloaded the truck. I only had until Sunday to get to Memphis. I was trying to find one I could pay cash for. It was not all going to fit so I had to take just what was most important to me. I was so tired but I had to keep going. I only had two more weeks until the storage was due and I didn't want to pay another two hundred dollars. I left Friday night towing my SUV headed to Kansas. I went to my boss's house to spend the night. The rest I gave to him. My mom and my sister's children followed me so they could help me unload the truck. After we grabbed a quick bite to eat we said our goodbyes. Amber was still with her dad so I packed up everything in Oklahoma and rented a moving truck. The next day I was back at work. I arrived at my sister's around midnight and I spent the night with her.Starting Over Again 133 just amazing how God works. We finally finished unloading around seven that evening. We made it to Memphis. I was getting desperate. I did not have a house in Memphis so I was going to put my stuff in storage and look for one when I got there. I needed to be at work on Monday.
My boss suggested I look at spending a little more money so I could get a nicer house. Working and living with your boss is not the best of situations. That weekend was the Fourth of July weekend so I had three days off. I had my own house again and it was the nicest house I had ever had. As I stood there looking at it. That first night I slept on the floor but I did not care. once again I knew it was going to be mine. I rented the moving truck early Saturday morning and started loading. paid the down payment and within two days I was ready to move in. I thought about it for a while and decided what could it hurt to look. I was the only income and what if something happened and I lost my job? I mean things have not always worked out for me in the past few years. If I didn't get the stuff out of storage I would have to pay another month. I loaded the truck with all it would hold. I was thankful though because it was saving me money. . I had never spent that much money on a house. but that was okay I had faith the Lord would give me the strength to do what I needed.Starting Over Again 134 Not to mentions the fact I was tired of living out of my truck and staying with my boss. The Lord was trying to get me to want better for myself. My family had prior obligations so they were not going to be able to help me. I had to learn to want better and not to settle for mediocrity. I needed to change myself image. The Lord truly blessed me and it seemed with each move I made I was continuing to rise up. I wanted to get everything I could not move with my vehicle. I did not know about this. I was going to move my things in. I talked to the people who had it listed. Houses in this area were much more than I'd paid before. Once I did there was my house. That next day I found a house that was perfect.
I would go to storage and get another load. I told him I was happy for him.Starting Over Again 135 After I got everything loaded I headed to my new house to unload it in the garage. he met another woman. This was a joyous time. He was such a good friend to me before we tried dating and I did not want things to end like this. I was so tired I could barely lift my foot to push the brake. I told him yes. I was tired and I wanted to rest. I wanted to at least be his friend again. We had a new beginning and a fresh start. such as the couch. Five loads later I finally had everything moved. Somehow I had summoned enough strength to make it home. At first I did not know what to say. They say you can't go back to being friends . but I believe the Lord was on the other end helping me. I knew his parents lived in the area. but I only had the truck for one day so I had to get it unloaded that evening. For the next week after work. I didn't know if this friend thing was going to work. He called and we began talking. They began dating and she was now living with him. Some of the things were a little challenging. After I finished. Later that day I received a message from him asking if he could call me. This was not true because I still wanted him to pick me. His birthday was coming up so I decided I would send him a text message to wish him happy birthday. I was starting over again. I knew this because some of the things I unloaded I should not have been able to manage by myself. As we talked I learned one week before I moved to Oklahoma. I returned the truck and went by the storage to get another load in my vehicle. I wanted to be his friend but I really didn't know how to do that. Moving to Memphis made me begin to think about Vernon again. to love me.
He married the woman he met that fall. . He is still my best friend to this very day. than for me to hang on to unforgiveness. I thought this was strange. We quickly resumed our friendship. I moved to Oklahoma to be with him and then he moved to Memphis after I did with his wife. Unfortunately their marriage didn't last and they were divorced the following September. We look back now and laugh at all of this. I decided it was more important to me to have his friendship. I didn't want to see anyone hurt. After everything he did to me. It would be easier to get past this if we both knew there were some miles between us. plus he developed a new level of respect for me. they moved to the Memphis area to start their new life together. I couldn't be his friend until I forgave him. When I saw him it was too hard for me to distinguish my love for him and the friendship. Over the next few months we continued talking and I was finally able to forgive him. I didn't want him to think I still lived in the area. Ironically. but I made no effort to. It was as if I was always one step behind. I no longer had the desire too. I told him about my move to Memphis. I saw him a few times. He was married and I just wanted to be his friend on the phone. I was still his friend.Starting Over Again 136 once you date. I was beginning to believe them. I felt bad for him.
so this was really strange. They were really bad so I decided I was going to have them fixed. "How was I ever going to meet people here. I said. Something inside of me was urging me to talk to him. I asked Him. If I get a chance I will try to strike up a conversation. My vehicle needed brakes in the worst way. Although I didn't actually live in Memphis. so I thought what could it hurt. They had several locations listed and I sat there trying to decide which one I was going to. I called them to make an appointment for Saturday.Starting Over Again 137 Chapter 24 I settled into my life in Memphis pretty easily although it was a culture shock for me. I didn't work anywhere where I would meet anyone and I was still looking for a church. No matter how you looked at it. "Lord it is going to take forever and I am going to be by myself for a long time. I am normally a very shy person. I was new in town and having friends would be a good thing. He seemed like a really nice man and he appeared to be my age. It ended up taking them four hours to fix my brakes . I still had to drive there every day to work." Forever turned out to be less than two weeks. I walked in I saw a man who caught my eye. I received an advertisement in the mail for a company that was having a special sale on brakes. I was talking to the Lord one day." I knew no one except my boss. His name was Phil and he was the service manager. When I arrived that morning. As I looked at the sales ad one location kept sticking out in my mind. there was still a lot more people than I was used to. I didn't know you could have that many cars in such a small area.
I waited around until it was time for him to get off work. We saw Graceland. I paid my bill and as I was leaving I found myself saying to him. . I said that sounded like it would be fun so I told him about what time I would be there the next day and we hung up. After dinner he drove me around Memphis. "This was great. I told myself I did not have to worry about it though I would never see him again. She could have someone to play with.Starting Over Again 138 so during that time I was able to talk to him a little bit. I found that conversation with him was easy. It was such a nice peaceful evening. he asked me if my brakes were doing alright and I told him there was actually a problem with them. He reminded me a lot of Chris. When they were through. I told him I would and then asked me if I would like to go to dinner with him afterward. After he finished his shift we left to go have dinner. "You have all my information if you want to call me. The next day I went to the store and they fixed my brakes for me. He told me when I got off work the next day to come to the store and they would take a look at them. We talked a little more and I told him I was new in town. he was a complete stranger. I was also trying to get him to give me a little discount." This would be terrific for Amber. I was planning to call them the next day. I was really excited because I was worried about meeting people and after only a few weeks I'd met someone. To my amazement he called me the following Tuesday. We talked for a few minutes. showing me all the local attractions. He was busy but I did manage to learn he was divorced and he had two children. During dinner we talked about many different things. I thought to myself. he was not married and he had kids. Sun Studios and many others. I had to be crazy." I walked out of there and I could not believe I said that.
Even though they were a few years younger than Amber. although I do not believe in love at first sight. It was wonderful to be enjoying life again. She instantly fell in love with him.Starting Over Again 139 We returned to the store so I could pick up my car and we sat there continuing to talk for several more hours. I trusted him enough to meet my daughter yet he did not trust me to meet his children. We would go to the zoo. Amber was still at her dad's. Amber told me she wanted him for a daddy. I instantly fell in love with them. out to eat. . everyone is different. which was good because it gave us a little time to get to know each other before she became involved. When we did finally meet them. he had me from that first night. baseball games. We could only go out when his children were not there. In August. I had such a soft spot in my heart for children who have lived with divorce. He was so good with her. I did not give much thought to it. I'd not been given the opportunity to meet his children yet. They were such beautiful children. they instantly got along just as though they'd known each other for years. races and sometimes the lake. It confused me a little though. I just laughed. He wanted to wait a little while to see how things went. It was not just an act for my benefit. This made dating him a little challenging. He was truly interested in her. We both had to work the following day so we finally said our goodbyes and made plans to go out again. Amber came home and she met Phil for the first time. It took nearly five months before I was able to finally meet his kids. We all began to do things together and it was so nice. Amber and I didn't do enough of this.
I was excited. A year after we moved to Tennessee. I had decided to try and get my case moved out of Texas. I was finally going to get it out of that court and away from that judge. When they handed them to me I knew it was going to be contempt. By now we were used to this. Knowing they would be back I did everything I could to . What I didn't know was during this time he was filing contempt charges against me in Texas. Kenny knew I was trying to move it to Tennessee. but he was not able to get her for his visitations. Once he mended this relationship he would be ready to see Amber. it could not be moved. Kenny was served in February and we had a preliminary hearing set for April. He knew another judge would not do for him what this one did. I knew him and I would not be civil too much longer once this happened and I was right. but as long as there is a case pending in Texas.Starting Over Again 140 Chapter 25 Kenny was still calling Amber. When they tried to serve me I noticed the court date was already passed. For the first time he was going to have to travel. I know when I see them they have papers for me. He would now understand how I have felt all these years. He filed the contempt charges trying to keep it in Texas. I was tired of going to Texas for court all the time. This meant they could not serve me. I just didn't know what for. One day there was a knock at my door and it was the sheriff's department. He was trying to mend his relationship with his girlfriend. I hired an attorney to start the proceedings.
there was a process server waiting to serve me. but at least I'd made it my hearing. I was hoping I wouldn't have to go to Texas. When I walked into that courtroom I had the same sick feeling in my stomach. I couldn't avoid it.Starting Over Again 141 avoid being served. He did however drive by my house and take pictures of it. I thought this was strange but I knew he would do it. I was going to have to represent myself again. He had to drive to Tennessee. As the hearing began. This time I had the evidence again so I figured it would work out the same. The day of my hearing in Tennessee arrived. I just handed the papers to my attorney. I had to deal with this judge and Kenny again. I told everyone he would. The last time I did this I had the evidence and was acquitted of all charges. the first thing his attorney told the judge was he hadn't seen his daughter in several months. I didn't want to go to Texas before my court date in Tennessee. I'd managed to avoid being served. He didn't really have a leg to stand on. They wanted five thousand dollars for a retainer and I didn't have that kind of money. That is what I was paying him for. Kenny hired a new attorney. I could not afford one either. . So once again I was going to go to Texas and answer contempt charges. We had our hearing but the courts would not do anything until the matter in Texas was resolved. My attorney could not help me because he was not licensed in Texas. He and his girlfriend stood there with their smug smiles and he told me “I got you”. but I did not have one in Texas. Kenny never asked me about Amber or if he could see her. but as I walked into the courthouse. He just wanted to keep it in Texas.
just like he accused me of doing before. I asked Amber if anything had ever happened to her and she said. Not to mention the fact Amber had to stay at her dad's. Any hopes of the judge realizing what Kenny was all about just flew out the window. In February 2006 he had been convicted of sexual performance of a child employed to induce/authorize. He only wanted to know if I had Amber with me.Starting Over Again 142 The judge instantly thought I'd hid her from him. I told him I did. He would not let me present it. Instantly I was reminded of how many times she had been around him.” I wanted to make sure it remained that way. It was concerning Kenny's father's arrest and conviction. I knew Kenny sometimes took her to his house but he never bothered to tell me about his dad. I had to get an attorney and come back in two weeks. I had proof he knew where she was and he'd been talking to her. A new hearing for the contempt charges would be set for two weeks later. One day while I was doing research on the Internet for my case I stumbled across it. I walked out of that court room not a happy camper. I thought about giving him custody. she is just supposed to give it up. None of this mattered. I had some important information I needed the judge to hear. the judge did not want to see or hear any of my evidence. It was at this point. I just drove 400 miles for this. He was just in Tennessee last week. for the first time. Seeing this nearly caused me to throw up. Once again she was being jerked around. I wanted to make sure he was not allowed to be around Amber. He then instructed me to get an attorney and that was it. so he instantly ordered Amber to go with Kenny. What if she had plans to attend a camp or something? Then what. I was trying to do what was best for . “No.
I went to my old place of work to borrow a phone book. This would not take long because most of the attorneys I already knew. He just would not listen to me. I didn't have five thousand dollars just lying around. I knew it would not be good for her to live with him. . You will find favor with this attorney. She kept after me so I finally called so she would leave me alone. I told her it was lunch time and no one would be there. we talked for a few minutes and he told me his fee. I did not have that much money. My mom told me to call. but it was not fair to continue to jerk her around. This was the Lord telling me. I told him I would have to call him back. she was still gone. "I have gone before you to make a way. based on his word. If I found one I had to find the money to pay them. She said I didn't know that and to call. Finding an attorney was only half the battle. I had to be in Memphis the next day to go to work. living with him or being constantly ripped from one home to the other.Starting Over Again 143 Amber." To my surprise he was there. but what was worse. but nobody wanted to deal with Kenny. The judge believed everything Kenny said. just his word. It was already noon and I was only going to be there for that day. None of this had anything to do with her and she deserved a chance for a normal life. I didn't know what I was going to do. Not the facts or evidence. I had to find an attorney who would even take the case. I was looking for one I didn't. I had to start looking through the yellow pages. I didn't want to because I didn't want to deal with it anymore. Even though I'd done nothing wrong. I only had a few hours to find an attorney. While skimming through the pages one name caught my eye. He wanted five thousand dollars.
saying Amber signed an affidavit she wanted to live with him. As I left Texas that day. She wanted her granddaughter back. Two weeks later we headed back to Texas for the hearing. After all the deceitful things Kenny had done to me in the past. I knew I had to somehow keep my faith in the Lord. he would . I started to think about all the things that have happened in the last four years. I was keeping theirs up as well. She was so mad at Kenny and the judge.Starting Over Again 144 I hung up the phone and told my mom what he said. The judge immediately reset the hearing for one week later. We talked for a while and we had a plan. before my attorney even had a chance to file our papers that morning we were served with papers. when someone constantly fires bullets at you eventually one of them is going to hit you. He was going to file the papers to have my case moved from Texas to Tennessee. believing He was going to turn my situation around. I was stunned. After a short time the Lord blessed me with the money. Kenny was filing a complaint for child abuse. I was praying I wouldn't go to jail. He told me Tennessee had jurisdiction. My dad was so frustrated with all this. I saw a glimpse of hope on the horizon. He told me one day. I was not only doing my best to keep my own faith built up. He said go home and he would call me if he needed anything. I'd dodged so many bullets in the past. He was right. I began to get fearful of what might happen. She began to make phone calls trying to get me the money. Everyone was getting very tired of them jerking Amber around. How long was this going to last? This didn't do much to help me with my faith. I could not believe it. As we arrived at the courthouse. I called the attorney back and told him we would meet him at his office. She told me to give her the phone.
This was going to be my third trip to Texas in a month. My pastor and I prayed in agreement the truth would come to light in this situation. I was going to have to make another trip in a week. My attorney asked the judge to allow me to have a few hours with Amber that afternoon. Then on top of that. but expensive. After we prayed I felt a new sense of peace come over me. I realized then it was just a ploy by Kenny to buy himself some more time. but I could not leave the county. I called my friend and told her what was going on. I knew Amber did not sign that affidavit without some help from Kenny. I knew he must have lost his mind. I . One thing I could not understand though. I was crying by now so I was thankful for his prayers. I was standing on God's promise of when two people agree and believe by faith. He agreed to give me four hours. As for the abuse charges they were preposterous.Starting Over Again 145 have the audacity to claim child abuse. He wouldn't even pay child support. I was the one who was doing my best to take care of her. I know the judge had to know what was going on. Where was I going to go? I later met Kenny so I could get Amber. Anyone who knew me knew I loved Amber more than anything. I was furious. Everything was going to be alright. if the court seriously thought I was abusing Amber. It was not only getting very exhausting. He wanted me to have to make another trip and he was able to keep Amber for another week. The judge just played right along with him. why did they let me have this visitation with her unsupervised. it shall be done. She meant the world to me and I would never do anything to hurt her. My pastor called me and said he wanted to pray with me. you are going to tell me Amber wants to live with you. No one would tell me on what grounds they came up with this.
He would have her sign an affidavit to that fact. This was her grand baby. sorrow. . She went into his office and they talked. They were going to sift through my life with a fine tooth comb. We went straight to his office. We left to go home. told him what Amber said. The hearing was scheduled for August 3. I assumed I was about to go through a big investigation. I had to be at work the next day. I called my attorney. When she came out she signed the affidavit. Kenny would do anything to cause me problems. We didn't have much time left before she had to go back to her dad.Starting Over Again 146 knew there wasn't any. As we drove the eight hours home I was talking to the Lord asking Him. This time I was not leaving without my daughter. As we said goodbyes I told her I would see her again in one week. one more time. One week later we headed back again. She didn't know what she was signing. the day she was supposed to be starting school. "How much more do we have to go through?" I didn't know what to expect next. my attorney wanted to talk to Amber without me present. 2006. I was not surprised. It turned out there was no investigation. We could now enjoy the rest of our visit. Amber asked my mom if she would go in with her and of course my mom said yes. and money. He did not care what it did to his daughter. She told us she did not want to live with her dad. I knew the law took allegations of child abuse seriously. and he told me to bring her into his office. When we got there. The courts knew the charges were bogus. During the time we had with Amber we talked to her.
I was tired of everything. There were so many court orders. But more than that. I was tired of making agreements with Kenny. Amber was assigned a guardian ad litem and I had to keep her informed of Amber's information. The judge was not going to let it be moved to Tennessee. At the time he owed over ten thousand dollars in back support. my attorney came to me to give me the details. He also had to have a psychological evaluation within sixty days. I thought to myself my goodness. Haven't I done enough already. I was leaving with . If they ordered me to do much more. The good news was Kenny had to plead guilty to contempt of court and be placed on community supervision for two years himself. nobody knew which ones to follow. This was yet another thing for me to keep up with.Starting Over Again 147 The attorney's began meeting. it would become a full time job. I was leaving the court with more things I had to do and more expenses. It was not going to matter. Once the attorney's reached a decision. how do they keep coming up with more and more things for me to do. he wasn't even paying child support. at the end of the two years I would forgive the rest of the back child support. I also had to plead guilty to contempt of court and was placed on community supervision for two years. they were trying to reach an agreement. If he kept current the entire two years. So this meant in order to keep Amber and stay out of jail I was forced to agree to keep jurisdiction in Texas for two more years. This would be good except. pay for all flights and I had to have a psychological evaluation within sixty days. At the same time. He was further ordered to pay two hundred dollars additional child support each month towards his back child support. I must continue to fly Amber every first and third weekend.
At times she did not want to go. After much arguing back and forth it was decided it would remain on Saturday. It was necessary for us to get up at three o'clock in the morning to make the flight. Sunday her flight did not arrive until ten-thirty at night. . It was always after midnight when we got home. The attorney's talked and soon discovered. He wanted her to fly out on Friday and come back on Sunday. I was going to do whatever I had to make sure he could not take me back to court. I would have to leave work early or it would cost around six hundred dollars per flight to fly her out of Memphis. This did not include the cost to drive one hundred sixty miles round trip both on Saturday and Sunday. paid for the flights. I decided I didn't care what it took. but I told her I was sorry she had to go. I was not giving her dad any reason to take us back to court. if Amber flew on Friday. I made the flight arrangements. Something in me changed that day. and made sure she was on them. The flight was between one hundred seventy seven dollars and two hundred twenty-five dollars each flight.Starting Over Again 148 Amber. she would miss school. we had a one hour forty-five minute drive home. We would go straight to bed because she had school and I had to work the next day. Just like before this information was exchanged through the attorney's making it impossible for Kenny to come back and charge me with contempt. Now I could get her home and in school. Once her plane did land. It was supposed to stay this way but since the judge stated Friday's in his order Kenny was demanding that it be on Friday. I booked her flight and made sure he had the flight information. notified Kenny. She had always flown out on Saturday and came back on Sunday.
They had another flight coming back in about thirty minutes. In November the same thing happened. I wanted someone to follow this case for a while and see just what I had to put up with. Again I told him I needed a letter. Not even seeing her dad. He didn't call nor did he show up so she was on the flight coming back. Also in November she was not able to fly a couple of times because of the airline. She had just flown to Texas only to turn right around and fly back home. It was always scheduled for the next weekend. I had to turn around and go back to get her. Not to mention the fact I paid for a flight which was unnecessary. when she arrived at the airport Kenny was not there. I had purchased a cell phone for Amber so she called me to let me know what was going on. In September he called to say he was not going to be able to make a flight. I was making sure I crossed all my t's and dotted all my i's. He was not taking me back to court. He was not paying . I told him unless my attorney had something in writing. Amber went on a scheduled flight. I would call him and tell him when her next flight was scheduled.Starting Over Again 149 Going back and forth every other weekend was getting exhausting. Each time I made sure to get a letter from the airline stating this. In December. Every time something happened or Amber went on a visitation I would send my attorney an email describing the events that occurred. The airline tried to call him and left a message for him that she was at the airport. He did not care about the fact Amber had to go through this. I was not going back to court so he faxed my attorney a letter. she would be on that flight. If he did not call or show up they would put her on that flight.
it was Amber's weekend to go to her dad's and she was sick. She had the flu and was running a high fever. Amber called me saying the airline would not release her to his girlfriend. She wanted me to call. I could hear Diana in the background cussing at the airline employees. she was well and she was going. I could hear her telling the airline he was in Virginia so he could not get to the airport. She called Kenny to tell him what was going on. Instead it was his girlfriend. saying I was keeping her away from him. She called him and he told her it was alright if she stayed home. I'd notified him of her flight information. He was really calling to see if she had made the whole thing up. I told her I could not call because if I did he would have me back in court. She did not want to so I told her she either called or she was on the flight.Starting Over Again 150 for the flights and knew I would not be able to get my money back. I was so mad because he knew he was not even going to be there that weekend. I told her she would have to call her dad and ask him if he would let her stay home that weekend. He made her come anyway so he could make sure I paid the money for the flight. By the time of her next scheduled flight in February. Every time I had to make a flight change it cost me fifty dollars. February 2007. When she arrived in Dallas he was not there again. He would not believe me she was sick. He even called her the next day to check on her. She was not going to miss a flight if it was not necessary. He assumed I was having Amber make it up because I did not want to send her. He had done this before so he knew the airline would not release her and would send her home. The courts would not do anything to him. What he didn't count on was what his girlfriend would . It was his name on the Unaccompanied Minor slips not hers.
She called him again to tell him she did not want to come. The airline employees had her stay in an office until she left. This time it was thirty-one counts. Amber didn't want to spend the summer on the truck with him and she most certainly did not want to be left with his girlfriend. She had her cell phone and talked to me the entire time.Starting Over Again 151 do next. They felt so sorry for her. The next thing I know he sends me a letter stating if she does not come he will make sure I go to jail this time. She called her dad. I told Amber she was going to have to go. she just did not want to come down there. I needed to get all my evidence gathered up and submitted to my attorney. flight records. She was telling him that was not it. Her response to them was it was not her kid and not her problem. 2007. I had to get phone records. Just before school was out for the summer I received a letter from my attorney stating that Kenny had filed contempt charges on me again. She got mad and told them she was leaving. So she left. This was always such a chore. Summer visitation was getting close and she did not want to go. Amber was in the Dallas/Ft. Amber had five dollars on her but the airline still bought her lunch. Worth airport for five hours by herself. He kept trying to blame me for her not wanting to come. They told her she needed to stay with Amber until the return flight left. and anything else I . No questions asked and the judge would punish me somehow. The hearing was set for June 15. Any other time she did not want to go she had to call her dad to get his permission. told him this and he said okay. He knew from his past dealings with this judge all he had to do was get me in court and the judge would automatically give him Amber.
His charges never made sense. Anger came over me because I could not understand how I could possibly go to jail. The next morning we headed to the attorney's office. right down to the letter of the law. As we made our way back to Texas. They would give me a discount for being a good customer. “So am I going to be going to jail?" He looked at me and said. One of his claims was I put Amber's life in danger when I sent her knowing he was not going to be at the airport. As I walked into his office I was kidding with him when I said. How did I know he was not going to be there? If I did.Starting Over Again 152 had to disprove each and every count. I hadn't made one mistake. I knew I was in trouble because he was the one who had caused me so much trouble in the . Here we go again. so I thought. I wouldn't have sent her. He'd not missed one visitation because of me. What about the fact he didn't pick her up at the airport on more than one occasion? What about the money it cost me when he did this? What more did I have to do? Give up custody of Amber? We talked for a few minutes then we headed to the courthouse. We always stayed at the same motel so they knew who I was by now." He was not kidding. I sat down in the chair. We made it down there on June 14th and settled in our motel room. except me. but no one wanted to take the time to look at them. It would have saved me the time and money. I was telling everyone this was the last time I was making this trip. I knew I'd done everything I was supposed to. but this time I was not scared. I was tired of this and so was Amber. He wanted me to meet him there before we went to court. I took a while to do this. Once we arrived I learned Kenny had hired his original attorney again. "Probably.
" . Whatever happens. The court terminated his rights. "It is true. She was crying. After a little while we had a conference with my attorney. While he was gone I was trying to console Amber. “No. “No I am just kidding. he terminated his rights. I will take my chances with the judge. “Our faith does not lie in man. I've done nothing wrong and I am tired of this. My heart was in my throat because I knew they had reached an agreement with the judge. It didn't matter how it was done as long as he won. You are going to jail for six months. He said they would agree to drop the contempt charges if Amber went with Kenny for the summer. it lies in Christ Jesus. “You’re fired!" Amber started crying and screaming. My attorney looked at us both and said." My attorney said. As we sat down he said to me. He has no morals or ethics and all he cares about is winning. I am not going to agree anymore. hold on a minute. she did not want to go to her dad's and she did not want me to go to jail. "You will probably go to jail. I said to her. He went to talk to Kenny's attorney. I said. he would be back." I looked him dead in the eye and said to him. at least he will quit trying to put me there.” Amber looked at him and said “Are you serious? You’re not kidding us are you?” He looked at her and said. I was going to have to live with it whatever it was." We began to pray and we continued to pray until my attorney came back." I said. "No.Starting Over Again 153 beginning. we must trust the Lord. My attorney had been gone a long time when he called Amber and me into the jury room. I also had to agree to forgive all back child support. and He will work it out for our good. The lawyers started talking as Amber and I just sat there waiting." He told me. "Amber is going to her dad's for six months. No”. "Okay.
just a few hours ago I was going to jail. As for me. While we waited I asked my attorney what happened.Starting Over Again 154 Amber and I jumped up. Now the courts terminated his rights. She was screaming. “Praise you Jesus. face this judge for anything. thank you” over and over. The Lord had answered our prayers and blessed us with a mighty miracle. He said. Although there was great joy in knowing this nightmare was finally over. Amber and I walked out of the courtroom to the car where my mom was waiting. and I was saying. "I told Kenny you would agree to go to jail for six months. there was some sadness that Amber no longer had a dad. I knew the truth. He was sad to see it come to . We would never again have to come to this court. Yes!”. it was the Lord giving me a miracle. I didn't care how it happened only that it did. the judge told me he'd tried to do his best to be fair to both parties. The judge wanted to save face so they all agreed to the termination. It was a bittersweet moment. Finally after everything we had been through it was going to be over. Amber was going to foster care. I opened her door and just hugged her." Kenny knew he was abusing Amber and he didn't want to go to jail. We had to wait for the attorney's to draw up the papers. I would make sure he never got her. I was going to have an investigation started into his abuse of Amber and then I told him. There was going to be a little hearing before the judge to complete this. “Yes!. Once that was done and the papers signed it was official. Through the tears I told her the court had terminated his rights. but as soon as you were sentenced. At the hearing. No matter what we did Kenny would never again be able to hurt us. hugged each other and started crying. It was such a tremendous feeling of relief. I was so overwhelmed.
“Fair. It was a fight for justice. the Lord.Starting Over Again 155 this but he knew Amber would be alright. "Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion. After a few more minutes everybody signed the papers. This part of my journey was complete and it was now time to start over again with this new life I'd been given. For I. to do what was right. and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance. and what was right. I just wanted to get my hands on the papers that were going to give Amber and me our life back. This was the best gift I could ever give him. I knew I wanted to teach her something out of all of this. 2007. . I was so close to being set free from the bondage and I was not going to mess it up. what do you mean fair." Isaiah 61:7-8 (NIV). freedom. love justice. I wanted to scream at him. He makes everything that is wrong. I could see by looking at her. I looked over at Amber's face and saw her relief. We finally had justice and our freedom. I was reminded at this time of a scripture I once read. even when it was not being done to you. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them. I stood there and intently watched the judge sign his name. I taught her the meaning of character. right in due time. and everlasting joy will be theirs. We had been redeemed by the Lord. You had not been fair to me from the very beginning. when I realized I already had. this is what I was showing her. This was June 15. I had done a good job with her. my dad's birthday. and how to have a faith so strong it would not be moved by circumstances.” I knew I couldn't say anything because he had not signed the paper yet. I hate robbery and iniquity. the ability to love others. I finally understood why I could never give up the fight. and so they will inherit a double portion in their land.
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We celebrated all the way home. I was still in disbelief, it hadn't fully sunk in yet. I felt like I'd just been let out of prison after serving a long sentence. I did not know
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what to do with my life. I hadn't given it any thought before. I'd been a prisoner to this divorce for the last five years. Now I had to start thinking about what I was going to do. I could do anything I wanted. I did not have to worry about airports or if Kenny was going to take me to court. My relationship with Phil was not going good. Over the past two years we just couldn't seem to merge our two lives. He had his and I had mine. Even though we did many things together, our lives were not joined. We tried, but we had some many walls to get through. He would sometimes just disappear. I would not hear from him for a week, two weeks, sometimes even a month. Each time I would find him and do my best to put our relationship back together again. I should have let him go then, but I was not ready to. When we would get back together, we never quite got back to where we once were. So we just continued to grow apart. We were leading separate lives and became emotionally distant from each other. Our relationship had deteriorated to the point we were only speaking by text message every once in a while. After all this time we were going backwards not forward. I kept telling myself, if only he could see how much love I had in my heart, he would not be afraid. He would be willing to take a step of faith. The Lord spoke to me saying, “That is how I feel about each and every one of my lost children. If they only had faith in my love for them, they would not be afraid.” From that moment I had a deeper understanding of how much God really loved me. One day the Lord spoke to me, telling me to let Him go. I did not want to let go. The Lord kept pressing me to let go. I prayed and prayed to make sure I was hearing the Lord correctly. I was hoping I had misunderstood him, even though I knew I hadn't. I had to make a choice to obey the
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Lord's command or my own will. I wrestled with my own will because I was not ready to let go. In the end I chose to obey the Lord and let go. It was so very hard. I loved this man so much. I really believed by faith we would spend the rest of our lives together and Amber was so attached to him. Then the Lord said to me, “Sometimes I hide people from you so I can do a work in them or you.” My heartache left that very moment because I knew I had to trust the Lord. He knew my heart and my desires. When the Lord removes something from our lives, He always restores it with something better. He closed the door on this relationship but He is going to open another door in His time.
He began to fill me with more of his love. the Lord began to change me. I still did not get an interview. I never had any trouble finding a job before. I could not just quit my job because I had responsibilities. I could no longer see myself as a victim. He was trying to remove all of the unforgiveness and bitterness that was in my heart. I was tired and burnt out. I just continued to pray for the Lord to conform . I continued to work at my job. It was important for me to forgive in order to move forward with my life. so I knew it would not be long until I would be set free. but I began to have a sense of discontentment. I began looking in July and as I continued to send out resume after resume I wasn't getting any calls for interviews. I'd become a prisoner to my job and it had me in bondage. He had a plan for me I just did not know what it was. I never had a problem before. I did not understand it. so I started looking for another job. I felt like I was carrying the weight of the company on my shoulders.Starting Over Again 159 Chapter 27 I knew I wanted to do something to help me make sense of everything I had been through. I began to pray for the Lord to conform me to his will so He may be able to use me for his Kingdom. A few more months went by. In my heart I knew the Lord did not take me through all of this for nothing. As I continued to pray this prayer. I was growing impatient because I wanted out of there so bad. I'd completely adjusted my life around my job. I discovered true freedom with my release from Kenny and now I was no longer content being in bondage to anything.
This is what I'd been praying for. “Now is the time. but when he calls we don't want to go because of fear. She began to tell me what the Lord had for me. I prayed for the Lord to please show me what He wanted me to do. It was things I'd been praying for. leave my job. how am I going to pay for everything? This meant I would have to put all my trust in Him. I would have to wait until September to hear from the Lord as to what He wanted me to do. I was the only income in my house. I only fully trusted myself. If I leave my job. She told me things no one knew but the Lord. that was a different story. Whoa. I smiled and said. what I was going to do for money. I would have to leave my job and trust him.Starting Over Again 160 me so he may use me for his Kingdom. I'd become totally dependent upon myself for everything. I didn't know about that. how long this was going to take. The company I worked for hired a new employee who would be the one to tell me what the Lord wanted for me. and what I was going to be doing. you know why I am here don't you”. "Me?" I wasn't sure. I asked Him to give me wisdom and direction. whom the Lord sent to deliver a message to me. I wanted to know exactly how this was going to work out. I worked and provided for my family. I went home that night and prayed about this. He told . He said He would not answer any more of my questions until I made a choice.” He told me it was time for him to use me. Of course I wanted to do the Lord's will. I was only guessing since she asked me. So many times we pray for the Lord to use us. but only if I was willing. I needed to know details. The Lord gave her a prophetic word for me. One thing He said was. but leaving my job. She'd been working for a few days when she came to me and said “Susan. She was a prophetess.
For the first time. During those two weeks the enemy was attacking me from every direction. The Lord was calling me to help others.” I had such a sense of peace. I will bless you more." I heard the Lord speak to me and He said. As I sat there laughing. I was going to obey His will for my life and answer my calling. As this anointing came over me I knew I finally found what I'd been searching for all these years. He had a plan for my life if I had faith and would trust Him. but they told me to leave after two weeks.Starting Over Again 161 me to trust him and he would take care of me. I went ahead and turned in my resignation when the Lord told me to. Before I could turn in my resignation I received a raise of almost ten dollars an hour. "I knew you were going to test me. He said to give thirty days notice. I'd found my purpose and calling. I submitted to the will of the Lord that night and made my decision. they did. The void I had in my life for so long began to be filled. I was making more money than I ever made in my life and now I was about to walk away from it. Some were upset because I was leaving. He was preparing me for this day. “If you will trust me. I finally understood I didn't go through all this for nothing. my life had purpose and meaning. If I did this He would reveal His plan to me. People were telling lies about me to others. He was trying to put fear and guilt in my life. As I prayed. like me. I told the Lord. I'd been taught before you have promotions you have tests. I knew what I was supposed to be doing. who were lost and hurting. I felt a release inside of me. I knew I would be tested to see if I was true to my decision. It was as if I was betraying . He gave me the date he wanted me to resign and told me no matter what do not change the date. I did not change the date the Lord gave me. but I did not know it would be this big of a test.
. The Lord instructed me to be quiet and He would defend me. When I left the office for the last time. For the first time in my life. Psalm 55:22 (GNT). I did not have to do anything except trust him. They knew the truth without me ever saying one word. I looked for it in my relationships with men. It was. my jobs and in everything else but yet I could not find it. He never lets honest people be defeated. I had the same feeling of freedom I had when I left the courtroom that day. if I let him.Starting Over Again 162 them. He would protect me. "I leave my troubles with the Lord. Peace that only comes from the Lord. The Lord set me free from bondage. The plan was they didn't want anyone to help me once I left. but I remained quiet. He loves me like no one has ever loved me. The Lord was showing me He will defend me against my enemies. I would come back there to work. Every person they went to came to me and told me what was said. I was living my life for what I thought everyone wanted for me. If I failed. It was hard for me. What I found that day was peace and freedom. Now I am living my life for what God wants for me. I remembered a scripture from before when I was facing a similar situation. I found what I'd been desperately searching for all my life. I was going to start my life over again and this time the Lord was giving the directions. so I would fail. They were trying to make sure every person I'd befriended would no longer speak to me. and He will defend me.
When you take two boards. Although they meant well in what they did. You cannot separate the boards without tearing them apart. I needed to . I could create a perfect life for myself. to listen. I understand more why God hates divorce. I believe one of the reasons He hates divorce is because it destroys families. They will never be the same. this resembles getting a divorce.Starting Over Again 163 Chapter 28 In living through this experience I learned so many things along the way. this was not always what I needed. as they once were. They will tell you how to handle your problem and/or how to fix it. then try to separate them. It pulls apart a husband and wife who made a vow to remain together till death. I can testify to the fact I had more than my share of advice. When you are going through a storm in your life. Sometimes I just wanted someone to be there for me. I found myself searching for this in all the wrong ways. After dealing with the rejection of my husband I desperately wanted a man to be attracted to me. nail and glue them together. I needed the help of the Lord. I heard someone say once. Things do not always appear to be what they seem. I just didn't know I could not do anything by myself. I would think to myself if I could just find a boyfriend then everything would be alright. you don't have to look very far in order to find people who will give you advice. A person may appear on the outside to be handling their situation but on the inside they are really lost. I could lean on them for strength. I could get lost in this new relationship and everything else would disappear.
" These things people said to me. and not stupid. I would say I wanted a man who would treat me right but my actions did not support my words. but I was doing it in a negative way. I had been the good little wife and look what it got me. Even in church. the anger. the pain I was suffering. What I felt was not important. and the betrayal. I was feeding my flesh and my self esteem.Starting Over Again 164 feel like I was still attractive. This is not about you. No one told me how to deal with this part of my life. I already had enough pain in my life and I didn't need any more. I would do whatever I needed for him to be attracted to me. I was hearing the same things as when I was married. I did not matter. This was not what I was wanting. led me to believe I did not matter. the rejection. I did not know how to handle the feelings I had. you will believe it. By having a boyfriend. No one told me I needed to overcome my past. nothing but heartache! I was having a silent self-pity party. The problem was I did not know what to do. "Don't let Kenny get to you and don't let him win. Everyone told me how I had to be strong for my daughter. it is about Amber. You have a responsibility to Amber to do what you are supposed to do. You have to do what is best for Amber. If you hear something enough. I had to take the back seat right now to everyone else's needs. pretty. I had no confidence in myself so I needed others to prop me up. They knew I was weak and they preyed upon that. no one was teaching me the best thing I could do for everyone was to heal myself. They said. I spent my whole life trying to be what other people wanted me to be. I was only getting negative attraction because they were interested in me for the wrong reasons. I was trying to get someone to love me. . the sense of loss.
That you can change everything in your life. I knew myself as no other way. I was doing what I could to prove to myself that they were wrong. Until you learn to deal with your past. I didn't know you cannot have a healthy relationship until you deal with the past. I'd lived and breathed my circumstances for so long. This is how . So I entered into a relationship with Vernon. to be by myself. This is how I identified myself.Starting Over Again 165 I would look around and watch women treat men badly. I was the victim of abuse and divorce. same thing. Even though with Chris. It was too painful. although I didn't have any control over what Kenny did. I was confusing lust for love. I found a man who was good to me. You can just play the game a little and leave. Next came my relationship with Phil. you will continually find yourself in a relationship with someone you know is going to hurt you. I had no idea how to do this or if it was even possible. They were the ones who had boyfriends. which caused me not to recognize the fact I was being used. they became my identity. if you know the relationship will not go anywhere. The good women who did not do this were hurting by themselves. You do not have to worry about getting disappointed or hurt. I would imagine everyone I told how my husband left me for another woman would automatically think I must have done something wrong. I still had the brokenness and pain inside me. I also did not want to deal with my past. I was in an unhealthy situation. I still had so much pain inside I could not receive him. but nothing will change until you change what is within you. you are the victim. You are okay with this because after all. I did not know how to begin a fresh new life. There is nothing to get your hopes up about. The last thing in the world I wanted was.
so you are prepared. from one town to another. This meant I was healed. That's what was missing from my life. I spent so many years trying to figure this all out. searching for something. You know going in how it is going to turn out. I thought as long as I could function in my daily life I was okay. I was running from the pain in my life.Starting Over Again 166 you see yourself. What no one told me was the thing missing in my life was my own healing. I suffered great amounts of pain and shed so many tears. I was broken . I knew something was missing from my life because I just didn't feel whole and complete. All I knew was I had to be strong. So if I got married. You are not going to let yourself be blindsided again. There was a void in my life and I believed a husband was going to fill it. I am sharing my story with you. I do not want to see another woman suffer the way I have. so no one would reject me. I would feel whole again. The one person I should have been concerned with was me. I could not handle someone not being happy with me. You do not want for anything or expect anything to be different. hoping it will help you avoid going down the same roads I've taken. I could fill up a lake. I didn't know how to deal with what was going on inside of me. I didn't have a plan or purpose for my life other than just existing to make everyone else happy. to me this meant rejection. This is easier to deal with because you don't have to worry about being disappointed or betrayed again. I was desperately trying to make everyone happy. If I wasn't healed how could I function? I was just running from one bad relationship to another. This was not the answer either. I had responsibilities. I was wondering around lost and confused.
no home. I didn't want to make anyone unhappy. but to have the love I was looking for. yet I was not truly happy. I needed to fix what was broken inside of me. No man. I know I loved them the best I could. If they were unhappy with me they would reject me. changed this or changed that. I was going to church. I wasn't ever able to grieve after my divorce." That was the problem. There had to be something wrong with me. The more I did . living for the Lord. working. Divorce is like death. I was on a journey. I heard many times "I don't know how you deal with all of it. perfect friend. yet something was still missing. A perfect mother. money in the bank. I didn't love myself. be perfect on my job. raising my daughter. I thought I did though. I was going to make mistakes. I didn't even like myself and because of this I couldn't really love anyone else. I was so critical of myself. perfect daughter.Starting Over Again 167 and wounded. People perceived me as a strong woman. I needed to be there for Amber and I had to deal with Kenny. I became an angry person. nothing I could buy or any person was going to fill the emptiness I felt inside. I had to be strong. I set myself up to fail and I failed big time. I would finally find what I was searching for. bought a different car. I had a car. friends. a home. and I was just running. The more he did to me the more I felt like a failure. it is the death of your marriage. I wasn't dealing with anything. This made me hate myself more. Maybe if I moved. but I didn't know where I was going. dated another man. I wasn't perfect. No one I ever talked to went through as much as I did. even a boyfriend. and even be a perfect Christian. lived in another town. If I wasn't perfect nobody would want me. I had to be able to give that person the same love. I had to be perfect.
The devil will also use people for his plans. I wouldn't amount to anything. When he tries to remove them. new car. So many years I heard from people how I was worthless. I was worth more. It takes a lot of courage to face your past. a boss. I needed to forgive me. If I didn't get it. but you are here for somebody. and know I am worth something. This would make it worse. Move up the corporate ladder. You must seek wisdom from the Lord and ask Him to show you who needs to be removed. I had to be perfect. I needed everyone's approval. No one told me I needed to take care of me. I would hear them say. I was so stressed I couldn't sleep without medication. I would strive that much harder to achieve something I felt they would approve of. let him. If I did this it would prove I was somebody. there are many others who have it worse off than you do. I've spent my whole life measuring myself with the approval I received from others. Look into your past . and I was looking for something to validate my worth. Every person who comes in your life is not good for you. but the only way you can heal is to face it head on. although I tried. You are not here for everybody. I wanted everyone to like me. I would get a corporate job. I had no self worth. nice house. We should treat others as we would like to be treated. It didn't though. or anyone else. This was considered a selfish act. than to be used by some man. make lots of money. Have a fancy title. Now I feel bad because I felt bad in the first place. all it got me was a lot of stress and sleepless nights.Starting Over Again 168 wrong the more I tried to be perfect. love me. and the works. I had to think of others. you have a lot to be thankful for. It was a vicious cycle that made my hate for me worse. Anything less was rejection. You cannot please everyone. so I was looking for things of the world to give me worth.
How much more rare is it if it is the only one in the world? You are a special. and for others it may have been you were told you were no good. it is because there are very few of them in the world. What you surround yourself with will eventually become who you are. You are none of those things. Instead surround yourself with ones who will do this.Starting Over Again 169 and forgive those who have hurt you. If you hang around a bad person. we've been misunderstood in what we believed. eventually they will wear off on you. let it go and don't ever look back. When something is considered rare. You are a product of your environment. This was something that was so hard for me to do. show courage. Once you truly forgive them. Maybe people have put you down your whole life. one of a kind. Now what. but now broken person. The most important person you need to forgive is yourself. If I can do it. had someone who has said or done something to hurt us. Be a living example so they will not follow in your footsteps and live the same life you did. For some we've been cheated on. There is no one else like you in the world. The good news is now you know the truth. Remove the people from your life who don't encourage you or make you want to be better. Leave it where it is and continue to move forward. They were lying to you. God wants to take a once beautiful. The steps we take influence those around us so be . at some point and time in our lives. Once you have let go of something from your past do not try to get it back again. I know you can. and restore them into something different and even more beautiful. overcome and conquer your fears. We have all probably. do you walk around defeated and raise your children in that environment or do you rise up. You no longer have to feel that way about yourself. We need to stop the cycle and change directions.
Who are you following after? You never know who may be following you. dust yourself off. Success comes from failure and courage. I can do this. sometimes I was tired of picking myself up. If you fail. You are royalty. You are your own best friend and you can't get away from yourself. It wasn't always easy. I had the courage to continue to get up each time I was knocked down. I will not be used. I tell myself I am pretty. I can handle it. Don't settle for less than what the Lord has for your life. Treat yourself like you are and demand others do the same. You are a child of the most high God. doubt.Starting Over Again 170 careful which roads you choose to walk down. which makes it possible for you to see your rainbow. You need to know the direction in which your life is going. If you don't know where you are going or what it is you want. God is your sunlight. Many times I had to encourage myself because no one else would. Find what works for you and talk to yourself. Humble yourself before the Lord and ask Him to show you what he has for you. When this happens. how will you know when you get there and find it? One of the hardest things to control is your mind. There is always going to periods of rain in your life. say good things to you. Just remember though the sorrow may last for the night. joy comes in the morning. We want success. and unbelief. strive to be what the Lord says you are. It takes failure to learn and courage to try again after you fail. It takes sunlight in order to see the rainbow. Dig down deep and find the courage to get up. Keep . have the courage to try again. and say 'bring it on'. fear. It is so easy to dwell on the negative things. but praise God there is a rainbow at the end of the rain. I am smart. Don't strive to be what the world says you are. So why not love the one your with. You must take time to examine your heart to learn what it is you want.
We have to take control of our lives. He is a gentleman and will not force himself in your life. No matter what you have done or not done with your life it is never too late . For the first time I began to see the good in people and not just the bad. It is not important where you start. but how you finish. I could not believe how much I was missing by having my walls up. He will meet you right where you are. A rainbow is God's way of saying the rain is over. I began to see not everyone was going to hurt me. Little by little began to break down your walls. but I was keeping the good in. He has given us all freewill so when we come to him it is because we want to and not because we are forced to. I discovered God will use our circumstances to draw us near to him so he can change us. He is patiently waiting for you. One day you will be able to see a small hole in the wall. You will be amazed at what you see. He wants to accept you but first you must invite him in. I am answering the call God has placed on my life. I traded my ashes in for the beauty of the Lord and you can do the same. The message I want to share with you is it does not matter what you do God still loves you. It takes great courage to love again. I am no longer running around chasing everyone trying to make them happy. but to have love you must first give love. I saw a big world and there were so many good people in it. I am no longer chasing the dreams or expectations everyone had for me. Some people just wanted to love me and nothing more.Starting Over Again 171 your eye on the rainbow and not the rain. The more I began to love Jesus the more my heart filled with love for others. By doing this I now make everyone happy around me because I am happy. I am making myself happy and pleasing the Lord. Not only was I keeping the bad out.
Yet he never left my side. He wanted me just as I was. nor believing one day she would return.Starting Over Again 172 to experience the love that God has for you. Not perfect. and was not attending church. As a parent myself. joy. I was instrumental in the collapse of a marriage. He will leave ninety-nine just for you. and I will give you rest. if my child went missing I would never stop loving her. He did not break his promise to me. not religious. looking for her. "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. I did not know what happiness really meant until I experienced the joy of the Lord. He never stopped loving me and I believe on that day he cried. living with and having a child with a man out of wedlock. He is lovingly waiting for us. That is how much you mean to him. He'd been waiting a long time. angry. bitter. He wants to bring peace. "Come to me." I spent my whole life trying to make everyone happy. When I was in trouble I had no one else to turn to so I turned back to God. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?" Luke 15:4 (NIV). I was the one who left Him and rejected his commands. No matter what we have done. he wants to cleanse us and make us whole. selfish. We are God's children and he is our father. He feels the same way. just as I was. The promise He would never leave nor forsake me. Even though I was a sinner God still loved me. I was once the "one" he left ninety-nine for and I am so thankful he found me. all you who are weary and burdened. I was not living my life for God. He was just so happy to have me back. He was the only one who could wash away all the bad . One day I invited the Lord back into my life and He was waiting there to accept me with wide open arms. and happiness into our lives. Matthew 11:28 (NIV) says.
Once He forgives you of your sins they are forgotten. He paid the debt of my sins with his life so that I would be forgiven of my sins. or emotions. "Lord you don't understand. peace. but once He does it will be worth it. attitudes. There is going to be things He will need to remove from your life. I had a debt I could not pay. attitudes that I had. if you meant it from your heart and believe what you said. Jesus paid a debt he did not owe. You are going to have to go through a time of transformation and self examination. After saying these words. If after reading this book you find yourself wanting to experience all that God has to offer you. and the past that I clung to. people that I loved. habits. I had to let go of many things. He knew we would mess up in our lives. It will not always be easy. and purpose for your life. It may be people. He hung on the cross just for you because he loved you. . You try to remind him. joy. As long as we have a single breath in our bodies it is never too late. We can then fulfill the purpose and destiny He has planned for our lives.Starting Over Again 173 things I'd done. His love. He will begin a transformation in you that will take you places you have never been before. I have done so many bad things. Thank goodness for that because I have done many wrong things in my life. I had to learn to forgive and let go of all the people who had hurt me in my past. happiness. I know for me it was hard at times. He has always loved you. all you have to do is say these few words. He wants to use each and every one of us to further his Kingdom here on earth. If we are willing to allow him to work through us He will prepare us for this journey. He no longer remembers them. How could you possibly still love me?" I am here to tell you he does still love you.
God can work with us. We must believe that when we let go. Have mercy on me. This very moment I acknowledge that Jesus Christ is my Savior and according to His Word. Thank You. especially if it is not something you want to let go of in the first place. You may not be where you want to be. and forgive me of my sins as I forgive those who have sinned against me. We control our own happiness. Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my life. If God is trying to remove something from your life. ready for a better life then pray these few simple words. Let me offer encouragement and support to you. right now I am born again. I want to repent and turn away from my sins. Don't despise your meager beginnings. I ask for the strength to love you more than anything else so I won't fall back into my old ways. I am truly sorry for the things that I have done." Now thank him for what He has done for you. Remember God is a gentleman. this will cause us to miss out on what the future holds for us. Jesus. He will not force you to do anything. God has something special just for you. You will never be the same. Jesus Christ. let him. Look forward to what He is going to give you and not what you are letting go of. The . Amen. but you sure are not where you once were. Pray. If we are willing to change. we can never go forward. I am still on my journey and together we can rise higher and higher. We must take ownership of our lives. ready for a new beginning. cleanse me. I acknowledge to you that I am a sinner. If we are always looking back into our past. I ask all of this in the name of the Lord and Savior. for coming into my life and hearing my prayer. God has something better in store for us. "Dear Heavenly Father. If you are ready to start over again. The key is we have to be willing.Starting Over Again 174 Letting go is hard.
What an exciting thing we can do.Starting Over Again 175 Bible tells us we will mount up with the wings of eagles and soar. May the Lord keep you and bless you in all that you do. God wants you to live a life of victory. Walk out your journey in victory with Jesus Christ. May you find peace and happiness that surpasses all. . May he grant unto you the desires of your heart according to his riches in heaven. May the Lord shine His light in you that all may see.
There is hope for a better future through the love of Jesus Christ. and two families were destroyed.org) site where women can gather to support and encourage one another. two children their fathers. Susan Voyles stays busy taking care of her daughter.dwbheavenlyboutique. One man's betrayal cost a man his life. The devastation of spousal abuse or a divorce does not affect only the people involved. Who wants to have the courage to try love again. It has an effect on the people whom they encounter in their lives. He wants to restore and rebuild your life. . but to have love you must first give love. She has founded a social networking (www. Learn from each other as they discover the real woman that lies within. Some of the best things in life are still free.Starting Over Again 176 Starting Over Again was inspired by the true story of one woman's triumphant rise from the devastation of spousal abuse and divorce. It takes great courage to love.startingoveragain. A story of how two people changed the lives of many others who knew them. This story is for any woman who has suffered pain at the hands of a man.com) and enjoying life with all it has to offer. The price of our decisions and actions can be very costly. running a business (www. She loves to go on spontaneous trips to discover new and exciting things.
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