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