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