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