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