This Wasn’t The Plan
Divorce, difficulty, and desperation – this wasn’t a part of the plan when I said, I do.In sickness in health. I do.
For richer or poorer. I do.
For better or worse. I do.
Till separation do us part. I don’t.
Hopeless and hurt. I don’t.
Financially devastated and a life of loneliness. I don’t
I don’t, remember any of that being a part of the plan.
Before coming to Shepherd’s Village, I was a divorced, single mother for eight years. I endured much strife and struggle and with each event, I built higher and higher walls around myself. Beyond being alone, my walls of protection were built out of the fodder of these life-changing events:
The financial devastation of the stock market crash of 2008.
Thirteen months of hopeless unemployment.
The grievous death of my father.
Termination of two jobs and countless friendships.
The extreme hurt of my mother and sister’s move out of state, while I found myself in a different state of mind.
I liquidated my retirement and my son’s college savings just to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Nevertheless, I was determined to be a present parent to my son, Max. My life became about survival and investing in my son’s future–a future that held a different tomorrow than I had imagined. I cut my losses and cut myself off from others. I got good at building walls to fortify our home…
…until the day The Lord tore them all down.
I received notification that my rent was going to increase beyond what was sustainable and, at the same time, my child support was also about to cease. That was the day I knew I couldn’t do this alone anymore!
The Walls Came Down
Through the prayer and care of others, a door of opportunity opened at Shepherd’s Village. I was full of pride and prejudice. I looked at the open door and I just couldn’t see myself walking through it.
This wasn’t part of the plan, you know?
Susan and Phyllis were patient – leaving the door open a little while longer.
It took a series of God-ordained events, but Max and I moved in three months later.
Upon arrival, we were greeted and welcomed by many who would become part of our new family. We experienced random acts of kindness, like the delivery of “Miracle Soup” from a neighbor in our time of illness. We received the gift of joy, via the walks and talks over “the bridge” with various families from down the hall. We unpacked gratitude that came from the unexpected cards and gifts we received on holidays and birthdays.
We were not forgotten!
As part of a community of motivated mothers, I learned to help others who were hurting while learning there is hope ME. Hope for a better future!
I was guided, provided, and loved through the bad, the angry, and the UGLY scars of divorce and single parenthood. In a God way, I began to say, “I do” to His plans as I learned not to be defined by divorce. More importantly, I said, “I DO” want a different future for Max that only He can provide.
For me, Shepherd’s Village became my shelter in the storm. My place of peace. My rest, on this needed stop. The community is now part of my family and has changed my family forever.
Now, my “I do’s” include:
An emergency fund and savings account.
Great credit and debt free.
Owner of a new car and reliable transportation.
Owner of a new and emerging photography business.
Healthy and righteous relationships.
Plan for home ownership.
Soon I will leave Shepherd’s Village through a different door than the one I entered. I came at an all-time low, but I leave poured into and prepared. I am a different woman and mother. I have been equipped, not enabled. Thanks to the selfless service and giving of the Shepherd’s Village staff, donors, and mentors – I will leave here as the person God has always called me to be.
If you are reading this, divorce, separation, and single parenthood may not be a part of your plan either but have faith. God has plans to “prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29-11).
His plan may very well be behind a blessed door at Shepherd’s Village.
May God Bless Your Journey,