This is the story
of a journey I embarked on
with God and with my three sons:
Sean, Neil, and Jeff.
It started eight years ago
and was at first filled with equal
amounts of pain and triumph.
As I grew in faith, wisdom, experience, and strength
the moments of victory increased
and began to outweigh the troubled times.
I wished often
that I had someone to inspire me, to lead me
to whisper, “You can make it”—
“Jesus with skin on,” my dear friend Judy May would say.
I needed people to help me along the way—
people with shoulders to cry on,
hands to lift me up when I’d fallen,
feet to deliver a kick in the rear
when self-pity settled in.
As God provided those people,
I promised Him that I would take all the pain
I’ve been experiencing
and use it to encourage others who are at
various points on this journey
of single motherhood—
those who may be tempted to give in,
letting bitterness enter their hearts.
This book of heart songs,
and, hopefully, humor
Is the fulfillment of that promise.
If it touches just one single mom;
if it makes her load a little lighter,
her guilt that she’s not perfect a little less;
if it allows her to gently laugh at herself;
if it gives her the strength to keep loving herself and her children,
to not give up on taking care of her own needs as
well as those of her children
(for you can give only what you have, I have discovered
And if you’re on empty in the self-esteem department,
You won’t have much with which to saturate your children);
then it will have served its purpose.
God has blessed me the opportunity to begin anew.
He had given me three fine sons to raise.
He had used my parents, Bill and Rhoda Hussey,
to support me, inspire me, challenge me,
and be the undergirding to the belief that
I could do all things through Christ
who strengthens me.
He had, in His wisdom, had them raise me in a way
that instilled in me such a fierce sense of independence,
such a stubbornness,
that I refused to give up, to give in, or to run home.
What follows flowed from my heart.
I pray it touches yours.
My fingers trembled, I remember.
My throat went dry.
The words were trapped,
Stuck in my windpipe
By choking sobs of helplessness
“I need to talk to you about
Finally, the word squeezed past my taut lips
and fell into the telephone receiver,
then into the attorney’s ear.
Hadn’t I been trying to avoid this very word
For more than five years?
Christians don’t get divorced, I firmly believed,
as I prayed, pleaded,
compromised, and rationalized
my way through the months
that piled into years.
When you’re caught in a downward spiral
directed by someone else’s irresponsibility,
it’s near impossible
to fight your way back up alone.
It’s like one of those dreams
where your legs are weighted
as heavy as if they were cast from iron.
You’re struggling to the surface,
but your heavy legs hold you back,
not allowing you to break free.
I was drowning
in a sea of lies, foreclosure,
verbal abuse, and filth.
It was sink or grab the life raft
named S.S. Divorce,
which would take me, I knew fully well,
not into the Sea of Tranquility
but into the Bay of Chaos,
through the Strait of Faith,
into the Start Again Sea.