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Then and Now

It's been so long since I've blogged here. I really want to get back into the routine, I miss it. I have continued to stop by a handful of blogs daily to keep up with my favorite bloggers lives, but have fallen into the ranks of "lurkers", not for the lack of desire to comment but primarily for lack of time to do it justice. I think back on a time not much more than a year ago when I spent countless evening and weekend hours parked at my computer, jabbering away in blogland. I smile in remembering how the friends I made here saw me thru those hard times and how much fun we had with some of those "deep topics" on One Question Wednesdays. :-) If someone would have told me then how much my life was going to change in the very near future, I would have laughed at how preposterous the idea was. There is not a single day that I am not amazed at what has transpired, and not a single day that I don't thank God for all the blessings John has brought to my life. For all the times I questioned if God was listening to my prayers, I know now that He was saving the very best gift of all for me... the gift of real love!

I remember blogging, not too long after I left my ex and moved into my own apartment, about the way my life was before and how it had changed in the process of breaking free and being on my own again. Little did I know that those changes were just a prelude for the bigger changes that were to come once I had rediscovered myself and was able to begin the process of healing. It proved to be a long process, and one that is still ongoing. It took almost a full year for me to come to terms with the death of my marriage. I cried more that year than I had in all the previous years of my life put together. At times I wondered if I would ever run out of tears. I am glad to say that pain is gone now, but even two years later, the caring I had for the man who was once my husband still remains. Despite all the bad things that transpired between us, I wish him well and pray that he will one day find direction and purpose in his life. I know that deep down, in his own convoluted way, he loved me too. His girlfriend, who has become a good friend of mine, confided that when he received my note telling him of my impending marriage (a sort of closure note thanking him for what good things we had shared), he went to bed and stayed there for three days. I know he realized that he threw away what was once the very best thing in his life. I am grateful that God had bigger plans for me, a safer, happier, much more fulfilling relationship. I am grateful (and sometimes amazed) that I survived that hell and lived to treasure the joy I have today.

John and I met online just shortly after New Year's Day 2008. We still laugh about how unlikely it was that we would find each other there, and we both know that it was no accident. God does indeed work in mysterious and wonderful ways! By the time my birthday rolled around in February, we had already pledged our love to each other and decided that I would relocate to join him in Odessa, Texas. He bought a mobile home which we worked tirelessly to renovate in preparation for the move. I resigned from my job of 19 years at the end of May, and June marked my joining John here and the beginning of the rest of my life. If anyone I know moved that quickly in a new relationship I would have lectured them extensively on the sheer madness of such impulsiveness. But really it wasn't... we had talked for many, many hours by then, late into each night, and probably knew each other better and more deeply than most couples do after a year or two of casual dating. I had a short mental "check-list" of what I wanted in a future partner - basically the opposite of what I had in my three previous husbands. I realized that I always chose the same type - bad boys who had no idea on how or what it takes to make a marriage work -misfits who were emotionally crippled like myself. This time I wanted someone whole and healthy, someone who could truly love me and care for me the way I could in return. By the time I moved to Texas there was not a doubt in my mind that John was this person, and there has never been one moment since that I have questioned my decision or experienced a single regret.

Married four months now, life has settled into a busy but comfortable routine. We both work Saturdays, and we wish we had more free time together, but we make the most of what we have. Saturday after work is always date night, and we eagerly look forward to the weekends. Odessa is a large enough city to have an assortment of fun things to do, and I've become a fan of ice hockey and rodeo!
John, being a true Texan, has a collection of guns, and we celebrated New Year's by taking them out to his friend's beautiful ranch about 30 miles away, so that I could experience firing each and every one. Who would have thought that a former hippie child would engage in such activities... and totally enjoy it?! While I would never have it in my heart to hunt live prey, target shooting is a skill thing and not as hard as I expected. Naming water bottles and cans after some of my less favorite people made blowing them to bits quite fun - great therapy!!! For my birthday John got me my own Remington rifle, and I can't wait for our next opportunity to head to the ranch for more play. Shooting his AR-15 was quite an experience too... that's some serious firepower!
My kids think John is great, and are really enjoying seeing their Mom expand her world and experiences after years living a very isolated life that rarely included fun outings. On the agenda for us this summer is a week-long vacation in the mountains of Colorado. I can't wait!
On Valentine's Day I received the first heart-shaped box of chocolates in my life... and the love just keeps growing!

20 comments:

  1. Your first heart shaped box of chocolates ever?? Bless your heart...John is such an amazing guy! I loved your update, too Jose! Tx for your letter....I so enjoyed hearing from you and reading your affirmations about things helped me, too. ;)

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  2. Yes CC, John is amazing, and such a romantic! He often comes with a gift or plans a surprise and it delights me since I've never been in a relationship like that before. He puts thought and effort into our relationship and that encourages me to do the same. I was glad to hear back from you too, I've missed you!

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  3. heya soul sis--

    i love reading this--- i am happy to hear that things in your world are good these days. if anyone deserved a turn-about in their life-- it surely was you.

    so good to hear from you--and see you writing again.

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  4. I come back after 8 months and find that you have just started writing again too. Great minds!

    Glad things are going so well for you. I've missed ya.

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  5. Thanks,Soul Sis! You definitely are in line for some good stuff to start happening too, I'm praying for it!

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  6. Too funny that we pick the same day to finally update our blogs Monkeyman! I hope you'll keep with it, I miss the snappy repartee!

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  7. Hey! I was so happy when I saw your comment on my blog today. It's great to see you post again.

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  8. I'm so glad that you have returned to the blog world. I've thought of you so many times and prayed that you and John are as happy and content as I pictured you. Ain't life grand when we have a loving partner!

    The picture reveals a happy, healthy, content Josie. It makes me happy to see that smile.

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  9. Hi Ingrid! It feels great to reconnect with everyone again. I'm just going to have to carve out more time for it!

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  10. Mary... happy, healthy, and content - it's so surprising to me to truly feel that way, and I'm loving it!

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  11. Great to have you back. So glad married life is treating you well. A heart-shaped box of choccies....*sigh*

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  12. Hi Selma! I am so suprised at the warm welcome back from blog friends, now just hoping I can make time to keep up with blogging. Life is so good right now that sometimes I hope I'm not dreaming! If you thought the box of chocolates was romantic (and it was), you should have read the card he chose for me - he gives me wonderful cards and puts so much thought into choosing them. I really love this guy!

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  13. Don't mess with Texas! You are a good shot. I bought me a little Ruger LCP (pistol) to carry with me (I'm legal, I have a concealed weapons permit). My hubby took me to the range to teach me how to shoot it and I out shot him, so he says I can't go with him any more. I'm going to put my target on my back door with a note that says, "we call the morgue, not 911".

    I'm so glad you have found a man that will love and care for you.

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  14. Hi Tee! John has a concealed weapons permit and would like me to aquire one too. In response to my concerns about loaded weapons in the house, he says "an unloaded weapon is about as useful as a rock". Guess that's true. :-) And if we're going to have them, I need to know how to use them. Good for you on outshooting your hubby! A sign near the gate on the ranch we visit says "If you can read this you are in range". I love it! :-)

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  15. It is so good to see you back on line. Congratulations and all that good stuff. :~D

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  16. Thank you Leon! It is really fun to have happy stuff to report instead of gloom and doom!

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  17. I know I'm late getting here Jos, but I am SO happy to have you back!

    No one is more thrilled for you than I...and I want you to know that.

    You keep on doing what you're doing, because seeing the outcome, I'd say you are doing it all just right!

    Love ya girl. :)

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  18. Oh Jamie, it is so very good to see you out and around a little here in blogland. I've been following right along with your blog and I know that you have faced and are facing more challenges than you could possibly have imagined when we first me. But I also know you're going to find your way thru it, just like you assured me I would! XOXO

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  19. Reading this makes me so happy!

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  20. I'm glad you enjoyed it Cheryl. It is wonderful for me to have happy things to write about! :-)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)