That year of 1998! That was one of the best years of my life besides the birth of my babies. I don’t think anything in this world could hold more gratitude in my heart other then my children but yeah 1998 was transforming. I was stretched and tested in every way imaginable.
I was finally living in my own small, humble little home with my eleven year old, youngest son. My two older children were living with their dad and getting ready for college. I could breathe again, joy and strength were slowly returning. I was a manager at Ralphs grocery store, a great union job. I also worked part time at a nearby salon as I was blessed to have my cosmetology license. I was making ends meet and I was independent for the first time in 18 years! I‘d forgotten what it felt like to be single, on my own. On the flip side of joy and relief I was deeply sad at times. I felt like a failure, I worked so hard at my jobs and there was this underlying faith and hope that I held onto that all would be okay eventually. I was tortured by my ex‘s and debt collectors. I worried for my children, I cried a lot that year, I cried myself to sleep on many nights that year.
I left my church that I‘d been so involved in. I was part of the worship team, I wrote music, attended bible studies and children’s youth group. Once I filed for divorce against my violent, drug addict, alcoholic husband the church leaders frowned on me. They basically threw me under the bus. They removed me from any leadership position. They were ashamed of me for filing for divorce. I was supposed to pray for the abusive husband they said. I could have remained at that church to further be victimized but I knew this was my moment, my chance to claim victory. I would no longer accept being a victim to anyone or anything. So I left the church and I vowed never to look back. The God that I serve spoke to my heart and said *Shelley, that is not Me“ I said *Okay Lord, show me who you really are, I am listening“ and He did. I may have left what I felt was a cult but I wasn‘t about to turn my back on God almighty!
I began to fast and pray off and on, and so It was decided in the heavens I would suffer a terrible back injury at work that same year. The Universe was beginning to direct my path according to all my prayers and tears offered up. At that point I found myself single, one young son still at home, in the blink of an eye without a job and in excruciating pain on a daily basis. I was in physical therapy weekly leading up to 2001 for my back. In between all that was happening I worked so hard with much love to care for and to do all the things I needed to do for my sweet son. I was learning how to accept things I couldn’t change, I was relaxing in the absolute peace I found in my home and in my soul. No more violence, no more unpredictable crazy behavior from my abuser. Soon I would be ready for retraining for another job. I would eventually opt to take computer training courses and Iearn website design. I put my guitar and singing away. I couldn’t bring myself to play or sing. For me that was disturbing since my whole life had been centered around music. But I couldn’t do what I could not feel. My life was changing rapidly and through all the challenges I was growing and learning new things. I looked deeply into the face of why I married the men I chose. I started to come to terms with the choices I made and why, based on what I thought was normal. I bared my soul before God and asked for forgiveness for my part in all of it and for healing for my broken heart and soul. In my prayers I told my Creator that I had hoped for a soul mate but I did not know how to choose anyone healthy. My picker was broken. I said *Lord, if there‘s anyone out there for me you will need to choose them and show me“ and so, in good time He did .... (to be continued) ❤️🙏🏽