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An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New Beginnings- I'm Engaged!

A new life and new adventure
    After nine months of dating, I have to confess that I have fallen in love with a man from Uvalde. There has been a long standing rivalry between Kerrville and Uvalde but somehow, that has not mattered and I have found someone that I've grown to love. We have spent most weekends together since January getting to know each other. The poor guy has had to meet half of Kerrville and get their approval to even go out with me.
Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field
     As I have pondered what I want in the next chapter of my life, it is someone to share the things I enjoy. I'm not trying to build a family and have kids. Those days are over. I want someone that enjoys the outdoors, loves to dance, loves God, sees the bright side of things no matter what and someone that is fun and real. I've found him.
I love my ring!
    He has been very patient with all I have had to do with my parents and my job. There have been many of dates that have been interrupted by crisis with my parents but he just goes with me and supports me while I tend to their needs. Then he holds me...Not many men would do that.
Take me out to the ball park!
Brookes Raley- pitcher for the Cubs
  We had an opportunity to go to Chicago recently and watch the Chicago Cubs play. Stephen played baseball in high school, college and coached many youth in Uvalde. The young man that pitched for the Cubs Saturday was , Brookes Raley, and we were asked by his parents to come watch him as Stephen coached him some. What a fun adventure!
  Stephen has a rental company, construction company and a hunting industry. He reminds me of my dad in some ways because he is a self made man and there is a strength in him that has won my heart. Some people say he reminds them of Joe.
     I have loved the adventure of walking with God as I have learned to navigate dating and finding love again. What a wonderful adventure as I've trusted him with my fragile heart.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Making It Over Another Hurdle

Making It Over Another Hurdle

August 4th would have been my 33 anniversary. This year I will have to say was much easier. I went on a good walk that morning and had time to ponder the history of the day. I will write more about the day in the future and am grateful for the 30 years I had with Joe. This August 4th was different and not near as painful. Yea God!

My summer has been busy with wrapping up 31 years of daily parenting, work, my parents and of course some fun! Price came home for a month to rest and prepare for the workforce. It was nice having him home for a little while before he started his new job in Houston. He likes his new job and has been in a lot of training before he has actually gotten to go on the rig.

My sister, brother-1in-law and nephews came into town for a day recently and we went to Up N Jacks. They wore me out

My dad was in the hospital last week. He called early one morning and said, "Kat, I need you to take me to the emergency room. I have been having chest pains for the last 10 days. Can you come right over?" Let me just say, I am glad he called but seriously, if you were having chest pains would you wait 10 days? The daddy in him still tries to protect me. We have grown close as he too has lost his companion somewhat with my mom not always being able to communicate. In many ways, she is like a 3 year old. Dad and I visit often sharing life and I cherish our conversations. He is a wise man.

 Price came home the next weekend and took me to the shooting range to teach me how to shoot a gun. Can't say I am  a fan but I did alright at target practice. It was quite an experience and too loud for me. My dad, Stephen and his son came with us.

I have been dating a wonderful guy since January. We have a lot of fun together and he makes me laugh. He has been good for me. We've been fishing, dancing, hiking, boating, and on many other adventures.

My latest adventure is that I have been asked to be on the Wild Ride Gospel Hour the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month from 8-9. They have asked me to speak about my articles in the newspaper. I appeared this past Sunday and enjoyed it. 103.7 FM The Buck  It is a contemporary country western music. I love having the opportunity to  share my faith in an out of the box type of way,   Another newspaper will also feature my articles -The Community Journal, a weekly paper in Kerrville.
God continues to pour his favor and goodness over me cleansing me and giving me a new life. I love Him.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Healing, Promises and Hope For Those Divorced- And  A Heart Check for Christians
Kerrville Daily Times Article 
July 2012

I love hearing from my readers on what touches their hearts, and how God is working in their live. I write every other Friday for the faith section, and two weeks ago, I wrote on promises for widows. After that article, I had a high school friend email me and ask for a specific article to address her needs. It broke my heart as I read her email. Below is a portion of the email that was sent from a wonderful member of our community.
“I loved your article in today’s paper. I don’t always get a chance to read all of your articles, but when I do, you always speak to my heart. I would like to ask if one of your articles would speak to the wife who was abandoned by her husband and forced to face the judgment of being divorced. Not all couples who divorce do so of their own free will, as the state of Texas only requires one person to file and the other the suffer that choice. When I got married, it was until death departed us, but another man was permitted to come along and proclaim us no longer married. Since that day, I have fallen under great judgement by others, and felt totally alone. No one notices me, sees my loneliness, knows my pain or feels I may need help. I know I have not walked alone, as my strength has grown in God, and He has been my only friend, my husband. I did not choose divorce — I was left to suffer the consequences of divorce. I stayed and raised my children alone, I work in my community and I am charitable in my community, I am judged in my community. Please consider an article that focuses on the wife who was abandoned and the promise God has for her. I also am grateful for those that have supported me through my divorce and the days after and realize the blessings I have received.”
As I thought about her request, nothing came to mind, but I did ask God to give me something if that was what He wanted me to write about. I always pray about what to write as I only want Him to use me however he wants.
Tuesday of this week, I returned a phone call to an acquaintance and friend from out of town. We had not visited in several years, but as I listened to all of the things that had transpired in the last several years of her life, again my heart felt deep compassion for this woman. Her words were similar to the woman’s that I quoted above. 
She and her husband were once very active in their local church, had a number of children they homeschooled and our families had gone to church together. I was shocked at the events that had transpired. There had been some traumatic things, illness and loss that shook this Christian family. She too found herself with the divorce label.
When I asked about her church and if she was getting support from them, she too told me of how she was not viewed the same after becoming a divorced woman. 
“I feel like I have a disease, or I am a leper now. I don’t feel valued like I once did when I was married.”
She went on to say that at a time she needed loving arms around her by the church, too felt much judgement. Let me add, this woman is a mighty woman of God, and I felt sick that she had been misunderstood and hadn’t felt loved and valued. I am passionate about helping people discover their value and worth and it makes me mad when people devalue one another. I listened, affirmed her and prayed for restoration. 
The next day, I got a text from coworker that I worked with several years ago. He, too, mentioned that he had recently gotten a divorce and how difficult things were for him and his children. He, too, had been married a long time and didn’t want the divorce. 
Three contacts in one week made me step out on the water to find hope for those whose hearts have been shattered by divorce. I have not been divorced, so I do not speak from experience, but I do know from dealing with many people that have been divorced, a broken heart is a common denominator. Many divorced people I know have stated they feel abandoned emotionally by their mate as well as physically. That is a big blow from the person that has promised to love and cherish you as well as a huge life change. I reflected on encounters I had in the past with divorcees and could see a deficit in my own heart.
I read in Isaiah that God has some promises for those who have suffered from a broken heart and abandonment. Isaiah 60:15 says, “Although you have been forsaken and hated, with no one traveling through, I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations.” (NIV) When we turn to God for our help, no situation is too big for him to redeem. God sees the injustices suffered and is committed to walking with us to a better place.
Isaiah 60:20 says, “... the Lord will be your everlasting light and your days of sorrow will end.” (NIV) That is a good promise that we can take to the bank! God will lead us through the dark days when the pain of life stings. He promises, when we look to him that our sorrow will end. Yeah, God! He is good!
Isaiah 61 is full of promises and that would take me a whole article to address. There is much I could say, but I will only highlight a few scriptures. I love to speak about this passage, as it is one of my favorites. God proclaims that he will bind up the brokenhearted, comfort those that mourn the loss of someone they love and give us beauty instead of ashes. He also promises in this passage that he will make us strong and take away the shame. You must read this passage for yourself.
Isaiah 62:3 and 4 encourages those of us who have been abandoned by death or divorce that we are still of great value to society and the Lord.
“You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you Deserted or name your land Desolate ... for the Lord takes delight in you.” (NIV)
Divorced friends, God delights in you. You, too, have a special place in his heart and it broke his heart too when you were forsaken. Bad things happen to good people.
I reflected on encounters I had had in the past with divorcees and could see a deficit in my own heart. I should have been more sensitive to their needs. My own experiences as a widow have changed my heart, and that is the good that has come from my personal suffering.
I don’t think people intend to harm those that have experienced divorce, we can just can get wrapped up in our own world and become callused and insensitive to those needing our love and encouragement. Judgement or exclusion wears out the heart.  This adds insult to a heart that is already wounded and trying to heal. Building a new life while your heart is aching is not an easy task. It takes a lot of energy. I know that personally.

We live in days of grace not judgment. God will judge each of us one day, but until then, our job is to extend grace and love to those around us. Love never fails, so why don’t we make sure we are people that major in love? I want to look like love everywhere I go. How about you? Do you need to examine your heart, too? Do you need to wrap your arms around divorcee instead of wondering what they must have done wrong? It’s something to think about. Love never fails.