As I look out the window on this cold, fall day, I can’t help but take a moment to count my blessings. I have two healthy children and a husband that I love. I watch them play outside and it brings a smile to my heart. I am extremely thankful that their childhood is drastically different than mine was.
With my book, The Truth About Divorce, being released I have had the subject of divorce on my mind a lot. When my parents’ were divorced I was 13. Every moment of my childhood was spent living in fear of a father with an unpredictable temper.
We ate what he wanted to eat, we watched what he wanted to watch, and if we stepped out of line we were screamed at and usually whipped with the belt. He was very good at belittling us, making us feel small so he could feel big. As an adult, I now understand he suffered from mental illness, but this wasn’t talked about during the time.
During the divorce, when we had moved out, he would show up drunk at my mom’s house and beat on the door while screaming for us to let him in. He would go around and look in all the windows to try to find us and yell at us. It was terrifying!
The first time we went to his house for visitation all he did was tell my brother and I, what a horrible person my mother was and call her names. Instead of making the most of his time with us, he forced us to do his laundry and clean the house for him. I distinctly remember the time my brother got sick and threw up and my dad couldn’t be bothered, so he made me clean it up.
I can’t remember a time when I felt safe or at peace as a child. That didn’t come until years later as an adult with my husband. Some might look back and feel sorry for themselves under these circumstances and really, who can blame them?
However, the older I get, the more I can see that going through all those dark times were just part of God’s plan for me. I had to go through that so that I could help other kids in tough situations. The sum of all my experiences helped shape me into who I am, and I really wouldn’t change it. I truly believe I was given the gift of writing for this purpose. It is my calling to help others through books and serve God while doing it. I lead a very blessed life. This is my calling, what’s yours?
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18