Life took me down a different path from the one I started over twenty years ago. Back in 1993, I moved from an area I’d lived my entire life and moved to a Bible college with my husband (now ex-husband). While he was in Bible college, I worked as a special education teacher. (I started teaching at a public school when I was 20.) At that point in my life, I thought I was going to be a preacher’s wife. The idea of ministry sounded appealing, because I’d even entertained thoughts of being a missionary when I was younger.
The road of life became bumpy when I was diagnosed with a chronic medical condition. Doctors weren’t always sure what the diagnosis was, and one doctor even told me I had something that was usually fatal! Even when I was finally diagnosed correctly, they were not able to cure me. Pain and fatigue became my constant companions.
Life became chaotic and heartbreaking when my son was born 10 weeks premature. Instead of the joyous trip home from the hospital, I wasn’t even promised that he would survive. When he did come home, I cherished every moment with him, rocking him and kissing him. I had never experienced such bliss before, and I decided to have one more child. From threats of miscarriage to premature labor, the second pregnancy was anything but blissful. I wondered whether I would ever rock my baby in my arms or not. At last, I finally held her in my arms. About a month later, my husband told me that he wanted a divorce, but I convinced him (I thought) that we should make it work.
However, life took its many twists and turns. After almost two decades of marriage, it was over—totally and completely. There was absolutely nothing left to salvage. I had always thought that anyone who prayed hard enough or was spiritual enough could probably save a marriage. After all, wasn’t it God’s will for marriages to be saved? Yet, there was no way to change the situation. I decided to file for divorce.
Even though my first marriage failed, I was still a romantic at heart, and I desired a wonderful, loving relationship. I met a handsome Christian man, Kevin Main, and we became a blended family, melding my two children and his four. I never imagined being a stepmom to four children, with visitation on the weekends and one night during the week. In my naïve state I believed that love would be enough to blend two families and help them feel secure. I was wrong again, but this time I sought advice, read books, and tried to learn how to handle the situation.
As I look back over my life, I have found that change is a constant in life. I never imagined that instead of caring for students with handicaps that I would open a home for adults with handicaps. In my 20’s I never would have imagined filing for divorce, marrying again, and nurturing stepchildren. Everything I had planned turned out differently. Yet today is a wonderful day. I have an incredible husband who is the most romantic man I know. He writes me poetry and sometimes he even sings me a love song in his deep, bass voice. My two children love God, and they are bright, articulate, and well adjusted. They have a maturity beyond their years due to the pain they’ve suffered, but they have beautiful and kind spirits. My stepchildren are doing well and are growing older. All six are precious children on their way to becoming adults.
Twenty years ago, if I would have known all the dips and valleys that were ahead of me, I would have been terrified. Yet, God walked with me every step of the way. Sometimes I am still filled with fear when my life starts to unravel, but then I remind myself that God has led me through difficult places, and He has restored my joy countless times. Since He has been faithful in the past, He will be faithful in the future. He is a rock, a constant, guiding me down an ever-changing path.
Rascal Flatt’s song “God Bless the Broken Road” (This song was played at my wedding.)