I was raised in church for the most part. When I was a little girl we went to church every time the doors were open. After dad was gone, all of the children would ride the church van. You know, where they come around on Saturday and invite you to church. My mother may have gone with us twice. I don't actually know how long it has been since she attended a church service. So we would all ride the church van to church. I think the reason we went was for the treats.
Some people may be shocked but that is the truth. When one is poor and treats are a scarce commodity, it doesn't take much to be enticed to go to church so one can get treats.
By the time I was about twenty one or so I was pretty ticked off at God and even proclaimed myself to be an atheist. This shocked and horrified my family. I didn't care what they thought. If God were real, then I had to acknowledge that He had let us go through hell. I preferred to believe that He wasn't real. That was easier to believe. By the time I was 22 I was living with someone that I was not married to. I had been raised this way. My mother lived with a couple of men she wasn't married to. Therefore, I didn't see anything wrong with it. So I continued on this way. The Drama Queen was born in August of 1998. I did marry her dad in March of 1999. In July of 1999 he left.
My whole world fell apart. The first thing I did was get down on my knees and pray. I never even thought about it. From that day on, I prayed all the time. All throughout the day I would pray. At night I prayed.
There I was, alone with two little girls to raise. At the time I separated from my former husband I had just gone back to work and I was making like 7 bucks an hour. I had no idea how I was going to be able to support my kids. God provided for us. He opened so many doors for us. We had a place to live, I got a better paying job. My sister even came to live with us for a while. Even though I had turned my back on Him, when I reached out and asked for His help He was there. In time, the bitterness in my heart began to fade. My bitterness towards my mother, my bitterness towards my ex, and my bitterness about the way I grew up. God started to heal my heart. It didn't happen overnight. It took several years. When you come from an unhealthy, dysfunctional background, being "normal" is a struggle. There are so many emotional bondages that have to be broken.
I was eventually even able to acknowledge that even though my former husband had left me, I played a part in that. My bitterness and desire to control everything had helped push him out the door.
Don't get me wrong, he played his part also. In retrospect, I really believe that him and I were just an explosion waiting to happen. It took me losing my husband and hitting rock bottom, emotionally and financially to reach out to Him. That was ten years ago. It is so amazing to me this difference in myself between now and then.
I have decided that I will not live with a man until he is my husband. I want to set a better example for my girls. We go to church on Sundays. Not like we should, I admit it. But progress is progress. I'm not perfect (I know...... this is shocking) I'm not where I need to be but Thank God I'm not where I used to be.