there was a time in my life when a big family with a loving husband seemed like a long lost dream. not even a possibility. as in never. going. to. happen.
you see…. i got pregnant with ozzie at the age of 20 and the situation was not good. like a train wreck waiting to happen. my life (and dreams) unravelled right before my eyes as i got ready to welcome my sweet son into the world. those nine months and the year that followed consisted of a marriage that was broken before it started, the discovery of another child (not by me, of course), lies, poverty, and a husband struggling with addiction, and abuse.
then, one evening in september i read these words:
“to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes….” (isaiah 61 – here is a link to read the entire scripture)
like white on rice those words stuck to my heart. oh how i needed beauty. and a crown didn’t sound too bad either. so i pondered and questioned and wondered until finally i flat out said, “jesus, if those words are true then take my ashes and make them beautiful.”
at the time, beauty to me looked more like talking the utilities guy out of turning off our heat, an understanding professor, and a son that would be OK, despite the circumstances.
but God had more in mind. including a fun-loving young man in a mascot suit….
who i now get to call my husband.
although the changes began immediately it was not an overnight process. there was an in-between time that consisted of lots of praying and committing and healing and some mess-ups and overcoming and many, many blessings. even when circumstances looked bad, i could watch my well adjusted, joy filled little boy and know God was at work. it would be more than OK.
one of the first tangible things that happened was that i got a paid internship with the athletic marketing office at school. this is a miracle on many levels. for one, a paid internship at a university is almost unheard of unless you are a grad student. second, it was with athletics and i love that stuff. and third, i was able to have ozzie with me when i worked at games and it quickly became a little family for us.
i could continue with more examples, but i’m afraid this post would turn into a book!
so i will end with a cliche and say that i wouldn’t change a thing (well, maybe a couple things) because it’s made me who i am and brought me to a beautiful place. but i would also like to note that i don’t believe this was God’s plan. there was certainly a better way, but He used it for good all the same.
one of my greatest hopes after writing this is that you would look past me on this site and see Him. His beauty and creativity and goodness.
i also hope that one way or another my story encourages you or someone you know and as a little reminder i designed an art print using the crown seen at the top of this post to share. you can click here or the image to download.
i would love for this to be a conversation, so please feel free to leave a note below or send me an email (rae.at.armommy.com).
xo . rae
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