Monday, October 29, 2012
My next door neighbor's name is Doug. The house he lives in actually belongs to his sister and he is basically the caretaker. Johnny and Doug became fast friends while Johnny was here and they drove around in my van. A lot of people think that Doug is black - but he's not - he just has a really dark tan from working outside all the time. Doug is a major alcoholic and one day when I came home from work for lunch - I found him passed out on his front lawn. I tried to get him to get up and get out of the sun but he wouldn't. I ended up calling 911 because I was concerned he was going to get sunstroke. I don't think he has really forgiven me for that.
On Sunday when I came home from the store he said that he had something for me. I waited as he went back inside to get it. He came out with a jar filled with mystery contents. I asked if it was spaghetti sauce but he said that it was chili. He said that he made too much but that he used vegetable juice instead of tomato juice in his recipe and that it was a little tangy. I thanked him for thinking of me and went inside. I'm on a diet so I can't really eat chili and I was trying to think who I could give this chili to.
Today when I came home from work I found a note on my front door. It said:
Don't eat the chili - I've been up sick all night
that was really sweet.
Lots of love
Sunday, October 28, 2012
It's been an incredibly difficult couple of weeks. I have been accused of several things at my job that just aren't true, like making too many personal phone calls and other non-provable lies. Luckily my one boss that really loves me and appreciates me knows they are all lies. I've had a series of attacks happen, not only in the personal realm, but it seems like attacks are coming from every side. I had a problem with the ATM at work, it wouldn't give me any money but then it took the money out of my account so I had to call the bank and fill out a bunch of paperwork for them to investigate. Friday was the culmination of two weeks worth of ever increasing shit and I told the girl that I share an office with that I felt I was on the verge of a nervous break-down since I didn't believe I could continue to remain calm in the midst of all I had to deal with.
I went into the bathroom to re-group and pray. Lord, really? Is it just going to keep getting worse and worse? When will I reap the good things if I faint not, because I really want to faint. But I don't faint. I keep going. I trust. I trust the Lord is going to really deliver on the promises He has promised me.
I'm walking home and on the way home I find this little charm. It just says Believe. I guess that bottom line - trust is believing that what the Lord has promised - He is able to deliver. Sometimes I just say, "Lord, thy will be done." and call it good.
I am so lonely and tired. I'm tired of always being accused and tired of always being alone. I have some people who read this blog because they love me and some people who read this blog are just looking for something in order to accuse me and condemn me. Oh yeah - you know who you are. Do you really think your accusations of me are from the Lord? Maybe you should do a check-up from the neck up.
Yet, my job is giving me the perfect opportunity to face my accusers. To know that what they are accusing me of is false. I have had to stand up for what the Lord has shown me and stand up for what I know is right and have had to lose many friends and relatives along the way. And I'd do it all again if I had to. I would rather do what the Lord wants and have everyone in this world hate me than to compromise one principle or one truth.
Tomorrow is Monday. The start of another week and frankly, I really wish I did not have to go and deal with more accusations and more stress. But this is where the Lord has placed me to learn the lessons He wants me to learn and to wait for the promises He has made for me. He will give me the strength to face the day.
Lots of Love
Sunday, October 21, 2012
And then he was gone.
It is the first time I have had the house to myself in two months. I wrote in my journal for the first time since August 28. I got on my hands and knees and scrubbed the kitchen floor. I worked on my homework while I listened to the Martin Zender/Dan Sheridan show. I made my lunch and ate it and made my lunch to take to work tomorrow. I made the bed in the bedroom and made the bed again in the living room. I've grown accustomed to it being there and I don't yet have the heart to take it down. I swept. I dusted. I vacuumed. (okay I may have lied about dusting.) I washed the dishes and then watched as the water swirled down the drain. I forgot a pan so I filled the sink again and washed it. I took a nap all curled up with my hoodie on. I cried a little.
But I know it was the right thing to do. There is more to the story than I am posting - there always is. But I know the Lord is in the little details as well as the big ones and He is in control of my life. I am reminded of the verse the Lord gave me when I first came to Wyoming. Jer 29:11:
"For I know the plans I have for you. Plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
There is a card tacked up on my wall that says "Our God is a God of hope and we know that nothing is impossible to Him."
Thank you Lord.
lots of love
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
I love Johnny.
It started as a realization in the back of my mind. A shade of reality that I knew I did not want to face. We didn’t even have any kind of fight really. Just;
A moment of clarity.
Johnny was not going to fit into my life.
Maybe I knew it from the moment he got off the bus. Maybe I’ve always known it. You can take the boy out of prison, but you can’t always take the prison out of the boy. The way he stands, walks and talks all scream hard time. He would always be an ex-con, a felon, and it would prevent him from truly being successful in life. He really has turned his life around and has vowed that he will never again get in trouble like that. But no-one would ever be able to accept him in my life. They would always be asking why I was with him. I haven’t even told my aunt or my cousins that he is here in town because they would raise all kinds of fuss. I talked to Johnny about the idea of him getting dressed up and going to my work Christmas party at the Country club, with the CEO and all my bosses – and he knew that it would not be a place he wanted to go. Awkwardness personified.
He came into the living room and asked if we could talk. I said sure and he sat down next to me and held my hand. “Maybe I should go back home.” He wasn’t being an asshole, he was being honest. I loved him even more at that moment, for his maturity in knowing what I knew. That we were not right for each other. I started to cry. Partly because I knew we were breaking up for the last time and partly because I knew that once again I would be waiting for someone that may never come. That I would be alone again. My head was making this decision but my heart wanted Johnny, even more for the kind way he was handling all this.
There was a time when I would have followed my heart. I would have MADE it work. I wouldn’t have cared what anyone thought or what red flags may be around. The more Johnny and I discussed this and the more we shared our feelings with each other, the more we both knew the truth. I would not be able to fit in his life either. It would be wrong for me to quit my job and leave my little house and furniture behind and move to the armpit of Oregon to work at the onion-packing plant. We would always be struggling for money. His children would hate me, but I could try hard to make them like me and try to make a life.
No. Oh my God. No.
It was decided that when I got paid in a couple days, I would buy him a ticket home. He offered to keep working at labor ready until he saved up enough, but there was no point in waiting. It was going to be hard enough to wait a week, and if we waited too long – maybe our resolve and maturity would crumble and we would be unable to go through with it. No. It was better to do it sooner rather than later.
I gave him the Johnny quilt. Even though I love that quilt and it is warm and beautiful and I will miss it. It is right for him to have it. We talked about how glad we were that he came out here, how the Lord was giving us some much needed closure. Because a part of him would always be wondering if there was a life out there for him in Wyoming and a part of me would always be waiting for him to show up on my front porch step.
Now we know, and our relationship is healed. We will always be friends and I will answer his texts and phone calls to see how he is doing. It is going to be okay.
Lots of love
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
As in the nature of tests, I can’t tell you what the REAL Knight in Shining Armor Test is without compromising the test itself. So I’ll just say that there is a knight in shining armor test and only I and the Lord and my cousin Wendy know what it is.
As we pulled up in front of my house, the next door neighbor shouted to us that the brake light on the van was out. Johnny told me that we should take care of that tonight. I said, “I can’t get it fixed right now, I don’t have the money” thinking I would need to take it to the shop.
Johnny said, “It only costs a dollar for the bulb – I can get it.”
I stopped and looked at him. “Oh! You mean you are going to fix it?” I mean, you aren’t going to tell me to Google it or call triple AAA or God-forbid how to fix it myself?
“Sure!” Johnny laughed, “It will only take a moment.”
As a woman that has always had to do it all myself it was such a relief. “Thanks!” I said.
He walked around my apartment – making assessments. “There is a light bulb out in the bathroom and the bedroom.” I knew about them I just hadn’t gotten around to taking care of them. “I will fix them tomorrow” He said. He even showed me that my porch light was half way filled up with dead bugs. “Ewww!” I said, “I have never even looked over there!” He added cleaning that out to the list.
We spent all of Saturday running errands. We went to the Laundromat and the grocery store and he insisted on carrying in all the groceries and the laundry. I go grocery shopping and to the Laundromat every week by myself and its lonely. It was nice to have someone to go with.
He tells me that I am beautiful. Now. Not 80 pounds from now. He tells me I’m a good woman and he is lucky to have me. He puts his arms around me and I feel safe. I close my eyes and hope this moment never ends.
Till next time
Lots of love
Saturday, October 13, 2012
I called to make an appointment for Johnny and me to go check out the ministry place where I thought he would be living. We made an appointment to go meet the man at 4:30 the next day, but I was not very peaceful. Johnny did not grow up being taught about the Lord. In jail he came to know the Lord and when he got out he sought the Lord the only way he knew – go to all the churches in town and talk to the pastors about what they could do to help him walk the straight and narrow and know the Lord.
I have seen the Holy Spirit work within Johnny and within our relationship. It was the Holy Spirit that told Johnny to turn his bike around all those years ago in Ontario and invite me to his church. It was the Holy Spirit that told me to run away when Johnny kissed me because the Lord was protecting Johnny from my extreme legalism. It was the Holy Spirit that told me to finally text back when after a year he was still texting “I’m sorry”, and it was the Holy Spirit that brought Johnny to Casper.
Johnny knows the Lord the way he knows Him, and in so many ways – his trust in the Lord is like the faith of a child. Johnny knows he’s a man with a past and knows the Lord is looking out for him and has forgiven him and he prays every night. Should I take a man whose faith is like a child and shove him into a box-like Christianity where your spirituality is judged on how many hours you read your bible and how many bible verses you memorize? The Lord has not opened my eyes to the truths of all being saved and love covers a multitude of sins for no reason. Shall I take a man whose relationship with God is spiritually innocent, without a head full of bad theology and legalism and make him conform to the traditions of man? No. I think not.
So I told Johnny I wasn’t peaceful. Even though before he came out here we agreed that he would go into this program – now I felt very strongly that this was not the place for Johnny. We were sitting in the van outside the house where the appointment was and I said, “We will go in and hear what it is all about but unless we are convinced otherwise – I’m not going to be a rag and force you to go, even though that is what we initially agreed.” Johnny grinned and said, “Ok, and I won’t be a rag and say I told you so.”
We went into the meeting and I listening to the man talk about all the rules and regs and “we don’t watch TV, we listen to Christian music” and I knew again, that this was just not the place the Lord wanted Johnny. Not that there isn’t a reason and a spiritual purpose for places like that and they can do so much good – I just really knew that this was not the place for Johnny. So I asked the man if we could try some other options and if it didn’t work out that Johnny could come back at a later date, and the man said yes. We left feeling relieved but also knowing that if the situation changed, he could always do it later.
So without a plan, we knew that it was time to once again trust the Lord to see where He would lead Johnny. One door is shut; it will be interesting to see what other doors the Lord will open.
Till next time
Lots of love
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
I waited at the bus stop with my van engine running. It was cold out and I laughed at the song on the radio – “should I stay or should I go now – if I go there will be trouble – if I stay it will be double”. I watched as he got off the bus and walked towards my van. He’s gotten older, and maybe a little heavier. It is amazing the difference a few years can make. He is only a couple years older than I am but he wears his hard life like a thick winter jacket and it shows in the deep lines on his face. Wow, this is the man who has been whispering in my ear the last 2 years.
It had been a long time since Johnny had called. Usually he calls every three months like clockwork, although I almost never take his call. Get over me already I would think as I would ignore his text. July came and went. I thought at that time that maybe Johnny would have just shown up on my porch, but he didn’t. Oh well, I thought, he will never come to Wyoming. At the end of September I thought to myself, well it’s been over 5 months – maybe I won’t hear from Johnny any more. I may have felt a little sad about it.
Now here he was, sitting in my van – the SAME van from before, when we first met. He had called me Saturday morning to ask if he could come to Wyoming, like he needed my permission to come to my state. He asked if we could start over. I still didn’t believe he would come out here – but he told me he would be on the bus Monday. Monday afternoon he sent me a text: “I am on the bus – I’m coming out for real” Later he sent another text:, “122 miles – God is bringing us back together again”.
Yeah, because God has always been involved with Johnny and I. He introduced us after all. Now, after everything that has happened, here he was again, like nothing had changed, but everything had changed. We were not the same people we were before. We were more grown up, wiser and life had kicked the crap out of us a little bit more.
I made him no promises, but that we could start over being friends. The Lord always covers all the bases when He deals with me so it was again ironic that this annoying girl squatting in my living-room made it easy for me to tell Johnny that he couldn’t stay with me. There is a local ministry in town that takes in men in transition and I know the pastor. I called over there and they currently have room for 5 extra men so they have plenty of room for Johnny. Johnny agreed to move in there to get his foot in the door.
Lots of Love
Saturday, October 6, 2012
On Monday my son turned 22. He was travelling to the other side of the world. He is in the Air Force and made Senior Airman rank early. He is a natural in the military – just like his father. He was deployed to Qatar.
I hadn’t heard from him so I tried calling his cellphone. I left a message but I felt I needed to have some urgency. Finally I left him a message on his Facebook page to contact me. Moms worry – it’s what we do.
Today I got an email from him that he is 8 hours ahead and doesn’t know yet what his address will be. Ironically he is on Skype – so I guess it is time for me to buy that new computer so I can talk to my son.
I know the Lord is protecting him and that is a good thing. Pray for his safety.
Lots of love