So, I survived a hellish marriage rife with abuse. I’m three years away from my abuser and I’m newly married to the best man in the world. I have seven children, three step children, and a dog who likes to sit in his own chair and play Apples to Apples with the family. I’m blessed to be a stay at home mom and I love it that little Jem and Scout think I’m the cat’s pajamas. My family and I are members of an amazing church and it feels like home whenever I walk in the door. Just today I got to see my oldest son, Artie, give his testimony and be baptized by my new husband. What a blessing!

Before the service, while we were still at home, Vader had a melt down. He loves me but he hates me. I’m not sure anymore which is greater — the love or the hate — but when he gets in a certain mood it doesn’t take much to set him off and he’s screaming about how I ruined his life and how I’d love it if he left — that we would all love it if he wasn’t around anymore. He’s spent years searching for the miracle cure — you know, the one that’s going to ‘fix’ him and make him ‘normal’ — take away the horrific memories, anger, and depression. He latches on to something, waiting for it to fix him, and when it doesn’t, he moves on — bitter and disillusioned — to the next possibility. He doesn’t understand that it’s only he that can change anything and that so much of what is tearing him apart is a result of his own heart condition — it’s a spiritual thing.

Knowing all of that doesn’t make it any easier to hear him say that I’m the problem and that I ruined his life. I understand that he’s lashing out. I also understand that his pain is tremendous yet he can’t express it. I cried for the first half hour of the drive to church. Not because he hurt me, but because he is hurting so deeply and I can do nothing to fix him. And the word that kept circulating through my head?


I feel like that often, whether it’s rational or not. I feel as if I’m failing the ones I love.

It blesses me to take care of my husband. I love waking before him and making him a hot breakfast that he can eat on the way to work. It’s a little thing, really, but it’s one of the ways I like to show my love for him. The pain from this disease makes it impossible for me to move in the morning. It’s agony. I don’t have the ability to get up and feed my husband.


I don’t understand how to be a step-parent. I truly suck at it. The great friendships I had with Atticus’ children before the wedding are strained now and I just can’t seem to get it right. I don’t know what to do. 


I couldn’t make our budget work this month.


For whatever reason Jem does not want to be potty trained.


I lose my temper.




When I was done crying for my son I started praying — pouring my heart out to God because He hears, He understands, He knows me — every ugly little detail. I begged Him again to get a hold on Vader’s heart and to ease the pain — teach him to forgive and let go of the past. Then I asked Him to take everything — every way I fail — and help me find a way to be better — or to at least find a way to change where I’m failing. When I was done and could be still in His presence He reminded me that none of this was ever my burden to carry. I keep taking the yoke from Him and placing it right back on my shoulders.

He doesn’t want me, His child, to feel like a failure. He doesn’t want me burdened, anxious, stressed out, hurt, or angry. He wants me to lay my burdens at the foot of the cross and leave them there. Mostly, He wants me to trust that He will carry them and make everything right in His time. And yes, that’s my biggest failure — I don’t wait. I get antsy and think maybe He’s too busy — or that my burdens don’t matter enough to Him — so I shoulder them again thinking I can fix, control, succeed.

So this is where my new work begins — giving up. Giving to God what I should never be trying to handle on my own — and leaving it there. To me it sounds like a monumental task, but I’m willing, because if I can do that and be successful, maybe Vader will see what can happen when we give everything over to God.

I’m thinking that’s how I can help him.


One thought on “Failure

  1. Noel says:

    Praying for you and your family! You are an encouragement to me.

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