Life’s been a bit tough for me at times. When I was 21, my first husband died and our first child, my Melody, was born three days after I buried him. I spent three years staggering around in a fog of pain and bitterness…and stumbled right into a marriage rife with abuse. There I spent 16 years, bore 6 more beautiful children, and subsisted in a loveless prison of pain and despair at the hands of my spouse. Escaping him brought freedom from abuse, but not from him or his threats until he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Now I’m remarried to a wonderful, gentle man who adores me. We are so blessed with our ten kids and I love it that I have three more children who tell me they love me, and whom I can love in return. I feel safe. My heart bursts with joy, pride, and love for my family, my God, my life.

Last night as I fell asleep in the embrace of my beloved I asked him if he was growing tired of me since we are together all the time, every day. He squeezed me and said, “That’s never gonna happen,” and just before I drifted off to dream, I was thinking of how much of a treasure Atticus is to me and the thought struck me that he’s my gift — for all the pain and struggle — for the fighting I was willing to do instead of giving up — for growing into what God wanted instead of allowing my soul to wither — for the willingness to let go of my hate of the man who tried to crush my spirit. I feel as though I’ve received such an amazing reward — one I know I don’t deserve, but one God’s given because He knows how weary I was trying to walk through this life alone.

I write quite often about Atticus, not because I want to brag, but because it’s my way of thanking God and letting Him know how much I appreciate this wonderful man, how much it’s changed my life, and how utterly happy I am.



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