In many ways it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. In so many other ways, it really does. Ten years ago at this time, I was two months pregnant with John Henry. And, his dad left.
I guess I never imagined I would be in that place. I certainly never saw myself divorced. I never thought I’d be a single mother. It was the single most heart-breaking, devastating time in my life. Words were said that pierced me. Actions taken that floored me. And, I couldn’t imagine that my life would ever be restored back to where it was.
I spent the next few months busying myself with work, getting ready for a baby, and involving myself in the community. I traveled to Chicago to an Arts Conference hosted by Willow Creek Church. I headed up the campaign for my uncle who was running for County Commissioner. He won, by the way. And, I joined with city leaders in putting together a Memorial Service for the one year anniversary of 9/11. And, in my down time, I cried.
But, I also prayed.
I prayed scriptures over Bryan’s life every single night of my pregnancy. I prayed blessings over him. In the middle of my pain, I cried out to the Redeemer. And, I released forgiveness little by little until I no longer carried any anger or resentment.
I was still heartbroken. There were times I would feel sorry for myself. I’d cry the ugly cry. My countenance would be less than inviting. I remember during one of my pity parties, my dad told me, “You never know how you’re going to feel tomorrow.” Of course, I knew how I was going to feel. Exactly like I was feeling at that moment.
Until one day, you wake up, and the weight of it all seems a little less. The hurt isn’t quite as painful. And, before you know it, you are smiling. And, you are staring into the eyes of a little blue-eyed baby boy who has changed everything.
September 24, 2002, I held John Henry. I looked at my parents and said, “My world is right.” It was. The hurt was still there. But it became less. A few months later, Kris Takle flew into my life. Literally. Six months later? We were married. Six months after that? We were pregnant with Anna Takle.
And, now ten years later? My life is full.
It is redeemed.
I never believe that divorce is God’s best for one’s life. But, I do believe He is a God of redemption and will make good out of messes. I will never write about the nit and the grit of the words said or the actions during it all. I really see no need, honestly. It’s not where I live. I don’t ever want it printed and posted to hurt John Henry or Bryan.
As for Bryan, he has allowed God to work in his life. He is a great father to John Henry. He is a great friend to Kris. And, Kris is a great friend to him. We celebrate holidays together. We have vacationed together. We aren’t “normal.” We really didn’t think “normal” was working. So, we just do things differently.
I would defend Bryan’s name until my last breath on earth. Because, he is a good man. And, I am forever grateful to him for John Henry Landreth. I have learned more about compassion and forgiveness because of that little boy than I ever imagined possible.
John Henry is a constant reminder to me of how GOOD God is.
Anna and Jett are constant reminders of His redemption.
And, Kris Takle. Well, you know what he is.
The one who made my heart beat fast again.
It’s been a good ten years.