Welcome back to the Joy in the Mess series! Being able to share the stories from some incredible women about finding God and joy in life’s messes has truly been inspirational. Today, I am happy to share TaKenya’s story. To check out the previous posts, check them out here.
I’ll never forget that morning. August 24, 2014 it was just after 3 am. My phone rang. The phone that was normally powered off when I hit the sack.
If either of us were to leave our phone on over night it would be my husband. His grandparents are older and he worries that someone may call and not get him. Bu this night he powered off.
I looked at the phone and answered it, and she said “baby where’s your husband?” Half sleep I handed over the phone.
It was his mother and even though I rolled over I remained slightly awake. With my back turned I felt his body go limp and he let out a loud but muffled grunt.
I knew it wasn’t good.
He remained composed and said “ok, ok here I come ” and hung up.
As he fell into my arms that were now waiting open sitting next to him, he cried. I’d only seen that less than a hand full of times in my 21 years of knowing him.
He blurted out, “Marty’s gone”.
From that day I learned just what my vows meant.
Marty is my husbands baby sister. At this time she was only twenty two years old.
Both of us have siblings eleven and a half years younger than us. Which makes us a mixture of sibling combined with a component of alternate parental figure.
She was his baby.
Everything was crazy. it was back to school time, our oldest was eleven and our youngest a few months shy of two. We were sleep deprived, overworked, and just trying to make it.
Our relationship was built on the premise that my husband was always there for me. He never wanted me to worry about him. Even at thirteen when we first met, our friendship was formed by him being my sounding board, a source of encouragement and just a genuine friend.
But on this day, and every day since he has needed me; truly needed me.
In the middle of it, I had no idea God was stringing our hearts even closer together but reflecting back over it I clearly see it.
In losing her, our family gained another member. Her then six year old son came to live with us.
I share very honestly and openly about my struggles in parenting over on the blog. Anyone who knows me knows it’s that thing that God is constantly using to grow me. Almost the entire parenting process has felt like I’m being pruned.
In the beginning, when he first came, I prepared. His room was made cozy and he had a space he could call his without feeling like he was being pushed into someone else’s space. I spoke with teachers, family friends, and everyone I felt was necessary to prepare for him to feel like he belonged, I carved out quiet time especially for homework, made his favorite meals, and loved on him the best way I knew how, which wasn’t perfect, but most of all I prayed.
I continued doing all of these things for the most part, because they had become routine. He seemed cool. Hubs was working through counseling and he seemed better, and my two kids, they had not a care in the world really. But the biggest mistake I made was transitioning the load into one I thought I had the muscle to carry. And in that space I fell. Hard.
Instead of looking at the situation as an opportunity to be used, to love to give, I started to feel as if I was being punished.
Instead of seeing God increase my territory, I felt like the walls were closing in on me.
I would play back the moment when I knew my hubby heart and said “if you want to get him, I support you and I will do my best”.
Why would I say that?
What was I thinking?
I was already drowning with the two I already had on a lot of days.
I recognized the need for help and started seeking counseling for myself. I realized that I buried a lot of what I felt, thought and even might have needed to make sure that two people I loved were ok.
It does get hard, but what isn’t when you are truly trying to live a life that is pleasing to God?
The other day as we sat eating dinner, me and the boys, because their sister was gone, and hubs was on a much deserved vacay, the nephewson said to me, “This dinner is so good auntie. I really appreciate everything you do for us”.
In the moments like those is where joy is.
Today I am in a space of being truly thankful and honored that God saw and still sees me fit. It’s hard work keeping humans alive and while you can fumble through it with the ones you birth, having one you don’t get a running start with is even harder. He saw me capable and fit and to be a blessing to that little boy and that is still unbelievable to me.