How many times have you heard someone say you can’t put a price on…here are some examples I’ve used or heard others use: love, friendship, peace, freedom, life, motherhood, fatherhood, family, patience…there’s more I’m sure. Today though…I have to tell you, I can put a price on safety.
Safety has cost me financial security. It has cost me the ability to give my children everything they need and many of the things they want. It has cost me sleep at night, lots of gas for a part-time job with a 40 mile commute round trip each scheduled work day, it has cost me time with my children. It has cost me my sense of security, it has cost me my sense of value, it will likely cost me my education too. It has cost me migraines, my girlish figure, and my confidence. It has cost me friends, it has cost me family, it has cost me homes, it has cost me a child. It has cost my children, and it almost cost me my faith.
My children have paid for our safety by having to grow up much sooner than they should, by not being able to see and talk to certain family members, including their father, and by having far less of a mother than they deserve. My children have paid for our safety by being forced to cowgirl up when they had every right to fall apart, by going without some of their basic needs met, and by having to wait their turn for a lot of things. Safety has cost my little Sass Master most of her childhood, it has cost Tiva her “Daddy’s Girl” title, it has cost Baby Boy a father-son bond. My youngest three children have paid for our safety by losing both their big sister and their baby brother, their grandmother, their Auntie, and essentially half their family entirely.
It didn’t just cost us though…it cost my ex-husband his children, his wife, and his family and it was all his fault. It cost his new baby, it even cost his ex-girlfriend. Funny how one bad decision, made over and over and over, can result in one being made that has such a high price to pay. Is the cost of safety worth it? I don’t know anymore.
I will admit, I have a good poker face and until last night, no one really had much of an idea what a struggle I’m going through right now. Now that someone does (or a few someones as the case may be), everything is better right? No…not even close. Lately, I find myself consumed with constant thoughts about my decision to leave and file for divorce. When we were together, I didn’t worry about paying the rent, getting them school clothes and supplies, keeping gas in my car, needing car repairs, paying the water or the electric or the gas or the car insurance, or any of that. We didn’t have a lot, but we always seemed to be able to make the money work somehow.
Instead I worried about what condition they’d be in when I got home. I worried about would he kill one or all of us accidentally or on purpose in a fit of rage, I worried about what would happen if I wasn’t there to stop him and he was angry. I worried about how would I ever manage to support them on my own if I left him…sometimes I really wish I wouldn’t have. Seems like life is much harder now than it was when I was with him…even WITH the abuse he put my kids and I through. This my friends, the living I’m barely eeking out, is exactly the reason women stay…more times than I’d like to count, I’ve wished I would have stayed. The worries seem to far outweigh the costs I’ve paid not to have them anymore, that’s for sure.
Getting to the breaking point was a Cinch. Pun totally intended. Last night it decided to break when I needed it most…it was too much. I sent a text to a dear friend of mine whining about my broken Cinch and it just kinda snowballed from there. She was worried…no I think she is still worried. Worried enough to pray for me and plead with our God for answers on what she can do to help. She called in some reinforcements…late last night I got an unexpected visit from two women I have found a new love and appreciation for.
Through my sobs I told these women how I found myself wishing more and more that I would have stayed with the monster I married. That if I had, a good majority of the struggles I have now would not be happening. With tenderness and love, I was reminded that, as Natalie Grant sings…I am in better hands now. Madame President’s Sidekick reminded me that I’m on the right track, I’m doing everything I know to do and no matter what, I did the right thing in leaving and, since I am so close to my God, He will not forsake me. Please take the time to enjoy the song, “In Better Hands Now”, below. I am particularly touched by these lyrics:
It’s hard to stand
On shifting sand
It’s hard to shine
In the shadows of the night
You can’t be free
If you don’t reach for help
And you can’t love
If you don’t love yourself
But there is hope when my faith runs out…
Cuz I’m in better hands now…
So take this heart of mine
There’s no doubt
I’m in better hands now
Maybe I’m in better hands…but if not….
Madame President ordered me to print a talk (for my non-LDS readers this is much like a short sermon) called “But If Not” and then she decided we needed to read it right then. The entire talk can be found here. I read the first page of the talk aloud last night and pretty much lost it halfway through the first page. Elder Simmons is talking about the 3 Hebrews who were cast into a fiery furnace after refusing to engage in idol worship…Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego “knew that they could trust God—even if things didn’t turn out the way they hoped. They knew that faith is more than mental assent, more than an acknowledgment that God lives.
Faith is total trust in Him. Faith is believing that although we do not understand all things, He does. Faith is knowing that although our power is limited, His is not. Faith in Jesus Christ consists of complete reliance on Him. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego knew they could always rely on Him because they knew His plan, and they knew that He does not change. They knew, as we know, that mortality is not an accident of nature. It is a brief segment of the great plan of our loving Father in Heaven to make it possible for us, His sons and daughters, to achieve the same blessings He enjoys, if we are willing. They knew, as we know, that in our premortal life, we were instructed by Him as to the purpose of mortality: “We will make an earth whereon these may dwell; And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.”
Before leaving, Madame President challenged me to really commit to the principle of but if not…Elder Simmons concludes his talk by saying “Our God will deliver us from ridicule and persecution, but if not. … Our God will deliver us from sickness and disease, but if not … . He will deliver us from loneliness, depression, or fear, but if not. … Our God will deliver us from threats, accusations, and insecurity, but if not. … He will deliver us from death or impairment of loved ones, but if not, … we will trust in the Lord. Our God will see that we receive justice and fairness, but if not. … He will make sure that we are loved and recognized, but if not. … We will receive a perfect companion and righteous and obedient children, but if not, … we will have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that if we do all we can do, we will, in His time and in His way, be delivered and receive all that He has.“
The cost I’ve paid to give my children and I a safe environment, one free from abuse, has been huge. Am I in better hands now? Honestly, I don’t know…that might depend on who you ask and how you define better. I don’t know that I can say I’m in better hands now, but if not, I will endeavor to trust in the Lord anyway.
Loves2Smock, Madame President and her faithful Sidekick…thank you for loving me when I needed it most.