About the Author

Kaitlyn is a Virtual Assistant, book launch manager, and storyteller who writes about discovering God's goodness in the ordinary and faithfulness in the difficult. She loves good books, deep conversations, and iced vanilla lattes. Kaitlyn is the author of Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between.

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Comments

  1. I so agree with your post. Our stories, as messy beautiful as they are, need to be spoken and written. Of late, I have been encouraged to write a book of my story. As I pray for God to use my story and that it not be in vain, it takes courage to tell of the weakness and the life that was anything but rosy. God uses the imperfect to bring perfection. Thank you for this gentle nudge, Kaitlyn.
    Grace

    • That’s so awesome! I love hearing people talk about writing books – I want to be a book editor some day, and it’s always encouraging to think books aren’t dying. 🙂 There’s nothing quite like holding a book in your hands, I think. Good luck with your writing!

  2. Oh little sister, I am SO proud of you! These words? Beautiful. Truth. Inspiring. Exactly what my heart needed to read today. Keep telling that story of yours with head held high, God is doing some amazing, wonderful works through you. So thankful I get to be in community with you 🙂

    • *thank you* Seriously, one of my favorite things about working for (with) (in)courage is that I met you along the way, and the community we all have together. I can’t wait to meet you for real! So soon!

  3. Kaitlyn,
    Beautiful post…you are a terrific writer! So glad you stepped out from behind the scenes to share your message with us. I so needed to hear what you had to say today! I truly appreciate the community that I have been building through (in)courage. The encouragement of the writers, the women who give me strenth to keep persevering and writing my story, they are so appreciated! Blessings to you all,
    Bev

    • I’m so glad (in)courage has been able to be community to you. It’s the perfect “bench” <-- if you've read Emily's recent post, you know what I'm talking about. 🙂 Keep writing your Story!

  4. Kaitlyn,
    So beautifully put! Everyone has a story. The more we are open and transparent, the more others will be blessed, inspired and encouraged. Thank you for encourage us to tell our story!
    Dayna

    • I think when we’re real with each other, the other person (people) feel more comfortable being real, too. It’s a two-way street. Thanks for your comment, Dayna.

  5. I could just about burst from the wonderful truth of your words, Kaitlyn. Talking about God’s glory within the walls where you await test results got me. Really got me. Like you, I’m learning that leaning into the anxieties of life is where we can find the sweetest, closest companionship of Christ. Thank you for soul-edifying words and for a persistent trust in God. You just totally won me over on this community thing.
    Here’s to chocolate. 🙂

    • This comment is just the sweetest – thank you Amber! Sometimes He seems to shine the brightest in the times that are hard and dark for us. And yes, here’s to chocolate!!

  6. Welcome! Your words penned her are confirmation of all The Lord has been teaching me lately. So very beautiful to read Your story. He is worthy of the glory brought from our broken places 🙂

    • “He is worthy of the glory brought from our broken places.” Yes. Beautifully put, Ada.

  7. Your post was a fresh, clean breeze to my spirit, especially: “He’s weaving a tapestry of beauty in your empty nest as you dust vacant rooms and worry about the ones you love that are too far away for your liking. ” The imagery of tapestry-weaving is significant to me, so those words in particular caught my attention. It was as if God was speaking between the lines of what you wrote: “Be patient until the tapestry is complete, dear one. The beauty of the finished masterpiece (and I am that Master!) will be well worth the wait.” Thank you, Kaitlyn. Your words surely came to you straight from God’s heart!

    • I’m so glad that’s what you read between the lines – that’s what I was hoping everyone would see! Thank you for saying “a fresh, clean breeze to my spirit” – I’m always hoping my writing with be a breath of fresh air. 🙂

  8. Thanks for sharing. Your words resonate with me and I’m sure many. I am in the mending process myself. Thankful for God’s gluestick and his grace, as I keep trying to take the next step in community gone wrong. I am thankful God DOES provide healing community here and there in the meantime!

  9. My story was uneventful until 5 years ago. Five years ago, a fire destroyed our apartment. We lost almost everything. BUT, my husband, three kids and I were safe. Almost immediately, my health suffered. I am in pain all day, every day. Two years after the fire, my husband told me that he didn’t love me and didn’t want to be married to me anymore. I have devoted over half my life to him. Shortly after that revelation, I found out he had been unfaithful. I immediately started looking for a job but none was to be found. The next year we had to declare bankruptcy. Because we haven’t been able to afford a divorce we are still married, living in the same apartment. Still no job. He said he would leave when I found a job.

    To say I was heartbroken would be an understatement. My heart was pounded into dust. The physical, emotional, and spirtual pain was unbelievable. But, God has shown me the depths of His love that I would have never experienced without the devastation. There were days where I had to cling to Him to just breathe. I never understood that Footprints poem until these experiences. He carried me. He still carries me. I didn’t understand that He would never stop loving me, until He was the only one loving me. I didn’t understand that He would never leave, until He was the only one left.

    I was blessed to find a job recently. Whatever the future holds, I know God holds me. I will not be afraid because He is with me.

    • D’An,

      For you to have gone through all these very difficult circumstances and still declare God is with you and will never leave you, that is an amazing testimony being weaved in this moment, please keep hanging in there with Him, I pray He will bless you today!

      • Yes. You can be strong for you. With God’s joy holding you up! And keep in Gods Word and going to church with your three kids. Have them all pitch in to help with laundry and cooking. Let them make choices about your home cooked dinners ( menus on cards?–draw cards?). My mom would say if we helped cook we didn’t have to clean up. I liked that!!! Join a women’s Bible Study with age appropriate activities for your kids. Oftentimes churches will do this on Wednesday nights. Do not let your ex spouse neglect support or deal for more days to pay you less. Almost always you as Mom will be in charge of clothes, school stuff etc. laws require him to pay. Do not allow the children to be used to give you the $.
        Every morning I got up early for some exercise and devotion time. I enjoyed playing frisbee and bad mitten in our front yard as we did not have a yard. Be creative in ways to have fun that are free. Keep in touch with Christians. You will survive but to not be bitter may require counseling. Do not let bitterness enter in. I keep on even years later, though less frequent now, have to keep this in check. It’s not godly for God knows it hurts me more. May you sing a song today.

    • D’An

      Praising God for bringing you through the rocky times. Praying for peace, contentment and a much, much better life for you and your family! 🙂

      Precious Lord,

      I am lifting up D’An and family in prayer right now. Please surround her with your tender mercies & the warmth of your loving arms. Help her to feel secure in your plans for her. Shower her with grace & mercy~~!!

      AMEN!

      • I ditto this prayer. I LOVE that by sharing your Story, D’An, community was formed in these comments!

    • D’An, Thank you for being so real and transparent here in the comments, and for sharing your Story. I can’t imagine walking in your shoes – what a hard five years. I am so sorry for your losses. But like you said, He is abundantly Faithful and the very best friend. When He is the only one left, it’s strikingly clear how good and faithful He is. I will be praying for you, and want to encourage you with Proverbs 3:5-6 and Jeremiah 29:11. We don’t know the future, but we know who holds it – and we just have to trust Him.

  10. Kaitlyn,
    God is using you as His instrument. Thank you for being willing to be used by Him. I was so glad to read your words today. What timing. As I’ve been trying to figure out what’s next in ministry for me now that I’m in a new season of life (60s!!), I have felt God calling me to slow down and WRITE about my experiences. Your words reminded me and encouraged me today. Thank you!

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Jan. Definitely keep writing your experiences…I heard once that we only remember 10% of what we don’t write down. I’m starting to think that’s definitely true.

  11. Thank you for sharing. Your story struck a cord within me. I don’t often think of myself as having a story to tell. But God has been telling me over and over that I have one to tell. It’s scary opening up, but I’m working on it. Praying for His divine wisdom and help to do so.

    • You definitely DO have a Story to tell, Lisa, and I’ll be praying for you as you work on opening up and sharing. 🙂

  12. Oh, that made me cry this morning! SO AWESOMELY TRUE!! I am sharing this with my friends who are struggling, because we give each other strength – through God’s love. thank you for writing it so eloquently, and perfectly Kaitlyn. God Bless you for your words to lighten our world. The dandelion seeds are spreading across my world 🙂

    • Oh my…certainly wasn’t wanting tears, but I’m so glad it touched you, and I hope it’s an encouragement to your friends as well! Have a wonderful week!

  13. THIS is why i get these posts…..YOU are an awesome writer and its like you know ME…thank you for your post today!

  14. What a breath of fresh air on a gloomy Friday!
    Thank you so much for reminding me that in the midst of a very unsure adoption God has a story to write, that after one failed, one shakey adoption deal God is still writing and He knows my heart and my dreams of being a mama. Thank you!

    • Pausing to pray for you and your adoption right now. He is still writing, and thankfully He is always Faithful and Constant.

  15. Thank you, Kaitlyn, for encouraging us to keep writing down our stories and sharing pieces of ourselves with whomever God brings across our path, in real life or online… I’ve been tempted to stop writing on my blog recently, but feel something in me urging me to continue, even if only Jesus reads what I write, and your post was a confirmation of that for me. Thank you! May you continue to know the peace and presence of Jesus as He keeps writing your story day by day!

    Wish we could share some chocolate together in person. 🙂

    • If we’re writing for Him, it doesn’t matter who is reading along, right? Keep writing! I would love to share some chocolate, too. 🙂

  16. Thanks for this Kaitlyn. It brought tears that came with hope. Your words softened up an area in me that I was allowing to dry up. There will be a new community for me, there is hope. Thank you.
    Susie

    • I am so, so glad to read this Susie! This is why I write. There will be new community – keep searching it out. It took me almost two years to find a church community while away at school and I’ve finally found one. And it is worth every awkward, lonely Sunday spent in a new church. Really. You’ll find community, and it will find you!

  17. Shared your post by mine today. I wrote of feeling that perhaps the rocks will cry out in these days of darkness for those I know and even honestly, this heart of mine. But grief is not to be journeyed alone, nor any other emotion. So I get this. Your writing reminds me that together our voices unite to be the utterance of God’s glory. I will let others stand by me with their music so no rocks need to cry out in my silence. Thanks for your behind the scenes remarkable work and your words of truth that hit the screen today with your name beside them. Peace.

    • Such a beautiful word picture. Thank you for that. I’m honored that He allowed my name to go next to His words.

  18. Well written Kaitlyn…you are a courageous wise hearted woman. Just reading your post encouraged me to write, and tell the old sweet story of a life changed by Jesus. God desire is that the whole world will know Him and He choses to use US to tell this story of redemption. Blessings my sister.

  19. Thank you for this post. I’ve felt a nudge to share my story many times but have always declined to do so, I’ve now made a decision to follow through and do so. Prayerfully it will help many of my sisters in Christ as well as those searching for something better in life.

    • So glad to hear this!! So often sharing our Stories can be meant to help others but I think it helps us, too. Keep writing and sharing!

    • Aww, thank you so much Jenni! Looks like I’ll have to go find you on Pinterest now. 🙂

  20. I love this post. I do believe we all have a story. I am trying to find the voice and the courage to share mine. All Ican say is a big AMEN! In our weakness indeed God gives us strength and makes us strong! thanks

    • I’ll be praying for you as you look to Him for strength (and courage) to share your Story. Read over Joshua 1:6,9 and Deut. 31:6 – and take courage!

  21. What a wonderful way to begin my afternoon – reading this was a blessing! As I was reading, “When you stay up late and rise early to chase that God-given dream of yours, do you hear the melody playing in the background?”, I was listening to Praise His Name by Ashmont Hill. Yes, I continue to hear the melody – sometimes it’s faint and seems far off, and, sometimes it’s up-close and personal. So want it to always be first and foremost – especially during those trying times. Walking the hallways with you, and, praying that your journey is always accompanied by His joy and strength. Thank you for sharing!

    • Well I’ll have to go look up that song now. 🙂 Thank you for walking these hallways with me.

  22. I so enjoyed this post – there is a reason you write so well and so deeply! Thank you for sharing so much of wonderful you in such a small space! You have inspired me to love better and to give God glory in it all! … “the walls that give Him glory.” God writes His beautiful stories in our lives, it’s true!!

    • Thank you so much Maria!! Phil. 1:9 is one of my very favorite verses. “Love much and love well.”

  23. You story is truly a powerful one. Althugh I have health issues they don’t scratch the surface of all you have ben through. I suffer from MDD, GAD and CFS. I addition to that I have been divorced twice and mentally, phyically, emotionally and spiritually abused as well molested by a gang as a young teen and raped twice in my early 20s. The blessingin all this is that I have been praying hard for my Godly purpose and He has shown me that it has to do with art. I am a scrapbooker, cardmaker, art jourlaler and dabble in mixed media and altered art. He has shown me that this artwork helps me to heal and that my purpose is to share te healingof art with other abused women and children. The avenues have not opened ye but I am starting to make some good contacts that may help me to locate the women and children that I will be able to minister to. I know that being able to share my story is going o be a big part of getting them to trust me and allow me in to help share their struggles and lead them to the light o Christ and His healing power.

    • Oh my…Paula, I can’t even imagine. Thank you for sharing a piece of your Story here in the comments. I will be praying for doors to open as your share your art and Story.

  24. “There’s no need for the rocks to cry out when we tell our story!” I saw Lisa-Jo quote this line on her FB page and had to come read this pst for myself. It did not disappoint. I bet we would become fast friends indeed! Thanks for sharing part of your story, today!

    • I know…I couldn’t believe she did that. Seriously, the best boss. 🙂 🙂

    • I’m glad you’re sharing, Heidi. Even if you don’t know what “series” you should do! 😉

  25. This was beautiful! And when I got to the bottom and realized this must be the Kaitlyn who walked me through my guest post, I said Yay!!!! Makes me smile 🙂

    • Yes! It’s me 🙂 Seasons and Silver, right? If I remember correctly…Good to hear from you again!

  26. My eyes were wet with tears by the third line:

    “You need encouragement.”

    You’re right. I do. In so many ways. I’m struggling with writing/blogging my current story…I’ve been wanting to throw in the towel and give up…but your blog is timely. Very timely.

    Thank you. Really. Your words carried His encouragement to my heart.

    • I’m so glad they could be an encouragement to you as you keep writing. As we write, I’m so glad He isn’t done writing, either. You can do it! One line at a time.

  27. I am so glad you stepped out Kaitlyn! Your writing is pure poetry and speaks to my soul…I know we would be friends! Glad to meet you here. “Our stories, like dandelions, spread farther than we’ll ever know when we breathe out and share. ” This is exactly why I write and why I read. I love a good story! And thank you so much for encouraging me and in fact, affirming me with your dandelions. Bless you Sister.

  28. Pure inspiration sister. I totally agree, we are community. There are so many visions, writings and idea given to me. I long for support & oftentimes I feel alone. Everyday I look at my 2 year old and smile. In the weakness, sickness that tries to creep upon me, somehow I still find strength. I want everyone to know that delay IS NOT denial. Whatever you’re going through, think of yourself as a diamond being formed in earths mantle. With hope, and when the time comes, you will be ready to do what you enjoy doing, and what you are called to do. Once again, thank you for sharing such a wonderful blog with us all Kaitlyn.

    • It’s in our weak times that we see His strength most clearly as we lean on Him, right? Have a great day, Yannie.

  29. Oh how I needed to read this today…God was so speaking to my heart….I do have a story to tell …many stories of God’s faithfulness, and love, and mercy.

    I was in a coma in 2009 and almost died prepping for a routine colonoscopy.
    A friend was admitted into ICU….where I was , just the other day…I wanted to run….but asked God to grant me the strength to stay, visit and pray over him…..

    This is what came out of my experience…..

    The wee one opens her eyes and looks down at all of the bruises and IV lines coming out of both arms and the machines screaming in unison as they monitor whether she is alive or not…. And the bruises covering…..blood spilled………

    Her eyes opening after days of being shut……..

    She looks to the right and her eyes fall upon the one that God gave to her….the precious gift from the One, Jesus, my Grace and my Savior.

    “Where am I, the wee one asks..what happened to me”? , and the one love asks …”do you know who I am”?

    “No….”, I am terrified but I do not know…..My one love tells me that I have been in a coma for days and am in ICU…..

    I trusted You my One Love, Jesus……, My Grace, My Savior and I had spent the day in prayer,
    waiting for the medicine to begin working as I prepared for the colonoscopy set for early the next morning.

    I completely opened my heart, and surrendered myself into Your hands……and I am here….and my one love I do not know……..

    Did you pass me by on that ill-fated day my One Love, my Jesus, my Grace, my Savior? Did I trust You in vain?

    As we chat, my friend’s coloring begins to show signs of life giving blood flooding his cheeks……Your blood,
    One Love Jesus, My Grace and My Savior???

    The wee one gazes at her one love….I know you…you are my husband…..and he smiles………I am beginning to Return……

    Tell me the wee one says, tell me what happened…..the one love goes slowly and repeats over and over again that I had lost all of my electrolytes from not being prepared with the proper medication and supervision, and that I seized, and fell into a coma.

    Foaming at the mouth, convulsing, collapsing into a coma…..ambulance rushing, being tied down, covered in blood as the wee one thrashes unaware of what is happening…….children crying, my one love in shock….

    Why oh Lord, my One Love..Jesus, my Grace and my Savior………….I trusted You and You allowed this to happen?

    The CT Scan shows that my friend has stopped bleeding….he is beginning to get stronger……the family breathes a sigh of gratitude to You Lord.

    The road to recovery for the wee one is long….still carrying her baggage……but growing closer and closer to You, Jesus, my One love, my Grace, my Savior………and to the one love You have given me here on earth……..and my dear children, especially Quiet Son, who shed buckets of tears, draining his glass momentarily the night I almost died.

    St. John of the Cross said, “To come to the pleasure you have not you must go by a way in which you enjoy not”

    You took me my One love, Jesus my Grace and my Savior by a way I did not wish to go……..

    Yet.

    You gave back so much!

    Embracing my forever prayer to die with Your name on my lips, the wee one spoke aloud the words………

    O Jesus! Let Your Blood be upon me not for a curse but for a blessing.

    Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world: have mercy on me! Amen

    The very last words uttered before never remembering……..

    The One love, Jesus, my Grace, my Savior…..restoring, blessing and healing……Returning me to the one love, given to me, for forever ,and to Quiet Son, loving and praying so tenderly……to silent girl…mother herself….heart –wrenched,…..and Shiny Penny, cherishing and strong…………

    But most of all to You, the One Love, Jesus, my Grace, my Savior….where all love flows from, who climbed upon the wood and freely went where you would rather not go…. for me….for my family, for my friend, for all of us……….

    I kissed my friend goodbye asked the One love, Jesus, my Grace and my Savior to bless him….and,

    I told him that I believed in miracles…….!

    Everything is Grace,

    The wee one

  30. What a wonderful post! Congratulations on your new “job” with inCourage!

    I too have a story to tell, if you have a moment, feel free to read a few pieces of my story at: http://athankfullyimperfectwoman.com/2013/03/30/the-day-the-lord-visited-me/

    And a low at: http://athankfullyimperfectwoman.com/2013/05/12/mothers-day-roses-and-thorns/

    And some fun at: http://athankfullyimperfectwoman.com/2013/03/29/goats-in-bathrooms-kitchens-and-jumping-on-chairs/

    And some appreciation for gifts at: http://athankfullyimperfectwoman.com/2013/05/31/kudos-to-20-years-of-teaching-math/

    And: http://athankfullyimperfectwoman.com/2013/02/20/the-women-who-inspire-me/

    I just signed up to receive your blog via email! I can’t wait to read more of your story – thank you for sharing…and thank you for asking us to share. It truly is about community…and being there for each other.

    Sending you a hug via internet!

    • Thanks for sharing your Story with all of us, Patty! I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

  31. Love this post. Yes, I believe in the power of story too. I’ve led several small groups and it never ceases to amaze me how people are encouraged and bonded together through story. It’s beautiful.

  32. Well said! I love this post because this is something my husband and I learned after going through 3 hellish years of unemployment and completely relying on God’s provision to make it through. We learned that our story is not for us but to give hope to others going through what we went through. Thx for sharing part of your story with us!

    • So true…He often uses our stories to encourage others walking through something similar! Have a great week Monica.

  33. Kaitlyn,

    Very well written post! Everyone has a story to tell. Some maybe more drama & others just quite simple. My belief is that God allows us to go through this life with trials, tribulations so to encourage others with our story.

    My story doesn’t have a lot of trauma or drama, but there are parts in there that I use to inspire others & give them the hope I found!

    • Thank you, Beth. No matter our different Stories, they’re each valuable and important.

  34. Kaitlyn, Just want you to know I was just reading my e-mail. Did not know you had written this until almost the end. Just want you to know how very proud I am of you for sharing this painful experience. It was a miracle! As your grandmother, having this terrible brain tumor at your young age was just devastating to our whole family. Without the prayers of so many and Caring Bridge following your progress, we could not have made it though…..God was carrying all of us and now we know first hand when we see only His footprints. Would you please let me give God more glory, thanks and praise by sharing with everyone that in spite of your brain surgery you have excelled in college , made Dean’s List every quarter at Samford and will be a Junior this year. I’m not bragging (grandmother do that often) but this is just a part of “my story” and it is just plain true and I want to share my chocolate others too. I love you, Mama Boo

  35. There is always something to be learned in bad experiences of Community. It takes some longer than others to realize those lessons.

  36. Hi, I enjoyed your message very much. Thank you for sharing.

  37. Kaitlyn
    Thanks for sharing your story, you are so right we all have a story to tell! With His grace , it is possible for me to continue on my journey in life. there are days that I just want to sit down with someone and have that proverbial cup of coffee and just talk. sitting down and writing all my feelings thoughts will probably help me a great deal. I’m starting a new chapter of my life and I so desperately need time for myself to figure everything out. it’s important for all of us. I hope I can figure this all out so I can keep in touch!
    Blessings ,
    Lucy

    • Hi Lucy, thanks for your comment! I would definitely encourage you to write things out. It’s a great way to process and to remember stuff later on. 🙂 And it’s a great way to share your Story with others, too.

  38. Very, very encouraging! God bless you and may the power and Light of Christ continue to work thru you my sister.

    Love,
    Jessica

  39. Kaitlyn, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am experiencing my own health struggles and trying to cling to the knowledge that the Lord is in control. Thank you for sharing these truths that touched my heart so deeply!

    • I will be praying for you, Katherine. Hold on to Proverbs 3:5-6. Our understanding is nothing when we hold it up to His – and so even when it’s hard, we can trust His goodness.

  40. Thanks for sharing. I really needed to hear this. I have been “out of words” for about a month. Your story has inspired me to type it out for HIM again.
    Thanks,
    Natalie

  41. Thank you your words pierced my heart and I almost cried if I were not in a public library. I know my story is in the books I have yet to publish that I silently compose in tons of notebooks I have collected. I know that my gift from God to the world is my poetry and I need to share my story. Thank you again for sharing your words of encouragement. God BLESS YOU! Michelle

    • Oh my, don’t cry!! Just keep writing…even if it’s in notebooks for the time being, share a poem or two with a friend over coffee!

  42. Wow, Kaitlyn! Inspiring, sister! Maybe I should begin writing my story. I seem to have a lot of words pent up inside, but my poor husband’s ears start to bleed (figuratively, of course) when I talk so much. I struggle with wondering whether anyone would be interested in hearing (reading) anything I have to say, but it seems all these words wouldn’t be here if someone didn’t need to hear them. Or maybe I just need to say them????

    Anyway, thank you for a wonderful post!

    • Yes! Begin writing and sharing! Who knows what will come of it, but pen to paper or typing a keyboard is a good outlet.

  43. I know all about “good community” and “bad community”. I am in a terrible situation. I moved halfway across the world to marry the man who asked me to marry me. We love(d) each other, and he has told various people that he still loves me. I find that very hard to believe considering how he has treated me in the past two years, but even the past 10 (11) years we were married. We got married on November 9, 2002.

    There have been varying levels and forms of abuse in our marriage- mostly emotional and psychological) but also battery- because a husband does not have to hit/hurt his wife physically to “batter” her. I love him but eventually left with my children to go to a Women’s Shelter on November 30, 2012 because of his abusive attitude, and the way he broke me down emotionally after we were forced to live with friends and family in July 2011. He has never hit me, but is extremely intimidating towards me. The first instance of abuse that happened was that he got angry with me because dinner was not ready. I had been catching up with the ironing for what felt like hours. He was an insurance agent at the time, and had to wear a suit and tie when visiting clients, only to face more rejection from people who didn’t feel the need to buy insurance. This happened in person and when he made phone calls to prospective clients.
    A friend of mine (whose home we were living in in 2011)- had planned for us to prepare a meal together and share it between our families. She cancelled at the last minute and my husband got back, thinking I had been doing nothing the whole day. I must admit that I do get homesick and was also feeling blue that day. He told me he had the solution to my problems…. He went upstairs and headed to our bedroom. He walked to our bed and got his gun from underneath his side of our bed. He (apparently) put the safety cap on and handed the gun to me- telling me that “if your (my) life was that bad- why don’t you (I) just shoot yourself (myself)… I just froze there- holding the gun for a moment and handed it back to him. We have each said very little about the subject ever since. This remains the first of a long list of events and elephants in our living room; such as him throwing objects; getting (extremely angry) over the smallest of issues, and breaking objects out of annoyance and anger. This kind of thing happened about 6 times in the 10 years we were married, but his mood (anger) was up and down all the time.

    I wanted children very desperately all my life. My biological clock had been ticking for years. He did (as he puts it) “allow” me to get pregnant. BJ was born when I was 35 years old. It is obvious that Ray, although he didn’t seem to mind us having one child, was not as thrilled with the thought of him existing at that moment in time. He has said that “IF” I had been willing to wait another 2 years, “everything” would be different. I feel I had ALREADY WAITED as long as I did- and nothing would have improved for us to have children later in life than we had already waited. On the night of BJ’s first night home after his birth, Ray was frustrated because the CD player was not set up to play white noise music when he wanted to get to sleep. He could have just as easily just have plugged it in and gone off to sleep. But no; he had to throw it across the room in anger and frustration. I was completely flabbergasted that he did that. The CD player could have landed in the crib where BJ was asleep, and hit him and injured or even killed him. Thankfully BJ slept through it all and I am hoping that he did not suffer any emotional trauma from that.

    Just over a year later, when BJ was nearly 16 months old, we had to make a trip to get the last of my Immigration papers sorted out. Ray was extremely frustrated that the printer was not working properly and slammed his fist on the printer, causing the glass to shatter. He dented the cabinet that it was resting on and cut his hand in the process.

    Just as we were in the process of moving out of our apt, Ray was stressed and frustrated, as he has been at times in our lives. This does not happen ALL the time, but does a lot of the time, and he doesn’t see that the way he acts at these times is “bad”. On this occasion, (I also got pregnant with our second son, Gregory, who Ray did not accept or tolerate while I was pregnant. He told me that I ruined his financial life. He also did not allow me to get medical care. The way I did get medical help was that my sister-in-law and her sister-in-law (Tammy)- the friend who was wanting to cook a meal with me, and whose home we lived in for just over a year (2011/2012)

    All of this came to (some sort of a head) when I left with my children to go to the women’s shelter. When my husband found out where we were, he used a health issue that Gregory had as a newborn. Gregory was born needing his frenulum (under his tongue) trimmed; but it was diagnosed late. This, and the high palate that he had caused him to lose weight. At first the drs blamed me, stating “failure to thrive” but they later found out about the frenulum and high palate. He was hospitalized for 6 days at just over 6 weeks of age. They inserted a feeding tube and I expressed as much milk as I could to place in a bag to use to feed him. He also more or less nursed on demand during the day, and at night he had the tube attached and he nursed as well. He was discharged from the hospital after 6 days but the feeding tube remained for close to 8 weeks. It was a real nightmare to have to work around the feeding tube, which came out 3 times in the time he was to have it in place. I must admit that Ray did work very well with taking care of the feeding tube, and replacing the tape that keeps/holds it in place. Poor Little Gregory had part of the skin that the tape was taped to pulled off whenever it needed to be replaced, which was especially distressful. I couldn’t even kiss him on his little cheek to help him feel more loved and cherished, for fear that it would hurt his sensitive face where his skin had been peeled off with the tape. I was suffering from ppd since after Gregory’s birth, but felt the need to hide how I felt because he had bad association with ppd with his own mom (actually bi-polar, which got worse with each pregnancy/birth of him and his two brothers.

    To get back to what happened when we left to go to the shelter, it was suggested to me to get an order of protection from the court to keep my children and I protected legally. When I got there, the court was closing for the day. They sent me back with the forms to fill out, which I did, but with a heavy heart. I missed my husband and didn’t want to hurt him. When I got to the court, they told me that my evidence was too old. My husband had, in the meantime- got a TRO against me using the evidence of Gregory’s frenulum and called it “failure to thrive”. He also said that BJ & Gregory were in “immediate and irreparable damage and harm” in my care. I would never ever have denied my children anything that they needed for survival. This is totally shocking to me, and I can’t begin to describe the torture this is causing me to feel. The judge was forced to cooperate and give him the TRO just because it sounded so bad. He did, however, give me what several people have called extremely liberal supervised visitation- a minimum of twice per week- with more if possible.

    BJ & Gregory were removed from me (and the way in which it was done) was for his brother (the first person who suggested to me that I go to a women’s shelter) [there were others who suggested this to me]. I was called to the meeting area, using the excuse that they wanted to get a laptop that my parents bought for our family to use) back to me. The women in the shelter were suspicious, and so was I a little, but I trusted him too much. When we arrived at the meeting place, there were several police officers on the scene. I was carrying Gregory (15,5 months old at the time, and I don’t remember, but I think pushed BJ (just a bit over 5 years old at the time) part of the way to the meeting place. It was a cool day (December 6, 2012), which would forever be etched in my mind as the most horrific day I had experienced. Someone (I don’t remember who to this day) pulled Gregory out of my arms, and BJ and Gregory and I were all in tears. They did not even allow me to give them each one last hug and kiss. My brother in law acted as if I was invisible, not saying one word to me- not that any word would have made it any better.

    Ray has, however, not allowed me any of the visitation granted, using the loophole that it was to be supervised visitation at the shelter- which for one thing, was only a temporary shelter, for not more than two weeks. He and his lawyer did not have the TRO changed so that it would accommodate the supervised visitation at another location. It is now December 29, 2013, over a year after having to TRO put against me. I have since sent a visitation petition to the court on August 5/6 2013 because Ray had been so uncooperative with the visitation section of the TRO. I would have submitted more petitions to the court but I was extremely intimidated and he reacted just as badly as I thought he would when I submitted that one. I have not had any permanent home in over a year either. I was hoping to get to another women’s shelter, but cannot because of the TRO being in force. I am now living nearly 300 miles away from my children and have been living here since October 2013. I sent one more visitation petition in December 2013 and hope the court will accept it as I was unable to get it notarized.

    Please keep this matter in prayer. I need my Babies back. BJ & Gregory are both suffering without me, and this is the most traumatic experience I have ever had. I have not been permitted to kiss them goodnight or kiss their boo-boos for them or be a normal mother to them in over a year. This is another form of abuse my husband is doing to me but he fails to see that BJ & Gregory are the real victims.

    This one piece of writing sums up what happened to me (what I was denied) for over a year so far:

    “Two and a half” (Gregory was 15,5 months old when he was pulled out of my arms)
    “Hold him a little longer,
    Rock him a little more,
    Tell him another story,
    (You’ve only told him four),
    Let him sleep on your shoulder,
    Rejoice in his happy smile,
    He’s only two and-a-half
    For such a little while…