Somewhere along the way, through a twenty two year marriage, raising two awesome children, studying for a degree and then two post graduate qualifications, establishing myself as a professional language teacher, writing my first novel and having it published, growing as a person, trying to be the best husband, father and friend I could be...at some point in the journey I forgot to be grateful, and I allowed discontent to fester.
Four years after I left my wife, I am still suffering the repercussions of that choice. Since immediately after Easter, I have had no fixed address. Between house sitting gigs, I stay with a good friend of mine. I own no furniture. My possessions fit in my car, with room to spare. I'm in debt, and uncertain about the future. I know what I want, but I am relatively powerless to do anything to achieve it. I don't know when things will change, when my life will turn around. I feel unsettled, anxious, uncertain and at times a little fearful.
The house I'm staying in now is a beautiful family home. Although the dogs are good company, I'm alone, and looking at all the family photos reminds me of what I don't have. They are echoes of what I used to have, and what I wish to have once more. I'm experiencing loneliness like I never have before, and I'm aware of the lack of gratitude I feel: focusing on what I don't have, instead of what I do have. I recognize this attitude is partially what brought about my down fall, and the end of my 'normal' life.
To top it all off, I am one love sick puppy. This lady, who I believe will become my wife, is a genuine gift from God. A clever and independent woman with a strong mind and a soft heart.The right person for me. Exactly who I need, and consequently the woman with whom I want to share the rest of my life. We've been in a long distance relationship for three and a half months. It's a tough gig. We haven't seen each other for six weeks, but we are committed to each other and learning to be patient (me not her).
Through it all, I see God's hand: his mercy and grace. I feel his hands deconstructing me, ripping away my self reliance and my need to be in control. He's removing all my worldly attachments, burning away what I don't need. Teaching me to really trust him. Drawing me closer. Blessing me in spite of my resistance to change. In my struggle, I feel his strength being perfected in me.
Once upon a time I thought I knew stuff. I thought I was in control. I thought I was on the right path.
Glory to the God of endless second chances.