My American Idol

He was everything to me. My whole world revolved around him. We lived together. We worked together every night. We went to Burger King and a matinee movie every Saturday. We went to church every Sunday. His name was Todd Sullivan. He was my idol.

I had survived a terrible first marriage. I loved my first husband and I like to think that in the beginning of our marriage he loved me. I thought we were both happy together. But maybe not. We had three children together. In the last year of our marriage was mean, cruel, demeaning, violent and made me feel worthless. He had affairs. Inevitably we divorced.

While we were separated I fell in love again. Sadly, that man was never in love with me. He loved my good friend. I became pregnant with this man’s child. He married my good friend when I was seven months pregnant.

I thought surely he would come and see us when the baby was born. He did not. I never would have met my son’s husband without being married to my first husband.. I had been an army wife. Tom, our three children. and I had moved to an army base in Louisiana.

Well before my first husband left for Germany he dropped me, my three children and my unborn child back off in Massachusetts. We lived in the “Greenfield Family Inn,” which is a fancy name for a homeless shelter for families. That is another story to tell, but that is not the story I am telling today.

I was forty when I met Todd. He was thirty. We met in a woodworking class in a program for people who were really depressed and suicidal. After our program we rode with a group of others in a van that drove us all over Holyoke, South Hadley and Chicopee to take us home. We all sang the songs that were popular at that time. Todd repeatedly asked me to go out with him. I thought he was a great guy from the beginning. He was handsome with dark hair and beautiful eyes. I honestly cannot remember if they were blue or brown. I think they were brown. He was chubby, but I didn’t care about that. Everybody loved Todd. I loved Todd but as I said he was ten years younger than me.

“All by myself,” he used to sing, “Don’t wanna be all by myself.” Finally I gave in. Our first date was at the Hampshire Mall. We went to see Star Wars II. We both loved movies, and we both loved Star Wars. Well, I was thrown out of our program for depressed people because we were not allowed to date anyone in the program. I went to another program. It was great but it did not have a woodworking class.

Anyway Todd and I were together all the time. I never spent time with any of my friends. I did not speak to three of my adult children. I no longer spoke to any of my family. My daughter Tiffany and I were very close. She lived in the apartment I was renting and came over every night for dinner. Tiffany loved pancakes. I often made pancakes for dinner. I remember the three of us played frisbee in the parking lot and had dinner together and watched tv together at night.

Todd and I had terrible fights. But we always forgave each other. We hugged often. We said I love you in the morning, again before one of us went somewhere, again when we got home and before we went to sleep at night. Unlike my first husband, Todd truly wanted me, needed and loved me. He played CD’s with love songs on them, played his guitar and sang to me. We sang to each other.

Todd asked me to marry him. I said yes. We planned to be married in August.

Then that terrible awful thing happened….

(To be continued)

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WAIT ON THE LORD

Wait on the LORD, be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart…. Psalm 27:14

I don’t like to wait. I want it right now. I had to wait nine months for a child. Four times. But each one was worth the wait.

I had to wait until my children were eighteen. They were taken away from me and I knew that once three of them got out of the foster care system and after one grew up with his Dad we would be close. They were worth the wait.

I had to wait many years for a second husband after the death of my 31 year old fiancé (who would have been my second husband) who died on Mother’s Day three months before our wedding day. But my husband was worth the wait.

I had to wait for my cancer diagnosis. Then I had to wait for the nightmare called chemotherapy and then radiation treatments to be over with. I have been cancer free for 13 years. It was worth the wait.

There are more things that I am waiting for now. For my daughters to forgive me after nearly five years and pick up the phone and call me. For my daughters to allow me to see my grandchildren again. For us to pay off our credit card debt. For the holidays, which I always look forward to. For the second coming of Jesus. For my eternity in heaven. But each one will be worth the wait.

What does God say? He will strengthen my heart. God knows what I need and what I don’t need and what is best for me (and for my children) and when it is best for me I need to trust him and wait patiently for him

❤️Terri

Dear Tiffany

You may not have spoken to me for years

You may have caused me many tears

We’ve had some crappy times

But we have had some happy times

You may not remember happy times

But I do

I just want to say Happy Birthday

To you

No matter what you have said or done

I still love you and I always will

Mom

ACRONYM • ACTIVE

Alert-, mentally, physically and spiritually

Continuing in prayer and in the Word daily

Teaching others about the love of Jesus

Inspiring music- listening as I do my daily chores

Valuing each person in my life- and telling them I love them

Enjoying life to the fullest- laughing, playing and having fun

“…Always abounding in the work of the Lord, for your labor is not in vain in the Lord. ” 1 Corinthians 15:58 b

Dear Father,

Thank you for actively loving me, listening to me, telling me that you value and love me, helping me to play, laugh, have fun and enjoy life. Help me to be active every day for you. In Jesus name I pray, amen

JESUS IS CONSISTENT

I try to be consistent in my faith- to trust God even in the hardest times. It is easy to trust Him when things are easy. There are a few things I need to remember.

God is consistent in his love for me. Jesus died on the cross, paid for all of my sin, I trusted in His death on the cross, resurrection and I asked Him to be my Savior. I have been adopted into His family. He will always love me no matter what I say or what I do. I will never be unadopted from the family of God. Jesus’s love is consistent.

Jesus consistently hears my prayers. The prayers I pray out loud, the silent prayers I pray, and the prayers I am unable to pray. When I am unable to pray, Jesus, my one true mediator, prays for me. Yes, Jesus in is consistent in listening to my prayers.

Jesus is consistent in forgiving my sin. There is no sin that He will not forgive. When I confess my sin and repent of it He hears me and cleanses me from all unrighteousness.

Jesus is consistent in keeping all of his promises. He promises to be our Rock our Fortress, our mighty God, our Shepherd, our king of Kings, our Lord of Lord, our Savior, Redeemer, our dear Friend, and so much more. He will always be there for us when we need Him.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Dear Jesus, thank you that you are consistent in your love for me, that you hear all of my prayers, you forgive all of my sins, and you keep your promises. In your name I pray, amen.

AVOID: ACRONYM

AVOID

Avoid arguing with your spouse until after you and they have eaten a good meal. Pray before you discuss the topic of dispute.

Very fast driving, drinking, drugs and cell phones can kill innocent people.

Own it when you do something wrong. Apologize to God and to the other person.

I am a child of God. I am good. I am worth loving. U am forgiven by God. Use positive I statements – stop the negative self talk.

Drive cautiously- avoid drinking, avoid drugs, avoid speeding and avoid cell phones when driving. You can kill an innocent person by doing any of the above.

“Finally , brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

“Dear Father,

Please help us to avoid things that are destructive to us, to our marriages, to our children, to our friends, to our families, to our church families, to our neighbors, and to anyone and everyone else.

In Jesus name I pray,

amen