Contributed By Christy Osterkamp in Bend, Oregon
It All Started So Good
Becoming a parent was a prayer that was finally answered four days before my 30th birthday. I had thought I would never be a mom due to infertility. Having my twin girls showed me a depth of love only surpassed by the love of God Himself. Having these precious children, a loving husband, and a newly purchased home on 3 acres, I thought that life was pretty much perfect. Having my youngest daughter six years later was the icing on my cake. Little did I suspect the walls would come crashing down on myself and my children’s lives.
Abandoned, Alone and Struggling as a Single Parent
“It takes a village to raise a child”. As I read the latest political “wisdom” of the day, I thought sarcastically, “Yeah; it might take a village to raise my children after their dad abandoned the family!” I wasn’t adjusting well with these new, unwanted labels in my life. Divorced. Single. I didn’t ask for either. They were forced upon me. I had little to no control. I was falling deeply into a pity party, progressing to bona fide depression. When I began to recognize that my children were trying to “parent” me as I went through the darkest hours of my life, I knew I now had to lean solely on God’s strength or I would crumble. I devoured every book I could on marital reconciliation, but to no avail. My husband wanted no part of the life I felt had been perfect.
The trials of loneliness, depression, sadness, and fear for our security were exacerbated by the trauma of litigation waged by the one who I had sworn to love for the rest of my life. I was in deathly fear that a judge who didn’t know us would take my children from my home and force them to live part time with the very one who broke their hearts, and renounced God in the process. For almost two years I couldn’t go a day without breaking down crying. My youngest child took to sleeping in my bed, crying herself to sleep every night.
Facing the Fear
Proverbs 15:22 says “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” I sought counsel from anyone willing to listen, and thankfully was given resources to control and overcome the anxiety that overwhelmed me. The first year I developed two cysts in my breast, which were caused by stress, and thankfully did go away over time.
My initial fear of financial collapse caused me to begin selling everything I could. I also refused to allow my daughters to feel any deprivation due to the loss of income, so I went deeply into debt. I literally became the “Disneyland Mom”! I went so far in this insanity to give my daughters everything, that I purchased a horse, and then needed a horse trailer to transport the horse, then needed a $32,000 new truck to pull the horse trailer….you get the picture. I humbly returned the truck to the dealer who happily took it back for a whopping fee.
For New Single Parents It's the Familiar Things That Hurt the Most
My girl’s father was a chef, so after leaving so abruptly, I was left alone with three girls and none of us knew what we were doing in the kitchen! We ate the standard hand-me-down casserole and spaghetti more than any human should have to endure! I crazily redecorated the house and did endless yard work trying to drown myself in mindless activity. It was so painful continuing to live in the same home that we had shared together, eventually leading to another loss, when I finally left the home behind to pursue healing elsewhere.
Restoration and A New Beginning in Bend, Oregon
Isaiah 54:5 says “For your Maker is your husband, and the Lord Almighty is His name”. I clung to that knowledge and recognized that my daughters needed Him to be their Father and also that they needed godly men in their lives. That is where our church family became so valuable to us. They had brothers, uncles, and father figures who represented the best of what God wanted men to be. I am so thankful for them.
Ultimately, by listening to God’s leading and allowing my healing to take place over time, my prayers were answered and I met and married a wonderful man from Bend, Oregon. He has filled my heart and life with joy and blesses my daughters as if they were his own. We are doubly blessed to live down the street from our first grandchild!
God doesn’t tell us He will keep us out of the valleys..…He promises He will walk us THROUGH them.
We Invite You to Visit our Single and Parenting Group in Bend
Get connected and find encouragement at our Single & Parenting group. We meet 6pm on Sundays at Epikos Church in Bend, Oregon. Learn more here.
Epikos Community Blog
Welcome to the Epikos Community Blog where you can find and read blog posts from members of Epikos Church in Bend, OR. At Epikos we believe in the value of every member and this is a place for members to share about the work God is doing in their lives.