Friday, June 8, 2012

On Overcoming and Some New Friends...

I have a question. I like questions.  Do (end of the) Baby-Booming, African-American, stay-at-home moms blog?  I suppose I ask this question because I spent several days this week becoming cyber BFFs with Tonya Ferguson and Jami Nato. I'm not sure why I am wondering but here I am with my at-home, blogging, brown skinned, four kids aged 23-7, closing-in-on 50 self, really connecting with some young women who look nothing like me. Does any of that even matter?

Please meet my new *friends*...

Tonya is beautiful. Her story is beautiful. She is the kind of girl that I wish I had been growing up. Tonya has known, truly known and loved, God from childhood. And she took following Him seriously. Tonya made a conscious decision to live her life listening to and following the Lord. She had a happy, fun young life. Her parents (obviously) modeled a genuine Christian life and Tonya followed their lead. She wasn't after perfection but her direction was (is) consistently God-ward. Her parents allowed her to date at 16, but she chose not to date. Wowza! Tonya waited to give her heart ( and her body!) to her husband.  [That is so B.I.G. It has become the message of my life to young people.] She eventually met the young man who would sweep her off her feet. He was a Believer and madly in love with Tonya. They had a sweet courtship and she married the man of her dreams at 20 years old. There are some twists and turns in their story. I was teary reading how God brought them together. Tonya and her husband now have four of the most adorable little Fergusons.

Jami is a lovely woman also. She is a witty and intelligent story teller, magnificently sketching her life with powerful prose and amazing pictures. (Both Tonya and Jami are excellent photographers.) Jami is the kind of woman that I would like to be like today. She has a profound grasp of the Gospel and the ability to communicate it so well in writing.... I love the (quirky) way she shares her story. Jami will give you laughs! Like Tonya (and me), Jami wants to live this Christian life authentically. She says frequently on her blog, "We are all jacked up!!" She is definitely my true soul sister! Jami is a married, stay home mom as well. She and her handsome husband have three darling little Natos.

These two beautiful young women are women after my own heart! Tonya and Jami are more than a decade younger than I and they are both in the first decade of marriage but I feel such a kindred spirit to them. Perhaps a better term for what they have become to me (instead of cyber BFFs :p) is an online support group. As young and beautiful as both of these women are, as much as their marriages were built on the Christian faith, both Tonya and Jami's husband's have been unfaithful. These two girls and their families are on the same redemption journey as I and my family.

I've been pondering their stories this week. And opening my heart so that the Lord can teach me a new thing or two. Every infidelity story is unique but the PAIN is universal. Doesn't matter if you are a believer, non believer, make believer or fake believer, a one-flesh union has been ripped apart. It is a living death. A living hell. The realization and discovery of such is EARTH SHAKING and LIFE ALTERING. All the details, how it comes out (confessed or caught?), how the offending spouse initially handles the revelation ( remorseful, repentant and truthful ? Or proud, blameshifting and continuing to deceive?) makes a critical difference in whether there will be reconciliation and to the healing of both the spouses and the relationship. Jami's discovery day was just a few months before mine. The Nato's story mirrors ours very closely. Like Travis and me, they married within 6 months of dating one another. There were actually two affairs, a 6 week separation, and the aw-ful dreaded trickle-truth (when the truth isn't confessed all at once but comes out in stages. This is a terrible hindrance to healing and rebuilding trust). Jami shared how one night their 2 year old son said that he "didn't have a Daddy anymore." Similarly, during the first week of our separation our 4 year son woke up one night screaming, "Where is Daddy?! Where is Daddy?!"  Reading Jami's words is like reading my own journals.

Both Tonya and Jami are really blessing me. I'm about old enough to be their mother but these girls are teaching me some things. I thank God for them. I don't know if there are any other Baby Boomer bloggers out there; I just know I'm grateful to be here. I will write about what I'm learning soon.  #Overcoming

"The one who finds his life will lose it, and the one who loses his life because of Me will find it." Matthew 10:39 (ISV)

"They overcame him because of the Lamb's blood, and because of the word of their testimony. They didn't love their life, even to death." Revelation 12:11 (WEB)