Saturday, October 23, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again!

Lily loves riding horses.  She started riding when she was ten years old.  I remember when she had her first really bad fall.  The lady who was teaching her had said that her first hard fall would quickly show us if she was a true horse girl. She jumped right back on and took off again. Okay, she has the horse gene in her blood.  It was decided!  She knew she could be hurt again and probably would be hurt again, but she wasn't afraid to jump back in the saddle and trust again.

I wish it were this easy to trust people and life again after you have been hurt.  When you go through a divorce, trust dies a quick and sudden death.  You are convinced that it will never live again. There are truly no words to explain it. Only those unfortunate ones who have traveled this path can understand it. You stood before God with the one that you loved and pledged to live your life out with him. "For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part." I meant that with all my heart. I knew that I would be married to Jason forever. He was my soulmate and my best friend. But now it was over, and how could I ever trust anyone again with that vow before God?  So the easiest way to protect myself is to build walls and not let anyone in.  This way I don't get hurt.

Late in the summer the girls started encouraging me to get "back in the saddle."  I had a good friend who suggested on-line dating.  She told me that it is a great way to ease back into dating.  You can meet someone for dinner.  If you don't like him, you never see him again.  You don't have to worry about hurting his feelings or the feelings of the person who "set you up" with him.  Lily was completely on board and thought it was great.  Anna thought it was just weird.  So I held off.  Lily continued to push the envelope for a while longer, so finally I relented.  I sat down with her and created an account.  The deed was done.

When I got home from school on Thursday, Lily checked the site.  She had way too much fun with this.  I was getting ready for dinner with a friend, and she was going through the e-mails and matches.  She was cracking me up.  The second e-mail was from a guy named David.  Lily said, "I like this guy."  She called Anna back and got her in on the fun.  Anna liked David too, and they both agreed I should reply to the e-mail.  I am going to tell you, that must have been one of the hardest things I have done in a long time.  Through sending this one e-mail, I was opening up the door to trust again.  I was hopping back on the saddle, and I was absolutely terrified of getting hurt again.  We typed the e-mail.  It was a family affair.  I could not send it.  I absolutely could not bring myself to do it.  I just sat there and looked at the e-mail.  The next thing I knew, Lily reached over and hit send.  It was done.  I felt ridiculous for being so anxious.  I mean, come on, it would probably be one date, and I would never see him again.

We e-mailed back and forth for a few days.  I have to say that he had an unfair advantage, because he was able to read my blog.  He was and continues to be such a gentleman.  He would not even ask me on a date until I said that I was ready to see him.  I do not know how it happened, but through exchanging the e-mails and texts, something that I thought was completely dead within me began to come back to life .  I am not naive, and I understand that a part of this is the excitement of a new relationship.  But even so, there still is something there that I cannot explain.

I finally said that I would like to see him.  We had our first date on Friday, October 8.  He stressed that he felt like he was under a great deal of pressure here, because this date could show up as the subject of a future blog!  Well, I have to say that it was the perfect first date.  We went out to dinner and then went geocaching.  This was a new experience for me. Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online.  It was great because it gave us something "to do" rather than sitting at Starbucks having awkward conversation.  It was also better than sitting in a movie, because we actually could have conversation while searching for the treasures.

It was a great evening.  One of the things that touched me the most was the way that he looked at me.When he looked at me, he didn't look away.  It is as if he were staring right down to my very soul.  It was as if he saw every pain I have ever felt and knew every tear that I have ever cried.  He traveled a very similar Unplanned Journey several years ago, and he does know the pain, and he knows it well.  There he sat, looking at me, as if to say, "I will make it better."  Somehow, things started to come alive again.  I had feelings that I have not felt in a long time, if I have ever felt them.  Amazingly, I began to feel alive again.

The funniest thing to me was when he met the girls and two of my "other" children, Ross and Robyn, for the first time.  This funny, outgoing and witty guy was suddenly nervous and shy!  I asked him what is harder, being a teenage guy and meeting a girl's dad or being a grown man and meeting a woman's teenage girls.  He relaxed quite a bit last week when we had a geocaching competition with the kids.  Ross put the competition together.  They called it the "Old Ones" versus the "Young Ones."  Guess what?  The old ones rocked the competition.  There were seven caches.  We found all seven and they found two!  (Okay, I should say, David found all seven.  I was just moral support!)  The best thing of the night was that we all had fun.  I never thought back in the spring that I would ever again be enjoying life like this again.

What am I to do with all of this?  I honestly don't know.  Truthfully, it frightens me.  It is all so fast.  Is it rebound?  Is it that I am feeling cherished and appreciated after months of feeling rejected and unworthy?  I just do not know.  What I do know, for now, is that when I am around him, I feel good.  I feel happy.  I feel special, and I feel beautiful.  So for now, I choose just to put it in God's hands and go with it.  I have my idea of how future relationships should come to be.  In my mind, they would happen over time, after the girls have moved on with lives of their own.  But who am I to know the future?  That is all God's business and His timing.

Regardless of how anything turns out, there is one thing I know.  I really like this very special guy.  I like him a lot.  I hope to spend much more time with him.  One thing I can say is that he has invaded my thoughts and taken over the places of sadness that once existed.  I find  myself thinking about him, and then I realize that I am smiling.  This is so much more pleasant than in times past when I would be deep in thought and come to and find myself crying.  I don't know where this is going.  But for now, I choose to cherish and enjoy every moment of it!

I know as many of my close friends and family are reading this, they are preparing advice for me!  "Be careful."  "Don't rush."  Let me say that I know all of those things.  I do!  I get up every day and put this relationship in God's hands.  The best thing of all about David is that he is a man of great faith.  He loves God deeply and passionately.  He also seeks God on a daily basis concerning the future of this relationship.  With God at the center for both of us, I may be afraid, but I feel safe.  So I am going to grab the reins and go for the ride of my life!

Early on in my journey, my dear friend, Kristy Stephens, gave me a Bible verse.  It is her "life verse," and she wanted to share it with me.  I don't think there is a more fitting verse to end this blog with!

Psalm 37:3-6 (New Living Translation)

Trust in the Lord and do good.

Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.


  1. AeroSmith is playing in my head "I'm back in the saddle again, I'm back..." Haha I'm so happy for you, you are such an inspiration to those who stay in the current relationships they are in when they know its wrong just because they are afraid of being alone. And I must know how to play this game so us girls can play next time we have girls night it sounds like fun.

  2. Amy,,,,, I am happy for you! Me being single and divorced for almost 2 years... I have been so scared to even venture out there and date. I have never considered on-line dating. I always heard such bad things about it. I'm so glad this is working for you. Maybe I should consider
    back in the saddle again, also.......

  3. YAY for Amy!!!!!! I'm soooo happy for you!!
    BE HAPPY and God bless this relationship!

    Love you,

    rachel m.

  4. ENJOY! It sounds like you are finally able to ENJOY! I cannot pretend to know how you have felt this year but by reading your blogs I can see the tiny baby steps that you have taken to heal your heart and step out of "The Fog" and slooooowly enjoy yourself!! I can see that Band-Aid that has covered your heart slowly peeling away!! GOOD FOR get out there and ENJOY every single moment!!! We love you !!

  5. Good for you Amy. I am glad to hear you met him online. I have been dating a great man for 14 months that I met online. I still feel self conscious about telling people how we met but you being right out there about it makes me feel better about it. He is a great Christian man that I would not have met otherwise and I know that God sent him to me.
    I am happy for you! Lisa Keith

  6. Well Amy I finally got around to telling you our story….Tom’s first wife (AKA “worst wife} asked for a divorce at dinner on their anniversary…. Ain’t that a kick in the teeth? Tom had just and I mean just gotten his divorce and I had just broken off my engagement (smart choice) when some mutual friends of ours invited us to join them and some other couples at the JC’s Haunted House (Steve & Candy were working the Haunted House Candy’s head was on the platter) and then dancing at the “Rodeo” We knew we were supposed to be together and 3 months after we had our 1st date 26 years ago we got married. Man did we hear the “be careful” “don’t go too fast” you know the rest. My Daddy even said don’t put to many eggs in one basket until one day he and Tom went behind the barn and sealed the deal so to speak. Daddy trusted Tom to keep all the promises he and Daddy made so we got married. Ta Da
    I had to post "Anonymous" but you know it's me Jennifer :o)

  7. All I have to say is Double Date Night my friend!!! Let me know !!! :) Blair

  8. Amy, this is ALL so positive! And you deserve nothing more than to be happy. So enjoy yourself and try not to think too hard. And it's so sweet and right that the girls be involved.

    PS. I met James on back in 2006. Anything is possible with an open mind :)