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Never Say Never

May 20, 2008
"Girl, I wouldn't even put up with that mess."

You've heard it before and most likely have said it on an occasion or two. Well, I have learned that if you live long enough, life will make you recall that statement. Life sure caught up with me and I have had to recall and eat many statements that came out of my mouth in my younger, more carefree days.

Older folks would say, "She's just wet behind the ears". I never really understood what that meant. But I was wet all right... more like saturated.

Thinking back, I can remember listening to a girlfriend rant about what her husband did and how stupid she was for staying. Tears rolled down her face as she sobbed uncontrollably. She needed support; her heart was heavy.

"But I Love him" she said while she blew her nose.

All I could think of was, "Love don't got jack to do with it"

Today, I've had to kick myself on a few occasions. Today...I am a different person.

It was a humid, sticky mid August afternoon in 2005...a typical normal, hot August afternoon. But normal it was not. At least it wasn't for me. My life would never be the same.

Looking at the summons for my husband to appear before the judge for child support was more than I could handle at that time. We, as a team had just gotten caught up on our bills since his return home 7 months prior. To say it was a testing period for me was an understatement. The saying goes; If it's not one thing it's another. For me it went like this; If it's not 5 things it's 25 things. This was so relevant for my life.

There were days I would just literally scream and cry. It was as if the enemy had just zoomed in on me and I was his target for things I couldn't even begin to explain. But it was evident: I was chosen to carry many, many crosses. Some crosses didn't even belong to me. I had to send those back. The ones that were not mine had to get a RETURN TO SENDER stamp.

On this day, I looked at the summons and the name of the child that the support was being requested for. My breath became very short and at that moment, I needed air. It seemed like the room started to spin. My eyes began to fill with tears, my heart felt as if it was going to jump out of my chest. My knees buckled. I had to sit down.

I was all alone.

After I found a chair, my stomach started to turn and dizziness came over me like a rushing wind.

The enemy wanted me to lose my mind.

"How?""Why?" These were the questions that began to surface in my mind.

It was bad enough to have a baby by a married man but to name the child after him was inexcusable to me. A junior? I would never do that. That to me was just mean. This was beyond my comprehension. I guess because I think differently.

I dialed my Pastor's phone number. No answer - just voicemail. I dialed my 1st Lady. She answered. She knew who I was from the caller id. It was as if the words would not come out.

"Nicole" Silence. I couldn't answer. I was in between sobs. "Nicole" The words finally came out but they were muffled. I began to blurt out what just happened.

"My God," was her first response. "Okay, now let's get it together," was her second.

She was not having the pity party thing. For one thing - I was too far away from her (as my church is over 90 miles from my house). Second - she knew my potential. It's a blessing to have mentors around you that see where you're going before you see it or believe it. Our Pastors were sent to us for what we have had to endure. Pastors Clifton & Vicki Coward of Agape International Ministries Worldwide in Richmond, Virginia have been that bridge for us.

Pastor Vicki went on to encourage me and give me what the word has promised me.

Then, I called my girlfriend Lena. I remember the day like it was yesterday. Summons in one hand, phone in another, and standing outside on our deck. I was pacing back and forth at this time. She immediately began to pray. She was at Farm Fresh at the time. A few weeks later, she told me she was praying so loudly in the store that she had to go outside before the people put her out. (LOL)

For over a year I would not talk about it. I couldn't. I would literally get sick just thinking about it. The pain was so deep...it was like an open wound that would try to close but couldn't. As soon as I thought I was all healed, something would happen and those feelings would resurface and the tears would start flowing. Even my heart would begin the racing all over again. Panic and anxiety, were the twins out to get me. Sometimes I would think, "This is just too much for me to handle." But the word of God says he would not put more on me than I can bear.

The child support was a subject by itself. Our household went without on many occasions because of the child support. At times, I thought it was so unfair. My children went without. That by itself really bothered me. But I would never voice it aloud. We as wives have the power to build up or tear down. It's our choice. I knew what it was when I accepted my husband back.

This is a decision I made. No gun was put to my head. Don't get me wrong. My flesh wanted to lash out. My flesh wanted to go up one side of him and down the other. I wanted to point fingers, accuse and blame. But my spirit would say, "BE STILL".

One of my very favorite scriptures is Isaiah 61:7 - You shall have double for your shame".

I quoted that scripture over and over again. The word, the peace of God and my Pastors - are what kept me during that period in my life.

Today, the little boy is a part of our family. He and our baby girl are just a year apart in age but you would think they are twins. They absolutely adore each other. I run around the house, play hide and go seek, and act goofy with him just like I do with my own. And he is the cutest little button. (He looks just like my husband).

By sharing this part of my life, my hope is to open a door for women who have had to endure similar circumstances. If your husband has had a child out of wedlock while married to you, please contact me. I want you to know that you are not alone. I would like to start a support group, especially for women who are being faced with this. The easy part is leaving. It's harder to stay and endure.
About the Author
Nicole Cleveland is founder of Breathe Again Magazine Online. She is on a mission to empower, encourage and motivate women by posting real life articles of women overcoming adversity. Visit her website at www.BreatheAgainMagazine.com.
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