Wednesday, October 7, 2009

House of pain

Jason and I bought our house on December 5th, 2006, two days prior we had found out I was pregnant with our second child. I viewed the pregnancy as a blessing with the purchase of the house in the same week, Jason was overwhelmed and was less than excited about the timing. As I look back, I try not to beat my self up anymore about my lack consciousness of his anxiety over the amount of responsibility that he felt weighing and continually growing on his shoulders. He tried to tell me it was too much for us at once but didn't put up a strong fight because he new how much it meant to me.
Never the less, everything about the house seemed to be exactly what we wanted, two blocks out of town and within walking distance to work, in a quiet, kid friendly neighborhood. The house had a new furnace, it had been rewired, had a new water heater and been partially remodeled. Jason needed to be in walking distance because until two weeks ago, he has never had a driver's license. Not because he had one and lost it, but because he never wanted one. We also wanted a house that required some work we could do ourselves to make it our own. One thing that I also loved about it was that the yard was empty, not one flower. It was like a blank page to an artist for me to create and nurture a color scheme to my liking. I LOVE to garden. And so began, what I thought was going to be the beginning of the rest of our lives in this home, my nest. On December 4th of that year, we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary, amongst all the rest of the excitement, and that anniversary is the last one out of four that we've "celebrated".
I viewed the purchase of our house as living the dream, more than just a shelter. A place to invite friends and family, the foundation of our lives and memories of the growth of our family would be built in the walls 530 Jackson Court. Jason felt that way too to some extent, I think the stress of the mortgage payment and the freedom of owner ship went hand in hand for him. We hosted the family Christmas party for the first time that year. A lot of our things were still in boxes and the walls were still bare but as friends and family all gathered in our home, at our table, eating the meal for a army that I happily prepared all day, I my heart exploded with joy. It was a dream come true that most girls have, husband, wife, children, new life growing within me and out.

I had spent the spring and the first part of summer waddling around my new template planting flowers with Savannah at my side, plunging our hands in dirt that was ours and nourishing carefully placed, colorful life that I thought we would watch grow together for years. Evenings that Jason and I were both home were spent mulching and painting the garage together and then we'd built a fire to enjoy with each other and friends.

In June our car had taken a sudden dump and we bought a van. We knew that it was going to be tight to try and swing another payment on top of the mortgage with only having around $1500 a month to work with during the winter months. (money is seasonal in our part of Michigan, there is more to be made in the summer months than winter, even in the restaurant business) Against Jason's wishes we bought the van adding another $10,000 to our debt. That's when things really started to take a turn.

God blessed us with Madelynn Joy Hamilton on July 17, 2007. Up to this point Jason's drinking had stayed minimal compared to other seasons of his life. Winter that year hit us like a hammer financially and when I went back to work from maternity leave this time, I took all opposite shifts from him so we never needed sitters to save money. We never saw each other, and when we did, we usually spent our time fighting sometimes all night. One day I sat and thought about it and the way our schedule worked, we had 16 whole days off together a year. The further apart we wondered from each other the less we depended on each other and eventually depended of other things....none of which geared toward Christ. We made for an easy target for Satan and we let him have his nasty way for the rest of our time residing in our house together and a part.
Our home became a battle field for Jason and I and a playground for the devil. My prayer right now that as the house goes in to auction at the end of the month, that I may keep every memory of the blessings that God gave us through the storm and be at peace with taunting, painful memories of our sins. I am no longer a victim, Jason is no longer an addict and that is not going to be our house anymore.
It's a little scary because the foreclosure will put the nail in the coffin that we really can't go back even if we wanted too. I was feeling a little home sick yesterday, every now and then I get a little lonely or just miss going out and digging a hole in my yard because I can. I miss my family and my friends, (Chris, Amy and Sara I love you and miss the heck out of you chicks!) Usually when I feel this way, I turn to God or when I need prayer and really can't get it together, Angie because I know they will be there. Yesterday I went out on a limb, and conveyed my feelings to Jason and even allowed a few tears to fall. He listened and he comforted me when I needed it. For every piece of our past life good or bad that we are loosing, it seems that a blessing is bestowed. It's called pruning. Thank you Jesus. Many blessings to you and thank you for your continued prayers!


  1. Candice,
    I never thought about how differently men and women look at things until a few years ago my husband explained how much he WORRIES about taking care of all of us (we have three kids and I don't work). Before, when he would say things like "another baby is a lot more pressure and responsibility" I would get so mad!
    I hated that he thought of us as "pressure and responsibility" when I just thought of another baby as more joy! It made us fight!
    When we talked about it calmly (after lots of NOT CALM "talks") I realized that he didn't think it was BAD to have more responsibilities--but he did take them seriously.
    I think that is God's plan, since he wants the husband to be the leader and caretaker, he makes it part of their nature to look at the heavy parts. I consider our family a serious responsibility too, but I didn't realize how differently we come at that...Not bad, just different.
    But, since I assumed it was bad, that was Satan's opportunity to create pain between us...when I let my husband explain it, and I actually listened instead of criticizing him, I got it, and God's plan triumphed instead of Satan's!
    I think you should hold on to those great memories from your house, and let the rest go. It will be sad, but you are on such a strong path...that house gave you a foundation. If you didn't have those memories, you might not have thought there was anything worth saving in your marriage. But, even in the bad times, you could look back and know that the good was there, waiting for you to find it!
    Keep strong! You're doing great!

  2. As I read and listen I see you working it out. Your working through so much. I know that it feels like sometimes you haven't taken one step forward. The nail in the coffin for you I know is hard. You are moving forward though. I have a philosophy that slow steady growth is more sure. All in God's good time I believe you will have RESTORATION. It may not look like what you "think" it should, but you'll know, "Oh this is our restoration." I can see these things for myself now that I never would've recognized before.

    I am sincerely praying for you and my friends are to.

  3. I've been married 15 years, and I'm still learning about how my husband sees things compared to how I see them. We're so different, that's why it's so important to learn to communicate, yet it is often SO difficult when two people are total opposites.

    Keep fighting for your marriage, I'm SO proud of the progress you've made, the things you're learning, the growth through the journey.

    You are love, prayed for, and appreciated.


  4. Candice,

    You are sharing what so many couples go through, only most of them don't have a good ending and it looks like ,God willing, yours will!

    You were right to go to your husband with your sorrows. Husbands need to be needed! They need to feel that headship.

    I'm praying for you. I'm one who lost a first marriage to all that pain....and am in a wonderful marriage with a good and godly man. I had to learn to let God have the reigns!

  5. mmmm. :o) gosh, this must be like a "growing pains" season. :o) You're growing so much, I can hear it in your posts, but it's painful! There's a quote that is one of my absolute favorites and it says "Could it be that the healing of the would, could hurt just as much as what caused it?" If you think about that, it's sooo true. Sometimes it hurts so much to go BACK to those wounds, and to let our Abba heal them. There will be a beautiful scar there. It's painful but keep pursuing it! :o)

    I recommend two super good books. The first one is "The Shack" I'm sure you've heard it. It's the talk of the reading world right now. It's so amazing. The other one is "Hinds feet on High Places" by Hannah Hurnard. It's an amaaaazing book, and you can learn so much through it. It was written a while back, so kind of old, but I highly recommend that to you! :o)

    I love following your journey. :o) Praying for you still.

  6. Candice, I wish you the best as you resolve a lot of painful family issues. It sounds as if you've done a lot of growing over those years. More will be revealed.

  7. Hey Candice,

    I'm so tired tonight and I don't really have anything special to offer but I just keep thinking that your life is being transformed and surely you will have conflicting feelings from time to time and I think that is so normal. Just keep looking forward because God has big things in store for you and your family! Do you keep a journal? I have always found it so helpful to write my thoughts down - often I think more clearly when I am. That might be helpful for you in the weeks/months ahead while you have to learn a new normal. Hang in there!

  8. If it's true that God teaches us to crawl before we walk, than that home itself, was your nursery. As much as it hurts to pack it away, it is so very exciting to walk, and then run. Thank you Lord, for wobbly legs... you're all running to Our Father, as you trust in Him, for your next phase in life, your next set of challenges, new experiences, life lasting memories; for your next home.

    Blessings, C~

  9. You are a blessing. You are challenging and changing lives by your sharing. Thank you.

  10. Pruning is such a wonderful analogy. My pastor has another, there will always be "Spiritual Bruises" when the Lord wrestles with us. Growing brings pain for a time... but such wonderful, glorious things He has for us if we just stick it through!

    I love to read James. It's such a Fatherly book. ("It's character building!" *grin*) Have you read it? I'm sure Angie and Todd have directed you towards it :)

    I am really loving hearing your heart Candice.

  11. I'm so glad you were able to talk to Jason and share some of your feelings. I'm even more happy he showed support and comfort to you. It shows the healing God is bringing to your marriage. :)

  12. What Satan meant for Evil, God will use for Good.
    He will use the bad times and the hurt and the pain to reach those whom another person is unable to reach.
    It's been good to read your blog and to see the restoration God is making in ALL of your Lives.
    may God's peace rest with you all as you grow in Our father's arms

  13. I follow several blogs, and occassionally check in on Angie's blog. I was intrigued by this person that she referred to a "C" and anticipated the day that I was able to know your story. I'm not sure why, but I wanted to know what your story was. I just had a feeling I would be able to "connect" to something about it, not sure what that something was, but I anxiously awaited. After coming across your blog, reading each entry you've written, I now know why! God brought me to your blog. So many things about our stories seem similar. As my husband and I expect our 2nd child in January, and he celebrates his 150th day sober (of drugs and alcohol) on Monday and we work on re-building our almost 4 year marriage I am SO thankful that God brought your story in to my life. I believe that there is a lot I can learn from you! :)

    Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading more!

  14. I didn't find you through Angie and so i feel a little disconnected. I am still intrigued and connected to elements of your story and wait anxiously for you to continue to share your past and unravel your new and hopeful future :)

  15. Coming from a family who went through a foreclosure in 1981 I can tell you that He will repay the year the locuts have eaten (Joel 2:25) My parents lost the home they built. They were in there 60's I was 18. It was during the real estate crash of the 80's. God used it to bring my family to a closer walk with Him. To know Jesus in way we had never experienced before. He truly became our "provider". They have since gone to be with Him, but be encouraged..He is the God who sees you...and hears you.. and knows what you have need of even before you ask...

  16. I love reading pieces of your heart. Beautiful!!

  17. Just wanted you to know that your blog is such a blessing. Thank you for your is beautiful and gives those of us hope that are currently waiting for a miracle to happen.

    Keep are a blessing because whatever our mess is/was, God turns it into ministry!

  18. TO know that HE knows exactly what needs to be done in your life and HE knows exactly what it takes to get you there. Simply.Love.

    I appreciate you writing about your "pruning". You are teaching me such lessons that leave me pondering.

    Blessings to you and your family,

  19. I also pressed my husband to buy the home we are in and i swear for the rest of my life to let him make the big decisions! He had reservations, I had big plans that we could sell in 5 years and make a profit and we are coming up on the 5th year in '10. Who knew the economy would turn upside down?

    I also relate to your note about working alot, my husband and I cover every day of the week with one of us out but we have been very careful to spend our time together in the evenings. My chief regret is that we don't go to church together any more but I have faith that God has a plan for our lives and will fix this.

  20. Praying for your heart today as the master Gardener prunes. - With love, Claudia

  21. I lost my house about 2 years ago. I still miss it. Sometimes life isn't easy.

  22. C,
    Wow, I have read your story over the last few days and I shared it with a young lady living with my husband and I. Her story is so familiar to your's that it is like God sent you to us in your story. I know God puts people in our lives to grow and nuture and help along. My husband and I have been married for 21 years and it has been great. My husband went to Iraq for a year and 2 months and I had to learn how to totally depend on my Father. We have 4 beautiful children and it was one of the hardes times of my life, BUT God knew just what I needed. He was so faithful and gave me a peace I never knew existed. Laying myself at his feet and understanding His love. We grew in this time and now we have a stronger relationship with our Father and ourselves. I know you will be stronger that you ever imagined you could be.
    Your life has been tough but look at the person you are becoming and it is exciting to think how God is going to use you and your husband to change lives through your life you've lived. You will be able to touch where some of us may never have the opportunity. That is exciting to me.
    Thank you for sharing and may God give your strength and peace to walk the road ahead. May He bring your family to complete restoration.
    Missy - Mississippi

  23. Candice I see you guys growing through your words. I have had changes this year too. We lost my dad in 08. I watched my mom destroy herself and now slowly pulling herself back out. I have watched our family drain all our money in order to keep a roof over our head and food on our table. We then got this gift in sc of a new life and money to be made. We are happy. I am homesick at times. I remember this is the path that god has chosen for my family.

    Sounds like you are on your god chosen path. I wish you so much luck. I think you guys are going to be just fine. many prayers to your beautiful family

  24. One thing I learned at a womens conference this past weekend is that God "entrusts" us to this difficult season. Whoa. He does? Yes, He does. He knows we can do it....with Him.

    What a gift you are to me.

  25. Oh, what a beautiful work God is doing! Press on, sister!

  26. We're praying for you!! The end result is worth it (from experience) and no matter how hard it is. Keep pushing on and my God bless you all!

  27. Continuing to pray for you today as you seek God and persevere.

  28. Candice,
    what a pleasure it has been to get to know you in Mom's group. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story of redemption. I am amazed and truly humbled at His goodness. You are such a blessing to our group and our church. So thankful that He led you to us!

  29. Hi!

    I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. Your post was timely as my husband and I are making big changes in our lives as well. We are moving to make a new start of it with my family closer by for more support. We will lose everything too and start over too. It was reassuring to know that there are other people who are in the same boat. I guess this is just another way of laying it all down to follow HIM! God will see us all through. Take heart...He has big things in store...

  30. What an awesome testimony you both are writing. How great is our God!! So happy to hear you're marriage is being healed so your family can be whole.

  31. You are challenging and changing lives by your sharing. I wish you the best as you resolve a lot of painful family issues. It sounds as if you've done a lot of growing over those years.



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