December 31, 1999, 11:55 p.m., stiff chair, home office:
Picture me in front of my Gateway computer, watching the digital clock tick off the minutes. I was alone and anxious. At midnight, the Year 2000 (Y2K) problem would either occur or not. If the experts were correct, my computer, their computers, the entire world’s computer systems would fail.
An event like that would be disastrous for me. You see, up to and including that very moment, 1999 had been a disturbing year:
- In January, my husband came home for lunch one day. He let me know he did not want to be married to me anymore.
- He left, but half of the “marriage debt” that we legally shared did not. I had been a stay-at-home-wife/mom. Now I was on my own with a 10-year-old son and a typing service with two clients. Rent, food, utilities, and the debt from the marriage — there was more money due than I had coming in. Thank God for child support laws.
- I gave my typing service an overhaul and called it a secretarial and design business. I worked brutal hours to get it established and gained a good stable of clients. Transcription, graphics, resumes, spreadsheets — without a working computer, I would not have a business.
- In November, my mother died of cancer at the age of 68.
And there I was, New Year’s Eve 1999, staring at my computer, after a year like no other, and with the world on the edge of sci-fi-esque destruction simply because a coder didn’t think about a new millennium.
December 31, 2019, 11:00 p.m., comfortable sofa, living room:
I am typing on a MacBook Air, which is pretty much the size of my old Gateway’s keyboard with about a million times the power. Twenty years have zipped by:
- Today we laugh about Y2K.
- I did not remarry. In the early days of the divorce, I felt that, as a woman, I was deficient in every way. After a pitiful time of trying to convince myself otherwise, I prayed that God would help me to remember who I was in His eyes. He did. That was the beginning of my total satisfaction with being a God-dependent woman. I think men are wonderful, but having time and space all to myself is a gift — definitely not for everyone, but it has been God’s plan for me.
- (Side Note: Recently, a co-worker asked me if I had a boyfriend. “No, I don’t. I haven’t had a boyfriend since I met my ex-husband forty years ago.” I gave her my divorce details and ended with this summary: “You really can enjoy the company of men without sleeping with them.” I don’t know if the women who were listening bought into that bit of wisdom, but they all nodded their heads — thoughtfully, at least from what I could tell. Perhaps a little shocked? I laugh when I think of that conversation.)
- When my son began high school, I retired my business and took on jobs as an administrative assistant. For over a decade, I have enjoyed a steady income and — hallelujah! — company-paid medical insurance. Self-employment is fulfilling, but it is tough to keep your finances in the black when you live in an expensive town and don’t have a second income for the household to enjoy.
Through it all is God. Present, knowing, unchanging, loving, and forgiving. God carried me and set me down in perfect places, though many of those places would not have been my choices. When I think back on these 20 years of heartbreak, joy, and everything in between, I can see clearly — with a spiritual 2020 vision — that God was, is, and always will be in control of my life, allowing and withholding in ways that He sees best for His purposes, His glory, and my good.
Writing stories, serving my employer, suffering through illnesses, laughing with family, watching loved ones die, or celebrating in a friend’s joy: I want to see and do all of life through God’s eyes, and with the clarity that these past 20 years of His faithfulness give to me.
What is your 2020 vision, goal, focus, hope?
The beautiful art in the photo was created by Cassandria Blackmore, my glass-shattering friend. Visit her website to see more of her awesome work.
Wonderful post, Darla! God has been faithful and your faithfulness to Him is apparent… Thank you for the New Year encouragement!
Thank you, Terry! I can’t imagine being without Him. Happy New Year!
Hi Darla, I really have enjoyed reading your writings. I used to write a blog myself but for some reason, inspiration completely dried up the last few years. I would love to get back at it but who knows. Thanks for sharing this very personal journey. My memory is terrible so, though I remember you from Calvary, I don’t think I ever really knew your story. I’m looking forward to reading more from you. I stuck the web address of my old blog below in case you are ever interested. I couldn’t figure out how to actually make it a link. LOL.
Hi, Debbie — Yes, you shared your blog with me several years ago. Your recent Facebook post about the oranges would make a great blog post. RE: CBC — You May have moved on from the church when the divorce occurred. Thanks for reading my post!
Been with you since day one, sis. You amaze me with your strength and determination. God does indeed have a plan for everyone and through it all I will always be by your side. Love you.❤ Plus this photo is sooo you!😊
My brother, my hero! Thanks for supporting me — yes, since Day 1. So true. I love you. Now, if you would only ditch the Yankees and become a Dodger fan … 😄💙⚾️💙😄
I LOVE reading your blog and get excited when I see you have added something. I learn something new every time!
It makes me so happy to know that you read my stories, Tresa. Hopefully I can keep it going this year!
You are blessed with the vision to see the truth, and you have a wonderful voice for God. I have only ever encountered one other blogger with such moral clarity as you have, and I give you a link to her book, which was published from her blog after she passed. https://www.thepeoplemender.com/product-page/this-is-not-a-sad-story-1 I hope you have the chance to read it. Her blog is still up, but it should be read from the start, not the end. Her name was Hayden Palm. Thank you again for putting your life out there to inspire others. You do so for me.
Thank you, Kristen, and it is good to hear from you again! I will look for Hayden’s book. How has life been for you and those wonderful grain elevators?