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During my two year siege of illness, desertion, death, and poverty, I frequently said that it was my Job season. I felt I’d lost everything. The younger four children were still in my physical custody, but R was trying to take them from me. Not a night passed that I didn’t watch them sleep and wonder how much longer before they, too, were gone.

The pain was deep. The fear was all consuming.  I felt alone.  I wanted to sit in the ash heap and scrape my wounds.

But, it’s better now.

My health continues an upward spiral. Some days are better than others. Some weeks I dip down again and become frightened it’s all coming back. Still, it’s monumentally better.  The divorce is final, and I have sole custody. I created my own job. And, I can talk about my dad without crying. I miss him, but I no longer feel like an adult orphan.

That horrible Job season has passed, I think.  Because, lately I’ve been relating more to the book of Nehemiah.

Like him, I mourn the devastation of my surroundings.  I stay up late at night and survey the destruction, taking stock of what needs to be done.  I’m overwhelmed by the magnitude of the job of rebuilding.  And, I am buffeted from within and without.

I’ve faced conspiracies and false rumors.  There are those who have feigned friendship, but whose sole intention was to stymie the rebuilding of my life.  I frequently feel like I need to have a vacuum in one hand and a weapon in the other, like the Jews who worked upon the wall.

Like Nehemiah, I am aware I am despised.

I’ve received the letters from my enemies, and I’ve winced with pain as my loved ones stabbed me in the back.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two.

Certain of the Jews cried out against the usury exacted upon them by their brethren; I keep silent regarding the robbery of my inheritance by my brother and my own daughter while I struggle with the difficulties that causes and try to come to grips with the unfairness of it.

But, I, too, have a vision and a goal and a belief that God wants me to do this.

I believe I can create a safe place for my children to live.  I know we will “repeople the city.”  And, we’ll dedicate this new life to the Lord and establish reforms in the way family members relate to each other.  We’ll cast out the remnants of those evil ones from the “chambers.”  And, we’ll set watchmen at the walls to guard and protect the ones we treasure and value.

I know it can be accomplished.  Someday.

In the meantime, I weep.  I grieve.  I am fatigued.  Every day is a new battle.

But, with each change of seasons we grow closer to realizing the fulfillment of the vision.

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