When the Foundation Crumbles

Jamie's foundation is her family

Jamie had a wonderful life. She was a stay at home mom to 5 children ages 7 and under. Yes, there were problems but nothing she couldn’t overcome.

Then her foundation started to crumble. She started having problems in her marriage. Her life slowly started to erode around her.

Shortly after Valentine’s Day in 2009, her husband left.

They had decided on a trial separation. Jamie desperately clawed to keep things together. She wanted to make things work in her marriage.

[Tweet “”I kept thinking this couldn’t be happening. That he could come around and come home…””]

 

“I remember not wanting to get out of bed and when I did I would sit on the couch for hours. My mom and other friends would come over to make sure the kids were okay, fix them meals, and force me to eat. I felt like someone died and I ached so badly I thought I would die too.”

Jamie’s life continued to fall apart. One night she was sobbing in her room, alone. In her pain, she cried out to God for help.

“I felt such an enormous presence. I fell to my knees, head down, but I didn’t feel low enough. I laid face down crying and praying. I felt enveloped in warmth and love. I felt such a peace.”

While Jamie’s foundation crumbled, she was not alone. God was with her to provide comfort when she desperately needed it most.

Unknown to her, her husband’s friends were encouraging him to leave and file for divorce. He listened to them.

A short 7 weeks after her husband first left, Jamie became a divorcee and single mom to 5 children.

During their separation, her husband had agreed to take care of all the bills for the house. A week after the divorce, Jamie learned that bills hadn’t been paid for about 3 months. She was facing financial ruin.

[Tweet “At risk to lose everything, Jamie’s entire foundation crumbled from underneath her feet.”]

Life began to move around Jamie.

Those that knew Jamie surrounded her with love. Some parishioners of her church found out about her crisis. Through her mom, they helped pay her bills and get her 2 months ahead. Her mom helped with other bills.

They gave Jamie room to breathe.

Jamie started to assess her new world. A flat world where new goals and dreams could be built. A reality where she had to provide for her children alone.

She realized that she needed more than a job, she needed a future.

Jamie had two choices. She could get a minimum wage job that would barely provide for her children. She could work so many hours a week that she would become an absent mother. Or she could struggle through the next few years, go to college, and build herself the career of her dreams.

Jamie opted for college. She enrolled in a local college to study Elementary Education.

That first year was the hardest. Jamie couldn’t find a job that would be flexible around her school. She pinched every penny she had, making it stretch farther and farther. She relied on the support of family and friends, including her ex-husband’s grandmother.

[Tweet “Humbled and grateful for the help, Jamie began to re-build her foundation.”]

She discovered a job placement program at her school. The program is designed to help current students find jobs in their future careers. Through this program, Jamie interviewed and got a job at a local grade school.

When working she taught computer classes for kids grades K-8. She also worked one on one with students who needed extra help in reading and other subjects. She helped in the kitchen during lunch hour and with small groups of children usually during science and reading time.

Jamie gained a lot of on the job experience.

But Jamie had her family to worry about too. She couldn’t simply go to school and work, and then relax at the end of the day. She had to take care of her children.

Her mom moved in with them to assist Jamie. For 2 years she took classes on Saturdays so that she could attend closer to home. She cut back on some work hours to focus on her studies. She missed a Christmas play and several of her children’s basketball games.

Jamie did homework whenever she could squeeze it in. She studied during lunch and breaks at work. She squeezed in a minute here and there when students were working independently on a computer project. She stayed up late into the night doing homework so her evenings were free to spend with her family–as long as there wasn’t a night class.

Jamie chose to sacrifice a lot in hopes of building a better foundation and future for her family.

And as Jamie continued to press toward her goal, she saw a brighter and better future. She relied on family and others closest to her to help her through the unimaginable.

She laid her heart heavily before God and asked for Him to help her—and he gave her strength.

“I have cried that it’s not fair. I have questioned what I have done to deserve it. But God has used situations, experiences, and even people to show me that He has provided. That every time I have trusted and put my faith in Him, He has come through for me.

I thought I was faithful before, but I have seen my faith grow to new heights. And that faith has allowed me to grow as a person, not just as a Christian. Whereas before I was a quiet, shut in woman who felt unworthy, useless and unloved, now I’m a woman who is more confident, outgoing, outspoken, and active.”

graduation

In December 2013, Jaime graduated from college. In a few weeks, she begins a job as a teacher’s aid. One day Jamie dreams of having a full time teaching position and her own classroom.

[Tweet “”God gets all the glory for getting me from where I was to where I am today.””]

Without the support of loving friends, family, and strangers, Jamie would not be where she is at today. But above all, Jamie knows that her foundation would not be strong without her faith.

 

~Crystal

 

Every Thursday I share your stories on Living In Green Grass. Sometimes they are stories of faith, overcoming, or perseverance. Sometimes they are stories of contentment and joy. Regardless, they are your stories. If you would like to share your story or nominate someone else, please click here or on the “Share a Story” tab above. Thank you! Without your stories Living in Green Grass would not be the same.

 

Shared with:

Thought Provoking Thursday

Thriving Thursday

Friendship Friday

Essential Fridays

Faith and Fellowship

Beauty Observed

Fellowship Fridays

 Wake up Wednesday

Whatever Wednesday

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18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kris Hardy
    Aug 07, 2014 @ 09:49:37

    amazing story, Jamie!

    Like

    Reply

  2. Chris Malkemes
    Aug 07, 2014 @ 14:08:07

    What a wonderful picture on how to trust Him who is called Comforter of all Comfort and Lover of our soul. Trust him. He will move the fears man through whispered prayer alone.

    Like

    Reply

    • Crystal
      Aug 08, 2014 @ 14:52:24

      So true Chris and this story is a great reminder of that. God does provide the ultimate comfort, and often that is exactly what we need when we’re at our lowest.

      Like

      Reply

  3. Ginger Biggs Harrington
    Aug 07, 2014 @ 14:47:21

    It is always inspiring to know how God has been faithful in the difficulties of others. Sharing these stories is sharing strength and faith. Blessings to Jamie and all those who have been through similar circumstances. Visiting you today from Thriving Thursdays.

    Like

    Reply

    • Crystal
      Aug 08, 2014 @ 14:53:22

      I love sharing these stories. I find myself so encouraged and inspired as I’m hearing and learning from others. Glad it inspired you too. Thanks for stopping by Ginger!

      Like

      Reply

  4. Heather
    Aug 07, 2014 @ 14:54:13

    Inspiring story! Jaime, blessings on this year in your aiding position, as you search for a full time classroom of your own, and as you learn more each day of Jesus’ love for you!

    Like

    Reply

  5. Bernadyn Nettles (B)
    Aug 07, 2014 @ 20:38:46

    Found you at Friendship Friday…what an inspiring and amazing story, truly shows God’s presence and that we can rise again after a hard fall. Best of luck to Jamie and her family. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    Reply

  6. Donna Reidland
    Aug 08, 2014 @ 07:23:32

    What a great story! God is so faithful when we trust Him!

    Like

    Reply

  7. Susannah
    Aug 08, 2014 @ 10:06:09

    What an amazing story of God’s faithfulness! Thank you so much for linking it up with the Faith and Fellowship blog hop!

    Like

    Reply

  8. Starla J @ Pressing In and Pressing On
    Aug 08, 2014 @ 10:06:21

    Wow! God is always there for us even in our darkest of valleys.

    Like

    Reply

  9. Jamie Dudley
    Aug 08, 2014 @ 17:55:46

    Crystal, thank you for taking my experience and making it such a beautiful piece of writing. I am honored that you felt it was worth sharing. I am blessed to be able to share the love of God by sharing all that He has done for me.

    Thank you all who responded with encouragement and well wishes. I know that all things happen for the good of Christ – All my hardships, all your hardships can be used for the glory of God. I know I could have done nothing, been nothing without the God Almighty loving me and guiding me, in good times and especially in the bad times.

    My biggest hope is that there is someone who has read this and has been renewed, regenerated, and strengthened to rely on God, to trust Him, and to continue to strive to be all He has created them to be. I believe my experience is proof of this verse:

    “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

    Like

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