Hi all! For those of you who do not know me, my name is Cindy Hester. I was born and reared in a small town in Texas as the middle daughter of an Aggie Baptist preacher and his wife. I have two sisters and one brother, who by the way came along late in life as a bonus for my Dad having to live with so much estrogen for so many years.
My oldest sister married a minister. My youngest sister married a minister’s son, and my baby brother married a minister’s daughter. After 17 years,three children, and numerous struggles, my first marriage was over. I suddenly found myself living the life of a single Mom to a teenage daughter and two pre-teen sons. In a family where love prevailed and divorce was practically unheard of, I thought myself to be a failure and a disappointment in both their eyes and in God’s. I felt as though I was damaged goods. After much time and healing, my family and my God revealed to me just how much of a lie from Satan that was. Their unconditional love and support revived a crushed spirit and greatly influenced my children’s spiritual destiny.
After four years of learning to be single, I met and married my sweetheart, Charlie. Charlie had custody of his son and daughter, so we became much like the Brady Bunch. We moved three teenage boys and one almost defenseless little girl into a three bedroom apartment. The girl, of course, got her own room except on those weekends whenever our oldest daughter dropped in from college. The boys, well three teenage boys in one room was an adventure all its own. The girl…well, she turned out to be tougher than we thought!
My Dad always lovingly joked that all of his kids married ministers or into a minister’s family. I on the other hand, married Charlie to give him sermon material. I always thought I gave him plenty on my own! Charlie and I will have been married fourteen years this month. I would not trade the challenges, the struggle, the heartaches I have experienced. Each process has had a hand in shaping the person I am today. With God’s help I have not just survived, I have thrived. Troubles and sin are a part of this old world in which we live, but praise God, He promises us that He has overcome the world.
With what authority do I write? I have been there and done that. As an eighteen year old girl I married a Christian man, my high school sweetheart, thinking my life would be a fairy tale. Seventeen years later, I left disillusioned and broken-spirited, unable to see how God had reached down to intervene rescuing us all from a dysfunctional nightmare. As a young woman in my thirties, I learned strength and healing as I learned independence through interdependence on God. I fell and skinned my knees many a day in my attempts at single parenting. By God’s grace my children survived!
As a woman in my forties, I learned to love and trust again…this time with the knowledge God and I could make it on our own, but choosing instead to share my heart and life with a good man and his two children. I stumbled through the new roles of being a wife, Mom, and Step-Mom in a blended family. Some days we struggled to stand together as a family, not so much doubting our love for one another, but wondering whether we liked each other all that much. Outside pressures have tested our resolve, but through time we learned to appreciate our individual strengths and the value of our life together.
We are still learning as a family. We have seen our children go through tough challenges. We have dealt with issues ranging from dating to weddings, from drugs and alcohol to homosexuality. I have also stood back watching them praise God together, and seen them support one another through losses. God is still in the process of creating our family. We now have three beautiful grandchildren with more anticipated in the future. I love the girls God has brought into our boys’ lives, and I am praying for whoever God has set aside for both of my girls. My biggest prayer is that they all find a common ground of love that can withstand anything the enemy could ever throw their way. That common ground is found in accepting Christ as the Lord and Savior of their lives. It is only by His Grace we have made it this far, and it will be only through His grace that we will continue to grow in love.
And as we grow, I am waiting…
Thanks for sharing. Many women need encouragement because they are or have been in similar situations. BTW, you have a great family heritage. It’s been my privilege to know and be influenced by some of them!
Thank you so much for your encouragement. I am so blessed to have had their guidance and love.
You have put into words the feelings of many women, myself included. Thank you for sharing. Please continue with your ministry. Always loving you and your family.
Thank you so much. Please pray for me that God would give me the words to touch the hearts of women everywhere who are struggling.
My sweet Cindy I have known you most of your life! I have never been more proud of the amazing woman you are today! This road of sharing your story is one of great courage and unconditional love…love of your family, love of those of us that know you but also those that will only know you through your gift of writing, and most importantly the love of our Heavenly Father. You have found your “voice” and what an amazing voice it is! All who listen to your voice will be greatly blessed!
Thank you Connie. Please pray for me as I continue this process. I feel so inadequate, but I feel so called to do it. Trust me, I still don’t have everything down perfect. The only thing I have for sure is a reliance on my sweet Savior. He keeps allowing me to keep running back to Him with the messes I make. Each time, however, it seems I have learned a little more. Thank God for do-overs. My heart is to reach out to other women who are facing similar challenges and simply encourage them.
Cindy, I just love getting to know you and your family through your stories. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us. 🙂
“With God’s help I have not just survived, I have thrived.” A lovely line you’ve written. You have the authority of suffering that Paul talks about. Bless you. We and many others share that common ground. Thank you too, for following one of my blogs: http://lifefromthelighthouse.
May you continue to be richly blessed as God carves His way in and through you.