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I don’t do puzzles very often, not because I don’t like puzzles, but because I stop doing everything else until I finish one.

Forget being social. Forget cleaning, cooking dinner or anything else that should be done, I can’t focus until the puzzle is complete.

Puzzle pieces take time to sort snd fit together to get a completed picture.

This is true about pieces of my life, too. Because honestly, it was beyond me how all those pieces would fit together.

Twelve years of marriage. Two children. Abuse. Divorce. Recovery. Lack of degree or job skills. Single Mom. Student. Bread winner.

These are just some of the pieces laid out on the table before me, when I was a young woman. I had no idea how, or if, they were going to fit together into anything remotely sensible.

One of the reasons I blog about abuse and single parenting, is to bring hope to those who are working their way through the pieces laid out on the table before them. Pieces that don’t seem to fit or ones we might want to throw away!

Abuse. Injuries. A pre-schooler who was disrespectful, could cuss like a sailor and ran off a few of my best babysitters. Nineteen credit hour college semesters. Full time work schedule. Two kids to raise. A first grader with stomach aches so bad we had to do upper GI tests. Countless court battles and legal fees. Debt.

Each piece seemed uglier than the last while I was there. Yet somehow, each piece was carefully worked into its rightful place. Sometimes next to the prettier pieces of growth, and accomplishment. Sometimes next to a piece where I stumbled and had to get back up again.

The puzzle took shape. Not all at once, but a little more each year, until big parts of the puzzle were visible from progress.

Consistent love and discipline with counseling and time, resulted a couple of young adults, who have jobs, families and stand up to abuse and respect others. A college degree was earned and although jobs turned out different than planned, debt was repaid and I even got to pay some forward.

I just want to remind you that life won’t always be the messy pile of puzzle pieces with no form or shape. Single parenting and healing from abuse, among many other issues of life, can be pieces of your puzzle that will make you amazing and complete.

I am praying for you.