Meredith, This brought tears to my eyes. This is so well written and amazing insight into how how God used this situation. And what a lesson on forgiveness. As a friend and prayer partner of your Mom’s, I have prayed for you and your brother since middle school. During your parents divorce, I was quite angry with your Dad. One day at Houston HS I was talking to your Mom in the auditorium. Your Dad had shown up too and your Mom needed to discuss something with him. She asked me and another friend to stand near by as she was nervous. We stood there and prayed behind them. I could sense evil all around him. That sounds weird and I don’t know that I have felt that so acutely before. I just knew there was a spiritual battle going on. And honestly, I confessed to another friend that I had a desire to punch him. Don’t think I have ever punched anyone but I wanted to. My own parents divorced when I was in elementary school and perhaps old wounds were being rubbed. But truly I sensed evil.
Fast forward to a year or so later (I think). I knew y’all had moved and I hadn’t seen your Mom much. I was walking into Costco and I saw you Mom walking in with a man. I sensed love and peace in their body language. I assumed she had a boyfriend and I felt joy in my heart. And then the cart turned and I saw the “boyfriend”. It was your Dad!! I was surprised (and I had zero desire to punch him.:-) ) In fact, I was overwhelmed with the presence of the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know any details. We exchanged quick pleasantries. And I walked with lightness through the store knowing that I had a little glimpse into the spiritual battle that is going on all around us.
Thanks for sharing your part of the story.
Melissa Fagan

Meredith Druelinger

Oh dads! The joy of endless dad jokes and the slight annoyance when they choose to drag them out forever. Classic.

Well I want to take a second and talk about my dad. For those of you who don’t know him-he is the most genuine, down-to-earth, hard-working guy EVER. End of story. He is the greatest Christian influence in my life and let me tell you why…

My sophomore year, my parents went through a horrible divorce. My dad moved out and I almost went a year without speaking to him. I know what you’re thinking… “WOOAAAHHH Meredith, you went from greatest Christian influence to going through tragic divorce.”  You didn’t let me finish. The important details come after the story.

God gave me these circumstances. I begged to not feel pain or even go through this at all. But instead of changing my circumstances, He used them. It turns…

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No longer an unglued skier

I am currently on a car trip to West Virginia and typing on my phone. We are headed to Snowshoe mountain with my husband’s family. This is our 5th family ski trip. (this one may only be a hiking trip if the weather doesn’t get colder 😉

I am reminded of the fears associated with the 1st trip.
As the trip drew closer, I became more and more anxious. One evening I broke down in tears at the dinner table. My family was simply talking about their excitement for the trip and details about the slopes.

When they noticed my tears, they started to try to figure me out. {good luck} Are you afraid of the lift heights? NO!  Are you afraid you will get hurt?  NO!!!!

The truth was that I didn’t know why I was feeling panicky and I came UNGLUED!! In a nasty tantrum. And their attempt to fix me caused me to lash out at those dearest to me.

I retreated upstairs saying I had to go to the bathroom (which is often the case when I am anxious … sorry if that is TMI … Just trying to get real here.)

I cried out to the Lord. I laid down on our bed and got out my nightstand journal (which isn’t a gratitude journal but a despair journal that I am so grateful for).
As I worked through my emotions and prayed that God would ‘reveal and heal’ …

A scary prayer but worth it.

God revealed the root of my fear:

*not being good enough

* being abandoned by my family.

Old wounds. Yep… Oldies but goodies.

But once they are revealed, God is faithful to heal my wounds once again.

God reminded me:

He is sufficient.

He will never abandon me.
… And my fear was lifted. My attitude adjusted.
And my family witnessed the transformation.

{And we had a great vacation. And a beautiful sunrise on the way home}

xo is not just hugs and kisses

Why are you blogging, you might ask? Because it is Valentine’s Day AND a friend started a blog about their family Broadway adventure and I had to create an account to view it. I promise I will be authentic. Interesting, enlightening, entertaining?? No promises there. For 7 years, give or take, I have been signing my emails, letters, and notes of all kinds, with XO, Melissa Some of you may feel relief when you see it, as it is a sign that I am done rambling. But today I am going to expand! Cause this is a blog, right? I love that an x and an o are an endearing hug and kiss sentiment but to me it is symbolic of much more. I have been in love with my Navy man for 25 years, which, by the way, is over 1/2 of my life. (I just did that math on my fingers). Being a Navy wife has some unique marital challenges and benefits and I may ponder those in a blog post one day. For today, I am thinking of one in particular: learning the language and the acronyms. (disclaimer: I only trained in some areas) In a squadron or other organizational command, there is a Commanding Officer (CO) and Executive Officer (XO). The XO is the second-in-command reporting to the CO. According to Wikipedia (which we did not have back when I was navigating through this) further explains: “XOs in these positions typically assist a commander by managing day-to-day activities such as management of the senior officer’s schedule, screening of documents or other products, and oversight of the senior officer’s administrative support staff.” Hmmm… that sounds a lot like the role I have in our family!! Now I haven’t always embraced that line of thinking. But a few years into marriage I realized that you can’t have 2 CO’s in the house and have it work well. 7 years ago, when responding to an email from a friend that was asking for prayer for her marriage, I had an XO revelation. And because I am an email packrat, and there is a beautiful search function in yahoo, I can pull it up with only a little digging. Here it is: “I just prayed for you. I feel your pain. Marriage is a hard balancing act. I will just tell you what God impressed on my heart…when I read your closing “xo”, I felt God say…remember that is what you wives are…XO’s (Executive Officers). Your husband is the CO.When our husband’s expect us to take on CO responsibilities and we expect them to take on XO responsibilities, it gets out of balance and can cause anger\frustration and much more.I am not trying to say that women should never work and men should never do dishes but it can mess up the harmony of marriage. Just a thought … if the CO can only afford a townhouse, that might be where he is intended to be.” Soon after that, I began signing things in this way. I hoped it would be a reminder to me to be less selfish and control-freaky in my marriage. But ultimately it has been a reminder in an even more important area … I must submit my commanding officer tendencies, thoughts and actions to God. I need a constant reminder that I am not #1. It is a daily struggle/temptation but so freeing at the same time. God is in control, I am NOT! Now I will abruptly sign-off without over controlling this blog. XO, Melissa Maybe not that abruptly… I don’t feel complete without a photo or graphic. Here is the simple design I created this morning on my phone as a Valentine from the Lord. You are mine valentine