April 24, 2000-Logan and I saw him off from the Savannah airport. Very different from the last two goodbyes, there were no tears shed. I had shed my last. I had none left. He was leaving to return from a two week R&R back in the states to the Western Pacific. It had been such a hard visit for both of us. I was jaded, alone, and hopeless. I couldn't believe this was now my life. My eyes had been opened from the wonder-filled, young Marine wife, to the bitter, lonely single mother. The new life sitting next to me had opened my eyes to the path my life had taken and what I felt lay ahead. Loneliness. Goodbyes. Long nights. Deployments. Drinking. Deployment stories. Everything seemed to be swirling around me. This was not the glamorous life I had envisioned. Married to an f18 pilot. The fast life. The fun. The parties. It all seemed to be an extension of college. Until this new little life showed up. Logan Patrick Fitzgerald. He made me pause for the first time. He stopped me in my tracks and I felt the question pierce my heart, "What are we doing?" What was I doing? This isn't what I wanted for him, for me. Patrick left when he was 6 weeks old. Came home at 3 months. Left 6 months later. I was a single mother. 12 hours from my family and a lifetime away from my husband. I didn't want this fast paced party lifestyle. I was done. I was done with the Marines. I was done with Beaufort. I was done with pilots. I was done with him. I had all but come to the conclusion I didn't want to be here when he got home.
April 25, 2000-Found myself at a playgroup on base. My best friend was home visiting and most of these women were just acquaintances. Not really sure why I went then. I know now. Logan and I were sitting alone and I was faintly aware of the conversation behind me. A girl I knew only from the neighborhood was sharing with another wife how she knew she would spend eternity in heaven. I remember the shocked answer from the wife across from her, "That's kind of arrogant don't you think?" Her's? "It would be arrogant if I had done something, but it is only because of what Jesus did FOR me." I don't remember much more but I do remember the joy I sensed from her. She had such a peaceful way about her that I was drawn to. I left very intrigued by her statement but still very much alone.
April 28, 2000~I was crying again. I had been crying the whole morning. I didn't know what was wrong. I hadn't talked to Patrick. I was so very alone. Logan was in the living room in the middle of the floor playing but I didn't want to go near him. I was so scared. I didn't know what to do. I had hit rock bottom. When my phone rang, I remember praying it was my husband but the person on the other end would change the whole direction of my world. It was Ann Yingst. The very woman from the playgroup. I remember her telling me she searched to find my number, she knew we didn't know each other very well, but that I had been on her heart all week and was there anything she could pray for me? I broke down crying. I remember telling her everything about our visit, how I was feeling, and how I desperately wanted out of this lifestyle. Her next question not only shocked me but was exactly what I needed to hear. She asked me if I knew Jesus as my Savior. Normally this question would send me reeling about how yes, I went to church, yes, I knew Jesus, and yes, I was a good church going person. But on this day, I wanted more. My heart was aching to hear what she would say. She simply and gently walked me through the plan of salvation. She shared the Gospel. That Christ died for my sins, He was buried and He rose again. All of this muck. All of this hurt. All of this loneliness was because of sin. Sin that would separate me from a relationship with my Father. I remember listening and as she talked my eyes were opened. It was like the blinders were pulled off. There was such a joy and a release. I remember kneeling right there in the kitchen asking God to forgive me and asking Jesus Christ to be my Savior. "What do I do now?" "Grow. God wants you to know Him." I got in my car and drove around the corner to her house and sobbed as she hugged me and kept telling me over and over, "You have a new life." My problems didn't go away. My loneliness did. My desire to give up did. My hopelessness did. On this day my eyes were opened and God gave me a new life.
13 years later. I am married to a godly man. I have two sons who are growing in their personal relationship with their Savior. My oldest daughter has accepted Christ and shows such a want to to learn about Him. My youngest daughter believes as much as she knows to and I pray for her daily to let it be real. I am so thankful.