If you’ve missed Parts 1-3 of Chelsea’s story, click here before reading Part 4. I hope you are blessed by reading her story.
Chelsea met her first love when she was fourteen years old. As a freshman in high school, she rebelled against her parents. Trevor consumed her life. She gave up everything for him, spent all her time with him and fell in love, even though her parents didn’t like him. Chelsea did what she had to do to be with Trevor, sneaking out and lying to her parents regularly. She stopped hanging out with her friends and sacrificed all other extracurricular activities for her love. His interests became her interests. Chelsea’s identity became completely entangled with Trevor’s. They dated all through high school, she knew he was the one she would marry. Her parents warmed up to him. Finally, Chelsea felt happy for once in her life.
When Chelsea’s nephew was born, her life became even more joyful. She loved her sweet nephew like he was her own. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for him! As her grew, the family started taking vacations together. Chelsea longed to go, but many times she would stay home with Trevor. He was a homebody and didn’t like to do anything Chelsea wanted to do. And, he didn’t like her family. Chelsea missed out on many good family memories, something she regrets today. She began to think being with Trevor was a bad idea, but then she would talk herself down.
“I thought he was the only one who could ever love me and I felt stuck.”
This is what you’d call a Red Flag. Red Flags are often underrated and ignored. How many of you can look back on a previous relationship and see clearly that there were indeed, Red Flags, everywhere? I know I certainly can. Ladies, don’t ignore the Red Flags! It will save you a lot of heartache in the long run if you give the Red Flags the consideration they deserve!
Once Chelsea graduated high school, she enrolled in nursing school. Her mom really pushed her to do it. Unfortunately, Chelsea’s heart was not in it and she failed the first year. With her mother urging her, she re-enrolled. Then, mid-semester, Trevor proposed. She immediately said yes and school dropped off her radar as a priority. She had a wedding to plan! She barely squeaked by her first two semesters of nursing school, but she did pass. That summer, she and Trevor were married.
“It was a fun wedding. We didn’t have our own place yet, so we still lived with my parents.”
Chelsea went back to school and started making decent grades. I’m starting to feel happy for Chelsea now, aren’t you? Finally, she is in a place where life seems to be going good for her. She seems to have some happiness and peace, right? Wait for it…
On a Friday in September, she received a call that her dad had a heart attack and was being life flighted to Pittsburgh. Chelsea’s world came to an abrupt halt. All her plans, school, married life, everything, went out the door. Her only concern was her dad. A triple bypass was performed and he came home three weeks later.
“By then, my grades had slipped so low that I couldn’t come back out of the hole. I quit school and stayed home to help take care of my dad.”
Once again, Chelsea assumed the role of caretaker. The theme of her life.
Chelsea’s father gradually got better. He quit smoking and began eating healthier. Finally, Chelsea could breathe! She and Trevor started to look for their own home. By the time they found a house, Chelsea was five months pregnant with her first baby. They were all elated, especially Chelsea’s dad. A baby! What a blessing after all that had been happening! Her dad helped her work on their new house every day. They spent hours upon hours together working on that house. Everything was so great! Chelsea’s dad was finally healthy and working, Trevor and Chelsea finally had their own house, a baby was coming…such happiness! Are you sighing with relief? Is this where the happy ending comes in? Not quite yet…On a chilly November morning…
“He had just got home from working a night shift. He grabbed a cup of coffee, then went over to my house. He completely finished the kitchen cabinets that day. He came home to lie down. He had to work that night. While he was sleeping, my mom and I went to a Home Interiors party. Funny how you remember all that stuff. We wanted to leave early so we could see dad before he went to work, but we didn’t make it home in time. We watched “ER” and went up to bed. My brother-in-law was a fireman and had a radio. Right around 11:13pm, we heard the call for an ambulance to the gas station where my dad was working. We knew it was him. We ran to the car and drove there as fast as we could. They had my dad in the back of the ambulance and were working on him. They wouldn’t allow us in to see him so we went to the hospital to wait. He was pronounced dead upon arrival.”
I’m not even going to pretend to be able to imagine what this was like. My mind cannot even fathom losing my father. I know many of you have, though and understand exactly what Chelsea was feeling.
“Automatically, I thought it was my fault. If he wouldn’t have been at my house that morning, he would still be here. Once again, my world was shaken.”
Why does Chelsea blame herself for every bad thing that happens in her family? Her father’s heart was bad from years of not taking care of himself, for years of smoking and drinking, for years of unhealthy eating and no physical exercise. Chelsea: if you’re reading this, please know that your father’s death was NOT your fault! Would anyone else be willing to comment below and echo my sentiments? Let’s verbally wrap our arms around Chelsea today. I’m sure after all these years, there is still pain in her heart because of her father’s death.
If you’ve lost a loved one, find comfort and understanding in God’s Word. He says there is a time and season for everything. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 says,
“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones, A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.”
We can find peace in knowing that everything we go through, everything that we endure is only for a season. All things come to an end in time. But there is one thing that never ends and is always present with us…God’s love. We can be sure that through every season we go through, the love of God is there to comfort us, guide us and reassure us that we are going to be okay. Look for His love in every situation you find yourself. You can feel His presence with you, even in the darkest of trials. Deuteronomy 4:29 says,
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
What are you facing today? You do not have to face it alone.
If you’ve been touched by this story, please tell me. It matters to the women who are being so brave in sharing their precious lives with you. YOU matter to Chelsea. She wants you to find hope and healing through her story. So please, contact me at the email address below. All correspondences are confidential.