What To Do When Life Throws A Curve

Note from Kat: Today’s guest post is from my friend Amanda Carroll. You may know her as the afternoon DJ on the Christian radio network KLOVE. I met Amanda about 12 years ago when she was a brand new intern at KSBJ, the radio station I worked at in Houston, Texas. Our lives have both changed a lot since then, not necessarily like we thought they would. I am so proud of Amanda; the woman she is and the mother she has become. If your life has thrown you a few curves, this post is for you.

Write Your Own Story

Find a way to love the life you live, even if it’s not exactly the life you planned.

My Story: Girl goes to college. Girl meets good boy. Girl gets married in church. Girl has babies. Girl stays home to care for babies while boy seeks corporate success. Girl gets minivan. Girl wears sensible shoes. Girl fails to write her own story. The End.

Boy leaves girl. The Beginning.


The crash started on one of those hot summer nights last August. You know, the kind of evening when the kids have been baking in the sun all day at the pool and their hair smells like chlorine, but you let them stay up late to catch fireflies. After all, summer is almost over, and you only get to be a kid once.

As the older 2 kids ran around the yard, I was trying to cook a special dinner while holding my newborn baby girl. We were all very excited because Daddy was on his way home after a 2-week long business trip to Brazil.

Then, the disappointing phone call. He missed his connecting flight. Daddy was late. Dinner would get cold. The kids would be asleep by the time he got home. So, I broke the bad news to the kids, put them to bed, and left dinner waiting on the table.

Meanwhile, Daddy was wringing his hands, getting more riddled with anxiety as he saw familiar signs out the window that he was closer to home. He knew his wife was disappointed, but she had no idea what was coming.

“Daddy” finally arrives home, and looks desheveled. Something is very wrong.

He eats dinner, sits on the couch next to me, and finally gets the courage to spit it out, “I’m leaving you.”

“Tonight?” I say.

The man, “Yes”

The only thing I could think of to say was, “Well, we’re out of milk.” What a ridiculous thing to say. I could only think about the basic necessities.

I thought, “Do I have everything I need to survive tomorrow?” At the time, I had a 4 year old, 2 year old, and 8 week old baby asleep upstairs, and in the morning I knew they would want milk.

I was so blindsided and shocked that’s the only thing that came out of my mouth. He left to get milk.

I called my best friend and fell to the floor screaming. I woke up the baby.

My friend took me upstairs to bed. I kept screaming in my pillow. She picked up my baby and waited by the front door for him to come home. She took the milk while holding my swaddled baby and said to him, “Don’t make it hard on her, just leave.”

He called out to me, I didn’t answer, he left. And that’s where my story really begins.

It’s how you move on that matters.

I had given up. Given up the way that I looked, given up having my own hobbies and dreams, given it all up to be a “mommy martyr”.

I thought that’s what good Christian women do. We sacrifice our dreams for our family.

I was numb. I was scared of writing my own story. I was young when I got married. I was scared of getting and finding a journalism job right out of college. I was scared of living life on my own.

I was trying to stuff myself in a mold that I didn’t fit in. Writing what I thought was supposed to be my story…the supposed perfect suburban lifestyle. Three kids, stay at home mom, successful husband. I didn’t know how to write my own story.

Now I know. No more Mommy Matyr. No more I can’t do this on my own.

I have to do it on my own.

I asked for help. I got my dream career, and now I’m writing my story. Checking the sensible shoes for high heeled boots and platform wedges.

So, we make every day an adventure. I’m not scared anymore of living life fully.

“Life is pure adventure…the sooner we realize that we are able to treat life as art.” – Maya Angelou

If Life Hasn’t Turned Out Like You Planned

Time to stop letting your circumstances in life limit you from your own dreams and your own story. Time to paint your life adventure with brighter colors.

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Has life thrown you any unexpected curves? How are you moving on? If you’re a single mom, how can we pray for you? Click here to share.

About The Author:
Amanda calls herself a “Professional Mother” and is a single parent of 3 children under 6. Her family’s mission statement is to “Work Hard…Play Hard…to See needs and Meet them…changing the way the world sees God one life at a time.” She is also a DJ on the Christian radio network KLOVE.

Comments

  1. Wow. There are no words. Amanda, thank you, thank you for sharing your heart. Being a wife, mama, and writer are embedded in you, and God is using those gifts to glorify Him!!! Praise God that you are willing to serve Him and love Him in the darkest of hours.

  2. Life has thrown me a curve ball too. I am living a new kind of normal. It isn’t what I dreamed or envisioned for my family. I thought I was doing everything right as I tried raising my children in an ideal Christian home. Our children still have free will. I am choosing to keep the faith, despite these circumstances. God has a plan, yes it is different mine, but it must be a good plan or He wouldn’t have allowed it.

    Thank you for being honest and sharing your heart. I too have been on the floor, dry heaving and screaming as I tried to wrap my brain around something that was too painful to truly comprehend.

  3. Catherine Story says:

    Thanks so much for sharing!!! Very inspirational!!!

  4. I don’t know Amanda, I did the opposite of you. I lived my life, then after he had the affair I have switched to mommy/good wife martyr. I blamed it on being too busy for him and not giving him enough attention. We are still working on our marriage, God is still working in my life to make it an adventure, but I don’t think you can blame your lifestyle for his affair. An affair is sin and it is his decision to choose not to sin. Only God’s mercy can help us overcome sin.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing. I am so encouraged by your strength and courage. I recently have gone through my own unexpected curves in my story and I know how hard it is, and especially while being a single mom with little children. You’re amazing and your children are so lucky to have you! Keep up the wonderful job.

  6. Thank you for inspiring to stop living in this life that I was not participating in.
    I married at age 33 and was pregnant immediately. My husband and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. What was about to happen down the road was another story. Megan was born with FOXG1 Syndrome that has left her Mentally and physically disabled. A world my husband and I had no knowledge of. I seem to continue to beat myself up over this situation but know that God has a plan and I need to have Faith. Thank you for showing me a different way to look at things.

    Bridget

  7. What a heart-touching story. I can empathize with what you have been through, Amanda, and am sorry that you had to go through it. While I disagree with your conclusion that being a “mommy martyr” is wrong, I can see why you would feel that way after being so treated. Actually, I believe that we are all called to die to ourselves, as the Bible says, not “find ourselves” as pop-psycology and modern humanism teaches us. Jesus calls us to lay down our lives to serve those who need us. Yes, people will hurt and betray us as they did Christ, and God WILL work all things together for our good regardless of what people do in their own free-will, but we are called to this none-the-less. It is easy to forfeit God’s plan in order to follow a more temporal happiness, but we do so to our own harm. It is a dangerous thing to say that, because someone has hurt you, you need to learn to live a more self-centered life and teach others to do the same. Usually when a marriage breaks down it is not because a woman has loved and served her family too much and lost her identity but a much deeper problem in the relationship. It is possible to be off-balanced in serving our children rather than our husbands (“I’m just too tired tonight” or in being more interested in taking care of the kids than listening to your husbands trials, dreams and heart) which can lead to problems but it isn’t wise to conclude, then, that serving others altogether is what went amiss. Rather we give MORE from Christ’s abundance, not our own strength, die to ourselves and we seek to serve Him through our loving and serving those whom He has placed in our lives. I am not saying that you have not made the right decision in your own life; it seems you were forced into a hard place and God has been faithful to you. But to imply that being a selfless mother is wrong and will bring harm is truly unbiblical and can ultimately lead others astray. You have a beautiful family and I pray that God will bless you as you continue to seek out His will for your life.

    • Galen Gard says:

      Laurie,
      Thank-you! What wisdom and insight I find in your comment:”Usually when a marriage breaks down it is not because a woman has loved and served her family too much and lost her identity but a much deeper problem in the relationship. It is possible to be off-balanced in serving our children rather than our husbands (“I’m just too tired tonight” or in being more interested in taking care of the kids than listening to your husbands trials, dreams and heart) which can lead to problems…”
      My wife put Our children first in our marriage, I only wish more wives would understand what harm they are doing in neglecting their husbands in favor of their children.

    • I don’t think this post is about marriages failing because of ‘mommy martyrs’. This is about Amanda facing her fears, overcoming them by no longer hiding behind ‘mommy martyrdom’ and growing into the woman that God had planned from the beginning. To bury our talents out of fear is not pleasing to our Lord and has nothing to do with dieing to ourselves and living for Him.

  8. Wow what and inspiring story Amanda! My mother was a single mom and managed the two of us a career that she loved and somewhere in there managed to come to PTA meetings, school field trips and do the things she loved. Its totally doable when you live life with passion and are motivated by love. Thanks for sharing and I love listening to you on KLove

  9. Amanda, I have followed you & your story for over a year. Our stories are so similar & I look to you for inspiration. My husband left me & our two young children for one of my (former) best friends. I know how hard this journey is each & every day. Thank you for sharing your story so that it can help others like me get through the unbearable days of pain, disbelief & anger.

  10. Barbie Smoot says:

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  11. Galen Gard says:

    Amanda,

    Thanks for sharing your story, it is good to know that have found direction and are moving ahead!

  12. When I saw the title, I just had to open this up while I’m at work. I wondered “What kind of curve did she mean?” and I had to know. I’ve just been thrown a curve myself and it definitely was not part of “my” plan. I am a mom of 4 y/o triplets and was just (less than two weeks ago) diagnosed with breast cancer. I really didn’t see this one coming. And I’m still expecting them to call and tell me that they got the wrong patient…labeled the sample wrong…something… But right now, I’m waiting for the big appt tomorrow to tell me what they think is best. I actually feel lucky because this appears to be treatable. I have a neighbor who will probably not survive her breast cancer and a friend who lost her almost 5 y/o son to cancer and that puts my “curve” into perspective for me. I’m waiting to find out how God will use this most recent bump in the road for HIS good. I know that He can if I just let Him do so. I had already begun the process of reducing my work hours because I felt like I needed more time with my children. I think He is making sure that I follow through. :)
    I thank you for sharing because I just needed this today. Praying for you and your sweet family.

    • I was diagnosed January 4th. I have a 2 1/2 year old sin & great husband. I have amazing support with my family, friends & co-workers. Everyone has rallied around to make my treatment the easiest possible. Keep the faith, it will make you strong. I am about to have my second chemo treatment, and every day I am amazed at how well the first round went. I put some joy and fun into my hair loss by going from dark brunette & grey to blonde then hot pink! And I know my inner beauty shines through my baldness. I am praying for you.

      • Yikes! 2 1/2 year old SON, not sin!

      • Kim and Carrie,

        I was also diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, on January 6th. I have a 7 year old daughter, a 5.5 year old daughter, and a 4 year old son. Although this road has been bumpy, God has given my husband and me deeper faith, peace that passes understanding, and a new knowledge of His love. Through this experience, we are also continually amazed by the love of other brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. Praying for both of you! Please pray for me too as I begin chemo on Wednesday.

      • Kelly and Carrie,
        I am trying to start a blog but have only set up a template. But I’d really like to get in touch with you both. I am so freaked out right now and would love to talk to someone who is just a little further down the road in the process. Blog title is Breast Cancer Booty Kicker. If you can send me a message, maybe we can keep in touch?
        Thanks ladies.

  13. Sharon O says:

    What an incredible story and how sad that he chose to leave. How does one do that? I am settling in my mind now because I have to. My own dad left when I was four and we saw each other off and on throughout the years but never like a ‘father daughter’… and now he is dying and I am resolving in my heart to forgive and not allow the wounded heart of a child to take away the ‘adult’ gift of saying ‘goodbye’. I will never understand it all and perhaps that is ok for now.
    I am very sorry for you that had to have been the worst experience. As a young mom of three tiny babies, left alone. God gave you strength and that is good. Keep pressing forward and HE will continue to bless you.

  14. wow thank you for sharing that amazing story

  15. Thank you Amanda for sharing your heart-breaking but hope-filled story. Such a wonderful reminder that motherhood isn’t all we are. To not feel guilty about pursuing our interests. To get back up when life knocks us down. You r an inspiration. Thank you.

  16. Wow. What a journey. I love your statement of “It’s how you move on that matters.” So very true. When choosing to recover from my eating disorder this is something I prayed and meditated on daily. Thank you for being brave and sharing your heart and your story.

  17. You are a writer. While my husband is still around, I think I am living in that place where I don’t have my own story. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

  18. Oh my goodness. This story rocked me to the core, as I’m sure it did for all who read it. Amanda – three cheers for you! And THANK YOU for sharing your story with us. What an inspiration and wake up call to seize the day in this precious adventure called life. God bless you and your children.

  19. I read your post yesterday, and today I cannot get it off of my mind. I think it’s mostly because I am pregnant with our first baby and I wonder how to not get sucked into motherhood in an unhealthy way (if that is the right word – I don’t know). I agree that being a wife and mother is the primary calling if a woman is married with children, but how do you balance that and not “lose yourself” (which I question if it really is losing yourself) at the same time. Being pregnant I already have my comfy shoes on, but I like them. I just don’t want to become too complacent, not out of fear that my husband will leave me, but just for myself and the baby – so that I can be what I am supposed to be. I hope this makes sense.

    Thank you so much for your willingness to share your story. I admire your strength, and your story with your outlook is so inspiring. Thank you!

  20. Michelle says:

    I left my controlling and emotionally abusive husband in December after years of praying things would get better. I was conflicted for a long time because of the Lord’s expectations of me as a woman, wife, and mother. I believe God gave me permission to leave years ago, I believe he spoke to my heart and promised everything would be ok, but it took a long time for me to take a leap of faith and trust that God’s plan was better than my own. It has been 4 months now and I am still waiting to see life in color again. I’m still afraid of my ex’s threats to get sole custody or ruin me financially, so I ask that you’ll pray – for him, for me, for our kids and most of all I pray that I see life in color again soon.

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