KARA: "Tell us about your family."
CHRISTY: "Ten years ago, I awoke to the doorbell ringing in the middle of the night. I wondered who in the world would be at my door at 2:30 in the morning. I remember getting up and realizing that it was probably my husband coming home early from his fishing trip. He had planned to stay overnight, but he must have decided to come home early.
My heart dropped as I opened the door to see 2 police officers. They sat me down and explained that my husband had been struck by lightning and had been killed. My heart still aches at the memories of those words. My husband was the love of my life, the father of my 4 small children. How could we possibly go on without him?
The next morning, I gathered my children in my arms and with all of my hope and faith, I promised them that we would see our daddy again and would live with him forever. I promised them that we would be OK and that Heavenly Father would always be with us. As I spoke to my children, I felt a powerful assurance that what I said was true. Amid the tragic sadness of loss, I felt an overwhelming peace. It was like I was immersed in a cocoon and protected from the storm. I testify that the Lord was with me and we have been OK. Through tears and heartache, our faith has blessed.
As a mother of 4 children under the age of 10, thoughts of remarrying or even dating made my stomach squirm. I loved my eternal companion. How could I ever let my heart love another man? Yet, through the tender mercy of the Lord, 3 years later, I was introduced to a wonderful man. His wife had died from a brain aneurism while mopping the kitchen floor. He had 5 children and I had 4…. Could we really blend 9 children, ages 5-20 together into a family? After receiving a strong witness from the Lord that we were to be married, we took on the challenge and began our new journey together.
Well, what an adventure! As we began, I saw myself as Maria on “The Sound of Music” who could bring happiness into the lives of my husband’s dear children who had lost their mom. They seemed sad, it seemed an easy fix to take them in and love them. I literally gave everything I had to bring happiness and fun into our family. I could handle the cooking, the laundry, and the carpools. I survived when they all broke out in chicken pox, wrecked the car and the fence, and had a knock down fist fight. I tried to keep upbeat when my husband lost his job after 6 months of marriage and had to start from scratch. Life was crazy, yet, I could handle the “stuff”. It was the emotions that were tearing me apart. I had 5 teenagers with absolutely no experience! We had my children, the MaxwellITES and my husband’s children, the AlgerITES and they weren’t budging! Yet, difficult as it was, I knew in my tears, that the Lord had brought our two families together. My husband and I often felt the strength of our spouses on the other side of the veil working hard to help us. We turned to the Lord for guidance. Little by little, our family has blended together and we have love in our home. It’s been a life changing experience for all of us to see how hard work, patience, and understanding can bring together differences and create a family. Because of our loss, we all seem to appreciate each other more. We know that life can change within minutes. Nothing is more important than being together. Love can conquer all."
Tomorrow we'll continue the interview with Christy. We'll learn what one of her most inspiring memories is.