Learning Adaptability in the Unexpected

I had my doubts about having kids since my first marriage in 2001. My first husband and I were married five years, and I never had the “urge.” My clock wasn’t ticking—perhaps I was missing batteries. We divorced, and I went into a downward spiral of reckless dating, selfish ambitions, traveling, sex, booze and rock ‘n’ roll. I did what I wanted when I wanted. I was in an identity crisis that would last me seven years. I don’t regret all the time I journeyed through this wonderland rabbit hole, but I presume it could have been less painful. I was struggling, and it took me a long time to unravel my responsibilities.

I met my Vince in 2009 during an event that my best friend, Victoria Thomas, and I were coordinating for the community. It was called Justice Day, human trafficking awareness. He was the sound guy. Sparks flew, and we were inseparable. We eloped 12 months later.

Our relationship started off rough. He had a divorce and two kids. I had a divorce. He had his own struggles. I was in my identity crisis struggling with insecurity, bonding issues, mother wounds and father wounds. I was abused by a female when I was young and therefore struggled with sexual identity issues. I couldn’t keep close female friends and misplaced myself among men. I have a long line of sexual predators, sexual abuse victims, three murders and a lot of emotional detachment in my ancestry. What a legacy! To top it all off, I would have gone rushing back into the arms of my ex-husband at the drop of a hat. Perfect recipe for a happy marriage.

In 2012 Vince and I decided to renew our vows. Life was “surface-peachy” until one month before our renewal when my ex-husband suddenly passed away. I went into a deep depression. I lost my mind. Then, as I was well-trained to do, I stuffed it as far down as I could. I smiled and went on planning my beautiful vow renewal.

Two days after my vow renewal (which was lovely), my cup runneth over. I got our cell phone bill and WHAMMY. It showed me that Vince was corresponding with another cell phone user way more than me. I went into a panic attack, and I was spinning out of control. When I got in touch with Vince, he slowly confessed his need for an unbiased connection—I was in my basket of stuff, and he needed an outlet. Amid the news of the emotional affair, Vince also admitted his closet drinking to numb his pain. We were in bad shape. We did the only thing we hadn’t done yet: We exposed ourselves to our pastors, ran to Jesus, dove into community, became very vulnerable, booked into counseling and lay in ICU for the next year.

After a year of intensive work, we said our little prayer: “God, we are making plans, but please direct our steps. Amen.” And then scheduled a vasectomy for Sept. 9. However, two days before the procedure, my period was late. I took a pee test and WHAMMY. What the heck?! No way. Holy schnikies, PINK. Oh Lord. (I didn’t really respond too much.)

I thought for sure I would miscarry and this whole thing would end. There was no way I could bond with a baby. I didn’t have the capacity. I was barely out of intensive care. The kicker came when I saw she was a girl! I went home, sat alone and I lost my cookies. It was the first and last time I cried in anger about my pregnancy. It came with a vengeance. Wailing. I was so mad at God: “How could He do this?! I would never bond with a girl! She would end up a victim. How would I protect her in this family legacy? This was horrid. God is cruel.”

The rest of my pregnancy I was completely detached and “un”expecting. Livvy Lou Luchetta came into the world May 23, 2014, at 42 weeks and 1 day gestation. The day after she was born, I was smitten. I cried and cried. I fell in love—deep love. I found compassion. I found a new understanding. I finally understood love. I began to forgive people. I started seeing things through new eyes. God even started to heal my relationship with my own mom. And I could bond! This was a creative, unexpected, miracle blessing from God.

When we had Livvy, Vince and I were so blessed to have five weeks off together. During that time, we found new direction. We decided that both of us needed to raise Livvy. We would do whatever possible to bring her a simple, organic life, loving God and loving people. Her mom and dad would share the intentional task of resourcing her life into adulthood. Vince and I both changed our work hours down to part-time and simplified our expenses. We made purposeful, value-driven decisions to shrink the gap of disconnect between what we want and what we have. The path we have chosen for our family is not easy, but it’s life-giving and fruitful.Luchetta Family photos

Not everyone can copy what we have done, but anyone can bring their own vision closer to reality by taking intentional steps. You may be surprised by the unexpected. I hope that my days with Livvy will be life-giving and teach her adaptability in a world of unexpected outcomes. Her life has taught me that very lesson.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bethany Bio photoBethany Luchetta has been doing Real Estate for the last 10 years. She is currently a business owner and Real Estate Broker for Feel Good Property Management & Sales in Carlsbad, California. She has been married for 5 years to her hubby-poo, Vincent. Together they have a vibrant toddler, Livvy Lou. They are also blessed with Vince’s two older daughters, Paige (11) and Makayla (15). Bethany loves to write and will one day return to finish her degree in Marriage and Family Therapy so she can help other families navigate the adventures of life.

The Source of My Worth

Identity in Christ. This is an area I fought and struggled with when Joe and I first started attending The Father’s House in January 2004. I was far too concerned with what others thought of me and felt that I needed to look and do everything perfectly to have value. Learning the lesson that my value lies simply in being a daughter of the King was something that I grew to feel confident in, and because I had struggled so greatly, it’s an area I’ve devoted a good amount of time in prayer for my own daughters.

I thought this was a battle that I had fully conquered (with God’s beautiful and loving help, of course), until I became pregnant with my 5th daughter. I am usually sick in my pregnancies until around 16 weeks, so when it hadn’t worn off by week 20 I started initially to feel just kinda bummed. Then around week 24 I was suddenly hit with depression. I prayed and asked some people to be praying for me. Then our precious Lord so sweetly helped me to realize the source of my depression. In one word it was worthlessness.

You see, I take great delight in serving my family and taking care of them. I also love to help others through bringing gifts and meals, and here I was, pretty much full time sick in bed for six months. I hadn’t been able to do the things that I so greatly enjoy doing, so I was not only mourning that but also realizing that I had an unhealthy worth attached to it. There is nothing like being sick in bed for months to really check the source of your worth if you enjoy taking care of others as I do.

In my private crying out to the Lord and through some texting with a close friend, I was able to see this precious lesson the Lord was teaching me through this time. I am a daughter of the most high King and even if I was to never again be able to serve my family or anyone else in this life, my value is just the same. It cannot be earned or even maintained. It simply is because that is how my precious God made it to be.

My friend encouraged me to soak up this forced time of rest and let my children learn to serve me and our family the way that I had always done. This was a huge turning point for me. Being able to lie still without guilt is huge! I mean, there is always a to-do list that’s miles long that I can never seem to accomplish, and now I am lucky if I cross one thing off my list in a day. Lying in bed directing traffic may sound wonderful to some, but it was misery for me. I’m learning to embrace it, though. I see the value in my children learning to work hard around the house and grow in compassion for me and for each other. I cannot tell you how precious it is when I receive texts from my teenager asking if I’m doing ok, or when any of them willingly doing more than their fair share to help around the house. Even my 2-year-old notices when I’m especially sick and lays her sweet little hands on me and prays.

Believe me, it isn’t always this picture perfect, but I can look at all God has been accomplishing through this time (not to mention growing a sweet little baby girl) and feel content. I trust my God so completely. He has proven himself trustworthy time and time again. No trial ever has been or ever will be wasted.

So may I encourage you, if you’re feeling down on yourself in a certain area, cry out to God about it. Get prayer from a trusted friend and/or elder at church. All He wants is to bring you into more freedom so you can fully feel and express His love to this dying world. I pray right now, sweet sister who is reading this, that God, the greatest gentleman ever, would so sweetly show you an area where you might have undue attached worth. I pray that he would bring healing to any hurt you have in that area, and that you would trust it to Him. Amen. You are beautiful and oh so loved, precious daughter of the King! I pray you know it deep within your heart and live each day confidently in that knowledge.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

unnamed-2My name is Andrea Pinner. I’ve been married to my handsome husband for 16 years. We got married shortly before we both turned 20 and it’s been a challenging and beautiful ride. God has used our complete opposite personalities and giftings to bring great refinement and glory to Himself. We have four wonderful daughters and I’m pregnant with our 5th daughter due in January. I am passionate about sharing the love of Christ practically with those around me, and encouraging women in the struggles we all face so we can overcome them in Christ.