I'll try to fast forward through those 4-5 years. One problem I have doing that is showing how my life was radically transformed with the loss of the amenities of civilization i.e. running water, plumbing, electicity and telephone (no cell phones in the 70's) to a very rustic life in the Ozark mountains. I had finally married my husband in a simple civil ceremony when our daughter was a year old. A year later we had another daughter. We raised commercial tomatoes and did a small amount of horse logging. It was hard to make ends meet. So my husband and I accomodated the reduced finances by cutting back on non-essentials on the farm where we lived--all utilities. He introduced me to items familiar to his childhood: kerosene lamps, a well bucket, and a wood cook stove. These details of life are not presented as local color--but because they had a huge impact on how I dealt with the spiritual crisis that crested when our youngest was a toddler and I was as cut off from the outside world as I have ever been.
What happened that winter my husband shrugs off as "cabin fever"--and you might well see it as that also. None the less, I'll tell it as I understand what happened--a miracle and an answer to a prayer that I hardly knew I was praying.
It's true that I hardly knew I was praying. As I said previously, I figured I had no claims on God's time since my own attitude to the priest's counsel had not changed. I still justified my breach of his first marriage. But my oldest child talked now and was making childlike comments about the world around her that challenged me to answer her. I had an ambiguous relation to life and its ultimate meaning-- I wasn't really well formed in those things myself. The beauty of the natural world was all around me in the hills and in my experience of life and death of the animals, my second child was born at home and married life carried trials I found difficult. These things all jogged my spirit and I wanted to talk to the God I had thrown away.