Hello everyone and welcome. I want to start by stating for the record that I am 100% outside of my comfort zone, but I have to be obedient. While my blogging journey is just beginning, my life journey began a while ago. So, let me start by introducing myself. My name is Lauren and I am 27 years old. I grew up in the most wonderful way. I don’t say that to be boastful by any means, but it’s true. My parents were/are phenomenal and raised my brother and I so well. My parents are pastors and have been for the majority of my life. I have always been actively involved in church and still remain so today. I can remember, though, as a teenager always thinking that I never really had a testimony. In a way, my testimony was that God always had me. He really did always protect me from harm and kept me from making a lot of horrible decisions. My true tests of faith came much later in life.
I never dated much as a young girl, I just had a few flings here and there. I started dating a guy at 17 and it was this relationship that changed the course of my life forever. No lie, dating him was like a dream come true. Growing up, he was great friends with my brother and I always thought he was so handsome. He randomly showed up at church one day and ended up asking me out on a date not long after. I was totally smitten. On June 4th, 2011, at the young age of 19, I married him. Our marriage started off the way the majority of marriages do, completely in love and in the “honeymoon” phase. We had plenty of struggles but we always managed to make it through them. He was ambitious and full of dreams. I am the type of girl who is all in, no matter what. There is no way I could have been more committed to making sure his dreams come true than all I did and sacrificed. My dreams, on the other hand, were going to be a lot more difficult for either of us to make come true. I wanted to be a mother, but with my condition it was not going to be an easy feat. We had several conversations, went through draining fertility treatments, and ultimately decided to adopt through the foster care system.
Ironically, on exactly our 5th wedding anniversary, we were blessed with the most amazing kids. There were 3 of them. It was my dream come true and I cherished every moment of it. While you will have to wait until a future post to learn about all 4 (I will explain that later too!) of my kids and how this journey played out, just know that it was the highlight of my life. However, it taught me that while there was nothing I would not have done to make his dreams come true, there were limitations to what he was willing to do to let mine come true.
You know, I cannot pinpoint the exact moment that it began going downhill. It really just came out of nowhere. In the blink of an eye we fell victim to the busyness of life and had been neglecting working on our marriage. We had numerous conversations about the issues that were going on, but they never got fixed. He was working full-time on his dreams and would not get home until after I had gone to bed and was usually gone back to work first thing. I focused on taking care of the kids since I was out of work due to having surgery. Life just passed us by this way. I should have known though, all of the signs were practically hitting me in the face.
On April 13th, 2017, my life as I knew it shattered. I had come back home from taking the kids to school and daycare. When I pulled up to our home his car was in the driveway, which was odd considering he should have been at work. I walked into the house and I could hear music playing in our girls’ room. I walked back there and he is sitting on the floor, crying. I stared for a moment, heart pounding, and confused. I asked him what was going on as I reached over to silence the music. I was not prepared for the words “I’m just not happy, and I want out”. I could not even formulate a thought in that moment. He then preceded to tell me that he had said “yes” to too many things to make me happy but he did not want the same things. I continued to stare. I had a mound of emotions at this point. He denied wanting to even try to work anything out. I remember asking him if he had cheated, he said no. I am not going to lie though, I did not believe him. I just knew.
I remember abruptly leaving my house, having a panic attack on the side of the road, and having my best friend come and get me. My life as I knew it was over. What am I going to tell our kids? Our adoption was not final, so they weren’t even ours yet. How will I answer their questions of “where is daddy?”. What am I going to tell people? I am the pastors’ daughter, everyone is going to know. I remember my dad telling me that I had nothing to be ashamed of by this pending divorce, but all I felt was shame. When did I stop being enough? How could he not love me enough to even try? Again, “what about my babies?”.
I am an emotional person. I can cry at a TV commercial. No apologies, it is just who I am. This situation was different though, my emotions were so overwhelming that, for the first time in my life, I shut them off. I did not shed a tear. I knew if I did, it would destroy me because I could not handle it. I was not ready to handle it. On July 12th, 2017, our divorce was final. That chapter of my life was closed. How did I get from divorced to who I am now? How did I get through it all? Well…
The journey since then has been no cake walk. Stay tuned for next week as I dive into my kiddos. It is a story you do not want to miss.