Today is such a marked date in my life. Even as I woke up this morning, the day just had a unique feel to it and I have caught myself thinking about things I had thought I had long forgotten. I was 17 years old when my true journey really began. That age seems like such a blimp in life, I mean it was 11 years ago. I was really just a happy-go-lucky, yet introverted girl who just wanted to be in love. I remember quite vividly the day my dad called me to tell me that a young man had asked his permission to take me on a date and he actually said yes. Prior to this I was not allowed to date at all so it was quite surprising that he would say yes. When this guy asked me out I am positive I had never smiled so much in my entire life. He was so handsome and was older than me so I really thought I had hit the jackpot.
Dating was so much fun, to be honest. We would go out to eat, go to the movies, go shopping…really we were connected at the hip all the time. I was always at his house or he would come over to mine and watch whatever ridiculous girly show I was into at the time. I was just on cloud nine. He was always up for whatever goofy shenanigans I was into and would always comply when I wanted to take a million selfies. I was showing him off left and right because he truly was the best thing ever. I have so many fond memories with him while dating. I was always cheesy smiling and just so in love. We dated for a little over a year and then I got another call from my daddy telling me that the very same young man who asked his permission to take me on a date had now asked his permission to marry me. You have never heard girly screams in your life like the one’s I was having over be so excited that I was going to get to proposed to. I anxiously waited for the next few months just holding out for the once in a life time proposal I knew was coming. He planned it well and did it on the one day I least expected it. I called absolutely everyone I knew to share the news with them. I took a million photos of my ring and wore it with such pride. I was 18 years old and engaged to the man of my dreams.
In June of 2011, at the age of 19, I nervously walked down the aisle to make a vow to be a wife to a man I so deeply loved. I had spent months planning the special day and picking out the most amazing dress with my mom and family. I had all of my girlfriends celebrating with me as I made all the preparations to become a wife. It truly was the best day and it all fell into place so wonderfully. I felt so loved and supported by everyone. It was the best day ever. I felt so much joy as I said “I do” and sealed the vow with a kiss. Life was so perfect and I had everything I could have ever wanted.
Marriage is hard. I severely underestimated the amount of work that went into keeping a marriage going but I was doing my best. I was such an eager wife in the beginning. I was always cooking new meals and cleaning for him. I always wanted everything to be perfect and I wanted to be the best wife I could be. He was such a dreamer and I always supported whatever dream he had at the time. He was ambitious and had such drive to be successful and make a name for himself. As time went on though, I often found myself wanting him to put as much drive and effort into the marriage and giving me attention that he did into his business ventures, but I just never seemed to measure up. This was the beginning of the downfall, in my opinion.
I am such a people pleaser and fixer and often times it is to my own demise. I knew how bad things were but I kept trying to fix them and patch them up. I was always protecting his image from those who could see things were falling apart and I just kept telling myself that if I could support him more and be a better wife that things would turn around. If I could just pretend that everything is perfect and that I was living my best life then the reality of it didn’t have to be true. I think in his own way he tried what he could to be happy with me. He knew how badly I wanted to be a mom and it’s really the only reason he said yes when I asked him to adopt. I don’t think I quite calculated the pressure that children would place on an already rocky marriage though. I mean at first, I thought things truly were getting better. We had these kids and we were finally smiling and laughing together like we used to. I was feeling the love for him again that had since slipped away. But I think I slowly began to be so blinded by my own joy and happiness of being a mom that I failed to see his smile fade into the darkness. He was never home anymore. We were coming and going at two different times and he consumed himself in work. That’s when he met…..her.
April 13th, 2017 was just a normal day, or so I thought. He took the youngest two to daycare while I took the older one to speech therapy. I had no idea I would come home to a husband who no longer wanted to be married to me. Hearing the words “I’m not happy”…”I said yes to too many things to make you happy”…”I would rather die than be married to you one more day”….”I can’t do this anymore”…”nothing you say will make me stay”… “I’m done”….those are some of the hardest phrases of words that pierced my heart and completely shattered my world. I remember keeping my composure so well in the moment though. I got up off the floor from our little girls’ bedroom, walked into our bedroom, and then walked to my car. The moment I sat in the car I just cried uncontrollably. I had a panic attack on the side of the road and my best friend had to come pick me up. I have never felt more confused in my entire life at how things were finally at the end and my marriage was going to be over. How was it even possible?
April 13th, 2017 soon became the most un-ordinary day and it’s a day that forever changed my trajectory in life. It marked me so deep. It broke me. It has been three years since that day and my heart has endured heart break after heart break ever since. I have shed more tears in 3 years than some shed in a life time. But the last month or so has been so different. I wrote about my marriage as one of my first blog posts. I was reading over it tonight prior to writing this and I can see the growth I have made during the past year. I have forgiven him for all of the wrong things that happened during our marriage and I have let go of the hurt and truly allowed the Lord to heal me and help my heart be able to open up to someone new.
It’s funny, isn’t it? How the most difficult moments in our life have such rooted impacts and while in those moments and even for time after, we are always wondering why it happened. Why did the Lord allow me to give myself away to this man, allow me to fulfill my dream of becoming a mother, and then rip it right out of my hands? Why? I heard a quote recently that said “there are years that ask questions and then there are years that answer”…I am so thankful to be out of the years I have spent crying and asking God so many questions and joyfully and curiously walking into the years of getting answers. Stay tuned…the journey isn’t over.