Saturday, April 30, 2011

A not so "Happy" Anniversary

As some of you may or may not know, today marks the 2-year anniversary of the day my life changed forever.  Two years ago today, my best friend and person I loved most in this world, told me he was done and walked out on our marriage...just a month shy of our 4-year wedding anniversary.

Here is my story.

2008 started off great - my husband and I were hunting for our first house, we both had good jobs and I was anticipating my first nephew's birth!  We bought our first home in March and spent the next 3 months renovating it.  We moved in towards the end of June and my sweet little nephew was born in July.  Things were great - and I was taking it all for granted.

About a month after we moved in, I had a serious health scare.  It turned out to be nothing, but made me realize I wasn't invincible.  The next week I lost one of my great-grandmothers and the next day, I lost my job.  Wait!  This isn't supposed to be happening to me!  It was a rough few weeks for sure.  Little did I know, God was just beginning to teach me. And boy did I have a lesson to learn!

In the next few weeks and months I noticed things changing in my marriage.  It finally hit the fan two years ago today.  Just 2 days before I was supposed to stand in front of a church full of people as a bridesmaid in my good friend's wedding and listen to two people pledge their lives to one another...repeating the same vows we had said to one another.  I can tell you that was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life.  He wasn't happy, he didn't love me anymore - wait! Stop! I couldn't believe what I was hearing!  This doesn't happen to people like me - I am a good person!  Doesn't matter who you are.  A week later he moved out. 

It took me months and months of prayer and soul searching to finally come to terms with everything I was fighting.  During that time I'd never felt so humiliated, betrayed, sad, anxious, overwhelmed....10 months later we sat down at our dining room table to fill out our marriage dissolution agreement.  I had prayed everyday until then for God to change his mind.  I finally learned I was praying for the wrong thing.  I didn't deserve for God to intervene now - especially since we'd never invited him into our marriage like we should have.

The divorce was finalized in July 2010.  14 long months of uncertainty, confusion, tears, anger, and hurt. By the time the papers arrived, I didn't feel anything. I didn't even cry. I was emotionally spent.  Those that know me know that I am a public crier...very open about my emotions.  So this surprised even me. I thought I knew how I would react when opening that envelope, but I honestly just sighed a sigh of relief that it was all finally finished.  I had other things to worry about now...figuring out how I was going to keep my house, making sure there was enough money to pay the bills, refinancing, changing my name on everything, job searching.

During this time of darkness, I began to look for things that brought me joy - little things that God helped me open my eyes to see.  It could be anything, big or small - warm towels from the dryer, a Lindor truffle (my favorite), a facial, celebrating the news that I'd be getting another nephew.  I made a list of Bible verses that spoke to me and put them on my bathroom counter.  I read them every morning when I was getting ready.  I welcomed God back into my life and he kept me from drowning.

I've learned so much in these last 2 years.  I've learned you can't plan everything.  That was a tough one for me.  I had to let go and let God.  He'll never give you more than you can handle.  I haven't even worn a watch since May of 2009 and you know what?  I'm just as late as I always was!  The world didn't stop spinning.  I took a more "go-with-the-flow" attitude and I actually enjoyed it.  Who would've thought?  Not me, that's for sure.

I still struggle.  I still have bad days, but they are fewer and fewer and I can honestly say that now, I feel like myself again.  Actually, better than myself, because I know that I have God on my side and if he brings you to it, he'll bring you through it.  God provides beauty and joy in so many different ways and things.  It's up to us to pause for a moment and open our eyes (and hearts) to see them.  That's why I started this blog.  To have a collection of things that I find beautiful or inspiring to help me, and maybe someone else, through a dark time.

If you've made it though all my sob-story, thank you.  I can't promise that there won't be more, but I will try.

"...we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us..." Romans 5: 3-5

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