***WARNING*** This is a sappy post. I’m not always a fan of those. But in this case, it is entirely necessary, especially since I am celebrating a totally non-monumental wedding anniversary (it’s just been 3 years people). I know, I know. You can stop here if you have no interest. But I’ll keep going, so keep reading if you want 🙂
Once upon a time, I was a single mom. And before that, I was a not-yet-divorced, incredibly unhappy mom, who was probably extremely miserable to be around. Like, I’m pretty sure that I alienated some friends when I turned our viewing of The Notebook into my own personal commentary on how true love is an illusion thatinevitably ends in domestic servitude for the woman and complete jackassery for the man. Oh to be a woman scorned. I am definitely sorry for all the hateful nonsense I spewed in those days at virtually everyone who couldn’t get away from me fast enough, but I’m also thankful for the perspective my failed marriage gave me. You guys, God can work with whatever you give Him, even if you haven’t willingly given it to him yet.
Enter my hubs, who was first a work acquaintance and who recognized I was not a lost cause, and willingly pushed me to get help for myself in order to overcome all the relationship baggage I was carrying. Oh man, was I carrying some baggage. We got together, we broke up, we got together again. It was a roller coaster. But he stuck with me, and knowing that I had a child whose autism meant she would be living with me FOREVER, he stayed the course anyway. Holy smokes if we could all meet a partner like that.
Our start wasn’t pretty. There was a lot of heartbreak involved, and not all of it our own. But we survived, the kids survived, and everyone else survived. As our pastor likes to say, “we’re not perfect, but sometimes we get something right.” If I never get anything right again, I know I have the right father for my kids, the right partner for myself, and the right leader for this family. My definition of “having it all” may have changed, but friends, I really do have it all. Sometimes that means making the same exact lunch every single day for more than a year, or not replacing t-shirts that have holes in them against my better judgement, or taking on a crazy-hippie lifestyle when I may have pictured myself living on a golf-course and ironing prep-school uniforms. But it also means waking up next to a person who totally gets me, who makes sure my car always has gas and my tires are never low on air, and who pushes me to think outside my view of normal to reach for the best possible life for all of us.
If you’ve given up on love, hate hearing about the perfection that is someone else’s love story/life story, friends, it may still be out there for you anyway. And if you have the perfect answer for your partner, I’m sorry for all the times I thought about what you had and believed it was a fraud. The dark places of life hurt and hurt bad, but the light on the other side is that much more beautiful because of it. I can safely say that the worst five years of my life have been followed by the best five, and in spite of the challenges we face, I genuinely believe it is all uphill from here. Perspective. God bless the challenges that lead us to our rewards, wherever they may come.