Nest Building 101 just posted a week of love stories, ending with her own. I do not have a love story as sweet and good.
I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with R. I met him while I was still married to Little K’s father. R and I worked at the church on Sunday mornings, each of us handling our responsibilities and chatting during the down time. There was always at least one other staff member present and the three of us wound up spending those four hours together every week.
I had always been active in church but my husband and I stopped attending regularly. I was spending more and more time at home with a toddler, waiting for my husband to arrive. His nights kept getting later and I felt more isolated and alone.
It was nice to be back at church on Sunday mornings. It was nice to have people genuinely care about me, asking how the week had been and sharing stories. People who were always there. People who wanted to spend time with me and fawned over Little K.
I started talking to my husband about seeing a counselor that summer. I talked about how sad, alone, and frustrated I was feeling. How our relationship wasn’t what I felt marriage was supposed to be. How I wanted to feel like a priority in his life. How I wanted help. He made it clear that those were my problems. That I could talk to someone if I wanted but that he didn’t need to go with me. And that we couldn’t afford it anyway…
So, I opened up to other people instead of a counselor. And they listened. I saw that these people cared about me. They got angry on my behalf. They comforted me when I cried. They gave me the understanding and compassion that I wanted from my husband.
I fell out of love with my husband very quickly. My resentment had been building for so long that all I needed was to see that there was life outside of my marriage.
What followed was absolute hell.
Betrayal. Dishonesty. Fighting. More tears than I can count. Broken relationships left and right.
There are a lot of should’s in my story. I should have pushed for a counselor earlier, either alone or marriage counseling. I should have been more honest with myself about the state of my marriage. I should have talked to my parents rather than my single friends. I should have fled temptation.
My first husband and I did not reconcile. If either of us had chosen to be the spouse God called us to be, we probably could have. But neither one of us chose to follow His command for sacrificial love. We each chose ourselves and paid dearly for our selfishness.
It’s been five years since my world fell apart. I am so very, very lucky to have come out the other side. God has been good to me, so much more than I deserve. Through His grace I have a loving husband and a healthy marriage with R, a thriving daughter, a repaired relationship with my parents, and a growing spiritual life.
She Laughs at the Days put up a post on Tuesday titled “This is what we do with broken things." It is a beautiful post and I hope you take a moment to read it. And this quote shot straight to the core of me:
“No life is so far broken that a creative and redemptive God can’t lay the pieces of it out in such a way that it’s beauty and worth are visible again.” (Credit: She Laughs at the Days)
I feel like a walking billboard for brokenness, grace, forgiveness, and blessings. My story may not be good but it doesn’t stop God from being good – He took my broken life and made something beautiful.
God is so good.
Thank you, Carlia and Carrien, for helping me say all of this out loud.
“This is how our lives can look if we’re willing to lay all the pieces on the table and let the Master Artist rearrange them.” (Credit: She Laughs at the Days)