I was 27. I was tan and thin. I was in love. I was beyond excited to be marrying this handsome, godly, funny, loyal, raving OU football man. I was a single mom to two (and this is biased, but true) of the most adorable little boys in the world. I was preparing to move 12 hours away and begin a brand new life. I was in wedding mania, and loving it.
It still amazes me. How God brings beauty from ashes. My other life, as I often call it, was marked by quite a bit of pain. As this is not only my story, but also my children’s, I will leave the details out, but simply say I was broken hearted and fully released by God from my first marriage after 6 years. It was tough. Going through divorce, whatever the reason, hurts. In my case, I was blessed with 2 little sticky-faced, jammie-wearing reasons to keep moving forward. I also had a church family that supported me every step of the way. They truly took it upon themselves to “care for the widows and orphans”- we’d come home and there would be bags of groceries on our doorstep, or a cashier’s check would arrive in the mail- I never knew who they were from, but I knew God was behind it all. Still it was lonely and scary being a single mom. One time I had a man try to break into my house in the middle of the night. (My parents arrived the next day with new locking devices for my doors.) I had been a married girl, so all my friends were married mom’s. There was really no one to talk to after I put my kids to bed at 8pm. I worked out in my garage every night. (Hence the “thin”) I drank too much coffee, ate too many fish sticks and watched too much late night TV. Adjusting to singleness after marriedness was a stretch for me.
Then my brother got me a computer. Old school dial-up internet with the noise and everything. I could only e-mail because technology and I have never been friends. (we’re barely on speaking terms) But I was bored. So I began surfing the world wide web as we called it. And I discovered a single’s christian chat room and thought, “How totally creepy” but after a few more months of boredom and lonliness, my curiosity got the better of me. So I began chatting with some people and it was mostly other mom’s or harmless, but goofy men- the chat room had rules if you were vulgar or inappropriate they would kick you out. It was like they had cyber-bouncers, which made the whole thing much less creepy and actually kind of fun. Then one night this new guy was on there and he was so funny, but such a slow typer that no one was getting his jokes. I ended up talking with him for 4 hours that night, telling him some of my story and he telling me his. We quickly decided to exchange photo’s because let’s face it, I had to know if he was cute or not. Because this was the stone-age and pre-facebook, we actually snail mailed pictures to each other. 6 weeks and hundreds of conversation hours later, we met in person. 6 months, 4 visits and thousands of conversation hours later we got engaged. 5 months later we said I do.
Beauty for ashes. Life for death. Love for loss.