I dated Guy for 9 blissful months. But he he decided he didn’t want a life with me and my daughters. As sure as I was that he loved me, he could never say it. He ended the relationship to pursue another course and I was wrecked. I resumed behaviors that were foreign to me my whole life – except for when my first husband had left me. I stopped eating, stopped studying, COULDN’T STOP crying. My heart was crushed and I could barely keep it together at work. I cried in front of my children uncontrollable sobs while my 3 year old pleaded with me to be happy (yes, that type of scenario brings lasting shame to me as a mother). It took me a few weeks to realize that this was more than just heartbreak. This was PTSD exploding from my insides, screaming at me to take notice and get help.
I’d seen signs of it earlier in our relationship but hoped that as time went on and trust grew, the triggers would go away. I’m not so sure of that now.
Before even meeting Guy, I started following him on Instagram. I always paid attention to the images and accounts he ‘liked’ looking for patterns of girl chasing or liking dirty images or offensive things. I never saw it. That made me really like him. But I became obsessive over the accounts he followed and commented on. Any time I checked my IG feed, I’d take a peek at his and see what he’d been up to. One day, a few weeks after we’d finally met and had been talking daily to each other, he commented on a post by GoPro. It was a picture of a professional female surfer and Guy commented “I have a crush on that girl.”
Real quick, let’s look at some obvious facts. Guy did not nor will ever know this girl. She’s famous and has thousands of men ogling her surfer goodies online. Also, this is something cute and silly that I, myself would do were it a hunky dude. But, in the middle of Best Buy while I was waiting for my stereo installation to get done, I saw this comment. A heat wave washed over my body, my stomach flipped inside out, and I couldn’t move a muscle. I completely panicked. I felt every feeling I’d felt over a year earlier when I found out my husband had been cheating on me.
This is not a reasonable response to that sort of occurrence. I knew that. After a while, I was able to regain my composure and talk myself down. But that moment has stuck with me. Those feelings stained my relationship with Guy. He never deserved that stain. Guy never earned an ounce of distrust, but there it was. Our whole 9 months together, I had to learn to trust him and when triggers popped up, I’d have to tell him so I could hear from him the reassurance that I needed to push away my anxiety.. He was so kind and understanding. He’d always put me at ease. He was so good at loving me.
But here I am. Single again. And very aware that I’ve got some deep seeded issues that need addressing.
The good that I can take away from this is that Heavenly Father has been showing me all of my flaws. <Wait, is that a good thing? Well, maybe not at first. It was a slightly terrifying and discouraging process. But alongside this self discovery, I’ve been reading about how God promises to take our flaws and turn them into strengths. Again and again I’ve read this message in difference books and articles. – I have SO MANY FLAWS, that if he does this for me, I. WILL. BE. AWESOME.
And, you know what!? I’ve seen him do this for me already.
I became pregnant with Q before her dad and I were married. This was ahumiliating and stressful trial for me for a few obvious reasons: 1. The whole world knew I was having sex with my boyfriend. Being mormon, this is not a good thing. 2. Even though I was in love with him and wanting to get married previous to this experience, no one saw my marriage to him in that way. Our mistake tainted the legitimacy of my very serious and committed decision to marry him and be his wife. Oh and 3. I was 23 and having a baby and had NO CLUE about life. Duh.
Since then, I’ve been cheated on, lied to, and abandoned. It’s easy to say this is exhusbands fault. He made these terrible choices that hurt me and our family. But when you take this whole experience back to its beginnings, it was MY choice to get involved with him – to sleep with him – to ignore the morals and values I’ve been taught my whole life… but this isn’t the point of my story.
The point is, I MADE A MISTAKE. I ignored God. But even after that, he has taken my mistake, my weakness, and produced a MIGHTY miracle from it.
I put myself in a trying situation butGod has still given me a wonderful life.
- I have really great daughters. I’m never alone and they give my life deeper meaning.
- I’ve felt the healing powers of Christ’s atonement in a very special way.
- I’ve grown relationships with other women who are STRONG and immovable and who get it because they’ve been where I’ve been.
- I get a second chance at finding a partner.
- I have a great job and live somewhere I’ve always wanted to.
- In a really unique way, I’ve been able to develop better relationships with every single one of my immediate family members and some extended family members as I’ve navigated the last few years.
Gosh. God is everything. He loves me enough to take my mistakes and turn them into amazing opportunities. HOW LUCKY ARE WE!?
How lucky are we that Christ, though he never sinned and never needed to endure heartache, did. He suffered so much pain and anguish in the garden as he atoned for our sins and on the cross where he died for us. And even now, as I struggle and worry and doubt and fear, he sits with me. He loves me. He willingly faces my heartache WITH me.
I don’t deserve him. But he loves me anyway.
I love him.