Tuesday, June 14

Bringing it all together

I have been keeping several blogs with different themes, but have decided to bring it all together at simplemoments.org.  Please join me there.

Thursday, June 9

Finding "the one"

Three times I thought I had found "the one."

I was engaged to my college sweetheart when I realized that his temper was too unpredictable.  After much thought and prayer I went to his apartment and broke our engagement.  I asked him to take the ring of my finger.  I hadn't taken it off since he had put it on my finger months earlier.  He refused.  I placed the ring on his coffee table and left.

As I neared 30 I was scared that I would never find "the one."  I was a great girl with a great job, a great family, good friends, a masters degree and a home that I owned.  Everything in my life was in place, but "the one."  I started to panic. This was not how my life was supposed to be and I took matters into my own hands.

I speed dated.  I went to bars.  I joined online dating sites.  I met an amazing man through a Christian online dating site.  He was handsome, successful, a hard worker, loved his family, loved his God, and treated me better than I have ever been treated by anyone before.  We dated long distance for a few months and married eight months after we met.

Seven months into our marriage I found out that he lied to me about his degrees, his business and even his religion.  I found out that he served time for armed robbery and, at that time, was being investigated for corporate embezzlement, which he later was imprisoned for.  The only thing that I found to be true about him was his name.

I removed myself from the situation immediately and we were officially divorced seven months later.

At 30 few people are divorced.  I had one friend from college who I knew was also divorced.  I reached out to him because I needed to talk with someone who understood where I was in life.  We had kept in touch, although not regularly.  We hadn't seen each other in 10 years and decided to get together for lunch.  Lunch lasted four hours and, although we lived in different cities, we began to spend time together when we could.

He represented everything my ex-husband didn't.  This was a man I had known for almost 15 years.  We knew each other "back when."  There were no secrets.  We had many shared experiences and our backgrounds were very much alike.  He was a wonderful friend to me.

We fell in love and dated, albeit long distance.  After a year of weekends on the road I told him that something was going to have to change.  Either we going to have to quit seeing each other or we needed to get married.  I loved him and loved spending time with him, but all the time on the road was too much for me.

We decided to get married.  It was wonderful to be together, but the reality and severity of his OCD and depression and the impact those things had on our life was completely unexpected.  I asked him to seek counseling less than a month after we were married.  It wasn't until eight months into our marriage that he did start counseling.  I went along to support him.

A couple months later I found out I was pregnant.  We were thrilled.  It made a difference for a short while.  We made plans and moved forward a little bit, but the progress didn't last long.

The counselor he was seeing at the time refused to see him any more because it was clear that he was not willing to do the work necessary to manage his OCD.

Our son was born and he got more depressed and he was not managing his OCD at all.  Once again we sought counseling but, again, after some time the counselor told him that there was no use for us to continue if he wasn't willing to do the work necessary to make counseling successful.

I loved him, but he was unwilling to get help.  I could not raise my son in the environment that our family was in.  My son was four months old when we moved out and nine months old when our divorce became final.

I was 34.  I had one broken engagement and two divorces under my belt.  I was the single mom to a 9 month old.  I was dealing with my own brokenness, embarrassment, and shame.  I had little to no self-worth.

Through much prayer and work on my part I finally realized and accepted that God is as much a part of me as the blood that pumps through my body.  Not only is God all around me, God resides within me.  I realized that I cannot love God without loving myself.  The journey of learning to love myself was not fun or easy and is not yet complete, but the journey has been and continues to be life changing.

Three times I thought I had found "the one" in other people.  Three times I was wrong, but through Him I have finally found "The One" in me.

*This post was written in response to a prompt at Faith Barista:  Finding "The One."  I realize that my story is unique and has probably left you with a lot of questions.  My prayer is that my experience can help others and I am happy to share any part of my journey, so please don't hesitate to ask.

Thursday, June 2

Wake Up Call

The clock said 4:59 and the alarm was set to go off in one minute.  I had already started to rouse, but I heard a noise that sounded like my son opening his bedroom door.

I jumped out of bed and quickly turned off my alarm.  I knew if my alarm was going off and my son heard it that I would never get him to go back to sleep.

I tip-toed into the hallway to see if he was, in fact, up.  I found his door shut.

For just a moment I wondered what the noise I had heard was, but knew in my heart it was a nudge from God.  "Get up, Jenni.  Your son won't be up for at least another hour.  Use this time.  It is a gift."

I went directly to my computer and started writing.  A very personal story.  A story that I hadn't put on paper until this morning.  A story that I will soon share.

God knew I had this experience ahead of me, but only if I chose to seize the opportunity.

God speaks to us in a multitude of ways through a variety of experiences.  This is how God spoke directly to me today.  How has God spoken to you today?