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.


  1. How well you tell your story! I am sorry for your heartbreak, but am impressed by your strength in making smart decisions consistently. It is no small thing to come to that amount of self knowledge! I enjoyed reading- thank you.

  2. Oh my gosh Jenni, you are right we are living parallel lives in different cities, except I didn't get married or have a child but yes I thought many times I found the one only to find out he wasn't the person I thought he was. I even reconnected with a man I knew once upon a time thinking it was divine intervention that we met again after not seeing each other for so many years, he was also battling depression. Thank you for sharing. I feel your heartbreak as you tell your story, it is a journey and a process of learning about who we are in. You are right you cannot love God if you don't love yourself. Blessings to you. Glad to have met you.

  3. I had a bad experience with online dating as well that caused a very short (2 1/2 months) marriage. Praise the Lord I was able to get out of it so quickly.
    A lot of what you have told mirrors a lot of my own life when it comes to relationships. I am praying that we both find what God has for us and in the meantime, we lean on God to be our "husbands".

  4. Jenni, I tried to find the "one" in another person too. Was married and divorcedt by the time I was 27 years old. I finally came to the realization that the void I was trying to fill could only be filled with Christ. He was the ONE I craved.

  5. I love your life story. I am sorry for the heartache that has grown you and stretched you. God is faithful and "the one." I did not think about Him when I wrote for Faith Barista.

  6. Jenni, I'm SO blessed to have you participate in the jam a couple weeks ago with your story. It really spotlighted the beauty of God and faith in your journey. So honored to have your voice in our community. You survived such a harrowing journey and here you are, encouraging us to love ourselves the way God loves us. Blessings, friend!