And now, for something totally different…
Inspired by my sweet blogging friend, Tina, over at Pippi’s Poetry and her recent wonderful posts on how she met her husband. Hello, friend! 😊
Also, honestly, further fueled by the struggles mentioned here.
I think it’s safe to say I could really do with some sharing of this piece of my story at this particular point in time.
To be reminded of His unparalleled goodness to us.
For those who have travelled with me one blog to another or read my book, this all might not be exactly different. My apologies.
Still, with each writing, there are fresh insights to be had. So…there’s that. 😏
Anyway…I have alluded in a lot of posts to having been married before.
It all figures into where I am now. Therefore, this portion impresses upon me to be told first, like it or not.
So…onto to laying the groundwork…
Husband #1 was my high school sweetheart.
The only guy I thought would ever stick around the likes of shy, dorky me.
The one I honestly assumed a lot of my identity through, as I had never felt much of my own.
I had grown up in the confusing atmosphere of a series of charismatic churches.
I had said a prayer to accept Jesus at age 5 that I didn’t really understand. No one truly helped fill in the gaps with anything more than to introduce the concept of being separately filled with the Spirit.
It was indicated such a “baptism” would bring me the “benefits” I witnessed weekly: supernatural healing, speaking a “heavenly language”, and the ability to worship in a “freer” (read: frenzied) fashion. Maybe even prophesy.
I could never figure out why none of that stuff came to me despite my sincere longing. I wilted in rejection.
At age 13, a lot of years of that later plus the abuse my mother administered at home, and I was back at the altar crying out to God to take my heart and change it.
To make me worthy. Because I sure didn’t feel much of that.
I did feel a change then, though again, there was a bundle of confusion handed to me with it when camp sponsors attempted to force me to speak in tongues.
However, older and a bit wiser, I tried to brush that aside this time and place my focus on that change I was feeling Him make within me.
I needed that change within me. I knew it was there.
Yet, I was still so unsure of His love in this process. Of any love, for that matter.
That was something, after all, so often given only to be snatched away when I proved less than pleasing, or so I thought.
I think that rampant insecurity as much as anything made it easy for me to latch onto this guy in my Drama 1 class.
He was funny. He was friendly. He said he believed in God, went to a church that was a lot simpler to understand.
And he seemed to like me.
But, it was never really what I could term as healthy. Lots of overattachment, plenty of push and pull.
Yet, I convinced myself we were destiny, as was the ministry we would unite in.
We married a year out of high school.
It proved a lot harder than anticipated. Neither of us was mature enough to sustain the necessaries of a God-centered relationship.
Children were born, responsibilities weighed, depression haunted.
And…we collapsed. Studies were abandoned and his dreams shifted another direction, with another person.
And the kids and I?
Well, we were left largely to fend for ourselves, beyond the very occasional visit, the very occasional financial contribution.
I was dangerously near suicide, saved by the love of my children and their need for me.
And…for a long while, the foolhardy hope he’d somehow come to his senses and come home, if only I behaved dutifully and prayed hard enough.
I really thought I was hearing from God on this, even.
In the meantime, I took up a new way of life:
Raising kids, discovering their autism and developmental delays, teaching a class of toddlers, learning to lean on God as my husband in that season, drawing my strength from Him.
It was brimming with opportunities for wisdom and fraught with fountains of tears.
New ways to find His joy were latched onto.
Yet, I also held onto my hope for a restored marriage-so tight the fabric of it grew frayed.
And on that fabric was written my mantra: Just waiting on a miracle here. I neither need nor want any other man.
Unfortunately, in the wake of the abandonment, I had found myself vulnerable to the teachings of my childhood and began to swallow the charismatic line whole.
However, as time and circumstance wore on without a glimmer, the words blurred to an unrecognizable blob in my hand, the fabric I carried like a security blanket long since past its use.
Until, finally, one day, I just decided.
I looked around and admitted it. I was lonely. Desperately lonely.
And quite fed up.
He wasn’t coming home because that wasn’t God’s answer to my many prayers.
The answer was I was a fool to believe God was speaking this false hope to me!
I had wasted six years of my life in unrequited longing.
I was done.
And, so, in this moment of revelation, where I wish I could say I had laid it all at His feet, I instead snatched a major chunk of it up for myself, pulled out my mobile phone, and signed myself up for something I never imagined I would do in a million years:
Online Dating. 😳😬
And….whew. That took a lot more words than I anticipated, though I should know my tendency towards windy phrasology by now.😊
That said, I think I shall have to stop there. Seems like a good spot, anyway.
All right. So, I know it is titled, at least partially: “The How Marisa Met Joe Story”. And…we aren’t even to anyone named Joe yet. For any dangling, I am sorry.
But, I promise, he is coming!😉
Stay tuned. I will likely have Part Two for you by Friday. 😊
Thanks for reading! Blessings and prayers, friends! ❤