At the ripe ol’ age of eighteen, I met the love of my earthly life.
Some may think that five months is too short for a “proper” engagement and I only justified their judgments by being divorced two-and-a-half years later.
I don’t often share super-personal stuff here. I feel compelled to share this, however.
If you knew me over the course of the past six years or so, you likely knew my last name is my married name but that I was single. Divorce is an incredibly painful ordeal to go through and its impacts echoed through my relationships with family and friends and many of the decisions I have made over the past six years. Anger, bitterness, and hurt consistently permeated many of my thoughts, regardless of the smile on my face. Over time, those things eased, but certainly not without some abuse of alcohol and some damage to relationships. Then something just seemed to click and I realized I wasn’t so angry anymore and being jaded was wearing me out.
I read a number of stories about forgiveness and compassion. Last year, a number of those stories came from the People of the Second Chance movement. Many were from former addicts and people who made choices that hurt other people. I read one story (if memory serves correctly, it was just an Instagram picture of a guy with a caption) about a divorced husband who admitted to infidelity, apologized for the pain he caused, and then praised God for His amazing grace. Regardless of the choices that man made, he is a new creation in the eyes of a loving God. “Praise God!” I thought to myself. “What an amazing God we serve! His mercies are never-ceasing!” And yet, my own mercies were continually ceasing. God used that moment to remind me that He forgives anybody who asks, me included. My ex, too. God also reminded me (in His gentle and quiet manner designed just for me) that forgiveness does not just stop with me.
It just so happened that I had received an email that day from the man I had once married. He sent emails every holiday to let me know he thought of me (and on the day he thought was my birthday- now I get two birthdays). I generally only responded on Christmas. I was angry, remember? I didn’t want to bother with him. This particular email was not on a holiday, more or less just because he was thinking of me. I responded more or less just because. Not wanting to alarm me, he responded gently with the question “why now?”
How do you explain grace in an email? How do you explain that the grace I want to extend does not originate with me, rather it is an overflowing of my own mercies received? How do you explain that as mad as I was, I never stopped loving him? He had (years ago) sent an email with his phone number. I dialed it, prayed it was still his, and left a voicemail. As the voicemail recording instructed how to leave a message after the tone, a wave of anxiety crashed into me and I chickened out and decided not to leave my name. I left a calm, vague message (minus a phone number, counting on technology to pass along my number), thinking “well, if he doesn’t know who I am, then tough luck.” I think I also realized there was a possibility that the number was no longer his.
Three minutes later, he called back, speechless.
Over the next several months what started as a closure process turned into a rekindling process. We started dating. It sounded weird when I said it out loud “I am seeing my ex-husband” but that’s what happened.
We’ve decided to walk down the aisle. Again. We’ve decided to commit to each other. Again. We’ve decided that, indeed, the heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing and, indeed, love conquers all.
For those who follow me on this blog or any other social media means, I’ve kept this on the down-low deliberately. Maybe because I needed to sort through this without “interference” (good, bad, indifferent, everybody has got opinions about relationships and are usually willing to grant unsolicited advice). Maybe because I needed to keep this between me, my man, and the awesome God we serve. Maybe because I knew that especially in the early days, this rekindling was so fragile and I did not want to break it (again). So now I share of my plans to remarry. As a matter of fact, we will be remarrying in Las Vegas (for those of you who know me, you know that this has always been my dream) on April 1st (for those of you who know us, you know we have a quirky sense of humor). I will delight in changing my Facebook status on April Fools Day to “married” only to confuse some and startle the rest.
Lest it be forgotten amongst my seemingly light approach (sharing this type of news on a blog) or festivities (Viva Las Vegas) or celebrations (it is still a wedding, regardless how you look at it!): I am serious about this relationship and love my former-and-future husband more than words can express. I am thankful for second chances and understand the rarity of this situation, treasuring this gift. I know we will face difficulties, but thankfully, compassion, forgiveness, and love are our allies. I appreciate the support that I have received from family and close friends AND the support I know I will continue to receive in our future.
Life’s short. Now go out and give somebody a hug. Just because.
*P.S. I am still not announcing this anywhere else until Monday, so if you are only just finding out now by reading this here... shhhhh....
**P.P.S. Don't think we didn't think about the redemption aspect of this Easter weekend.