A girl and her story...

So, here we go...Kristi left a comment wanting to know my story...not sure if this is what she had in mind but I will share it just the same...I'll start from when I was saved, around 18...before that time is a whole other story...for a different time and place and because I don't know who reads this little blog...

I was saved at a concert called "Creation". It's this week long celebration of Jesus, all sorts of bands and speakers...it is an amazing time. Takes place in PA at a place called Agape. Go figure..it was the first time I truly, wholey and wonderfully felt 100% pure love, even if it was at the darkest years of my life. There was an alter call and you know how that goes. I wish I could end here with...happily ever after but that is not how my story goes. At the time I was dating a man I will call Dumpas. Dumpas is narcissitic and condescending, smokes, drinks, etc...neither of which I did. Why I dated him I will never know...why I married him is still a puzzle to me. I will always be thankful to his parents for pushing me to go to college, something that no one else ever did for me. We moved to Radford together, this was before we were married. I started school and so did he. Yes, I was technically saved at this point but there was no relationship with the Lord yet, at least not a two way one. I had no example of this to follow, no one to mentor me or show me...so life went on. Early spring following the fall we moved there I went to a women's conference with Dumpas's mother. It was a good one and I loved it. I wanted those feelings of fullness and rightness forever. I wanted Jesus to be close that way...the way He is when there are no distractions. I went back to Radford. Life went on. Then I got a call. From another girl who had been to that conference. She called me because my name and number were in the directory for the conference and she was shocked to see another from Radford there. She invited me to church. We went for the first time that Easter. I was at home. Immediately. I could feel the love and rightness of that place immediately. It wasn't long in going there that we met with the pastor. The best kind of man you could know. He talked to us about the "living together" situation. I knew in my heart is wasn't the right thing to be doing (living together) and I wanted to make it right. We decided to get married. That summer. I knew it was wrong as I was doing it. But it was the easy thing to do and far less scary than moving out on my own, standing up for myself and going my own path without him. I wanted to make things right. And you see, I can look back now and know that I honestly didn't think I deserved any better. I thought that this was life. This is how you lived it. I convinced myself that most people lived like I do...unhappy. Unloved. With a man who was selfish, perverse, alcoholic, addicted to pornography, mentally abusive. The kind of man that would go through a drive through window and order himself dinner and never ask if you wanted anything. The kind of man who spent many nights with girl "friends". The kind of man that is married to one of my best friends from that time. I woke up one day and decided that if I had to pay the price for divorcing him for the rest of my life I would. Even if it meant I lived alone for the rest of my life and never knew if real love existed. Even if I ended up with 50 cats. Anything had to be better than that life. Anything. I left him and didn't look back. He made it easy. He didn't want counseling or help. I took EVERYTHING. Even if I didn't want it. Even if I threw it in the dumpster. And I moved in with friends. Healthy, happy married friends. And began to learn. And heal. From everything that had ever hurt me in my life. The darkness began to lift. I felt alive. I read a lot and joined some self help type groups that actually helped myself. I had graduated from college the summer before I left but decided to take a menial job that didn't require much brain power, that I could leave at the door. I still had some work to do on me. I got a job at Target as a cashier. My first day was the day after Thanksgiving. Time passes and they offer me a job working the 4:30am-12:30pm shift. I loved it. I was alone a lot and could think a lot. It was great. Now let me tell you that of the people working that shift...mmmmm like 2% are normal folk. Most are like moles...squinting at the sun when they leave in the mornings. Doug worked that shift. He didn't want to date me because I was a "bad girl" aka I had tattoos AND a nose ring. The shame. He eventually gave me a chance and discovered that I wasn't so bad after all. He was the first and only I dated after the divorce. Out of the pits of hell and into the arms of heaven. That was how my world changed. I honestly NEVER knew that there were men like Doug out there. I had some great examples of good men in my life now but that is different when they are friends you know. Doug has manners, holds doors, carries things for you, is patient, loving, amazing, wonderful. Is a gentleman. All the way. To me he is perfect. A dream come true. In our wedding vows, which we wrote, I said that he was not only my dreams come true but God's dreams for me come true as well. This is so true because there are traits and qualities in Doug that I never knew I could even ask for in a man. There is not a day that goes by that I am not absolutely in love with him and thankful that he is mine. That God really loves me so much that He would allow me to be Doug's wife. I often think of the life I have now and still expect to wake up...that is how good it is. Moses was conceived on our honeymooon and is absolutely the light of our lives. We talk about him all the time, always right before bed. All the cute things he did that day. Our hopes for him. Our amazement that God is allowing us to care for him, one of His children. When Moses was about 6 months old, Doug was promoted and we moved to Charlottesville. Two months later I started my little Etsy shop and God showed up again. How blessed I have been because of these things. New friends and purpose. Life is good. I am excited for whatever God has in store for us next.
If you read all of that...wow. I share my story because I know that sharing it in the past has changed peoples paths directly. Kept them from living the life that I had to live. I love that God has used my stupidity to help others.
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21 comments:

Amy Bell said...

I had some time before my in laws came over and wanted to see if you posted today..you did. Oh, you did.Thank you. The story of God's redemption in your life is so amazing to me...amazing. I will share my story another time...oh, I am so thankful to know you. What an wonderful, brave girl you are....really. Wish I could hug ya!
xoxo
Amy

Julie said...

God has used every event, every experience and every tear to show his love and redemption to you. Thank you so much for sharing your story and the testimony of Jesus' love and care for us regardless of our circumstances.

Julie said...

And... I am a curious dork, do your remember the speaker or band at Creation that did the altar call when you were saved? I went to a handful of festivals a few years back and always love to hear stories of salvation. Thanks!

Karen said...

::big hug:: Crystal, what an uplifting story. I am so sorry you had to go through what you did to get where you are, but it sounds like you are a better person because of it. thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

God bless you, my dear and brave friend, Crystal. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I love you. xoxoxoxoxo hivers

April said...

....thank you

Bless

Anonymous said...

I like how you fail to mention that I was not one of the normal two percent. I worked that shift because I was a full time student, not because I was a mole. You also failed to mention I told you looked better after you slept, so thanks for that.

C said...

Yes, Doug was the other normal one. And yes he did once tell me, after many nights of not getting any sleep then one night getting lots of it...that I looked better after getting some sleep. Thanks honey. :)

Bethany said...

I just came across your blog not too long ago and have enjoyed every minute of it! Thanks for taking the time to share your story. You have an amazing family...and an amazing talent! I am totally hooked on your Etsy shop! Keep up the fabulous work!

Allikaye's Mama said...

Oh, girlfriend....I missed reading your posts while on vacation! That was such a beautiful and honest story! You are blessed beyond measure! And I am glad to call you my friend!! Hehehe!

Smith Family Blog said...

Crystal,
What a woman you are! So brave. I don't think I could be so honest on the internet. But thankful that you are open to allowing God to use your story for others.

By the way, I am impressed that your husband reads your blog AND comments! Mine barely knows our blog exists...

traci said...

Im a born again christian myself and knew there was a Good reason I loved your blog..lol...Im thankful you found your "perfect match from God" and thank you for sharing your testimony!!!

Trish said...

What an amazing story!!! I am even more inspired by you now. It's funny you've been to creation, because I've been there several times and I love creation. I call it a Christian Woodstock:)

Anonymous said...

Great story. Thanks for sharing. I am so happy for you. I am wondering and curious about this: did you fall in love and then God allowed the old demons to totally disappear, or... has it taken time, and things did not happy so suddenly...that you still struggle(d) with your past.

Kristi said...

Oh my oh my oh my Crystal. We share a very similar past. I was married before too, to a husband that was very similar to the one you described. The story is very much the same.

Thank you for being brave enough to post this. In church today our pastor talked about authenticity. There are three ways to relate to people, deep scuba diving, snorkeling under the surface and doggy paddling. Thank you for diving deep with your readers. Everyone gets so much more out of it that way. It's so good to get to know you better and find how similar we are in some ways.

Sara said...

It's cool to see that other people have been dorks in the past too. Thanks for sharing

megduerksen.typepad.com said...

man i miss one day of posts and come back to this! :)

i love honesty.
it makes the connection so much more real.
and it makes you more real to me.

everyone has a past that's for sure.
and it's awesome to be able to see god's hand in every step - he's even there in the mistakes...we just aren't listening.

great post.

Eric and Michelle said...

I love you beautiful wonderful authentic Crystal!

carissa... brown eyed fox said...

thank you so much for sharing your story... i feel lucky to have been touched by it!

you just shined a light of promise for others to see!

blessings to you!

Bethany Hammar said...

Thank you for posting your story of redemption! God is good!

Erin said...

how am i just finding this post?! i knew i loved you before reading your story, just from following the blog for a while and having my LBF treasures at home, but this seals the deal! what a great story of grace - thanks for sharing!

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