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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