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June 17, 2008

My past is a cautionary tale. 

Failing to heed the guidance and wisdom of my parents, my friends, and even several acquaintances, I wound up married at 22 to the man of my nightmares.  I made a poor choice, and I can tell you without any hesitation whatsoever that God was trying to spare me from this disaster, but I ignored Him at every turn.

Mercifully, everything went badly very quickly.  Before the wedding he could put up a great front most of the time, enough for me to have some hope.  After it was official, no dice.  Very quickly I became educated on pornography (900 block on the phone, password for the cable box — don’t even get me started on the internet) and the fact that it is an addiction.  (Please don’t argue that point with me, or I will go crazy white girl on you.)  Very quickly I became educated on what it was like to live with an alcoholic a drunk (he didn’t go to meetings).  The first clue should’ve been his downing Nyquil before bed every night, huh?

By the time we reached a year and a half of wedded bliss (or a bodily fluid that rhymes with bliss), I suspected he was having an affair.  As most women are in these cases, I was correct.  There was a mild confrontation, there was counseling that was a joke to him, there was a divorce.  Then there was an incident and a restraining order, and some light stalking a while later.

IF THERE’S A DOUBT, DON’T!  I don’t care if you’ve been dating him “forever” (whatever that is to you), I don’t care if you’re newly engaged, or you’re on your way down the aisle.  Drop him, and don’t look back.  YOU DESERVE BETTER.

Now, I wish I could tell you that I’d learned my lesson.  I wish I could tell you that the next two years were spent following God and finding His plan for my life.  But no, I celebrated the divorce by entering into an abusive relationship.  A relationship that my gut (i.e., the Holy Spirit) and two friends that I’d asked to hold me accountable advised me against.  Several bruises, two black eyes and a busted lip later (not to mention numerous clumps of hair), God gave me the strength to leave.  Again, the time spent in that relationship was mercifully brief.  I wish I could tell you that the next year was spent following God and finding His plan for my life.  I’m human though, and I had my ups and downs. 

Usually this is where someone will say that if it hadn’t been for these things, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

I respectfully disagree.

With all my heart, I believe I would have met The Husband had I not married The Wolf and gone down all of the (broken) roads I did.  I even know how it would have happened.  I would have finished my degree in Elementary Education and, being the hometown-loving gal that I am, I would have gotten a job here.  I would have worked at the same school as The Husband’s mother.  She would have fallen in love with me — I’m basing that on previous experience, I’d always done pretty well with the moms.  She would have found a way for me to meet her son.  The first thing I would have noticed was his gorgeous blue eyes.  You know where it’s going.

God had a plan for me, and I’m the one that took some serious detours.  Everything in me believes that for some reason God showed me more grace and mercy than I can comprehend, and He allowed me to find The Husband, or allowed The Husband to find me.  The Husband is everything I ever wanted in a man, and I almost wound up (twice) with so much less.

Proverbs 1:7-9 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.  Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.  They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.”

If you don’t have wisdom being dispensed by your own family and friends, you can borrow my mother’s teaching.  Save yourself from being a fool.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Julie permalink
    June 17, 2008 11:46 am

    I’m not overly religious and tend to shy away from teachings that revolve around God or the Bible, because those things are personal to each individual… but you should write a book. Your essays are so easy to read and are thought provoking without passing judgement. Whether you’re discussing something hard like your relationship with The Wolf or something special like the intimacy a husband and wife share (or should), your intended meaning comes across very clear. Good Job!!

  2. Cristy permalink
    June 17, 2008 12:32 pm

    Vanessa, I do really appreciate your honesty. And that, my friend is the good that comes of your past. All that bull honkey is what prepared you to be the person you are today. And, if you had not have experienced those things, you never know how it would have gone if you had met your husband. I am sure that you appreciate your husband more now because of all of that. I bet you are able to let go of the little things easier. These are the experiences that break us and somehow, in the end, make us more beautiful and wiser (if we let them).

  3. Gwen permalink
    June 17, 2008 3:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story Vanessa. I had no idea that you had endured such pain in your life. Thank god you got away and found your husband and now how those beautiful girls. May god continue to bless you on your journey.

  4. Jen permalink
    June 17, 2008 4:08 pm

    Again, well said! You may know by now that reading is not my thing, but I can definitely read your blog. That should SERIOUSLY tell you something about you writing 🙂

  5. June 17, 2008 4:25 pm

    You may have found your husband despite going through all of that, but you wouldn’t be the woman he fell in love with without it. That’s how *I* feel about it, anyway. And you know what I’ve been through. (And I know what you’ve been through – I mean, that incident that led to the restraining order involved me too!)

    Ah, the past. How we want to forget it and remember it all at the same time…

    (And I’d go all crazy white girl on someone who claimed it’s NOT an addiction as well.)

  6. freebutterfly permalink*
    June 17, 2008 4:29 pm

    While I know God can use my past, as I hope I’m allowing Him to do, I think the woman I was before would have been as attractive, if not more, to The Husband. No wall of ice around the heart to chip through, no scandalous past, no baggage, no trust issues. That’s the cross to bear that goes along with my poor choices, and God and The Husband continue to love me in spite of those things! Amen!

  7. phinehas3 permalink
    June 18, 2008 9:23 pm

    While I am probably the last person you would expect to get a response from, I thank you for sharing your heart. Seriously, I don’t think we ever spoke while attending college. I have vague memories of seeing you in classes but beyond that, nothing. I say all that to say this: I would encourage you to share your story with as many people as possible. Those of us, including myself, who have suffered with painful experiences know the consequences of not listening to God. It is important to share our mistakes with others in an effort to keep them from doing the same. Even though I never really knew you, your story touches a part of my own life in respect to the fact that, I too, need to share my pain to others more often. Although it wasn’t the goal of your story, it has persuaded me to be more bold and honest with others in sharing my past. I thank you for your (possibly painful) honesty. 1 Timothy 1:12-14

  8. cborden77 permalink
    June 19, 2008 6:03 pm

    I completely agree with you that the broken wouldnt have gotten you where you are today (though no doubt it has made your thankful for the blessings you abound in) I am so sorry that you had those incredibly painful experiences though. How brave of you to share them with us! Isnt it comforting to know that He never gives up on us? I love it that no matter how far I DRAG myself away from Him, ultimately, He draws me close, and where He wants me to be!


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