Ah, yes – I certainly remember that time I was so close to grasping something I worked so hard for – and I failed.
I hate using that word “failed”.
In every sense of the word it sounds like I did it on purpose, but I did not.
This young lady here writing, age 34, was raised a hard core Catholic. I went to church every Sunday, got confirmed, got my communion. I looked forward to the religious education classes, the friends I met through church gatherings …
Here in my place as a young lady raised on Catholic values I found myself at the epitome of all sins (well, besides “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife” (I am not the type) – I was in the process of a divorce.
Back in December of 2010, my ex husband filed for divorce after 4 years of marriage, 2 children together, and 11 years total of relationship. My heart was devastated. I knew deeply that I had tried. I do not say “we” because he broke that sacred vow of “til death do us part” . I wanted to keep up with the effort. I attempted to get him into counseling with me. We sat down on many occasions wondering – how can we pull through this?
No wait, I was the only one asking this question. He had already given up.
I could have wallowed in this deep hole of self pity. This certainly was not the way I envisioned things. I could have locked myself in a confessional and held myself hostage until things magically appeared repaired.
Instead, I knew I had to learn from this experience and move on. “So close, no cigar” – it’s not like I was competing for a medal at a Swim Meet or trying to get my hands on that sweet television at that Black Friday sale …
My marriage was gone.
I spent many a nights wondering how I would repair my life – obviously it was broken. I felt I had disappointed even the closest around me and had become the black sheep of the family: the doom of Catholicism.
On April 14, 2012 I met an amazing man. I walked into a restaurant and there he was – eyes glowing as I made my way to the table for a chat. We spoke of many things and our eyes continued to cross as if to say we felt we always knew each other. We had a lot in common. Through our conversations that followed in the days that came we found so much in common. In front of me was a sexy, kind, forgiving, patient, understanding, gracious man who wanted nothing more in the world than to just make me happy.
Where had he been all my life? I did not remember love being like this. It always felt like a selfish process before – full of yelling, questions, difficulties over the simplest things like “why are you watching American Idol when we could be watching CNN?”
I realized at this time that I had not failed anything – that the loss of my marriage previously was actually a true win.
God could have scorned me for walking away from that sacred value (although as I write this I have to remind myself that I wasn’t the one who walked away) – instead, I was presented with the most amazing of gifts: a second chance, the truest of love, my Prince Charming I had always dreamed of when I was playing with Ken and Barbie in their little dream house.
Someday that will be me.
Today – it is me. We have a child together. Our sweet Jonah joins his older siblings. Between us, we have 6 children.
“Here’s the story … of a man named …”
No. I won’t do that. It is funny to think of it that way though. In those nights of deepest sorrow over the way I felt I had done everything wrong, that I was not beautiful, that everyone felt I was scorned for life after going against each of the values that were ever set for me ….
Yet, here I am. Winning. I am with a man who truly and honestly gives me everything both emotionally and in gifts hidden underneath my pillow – that I feel I’ve always deserved. I am wonderfully happy. The love between us is blissful. I had never felt such undying love and affection until I met this man – until the day I felt his kiss upon my brow when I was sick in the hospital on the day that was supposed to be simply our second date – and he was by my side.
He embraces everything good and bad about me – he takes my most imperfect of qualities and turns them into these mountains of light. He is teaching me that I am beautiful – and for me, given my issues of esteem, that is a very giant milestone in my world of soulful darkness.
Sometimes losing is winning.
I may have lost a marriage (“you’re a sinner”) – but I won at finding true love – and as I turn to kiss my husband while I write this article, I stop and remember that embracing hardships takes faith. While my history as a Catholic girl may shun me for being divorced – my faith is undying in that the Lord has accepted the ability to move forward – that love can always be found (especially if you’re not looking) – and that belief in yourself, miracles, and that history does NOT always repeat itself – often takes those deepest of losses – and instead of sorrow and anger – a trip to Hell – hands you a Gold medal.