8/13/11

One Fourth of my Life

My husband leaned on the bathroom counter the other morning, grinned at me, and said, "Do you realize we've been together now for one-fourth of our lives?" I had never thought about it that way and he really caught me off-guard. I smiled at him and said, "And we even still like each other!" which is kind of our little joke because we've both been divorced. He told me that someone from our church remarked to him once that they saw us snuggling together in line at the checkout counter and were amused that we are so obviously in love.

It's so different from my previous marriage, which was controlling and abusive. I don't even like to talk about it. What I do want to say is this, if you are in a relationship that causes you constant mental or physical pain, LEAVE. I was so scared to leave. I had no job, was a college student, had two young kids, no family in this state, and a terribly low self-esteem. I was convinced there was no way I could leave. But I did. And I survived. Not only did I survive, but I became a better person for it. I grew stronger, more assured, and began to love myself again. My children watched me get a job, finish college, push through nasty divorce and custody proceedings, buy a house, start a business, and ultimately meet the man that God intended for me to marry.

My kids are nearly grown now and probably don't remember the early years. I remember doing our laundry in the bathtub because I didn't have quarters. I remember eating popcorn for two weeks so the kids could have the real food to eat. I rode the city bus and lived in the college student family housing, scraping together my $345 a month rent, while my ex refused to pay child support. I was terrified of him and his power, but I trusted in a Higher Power to protect me and my kids. People from the church lent a hand when they could. I was often forced to go to churches for food and clothing. I also enrolled on food stamps and government health care for the kids. But I also knew, deep in my heart, that I was strong, that I would succeed, and that someday I'd be able to pay back into the system every penny I was taking out.

This past fourth of my life has been a whirlwind of ups and downs, richer and poorer, sickness and health. But my husband and I stood firm together, loving each other, loving God, loving the kids, and working towards a better future. We are so happy that we can tithe to our church one-tenth of our income. We're not rich, but we're not drowning in debt in a terrible economy. The vehicles we own are old, but paid off. The daycare business I run is successful and my husband is secure in his job. One of the three kids will graduate college this year, and the other two are juniors in high school. Two more years and we'll be child-free (presumably) and are truly looking forward to the next half of our lives together.

7 comments:

  1. Congrats to you and your lovely husband! That's definitely an accomplishment! :-)

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  3. Stumbled!

    How sweet. I told my husband the other day that we've been married for over 8 1/2 years now! So crazy. We've been together for almost 10 years! Time just flies.

    You are so strong! Being a single parent while going to college. It's nice to know they offer student housing for adults/families!

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  4. What an uplifting testimony! Isn't it amazing how God has our whole lives planned out? I am so happy that he put you and your husband together :D It's funny he made that 1/4th of your lives comment. I made almost the same one to Hubs not long ago. Ours is 1/3 of our lives and I love him more with each passing year. We are a couple of really blessed gals aren't we? <3

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  5. What a testimony of God's provision. I'm thankful that the latter days are better than the former.

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  6. Wow! Amazing story of hope and endurance! Glad you found someone that makes you so happy and is not abusive. Here's to the next half of your lives together!

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  7. To me one of the greatest blessings and joys in my life is to be madly in love with the man I'm married to! Thanks for sharing your message of love and hope!

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