Blessed Broken Roads
Secretly, I had wished to die. I did not believe in divorce, except for in cases of infidelity so the months leading up to the day my husband told me he had been unfaithful, I had already resigned to being unhappily married for the rest of my life. He was brutal, you see. Never laying a hand on me but always demeaning me, telling me I was worthless and that he didn’t want to have one of those fat Mexican wives who never got their body back after the baby. Over a period of 5 years, he had managed to strip away all the layers of who I was and constantly manipulated every situation to work in his favor. He was lazy, a narcissist and a liar, a chameleon of sorts with the ability to sway most people in his path. The only reason I had not ended my life was because I could not bear the thought of my baby girl growing up with her father alone. After coming home from work on December 13th, 2012, I knew something was wrong. My husband sat me down with my best friend in the room and he told me of their affair. I don’t remember feeling rage at the time but I do remember very quickly and quietly packing up all of my things along with my baby’s. I think I must’ve been biting my tongue and avoiding eye contact with everyone. My husband followed me around the house trying to get me to say something but he knew it was too late to change my mind and he didn’t want to anyway. He already had what he wanted. The sad part was, my friend’s husband was also there and his unbelief echoed mine as they too had a baby of their own. As soon as I had gathered as many of our things as I could, I took my baby and drove away without direction and ended up in the parking lot of my nearby church where I let myself finally feel something and cried aloud, “How could he do this to me, to us?! We have a 6 month old baby!” My head pounded as a migraine came over me and my broken spirit sought comfort. I called my best friend Michael from work and just cried as I told him everything. He offered to help but I told him I’d manage and we hung up. As I scrolled through my contacts in my phone, I realized I couldn’t call my parents or my sister, at least not yet, because I didn’t want any I-told-you-so’s or even comments on how stupid my husband was for doing this. My cousin Diana and her husband ended up driving 2 hours one-way to come pick us up and after a weekend with them, I called my parents and told them to please come pick me up so my baby and I could move in with them. Months of anger and bitterness followed along with desperate prayers for healing and wholeness. There were even nights of reckless drinking and feeling sorry for myself. I needed to get back to me again so that I could be a good mother to my daughter. Even though she was a baby, she knew I was hurting and she would comfort me like only a baby can while I nursed her. Then one day, my perspective changed and I started to see that this was God’s way of leading me out of that miserable marriage. I was still young, being only 24, and I could start my life over! I started taking walks in the park with my baby and I started feeling good about myself again. Even after the divorce was finalized, and my ex-husband married my former best friend, I felt so free and grateful that I had a fresh start. It wasn’t always easy, of course. Being a single parent is all-consuming, especially when you don’t get any help from the other parent but her father had never contributed before so why would he now? He was completely out of our lives now, having moved 20 hours away. About a year after the divorce, a co-worker of mine asked if he could give my number to his best friend because he knew we would hit it off. I reluctantly said yes because he was so persistent and I could always just change my number if his friend ended up being a creep. I had given up on love even though I knew I was strong enough to love again but I had not thought about becoming romantically involved since I had a little girl who needed me first and foremost. A few weeks later on the 4th of July, I got a text from his friend. We texted and talked on the phone for the next 3 weeks and I fell in love with his mind. He was very intelligent and we had many of the same likes, dislikes and beliefs. We had our first date on July 21st, 2014 and it was the beginning of the rest of my life. Today, we are married and are raising my daughter together. He has shown me that a true relationship is one where you learn and evolve together; where you love each other even on days when you feel distant. Love is not some emotion but rather a mutual decision to stick by each other even when the romance is fleeting. We are a real team and together we are so strong and fiercely loyal to each other because of all we have accomplished together. I am now a firm believer that in order to feel the highest highs, you must first feel the lowest lows. My dark days are a distant memory now, only there to remind me of how grateful I am to be where I am now in the presence of those who have truly loved and supported me. God had truly rescued me and restored my hope; He restored me and strengthened me through my struggle. My newfound strength is a gift I can share with others who are going through similar struggles and dark times. It is because of my experience that I can now help others find their own restoration and hope for a brighter future; the true silver lining in the dark cloud of my past.