Five years ago today, Michael and I were married!
Some of you know the whole story of how we met and ended up where we are today, and some of you don't. Today I will share with all of you our whole story :)
On May 18th, 2008 I signed up for a free weekend on eHarmony. I knew a couple of people from church who had met through them and seemed very happy together so I figured I would see what it was. Now, online dating was not something I ever thought that I would do! Yet, there I was creating a profile for strangers to look at....... I lived in a very small town and being a single mom of 3, I didn't get out much.
One of the guys that I was paired up with after I filled out a long questionnaire was Michael. On the 19th he and I started chatting and emailing each other. Michael and I were both talking to one another as well as other people. After talking and chatting for a while we both decided that we were not interested in the other.
You see, Michael had a past that involved drugs and alcohol. I grew up with a brother who had a substance abuse problem and I had ZERO interest in being with someone with that kind of past! As for me, Michael told me that he didn't find me attractive. We decided that we would still keep talking, but strictly as friends. I had 3 other people that I was also talking to quite often through chat and email (I have no idea about Michael).
As time went on we grew pretty close. We started talking on the phone for hours at a time. But honestly, I never thought of him as more than a friend. Then one Sunday as I was getting ready for church I clearly felt the Lord tell me that I needed to start looking at him differently. No way! I was not going to get involved with someone who once had a drug and alcohol problem! Then, the Lord convicted me (hate it when that happens) and clearly asked me "How is his sin any worse than yours?" That day at church during worship I was in tears and I knew that He was right.
From that day on, I looked at Michael differently and our relationship started to change. We talked all of the time, day and night. Getting to know someone over the phone is so much better than in person! There was no uncomfortable weirdness because we were afraid of embarrassing ourselves. We didn't have to worry about how we looked, if we had food in our teeth....blah, blah. We just talked and talked and talked, about anything and everything.
Then it happened. One night as we were talking and about to get off of the phone he told me that he loved me! Yup, that's right, he said it first! I didn't say it back, but I thought it :)
In the middle of June we started talking about me moving from NC up to him in IL. We decided that I would move up some time in July, but God had different plans! On June 17th I heard the Lord speak to me louder than He ever had. He told me that He wanted me to leave the next day for IL! What?!? I couldn't leave tomorrow, I didn't have a truck..... I wasn't packed...... I didn't have anywhere to move to.....
Even though I had all of these things saying I couldn't leave, I still listened to what He was telling me He wanted me to do. I went down to the uhaul place to see if there was anyway that I could get a truck. Sure enough, I was able to.... plus it was cheaper than the days that I had originally planned on getting it in July! I was able to get my house all packed up over the next 24 hrs (we didn't have a ton of stuff like we do now!) I picked up my truck around noon on the 18th and my next door neighbor who hated me, loaded up my whole uhaul for me.....lol
The girls and I were all loaded up and on the road around 5:30 that evening. I drove for 17 hrs straight, only stopping for gas and arrived at Michael's parents house around 10 the next morning.
I was there for about 30 min and he told me that he needed to leave, but he would be right back. When he returned, he walked in the house and got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. (He left to go pick up the ring)
After a couple hours of being at his house I received a phone call from my ex-boyfriend. I answered and he asked where I was? He said that he was standing on my porch and my neighbor told him that I moved yesterday. (He had flown from FL to NC to ask me to marry him.) Right then it was 100% clear why God told me to leave!
You see, my ex and I had been together for awhile before I moved from FL and we still talked every now and then after I moved to NC. I was deeply in love with him, but he said he didn't want to get married. Well, I did, so we broke up. If he didn't want to marry me then our relationship was pointless in my mind.
A couple of weeks before all of this he called me and I told him that I was talking to someone and that he needed to leave me alone. I guess jealousy set in and he realized that I wasn't joking when I said I didn't want to be with him if he didn't want to get married. So he bought a plane ticket, rented a car, bought a ring and was standing at my door waiting to ask me to marry him, and I wasn't there.
If I had not listened to God, my whole life would be different. If I would have been there and he purposed to me, I would have said yes. (Yes, Michael knows this) Even though I loved Michael, my ex was everything I knew. We had a past, I knew what to expect from him, I knew what my life would be like with him. Michael was an uncertainty, I had never even seen him in person!
The last 5 years have been far from perfect. I have been lied to, dealt with some alcohol and drug problems. I have had to deal with porn issues and cheating, and I have had my heart broken by the man who holds my whole heart in his hands. Even with all of that, I wouldn't trade marrying him for anything in the world. We are stronger now than we have ever been. Because of him, I have grown closer to God in these moments. I have learned what true forgiveness and grace really means.
No, it hasn't always been easy and truth be told, it is nothing but the grace of God that we are still together. There are so many times that I wanted to leave, so many times I wanted to tell him to leave. Now, 5 years later I am so glad that I stayed. Every marriage has its problems and our is no exception, but we have had more good times than bad! He has brought me more joy and laughter than he has pain and hurt, and that is what matters. I know that through and through we can get through anything that life throws at us and we will come out stronger. I know that there will be days that he will break my heart, but I also know that there will be days that he will make me feel like the luckiest woman alive! I know that he loves me more than anything in this world and he shows me often!