I had one foot out the door. I was ready to throw in the towel and call it quits, always one step away from divorce. I was so sick and tired of the same old story, the same old problems that would reoccur time and time again. It seemed that nothing was ever going to change, and that our lives together just didn’t turn out the way we planned. After all, any sign of love in my heart checked out years ago, and the vacancy between us left us distant and cold.
All it took was one wrong move on my husband’s part for my him to get on my last nerve. I had years of bitterness and resentment all stored up, and was ready to give him a piece of my mind at any cost. I always made him out to be the bad guy, like it was always his fault that we had so many problems in our marriage, and over the years, my damaging thoughts had convinced me that I had married Mr. Wrong.
For decades, the winds of adversity had swept through our marriage and tore our lives apart. I existed in a place of emotional divorce, and our hearts were worlds apart. I didn’t know how to pick up the broken pieces of our lives, and it seemed letting go was the only rational way out. There were so many years of emotional pain standing between us that my instincts told me to run for my life! Except the years of pain were already packed deep inside, and no matter where I would run, I couldn’t escape from the troubles in my mind.
I spent years living in denial about so many things I chose to do that were only hurting both of our lives. As the years went on, I refused to face the truth by making excuses for my negative attitude. Year after year, I felt entitled to do whatever I felt like doing to ruin our marriage and poison my own soul. By this time, I had given up on even trying to work things out, and was in a constant state of emotional turmoil.
Our marriage had become a toxic environment and a living hell for everyone involved. All of this time, I never once considered what MY behaviors were doing to my children’s lives. The tension between us was a thick smog of blame and hurt that no one should have had to endure. The constant loneliness only struck the bitter chords in my heart, and the final note in my mind always ended with divorce … divorce … divorce. I wanted freedom from this place of total devastation, but things only continued to escalate to volatile levels of arguments and frustration.
We were never on the same page … and it was tearing us apart inside.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I woke up to a day that I didn’t see coming, and was unprepared for the disaster that was about to strike.
On August 20th, 2013, I was struck with the sudden reality of my daughter’s disappearance. Later that night, I found only a letter informing us that she had run away from home in search of her dream life. She vanished from our lives and left us all behind, not only to pick up her broken pieces, but the broken pieces of our own hearts as well.
As I read her letter, I was overwhelmed with a sense of grief that felt paralyzing. I wondered how it was even possible that I was unaware of her secret life of schemes. How could my child have made such a heartless decision without one ounce of concern that it would tear us apart.
I was overcome with my emotions, and realized that I reaped what I had sown. As I reflected upon my role as a mother, I felt greatly responsible for the bitter and selfish woman that I had become. I felt washed up, worn out, and our lives had become completely undone.
It was the absolute lowest point in my life, leaving me face to face with a complete and utter state of ruin.
I was feeling completely stuck under this crashing tide of emotions, and suddenly I saw a flash vision from God. It was a snapshot of every sin that I had been denying for way too long.
Once again, I was overcome by the convictions in my heart. I knew that I wasn’t responsible for my daughter’s decision to run away, but I also knew that I played a major part in the overall problems that led to this tragic day in our lives. The conviction in my heart no longer allowed me to stay in a world full of chaos and denial. This was truly the wake up call of my life.
As I reflected back, I realized my unhappiness with my own life was the major contributor to the downfall in all of our lives. Because of this, it left me wondering if she was running from me or for me. I questioned if her running away was an attempt to get away from my unhappiness, or was she trying to live out the dreams she knew I had failed to do in my own life?
It was in this place of solitude with God that I recognized my problem. I didn’t know who I was anymore … and all along, I was running from this truth, and resented my husband for the things I failed to do in my own life. I fell short of the mark, but this time, I had no one else to blame for it, but myself.
I had to get real honest on this harrowing day … I had to face the cold harsh truth that I had been living in denial about how unsatisfied I was inside, if I ever wanted our lives to turn around.
It was in this place that I knew I had to faithfully hand my life over to God, and have the grace to change my ways. I knew without a doubt that I could have never faced the heavy weight of my life alone. As I gave my heart to God, He gave me a promise that together we would overcome this battle of emptiness inside of my heart.
The moment that I began worshipping God and seeing the truth about how I had fallen away from His grace, was the moment I knew that I had some changing to do with my own behaviors. As my heart was cleansed from the sting of my own bitterness, I was overcome with Gods love. Step by step, every new decision that I made to walk in love renewed my hardened heart.
It has been almost five years since this dreadful time in our lives, but I can now look back over this dark time, as if it were someone else’s life. I am in complete awe of how our lives have changed ever since that day when all our hopes and dreams were gone, but were given back everything we had lost and more.
My husband and I were given a chance to fall in love all over again … As a result, we have become the family that I always dreamed of having, ever since I was a little girl filled with this vision of hope.