This one is for all the hearts out there wondering if love will ever find them. I want to share my story (thus far) with you. Not to cheer on my own happy, new beginning, but to give you a glimpse into the REAL side of my life & love.
I used to write a blog called "With Love from Her Heart" where I shared real, raw stories and struggles from life about love and my relationship with Jesus. There was something incredibly powerful about sharing things we are often so afraid to talk about. I wanted young women to know that they are never alone, that so many of us face the same struggles, challenges, and heartbreak. The messages I received when writing that blog were inspirational and eye opening. There is nothing better than speaking words into someone's heart that they needed to hear. I unwillingly stopped writing that blog, but lately, I've been feeling a tug on my heartstrings to start sharing more intimate parts of my life again. So here goes, a look into my love story...
I've always, always been a relationship person, and I have had a few very serious ones. As soon as I went off to college, I ended up in a relationship. The best way to describe it was a love/hate relationship. It was the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There was never consistency or a feeling of comfort. He cheated on me two months into the relationship. Of course, I took him back. Again, and again, and again. I remember one incident very specifically. He had left his Facebook open in my apartment. I got home from work, walked over the computer, and there were messages up that I will NEVER forget... So many tears, fights, and battles. It really was an emotionally abusive relationship. Did we love each other? Yes. Were we right for each other. No.
After that relationship, I had an entire summer to myself. I moved to a new city, started an internship, and met some amazing people. I met someone there, and we dated for the summer. He was amazing. Right guy, but wrong time, and I completely broke his heart. At the end of the summer, I packed everything I owned in my car and headed back to college for my final year. The guy at the fraternity house next store instantly caught my eye. A few weeks later, I was in yet another relationship.
After college, I got a job and moved to his hometown. We were best friends, but things got complicated. We bought a house, went through an extremely stressful renovation, I wanted to get married, he didn't, drugs, alcohol, and a lot of nasty fights. We loved each other so much, and I think that was the hardest part of it all. After almost four years, one and half of which we were engaged, he finally ended it. I had been hanging on to the promise I made when he put that ring on my finger. I was telling myself that I made a commitment and I wouldn't break it. I was signing up for thick or thin, and no one had a "perfect" relationship. But here is the thing, we didn't see eye to eye on drugs, religion, marriage, or family. Deep in our hearts the breakup was mutual, and we knew it was the best for both of us, but losing your best friend is never easy.
Calling off our engagement was so painful. My entire life was being pulled out from underneath me. My future shattered. We sold our house, split up our dogs, closed our bank accounts, and divided the bills. I was going through a divorce without ever being married. There were so many emotions swirling around in my heart. I felt unwanted, unloved, not good enough, embarrassed, like a failure. The future forever felt tainted by the past. But, God knows what He is doing.
Shortly after my engagement ended, Andrew walked into my life. I was so broken, and he was, too. I couldn't imagine my heart healing the way it has without Andrew's love. The first time he held my hand felt like everything was right in the world again. I've never known a love more Godly than the love this man has showed me. Everything I thought about relationships was quickly diminished when we started dating. He is kind, selfless, gentle, and so sweet. I think about our stories and our lives coming together, and I will never be able to figure out how on earth all of this happened. I am so thankful for this love, and I can't wait to spend forever with this man.
Now, I can't imagine reciting some of the statements I would tell myself when I was in my past relationships. Being with Andrew has been a wake up call. Proof that unicorn men DO exist. Proof that you shouldn't settle. Proof that real love is out there. Proof that I deserve to be treated with respect. Proof that there are men who will never make you cry.
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I am so thankful and lucky to have found this kind of love, and I'm sharing our story because I want you to know that good, honest, caring men DO exist. No matter what you have been through or are going through, it is not too late for you. Your past does not define your future. You are loved and you are worthy of a love that makes you pinch yourself every single day. A too good to be true kind of love.