The beginning and ending could not be more different.
In 1998 I walked through the doors of Poca United Methodist Church on my Daddy’s arm. Excited. Nervous. Smiling from ear to ear. As I walked the aisle, familiar faces greeted each glance. Friends and family filling each pew.
My dress wasn’t expensive, but I loved it. My fiancé, family, and friends – all stood at the front, waiting, smiling. Flowers and tulle adorned the pews.
It was a dream day.
Did issues exist behind the smiles? Yes. Red flags? A few. But, I felt God joining us together. Any obstacle we faced, we would face as one.
I have wondered often…if the next 15 years had flashed before me prior to the wedding, what would I have done? Would I have walked away or said I do?
Walking away would have saved me much pain. Right, divorced friend? Hurting friend? Widowed friend? Lonely friend? If we’d have known then what we know now, we could have avoided it all.
No marriage…no pain.
No commitment to love…no pain.
Right? Wherever you sit today, if given the chance, would you have skipped the hard? The humbling? The heartache? If my life had flashed before my eyes…
I’d have said I do anyway.
And I’d have changed my decisions and my actions and my reactions. I’d have uttered one (or 20) less critical word(s) and worried less. I’d have lived less hum drum and more happy day.
Would it have worked? I have no idea. Still…
I’d have said I do.
Because amidst the pain, I’d have spotted the joy. The joy of having two beautiful children. The joy of loving. The joy of knowing Biblical marriage and redemption – even if it didn’t last.
That day, August 1, 1998, a picture-perfect Saturday was the beginning.
And, tomorrow, May 7, 2014, a non-descript Wednesday will be the ending.
I won’t walk into the courtroom on my Daddy’s arm. He’s gone now. There will be no smiling friends or family (although my momma has asked me 100 times if I need her to attend). Only a judge will be waiting at the aisle’s end.
Questions will be asked and answers given. And in a matter of minutes – as quick as we said I do – we will say I don’t. For better or for worse? No. In sickness and in health? For richer or for poorer? No and no. All that we vowed to one another and to our Creator…gone.
We won’t walk out arm and arm. I’ll leave alone – him with his lawyer. Separate cars. Separate houses
It sucks, huh? (Really sucks.)
And I am scared. Scared to live alone and raise kids alone. Scared that I can’t keep all the balls in the air. Even knowing the verses about fear – that I have not been given a spirit of fear but one of power and love (2 Timothy 1:7). I know it…I recite it…I believe it.
Tomorrow (about 8:45 am) I ask you to pray. For both of us. Regardless of who did what, it’s just sad. The hope we had on that day in 1998 is gone, and lost hope is always sad.
Have you lost hope? Do you look back, wishing for a do over? Would you have said I don’t instead of I do to marriage, to friendship, to a job, to loving, to payments, to God’s call, to _________?
Really? It’s ok to say yes or no.
Don’t overlook the joy.
I’ve lost all hope for my marriage, but I’ve not lost all hope. While I am sad today, I am still hoping. Hoping in Him for a new life – a life that He uses for His glory.
While that life seems far away – for me and maybe for you. While we may feel sad and stuck. Let’s hope. Let’s keep looking up and moving forward…it’s hard, but He’s near.