Finding “the one”

I was a seventeen year old, belly beginning to swell with new life, shoulders hunched with the heaviness of life.

Satan had robbed me of the belief that I deserved love.  In fact, I was convinced that love didn’t really exist.  If a man purported to “love” me, if meant that he wanted something from me.

I was on my own, figuratively and literally. I rented a room in an apartment.  I walked to work the drive thru window, saving every penny for the baby that would be joining me soon.

And, then I met Mike.

Mike with Sweet Pea

 

I wasn’t looking for the one.

I was not looking for a mate, let alone a soul-mate for life.  A life-long commitment was too grand a concept for my mind and my heart to fathom.

The first time I met him, he was washing dishes shirtless.  And, my first thought was not how good he looked without his shirt {although that was my second thought}.  My first thought was “he cleans”.

He also had a job.  and a car! He was truly a package deal, considering the men/boys that had been in and out of my life in recent months.

Despite the fact that neither of us were looking for a long term relationship…that is exactly what evolved.  I was not with him because I was madly in love {I wouldn’t allow myself to feel that type of emotion}, I was with him because he was safe.  Secure.  Gentle.

We met in January of 1996 and four and a half months later, he was by my side as my baby was born.  He has been Jared’s dad since he was in my tummy. {He legally adopted him in 1998}

We moved in together and six months later I was pregnant with Matt. {He didn’t leave} We married in July of 1997. Matt was born in September.

After Matthew came, somewhere deep inside me, a light turned off.  All I saw was darkness.  I now know that having babies as a teenager, a mere 16 months apart, contributed greatly to the post-partum depression that sucked me into the pit.

This was not what Mike had signed up for.

A mean, mad, girl-woman with little motivation and lots of mood swings.

I am so blessed because the one I was with loved me anyway.  He had made a commitment to me.  For two kids that had grown up with parents that did not honor commitments, saying “I do” meant something to us.  {Something that had more to do, at that moment, with stubborn determination than true love}

Thankfully, Jesus found me during that dark time.  He shined Light into our lives and our situation.

I crept out of the pit, grasping tightly to the hands of my husband and my Lord.  We emerged from the pit together.  And God knit our hearts together during that time as only He can.

Our marriage did not become good overnight.  We had to learn to let the Light shine in to every crevice of our hearts and our relationship.

I had to work through layers of a calloused heart to learn how to love another person.  Mike had to learn how to trust that I wasn’t going to leave when things got hard.

On July 6th, we will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary.  We joke that in the wedding pictures you can’t see the baggage that we both drug into our relationship.

We would not be here, together and stronger than ever, if we had not relinquished that baggage to Jesus.  Things would have been easier if we had relinquished it at once, rather than one suitcase at a time.

But, the lessons learned in the surrender have become the glue that keeps us together.

This married life is not what either of us would have ever imagined we were signing up for when we said our vows.

Because who can truly imagine all that God has in store for the surrendered heart?   Mike is the one God fashioned for me.  Before either of us ever came to be and ever came to know Him, He knew.  He had a purpose and a plan far greater than either of us.  He had a plan and purpose for both of us together.  I may not have known Mike was the one in the beginning, but I am so grateful God knew.

Now, I counsel young mom’s who think that no one will ever love them, that God has “the one” for them already selected.  Stop seeking love and let love find you.

FaithBarista_FreshJamBadgeG

 

Comments

  1. What a beautiful testimony of God’s love and faithfulness!! Thank you so much for sharing this today…I know it will encourage many hearts! 🙂

  2. Melissa – That testimony is beautiful, so deep, and…true. No wonder you are able to touch so many live at YoungLife. God Always knows what he’s doing…we just have to wait for his perfect timing to kick in. This was a wonderful post!!

    • Thank you, Kim! Yes, God is certainly using my circumstances and
      experiences for His glory, just like He promises in II Corinthians 1.

  3. Beautiful!!! Praise God for that stubborn determination that exists even when love doesn’t seem to!

  4. Oh my friend! I honestly felt like I was reading my words. Our stories are almost exact! Love you and thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. Love this story. It’s definitely when ur not looking when  find “the One” it happened to me, too. Hopping over from http://www.thebonafidelife.net blog. Glad I found her, and you! Have a blessed weekend 😉

  6. Anonymous says:

    I love that story!  I too, found the same answer for me.  I do believe he knows what we need so much better than we do, but we have to turn our baggage over to Him and learn to trust.  

  7. I recently read your testimony and just love how God has worked in your life. Your blog post has made the third I’ve read in less than two weeks that has dealt with the life-long commitment of marriage. My husband I married young (me – 20 and he – 18) and had our son eight months later and then had another child together four years later. We celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary this past March. Honestly, I think our marriage has only gotten really “good” within the past five or six years. I suspect a lot of that has to do with the fact that we grew up with our children (I hate that we’ve put them through so much but am proud of how far we’ve all come as a family). Thank you again, for sharing your wonderful story.

  8. Thank you for those beautiful words!

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