Friday, September 7, 2012

Our Love Story: Before We Met

Now that you know how we got engaged, you may be wondering how we met.

I'm not one who likes to dwell on the past, but to know our story, you have to know some of the past.  It shaped us into the people we are today and has given us a great foundation for our relationship.  I think our pasts also made each of us more certain and grounded about our desires as well.

This post is mostly about me as Kevin's story is not mine to share.  I've contemplated sharing this before, but haven't.  Why I haven't, I don't know.  I'll admit that as much as I don't want to admit it and as much as I don't share it especially with people I meet now, it is a part of me, a part of my testimony, my faith, and ultimately, a part of my story with Kevin.

A few years ago, I was married.  Briefly, very briefly.  For less than a year.  That period of my life was the darkest, worst time as you can imagine.  I'm not a proponent of divorce and I really grew a lot during this time.  It was during this that I really had to dig deep to accept God's grace and forgiveness.

You see, I grew up the good girl.  I accepted Christ as my Savior at nine and have always been actively involved in my church and have strived to strengthen my relationship with God throughout my life.  Naturally, there have been times when I was closer to Him than others.  I was the director of youth and vacation Bible school at my church and involved in the sanctuary and handbell choirs.  I didn't give my parents trouble growing up and also tried to make the right decisions.  Then this happened.

I knew that God had forgiven me of my mistake just as He has forgiven me of all the other sins I've committed, but it was hard to accept.  It was hard for me to accept the fact that I had made major screw ups and hadn't followed God.  His grace pulled me through this time.  I'm also from a very small town where everyone knows everyone which added some pressure to this decision. If you have gone through a divorce or even a bad breakup, I want to encourage you to get the book Happily Ever After by Kristin Armstrong, Lance Armstrong's former wife.  This book was a huge encouragement to me.  I'm also willing to share more and talk with you.

For a while after everything, I didn't want to pray, read my Bible, go to church, or talk about it.  I wanted to work and reconcile things in my head and then go on.  I didn't know how to recover from this blemish, this scar.  Then one day, things changed.  I started praying and asking God to help me learn to accept His forgiveness and to make me whole again.  I wanted to grow with the Lord and I needed His protection.  I knew that He could use my story, my pains, for His glory and I especially wanted to be able to talk to my little sister and her friends and help them to avoid making the same mistake I made.  I wanted to be able to encourage others and began to realize that the grace the Father extended to me could be shared in every situation, not just with those who experienced something similar to me.

I realize now that even during the time after my divorce when I wanted to desperately follow God, I was shaky.  I only wanted the familiar and I was still scared to let God completely control.  I thought that I could work things out the way I wanted to which obviously hadn't worked before. When I finally got the courage to let go, I was changed. There was a peace and a burning hope for the future.  My life felt like it had purpose again and I knew that God was going to see me through and provide for me in all areas.

I mentioned in our engagement post how shortly before Kevin and I met, I spent time praying for my future husband and children.  Waking up the next morning, I had an even more renewed hope.  I didn't know it, but a few short weeks later, I would meet the man who is my fiance and who in 30 some short days, I will call my husband.


Blue-Eyed Bride said...

I'm so glad you're sharing your story and your testimony of faith. God is using you and giving you words to help heal and encourage someone else. I'm so excited to read the rest. Especially now that we know the end of this story is the beginning of another one!

Amanda said...

I love when I find a blog with a person who isn't afraid to be real, genuine, open, & raw. Thank you for sharing a piece of your story with us. You are a beautiful person inside & out :) the pain we go through, God will not leave for void, be sure of that. Your story will help & encourage so many, trust that. Have a fabulous weekend & woo hoo for the wedding coming soon! Can't wait to see pictures & get to know you better :) XO

Jana Faith said...

Thank you for sharing a personal story. I can see Christ's love in your smile and hear it in the sweetness of your voice. Thank you for allowing God to use you to be an encouragement to others.

Nicole said...

I am backreading this because of your "about me" post. I want to tell you how encouraging it is that you are telling your story. Your faithfulness to show what the Lord has done in your life just makes me smile. Thank you for being real! Praying for you in your new marriage and in your new role as Anna Belle!

Kayla Peveler said...

Anna it was amazing talking with you today, thanks so much for inviting me to read your story. I mean, this is so touching. Its awesome to see where God will take us when we give up full control to Him. I know we don't know each other well, but I am so proud of you for your choices! :) I'm truly excited to grow closer to you.

Katy {and Kahler} said...

i found you from the cara box link up. you have such a beautiful {and real} heart. i can't wait to get to know you better. :)

Sarah Tucker said...

How did I just find this post! Oh sweet friend, I feel like I know you even better!! Love getting to find out more and more about you! You're such a great example of a Godly woman :)

Cassie Marshall said...

I just found this too. Beautiful. I can so relate. Although I was not married before, I thought it might end up that way and I was so happy I was saved by the Father and my soon to be husband. God is good, even if times are dark.