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.
Labels: engagement, faith, family, Kevin