When I needed a break, I didn’t turn to God. I tried to do it on my own. All of my efforts fill up the void and find rest in human men ended in ashes. When my second husband proposed, it was easy to say ‘yes’. He was stable, a good provider, a reasonable daddy replacement, and funny. I reasoned with myself that it didn’t really matter that he wasn’t my idea of a romantic or that we had any mutual interests. He met the minimum requirements on the “Mr. Right” checklist.
Off to the wedding chapel I went. This time, however, I stopped by the liquor store on the way to the altar. I laughed all the way through the vows. Really! I know it’s definitely something out of a bad romantic farce, but it’s true. I think the situation comedy type of a relationship we had seeped into the womb as the baby cooked.
Ashley Jean Nolan came on the scene with equal parts of drama and laughter in the delivery room. As I was pushing her out, the placenta abrupted. The calm, cool doctor turned three shades of green, grabbed the salad spoons, and yanked her out. Joy and a near miss-tragedy were delivered simultaneously on December 7, 1996 in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Casey’s response to her newborn sister was, “She is such a cupcake! I could just eat her up.”
I tried with all my might to keep the love going. I wanted to have a perfect little home where the children were well adjusted and the parents were happily married despite the fact that I had witnessed I firsthand except on TV. This time, I wouldn’t give up on marriage or motherhood no matter what.
Days turned to months and months turned into eight years. As I busied myself with work and the kids, Mr. Not Exactly Right worked to provide for us. Marital drift started to occur. He was less and less interested in what the girls in I were doing. I severely underestimated the level of lovelessness that existed in the marriage. Everything started to bog down. The general unhappiness as a wife started to dribble over into motherhood. I was angry and ready to explode at any time and at anyone. Finally, it came out. With one statement from him, “I don’t find you attractive anymore.” My world came crashing down around me.
I could not do enough groveling or last minute transforming to avert the disaster. Divorce became a foregone conclusion. I couldn’t see through the tears. It was all I could do to focus on the two little gifts that kept on giving—Casey and Ashley. I wanted to run and hide, but abandonment was not an option. I had nowhere to go but up.
Have you ever been there? Broken, not once but twice? Blessed, but unable to see it?