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There isn’t really anything I need to say today, other than I wish you the best. I’ll keep your number saved.

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A Reflection of My Heart

Today, I have been divorced for 2 years, 3 months and 11 days…

I cannot even begin to tell y’all what a blessing my divorce has been to my life. It is the single, most tragic, yet absolutely beautiful, life-changing thing that could have ever wrecked my life. It is amazing how things that are meant to break us and shake up our lives, can still allow for so much growth and beauty in our lives.

Perspective – that is what my divorce has given me. It has helped make and mold me into the woman that I am today.  I can’t stress to you enough, how going through this experience was the best-worst thing that could have ever happened to me.

When Obed and I divorced, I thought we were in a fairly decent place. I was excelling in my career, as was he. We were struggling, but I was determined to make things work. We started counseling and it was going great. Then suddenly, a major shift happened and it was not a good one. I was so frustrated and focused on all the things wrong in our marriage instead of focusing on the good. Despite the progress we were making, in my mind, it was not happening fast enough. I wanted Obed to realize his faults and flaws but I never for a moment considered my own. I just thought he was wrong and that he was the problem in our marriage.

Control. That is what I wanted and what I kinda always intended in my marriage. Obed was sweet. He was very patient with me. He hardly ever went up against anything I wanted. I was spoiled. He treated me so kind and always did everything in his power to make sure I felt good. He was selfless in our marriage. I wasn’t.

Now, I was good to him too, but I was not patient at all. I admired and adored him for so many reasons, but I was also very selfish. I loved getting my way and enjoyed our marriage when Obed was doing the things I wanted him to. Some would say I was probably a bitch to him. My family actually always brought things to my attention about my participation in my marriage. They saw the way I didn’t always honor Obed in our marriage. I never listened though. I knew what I was doing, and I knew Obed would never leave me…until he did.

Looking back now…man (sigh), it hurts my heart sometimes. It is a tough pill to swallow. As much as I like to think I was such a good wife to Obed, in reality, I wasn’t. There were so many things he needed from me that I never gave to him. There were definitely a lot of things I needed from him too, but when we accept responsibility for ourselves and our actions, it helps make sense of why certain things transpired in our marriage.

Whatever was in my cup (my heart) was what I was pouring out into my marriage. When it was good, it was amazing! But when it was bad…it was ugly! I did and said things to Obed that were just awful. Instead of lifting my husband up and acknowledging all the goodness in him, I chose to magnify all his faults and flaws. I pointed out everything that was wrong in him, without thinking twice about myself and how I was affecting my own marriage. Instead of magnifying my God in my marriage, I magnified our problems. I didn’t know how to fight fair. All I thought about was myself and how I wasn’t happy in our marriage.

As time has gone on and I have taken my divorce one day at a time, I can recognize how I contributed to the demise of my marriage. I understand now how I never listened to the things that Obed asked of me. I realize, that marriage is not only about “you” and what you get out of it. It is more about what you put into it. It is about loving your spouse where ever they are, in good times and in bad.

Marriage is about choosing to love your spouse, even when they are unlovable.

Marriage is hard work, no doubt. However, if you take a look at yourself first before you point out all the ways your spouse is failing you in your marriage, you might find that they are not the problem. You may discover that you have your own issues that you need to work through. Your husband or your wife is not responsible for your happiness. You are. They are just there to support you. They are your picker upper, when things aren’t quite right. Your spouse should be the person you confide in the most to help you be the best version of yourself possible. & if they aren’t healthy and happy, pray for them. Think about how you can show them grace, the way that God shows us grace every single day.

How can you love your spouse more like Christ loves us? Are you magnifying your problems instead of magnifying your God? Are you creating more problems in your marriage instead of creating a solution? Or have you even considered for a moment, that there is something you could be doing differently in your marriage?

Love your spouse. React to them in love, instead of lashing out. Honor them and check yourself first, before you start pointing fingers. Don’t think for one second that you are not responsible for where you are in your marriage – whether it is good or bad. Check the condition of your heart and it will change the condition of your marriage.

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In Waiting: We Find Peace

Eight (8) years – that is how long Obed and I would have been together this month, had we not gotten divorced. Our dating anniversary was July 23, 2009. Before, dates like this affected me so much. It made me so angry and upset. My heart would feel so heavy and sometimes it would bring me to tears. I’d allow an entire day be ruined by my double-mindedness. I would claim to have faith in God and trust in His plan for my life and my marriage, then I would contemplate over and over why or how we ended up divorced. A marriage I felt so strongly about and believed would be forever – now dissolved. It was heart-wrenching to go through, but looking back, I would not change my heartbreak or pruning for a “happily ever after”. I know God has that in my future.

One year and seven months later – I am stronger, wiser and more confident in who I am without Obed. As I have stated before, I don’t have anything negative to speak on in regards to my marriage or Obed as a human being. I will always regard him as a very special, unique and sweet person in my life. This does not mean that there were not any negative things about him – in fact, there were many. I just choose not to degrade him because regardless of my circumstance, I learned from him.

My short-lived 4 years of marriage helped make me into the person I am today. I learned so much about myself during my marriage and even more so after my divorce. I became a different person. I’ve learned to be a better listener, to be more compassionate, less judgmental and even how to fight fair. I understand now, that marriage is not about me. A husband is not responsible for making me feel happy or complete. Marriage is about honoring God. It is a covenant between two people to put Him first, while being selfless, drawing closer to God in unity with the person you have chosen to love, every. single. day. 

Love is a choice; it is not a feeling. Actually, it is more than just a choice, it is the intentional and unwavering decision to continue to love someone, despite their flaws. You know – like God loves us? Unconditionally.

That is how I tried to love Obed and sometimes I failed at it but I love and respect him enough to keep his flaws to myself. My mother always told me that a marriage is between 3 people: you, your partner and God. Everything else is not anyone else’s business.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I will share with you some of the lessons and not so glamorous moments in my marriage, because if it were all just rainbows and butterflies, I wouldn’t be blogging about my divorce. Obed wronged me. He betrayed me and hurt me. He absolutely was not a perfect mate, but neither was I. I was selfish. I didn’t always love him unconditionally. There are so many times that I can remember when I tore him down, instead of lifting him up. I was snide, disrespectful and I didn’t always honor him as my husband. He is guilty of the same. It’s bound to happen, when you get two imperfect people together. Regardless, however, I am grateful for my marriage and my divorce.

Y’all may or may not remember, but I posted a blog about blocking Obed, a while back. I felt like I needed to in order to sort things out within myself and “get over” him. However, that has since changed. He is unblocked, and we are now friends. It still kinda bothers me to regard him as such, because he was so much more than that to me, but it is what it is. We are friends.

I spent a lot of time, thinking of all the reasons why I should not be his friend. In fact, I’ve never been friends with an ex. I mean I don’t hate any of my exes. I would smile or say hi if I ever happened to run into them in public but with O, it is different. He was my husband. He was ONE with me and he is a scar on my heart that will remain there forever. Now if you are wondering why, I would keep in touch with him at this point, it is simply to share God’s love. One of the things that I remember so vividly about the demise of our marriage, is something Obed said about me to our marriage counselor. He told our counselor that because of me, he knows that God exists!

I don’t know about you, but that to me is pretty powerful. It means that I somehow impacted his life in a major way. It means that regardless of my imperfections, Obed saw God in me. Since my divorce, I have prayed and pleaded for God to show me if I need to let Obed go and this is what He has shown me:

I need to let go of the things over which I have no control. I need to let go of my feelings of fear, anger, resentment, uneasiness and judgment. It is not my place to understand God’s plan for my life, it is my place to trust Him. He has shown me that I can still love someone even when that love is not well received or reciprocated. He has replaced all those negative feelings with confidence, serenity, excitement, peace and acceptance. I know now, that I can be Obed’s friend and still love him from afar. It is ok for me to share God’s love with him and continue to be a light in his life. I don’t have to be constant, but I can be present. I can continue to pray for him and be a friend if he needs one.

I’ve let Obed go as my husband, but I have held on to hope that God will bring a new love into my life, when He is ready. One that will have many of the same qualities that I admired so much about Obed and even better ones, that I cannot even begin to imagine. Enough time has passed now, that I have let go of the idea of only loving Obed for the rest of my life. I have given myself permission to love someone else, and not feel like a failure because my marriage didn’t prosper. I understand now, that nothing I plan for my future will ever be prosperous, if God is not in it.

His plan will always prevail over mine, and that is where I want to lie down to rest and wait on God to fulfill His will for my life, whatever that may be.

 

 

 

 

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Butterflies & Heart Races

When I initially met Obed, I had no desire to date or even consider finding a mate. As Queen Bey says, I was “focused on my focus!” That “focus” was me, in an effort to better myself and prepare to jump start my career. I would go on occasional dates, but they were never anything serious. I actually had several men-friends or “babes”, as I always liked to call them. They were the ones I could call to fill up my gas tank or take me to nice dinners, when I felt like having company. Between school, partying and sometimes teaching DWI Intervention classes for some cash flow, I didn’t have time for a relationship. I loved my freedom and I enjoyed my singleness.

However, after I accepted to be O’s girlfriend that night, everything changed.

I cut off all my “babes” and dedicated all my free time to this very handsome, interesting, and super sweet Latin lover!

Obed w307433_1957631582010_2604704_n-1as like no one I had ever met before. He was such a hopeless romantic. He was very frank and a great communicator. I loved how educated and smart he was. Obed captivated me with his intelligent mind and creativeness. He was handsome, nerdy, and such a sweetheart.

We weren’t spending a lot of time together, but we talked and texted every single day. We spent every day that he was off together, if my schedule allowed for it. Dating him was so much fun and I was always in for a sweet surprise with him. I remember the first time he ever bought me a piece of jewelry, he sent me on a scavenger hunt to find it. It was a cute silver necklace with a little butterfly pendant. Along with that, was a love letter and poem, written just for me.  Obed always made me feel special and loved. In fact, he told me very early on in our relationship that he loved me and his actions definitely spoke louder than his words. I never had a man treat me the way he did.

Obed respected me – all of me: mind, body and soul. I feel like Obed contributed so much to my growth as a woman, a leader and as his partner. He would encourage me, when I needed it. He was a great listener, he always inspired me and when he got close to me, my heart raced. I was awestruck by him and shortly after becoming an item, it wasn’t hard to fall in love with him.

Every time I spoke of him, I got butterflies in my stomach.

To this day, I will always believe that our love story is one of the greatest. Sure, it doesn’t end with a “Happily Ever After…” but he set the bar high for the next gentleman that walks into my life. Divorce teaches you many things. Especially in the areas where you fell short, but the lesson is the reward in all of your suffering. & if nothing else, I can say that I can move forward, knowing I experienced real love in my life.

 

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Summer Lovin’

After our first date, Obed and I became a hot item, very quickly. Things happened faster than a New York second! We spent all of our free time together, and even then, it was never enough. You see, since I have known Obed, time was always against us. His work hours were always crazy. He was off one day a week, sometimes twice, if he got lucky. I was going to school full time and looking for the perfect paralegal job. I always refer to our courtship as our “Summer of Love”. 298223_1957673543059_1245175_nWe met mid-June, a few weeks later we started chatting and texting. He proved to me that chivalry was not dead and he was the absolute sweetest man ever.

Obed was quite the gentleman. He opened doors for me, made sure I was always walking on the inside of the sidewalk, and he paid attention to every detail. He knew exactly what I was wearing the very first day we met, how I had my hair fixed and even the color of my nails. Dating him was so different than any other guy I had ever dated. There was something so refreshing about him. He made falling in love so easy. Every day we spent together was magical. Some days we would go for a walk in the park, other days we’d spend hours hanging out at his pool, swimming and grilling. We would go grocery shopping and cook dinner together. Of course, he mostly did the cooking and I would help with the dishes.

So finally one night, after dinner and a movie, we were hanging out on his sofa, talking. Then, suddenly, we had our first kiss ever. It was such a sweet moment, but was interrupted by Obed pushing me away, looking me straight in the eyes and saying to me, “Mira, tu me encantas,” (Look, I adore you) “but I don’t want to be hugging you, kissing you, touching you…I don’t want to do anything like that with you, unless you are going to be my woman…” I didn’t understand what the hell had just happened. We were in the middle of a moment and he completely ruined it. Then he continues to plead his case.

“I know you don’t want a relationship, but if you just let me love you…I promise, you won’t regret it.”

Before I had a chance to even respond, he looks up at the clock and says, “I will give you some time to think about it, but if in 2 months, maybe even 4 months, you don’t know that you want to be my woman, then we can just be friends.” Still, I had no idea what was actually happening. Then he says “It’s getting late and I am sure your parents are waiting on you, so you should probably go ahead and head home.” & then he sent me on my merry way…

The whole way home, I thought about what had just transpired. I thought “this guy is crazy…who wouldn’t want a relationship with no strings attached?” At the time, I had been single for a while. My previous break up was hard on me and I just knew I would be single forever. Dating was the least of my concerns. That night, however, Obed changed that for me. Immediately when I got home, I called him to let him know I made it home safely. I also called to let him know, that I would accept his proposal to be his woman. This was on July 23, 2009, just one month after, that one fine summer day when we first met.

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