Thirteen years ago today I started out on a journey—and I had a plan. As most plans do . . . mine has failed me many times. You see, on Saturday it will have been six years since that same husband—I married thirteen years ago today—was murdered for sleeping with another man’s wife.
Some stories we don’t get to choose, that’s one thing I know for sure; but through mine, I have learned so much more than just heartache and pain. I have learned that I have a Father who lives in Heaven. I have learned that angels are real. I have learned that miracles and blessings come—not in the ways we had planned, but in moments when we least expect them. I have been taught how to apply grace—not by pleading for a do over, but by learning how to remember the light that pulled me through the darkness.
I have learned that even in a room full of people, I could feel utterly alone. I have seen that feeling disappear by one heart felt prayer. I have learned that time doesn’t always heal everything, but it gives us a chance to look back and remember the light that was there all along.
I have learned that death really is the ultimate teacher; the loss that can be used to teach us how to see what life is really all about.
I have learned what it is like to have fear take control of every aspect of my being, but through it I have been taught how to fight. I have found that some people won’t care how things feel for anyone but themselves . . . and some days I have been one of them.
I have hated. I have tried to control. I have doubted the world in every way. Some moments I have wondered if I will ever have the ability to love and trust—men, woman . . . husbands, other people’s husbands, other people’s wives, my own mind, and the entire human race. And then . . . I have seen good people in the world that have proven all my fears wrong—husbands that respect their wives; wives that honor their husbands—people who actually care about each other and fight for all the good through the storms. I have found people who use words of love instead of weapons of hate—helping me find the beauty that is still all around me.
I have had my heart broken by people who should have been protecting me—but I have also had complete strangers, who don’t even know me, show so much unconditional love—little angels sent to help me on my broken path.
One of those angels has been a new husband who—along side me—has struggled and fought to build a new life. We have six imperfect kids who I wouldn’t trade for anything. Every day we learn a lot, we grow, we mess up—but we show up . . . to a life that has planned us.
I have learned that moments in our past do not determine our future. Beliefs that we have carried within us—about who we think we are—do not have to hold us back. I have found truths inside of me—hidden long ago by darkness—of who I really am . . . who God created me to be.
I have found many reasons to stand tall, despite all the proof that I shouldn’t.
But it hasn’t been easy.
So today, I just want you to know . . . you too have a Father in Heaven who loves you—despite all the evidence the world gives you to doubt your truths, I hope you can find them anyway.
Stand up to doubt, fear, anger, hate, remorse, and guilt. Those are the lies. Where ever you have been, and who ever you have chosen to be in the past . . . does not determine your future. You have been broken, hurt, and some nights you have felt forgotten—but I promise He has seen it all. You are enough for that loving God to keep sending back His Son time and time again. He has not given up on you. Grace—the pure love of Christ, the only true source of healing—is real . . . and there is not one of us exempt from being worthy of His power.
Broken roads can lead to beautiful souls who can finally see Him in a way they never did before. It is not for nothing. Every time we turn to Him . . . we learn something new—about ourselves, about the world, and about His love.
This journey we call life, it wasn’t meant to be easy. It is the low moments when we learn to fight for it the hardest. We don’t have to have all the answers—and some days we might not understand why. There is so much that I do not comprehend . . . but today I know some things I did not thirteen years ago. I have been forever changed because through those broken roads . . . I am learning grace.
Six years ago, I thought I would feel peace when I could finally understand WHY. Thank you Father, for showing me how. You told me that night—six years ago—I would one day be able to stand . . . I thought that meant I would learn to be strong on my own—little did I know that was the furthest thing from the truth. I didn’t learn to do anything because of my own strength . . . He was holding me up every step of the way.
And that is what has made my broken road . . . beautiful. It was never once me who was strong . . . it was Him.