Set the scene:
The year was 1994. The place was a small Southern Baptist Church out in the middle of nowhere Kentucky. She was an eleven year old girl with a boy haircut; the kind of haircut that belonged on Kerri Strug in the 1996 Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team. (Maybe she was ahead of her time with fashion… Maybe she wasn’t… Maybe she was just weird and didn’t care.) She was a tom boy who loved basketball, softball, riding 4-wheelers, Kris Kross, Puff Paint, Lisa Frank school supplies, and boys. She was the imaginative, creative type, and a dreamer. She had a dark side though. Her friends and family might say she was a manipulative, spoiled, and a recently dethroned only child who always got her way. Teachers might have said she was a sweet girl but bossy with her friends. She might laugh about it now. But, people still loved her somehow. Maybe they had to? The one thing that held true through it all was that God created and loved her just the way she was. She began to listen to her heart, and that summer she was Saved. To anyone who is not a Christian or familiar with this term, Here’s what it means: To believe that God sent his one and only son to Earth, conceived by the Virgin Mary, and died on the Cross at Calvary to save us from our sins so we don’t have to spend eternity in Hell. You feel convicted, believe that in your heart, say the prayer, and you’re now a Child of God. Thank you God and Jesus! If you haven’t experienced it… man you should. It’s good. Get with me and we can chat!
Now, for any of you who have been saved at an early age you know the struggle is real. There’s parental rebellion, breaking rules and curfew, driving, drinking, drugs, boys, cussing, loads of stuff that teenagers face… and then there’s adulthood, but we will get to that later. So, this girl (with Jesus in her heart) went on to be the typical/average teenager. She was hateful and talked back to her parents, she wasn’t the nicest sister she could be, she loved her friends in fact they listened to Rap Music and thought it was cool to cuss, she smoked a few times (but only to look cool – she didn’t even do it right), she experimented with boys; and that was before she even entered high school. She was not a picture of Christ. God was still in her heart, but not at the forefront.
Set the scene once again:
1997, the same girl now had longer curly hair, braces, and wore sweatshirts over her overalls. Sometimes she wore skirts in the winter with sandals and an Adidas coat. Tie dyed t shirts were her thing. The girl was just awkward all around. Somehow people still liked her. Who were these people? Band Geeks. She met a boy that changed her world. She didn’t even see it coming. He will later be called “High School Boy”. He was equally as awkward. He had a blonde bowl cut, braces, wore baggy jeans, and No Limit Soldier Gold Chains. He was a skinny little dude. They met in Band. He played drums, she played the Trumpet. Love happened.
Fate was written. To those of you who believe that teenage love isn’t the real thing. Sometimes it isn’t, but to these two… they experienced the real thing at a young age. They were completely obsessed and inseparable for the most part, except for when he was a punk. Freshman, Sophomore, and part of Junior year they were a thing. People were invested in them and got mad at them when they broke up. You read it right… They split. Life progressed. Their paths would cross from time to time, sometimes good, sometimes bad. They had a weakness for each other. The one thing that held true was that extreme, obsessed, can’t live without each other, passionate, first love – Love. No one could ever achieve that standard once the bar was set. It was no one else’s fault. It was just a thing. Hard to describe to anyone who’s never experienced it. Anyway, they each moved on to other relationships. Senior year the girl had met the one she would get married to. The boy was also in a relationship. College started. They had the same class first thing in the morning and sat next to each other. Butterflies were still there. She wanted to be with him, but he had hurt her too many times. He tried almost daily to get her to come to his house after school, but she wouldn’t. The temptation was too much for her to handle. She quit college and went to beauty school. This was a fast track to getting married to the guy she was with, a career, and being able to have a house and family. God was still in her heart, but she buried him deep and took things into her own control.
In 2003, two years after graduating high school, she got married. She was 19. She wasn’t awkward anymore. She learned to hide and suppress her weirdness. She wanted a family. But, it didn’t happen the way she planned. This was the first time in her life she couldn’t control the outcome. Two miscarriages, infertility struggles, infertility drugs and procedures, and some extreme anxiety and depression had turned her into a person she no longer recognized. She had also grown up in a short period of time. She was still saved, and she was well aware of that. But, she was mad at God. He created her to procreate, her one sole responsibility in life. So, why wouldn’t he give it to her? She was defective. Her femininity didn’t exist in her mind. She took matters into her own hands and sought out a child through adoption. Notice everything was *she* (She had grown far from her husband and realized it, but didn’t think that mattered because she was obsessed with having a child any way possible). Birth parents chose them, and they brought home their adopted son. He was perfect. She was complete. Happiness! The world could go on being normal again. But, she quickly noticed that her marriage was not alright. They rarely saw each other and were basically roommates at that point.
Want to know something that didn’t help the situation any? She thought of that scrawny high school boy ALL THE TIME. It was an unhealthy amount. What did that mean? It had to mean something. So, with no intentions in mind she had to find out. That boy was now married also. One day on Facebook she saw that he was online. She said hi. He responded. They made small talk. Memories, feelings, and brain consumption quickly followed. Now, I won’t go into depth here because it is not a proud time of her life but a crucial one. Also, protecting the feelings of everyone involved is important. She told her husband she wanted a divorce but was still living in their home until she could save enough money to move out. She just wanted to walk away, no getting half of everything, no nasty split, just out. While in this limbo in life she began an affair with the high school boy. She thought he was also going to get a divorce. *Disclaimer* I don’t recommend it, but if you are going to have an affair, even if you think you can’t get pregnant without fertility drugs, use some type of birth control.
Here’s what happened the next four years in short form:
She got Pregnant by High School Boy.
She sat in the bathroom and said multiple “F Bombs” while staring up at the ceiling talking to the God she wasn’t close with anymore.
The high school boy stayed married.
She couldn’t get divorced yet because she was pregnant. She had to wait to deliver the baby so a DNA test could be performed to be sure who the father was. She knew already, but whatever…
She actually cursed God.
High School Boy found God. He told her he would pray for her, and she told him that he could take his prayers and shove them up his… Well… you can probably guess the rest. She wanted to punch him in the face.
She still had love for the high school boy but stuffed it down so far it felt like pure hate until he no longer crossed her mind.
She developed a relationship with his wife and they became friends. People thought they were crazy. They didn’t care.
She was driving an embarrassing but free car, on food stamps, and she had gotten to the point she was so embarrassed and ashamed to leave her low income apartment. People didn’t like her anymore. She didn’t like herself. She literally didn’t want to leave her tiny little hole in the world. But, she was a good mom. That was the only thing she felt like God created her for, and she rocked it.
Insert a lot of other dramatic grey area
Then something crazy happened. She was 5 months pregnant and at the park one day. Her son was playing, and she was running after him having fun. They were the only two people there. The weather was perfect, and their laughter filled the air. A car drove up. Her immediate instinct was to flee, go home, and hide where no one could see her. But, she didn’t know the people so she stayed. A single dad, his mom, and two little girls got out of the car. Her son played with his girls and she made small talk with the guy and his mom. He asked her if she went to church anywhere. She told him no, but she would like her son to go to church somewhere. She said she just couldn’t handle going into a place where everyone knew what she did and talked about her and treated her terribly. This literally happened everywhere she went. She knew she screwed up. She didn’t need Christians telling her that through pointing, facial expressions, and talking behind her back. He assured her that his church wasn’t like that and welcomed everyone the way they are. He said she would fit right in. She questioned the sanity of his church. God found her right there in the park that day. He took her back into his arms and led her down his path. God found her again, and this time she listened.
She delivered a healthy little boy. It was the hardest, saddest, most bittersweet day of her life. High School Boy and his wife were both in the delivery room with her. She welcomed any labor drugs that were available.
Life remained difficult, but God was still with her.
She maintained a close relationship with her ex-husband, high school boy, and his wife.
She got a better job *Another God thing*.
She had many failed relationships but God still worked in her heart. Each person she dated prepared her life for something better.
*The girl will be referred to as “Single Mom” now to avoid confusion.* High School Boy’s marriage slowly unraveled. She encouraged them to stay married. It wasn’t feasible. Single Mom was in a relationship also and had just moved into a new house with the guy she had been dating. All the sudden a chaotic, unsafe series of events followed that were out of her control. Single Mom’s relationship abruptly ended. Single Mom and High School Boy found themselves relying on each other and God to get them through their hard time. Since Single Mom’s living environment was very unsafe she needed somewhere to stay. Soon to be ex-wife encouraged High School Boy and Single Mom to live together so he could keep everyone safe. Single mom thought this was a sick joke or a test or something. She didn’t have many options though, and something had to happen fast.
It was supposed to be a temporary thing until she could figure out her next step.
High school boy got divorced. Feelings escalated quickly between High School Boy and Single Mom. There was a lot of residual pain and resentment that Single Mom felt, but she was healing. Life started feeling complete, normal, and like everything finally aligned. They were parenting together, living together, going to church together, spending holidays together, and doing life together. Things happened quickly. They wanted to make up for lost time.
They went on several vacations together in a short period of time.
They put God FIRST!!! Stubborn people learn the hard way.
They got engaged in the middle of the ocean in Turks and Caicos.
They got married three months later at a really cool secret GPS revealed underground wedding. It was on Friday the 13th at 11:30PM under a Full “Honey Moon” in the deep, deep woods. There aren’t enough positive adjectives to describe it.
They became pregnant and had another healthy little boy (Yes, three boys!)
They lead the Missions Team at their Church.
He plays Drums in the Worship Band at Church.
He is a Life Group Leader.
She works for her Church as an Administrative Assistant.
She works as a Hair Stylist at a Christian Hair and Nail Salon.
God gave them what others might view as a messed up, Jerry Springer episode. They know it was God all along. Their whole lives were preparation for the very moments they live in now. They believe in “full circles”. They walk close with God daily and encourage others to do the same. God gave them a crazy testimony, and that’s their most powerful thing. Life is crazy, they make mistakes, but God is always with them!
In case you were wondering I am that girl, and yes I’m still weird!
And they all lived happily ever after.
But, this is not “The End”