My time at home was like a pause button on my life. I wasn’t making any earth shattering decisions. I knew I wanted to stay married, and no one could talk me out of that. I kept reanalyzing my situation. How did we get to this point? What had made my husband do this to us? Was I to blame? How long would it hurt this bad? I didn’t want to tell a lot of people. I was ashamed. Embarrassed. I had only been married a little over a year and already we were having SERIOUS problems. I wanted to get through this rough patch in our lives without letting people know how broken we were. How broken I was.
But God had different plans. One day while I was home I received a facebook message (of all things) from a wonderful friend. A man I adored, admired, loved. A man who has been like the older brother I never had. Galloway. It was a simple message, just asking how I was doing…and when I went to respond I poured out the whole story. I don’t know why I didn’t just answer with a quick generic report on life, but something at that moment compelled me to be brutally honest. And do you know what he did? He drove to me. From North Carolina to Tennessee. He. Drove. To. Me. Talk about feeling humbled and loved and safe and validated.
At our wedding, my husband and I asked everyone to stand up and pledge to support us in our marriage. When I asked Galloway why he had driven to me, he said it was because of that pledge. He had made a commitment to us to be a part of our union and he didn’t take that commitment lightly. What a blessing. Look what God can do! If you haven’t been in that position, then maybe you can’t understand what it feels like to be in the darkest place of your life. Unloved. Ashamed. Disgusted. Hoping to be invisible, and then God sends you a ray of light and you are reminded, even for a small amount of time, that someone out there loves you. You matter. And maybe that ray of light is what gives you the energy to keep going. To fight just a little bit longer. To hope just a little bit harder.
During my time with Galloway he let me talk about whatever I needed to talk about. He listened. We ate cheese. And sometimes I laughed. Sometimes I cried. And even though things were bad…and they were going to get a lot worse, for that moment in time, things were good. I was happy. And you know what? He didn’t make me feel ashamed. He never made me feel like any of it was my fault. It was the first time that I hadn’t been embarrassed of myself since I found out. Seeing someone else love me helped me to love myself a little bit. There is power in loving yourself. There is beauty in loving yourself. It’s OK to love yourself. God certainly love you!
Looking back, God, once again, gave me just what I needed at the time I needed it. I needed to remember that I was still worth loving. I hadn’t disappeared. I wasn’t invisible. I was a person who was loved by a very dear friend and I mattered. I needed the reminder that I was strong and brave. The reminder that someone out there believed in me. I didn’t know it then, but I was about to go back into battle…and these reminders saved me on so many levels. God knew. And I will forever be grateful for the gift he gave me, the gift of time with a friend. The gift of unexpected love.
Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”