My sweet friend Natalie is sharing her love story today. You can find Natalie at Take the Cannoli, and here on instagram.
Happy Valentine’s day one and all! I would love for today’s post to be like a big fluffy teddy bear holding a rose and a tiny blue Tiffany’s box wrapped up in a bow, but the modern perspective of love is different from God’s sincere, enduring, perfect love which envelopes us as we are. Unlike that Tiffany’s box that holds a flawless treasure, God’s love wraps us up as we are- flawed, imperfect and damaged. It is HIS love that is woven throughout all of our stories…
This is a tale of two stories- our story and our LOVE STORY.
It would be easy to write about the first time our eyes met, the first time he spoke to me in his deep southern draw or the scandal of our first kiss. Our story is simple. I was 19, a native Cali-girl working two jobs to help make ends meet and support my single mom and three brothers. He was a handsome, tattooed 21 year old playing in a traveling punk rock band. He had come from deep Christian roots and a happy and put together family. Quite the opposite to say the least. We dated for 6 months, got engaged and married 5 months later. Young, blinded by love, ignorant and ready to conquer the world.
Our LOVE STORY however, is what we have grown through together during our 10+ years of marriage.
We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout. He proposed on Christmas eve 2002, we were married May 10th 2003 (5 months later). I would love to say that our engagement and wedding was a dream but it was tainted with heartache and pain. Aside from fear of leaving my broken family and embarking new uncharted territory, having to be given away by my brothers in the absence of my father who still had a few years left on his sentence wasn't all I had hoped and dreamed my special day would entail.
I loved Micah with all of my heart but so much of my life was spent behind the veil of a false self. Walking down the aisle to become his bride was a proverbial unveiling leaving nothing to hide behind. Even though he knew my family, our past and what we were going through only made it that much more real. Since the age of 12 my father was incarcerated for making a poor decision and although this is not part of our love story, I used our marriage as a Band-Aid to cover open wounds of pain, neglect, fear, anxiety and inadequacy. Everything I had shoved way down deep and masked with a smile only to cry myself to sleep at night would now no longer be a secret.
This is where our LOVE STORY begins… Even as a baby, my mother in law was praying for ME! The woman that her baby boy would one day marry. Our marriage was pre-ordained long before we were even born. She shared this fact with me at my bridal shower which brought an unexpected comfort, because rather than feeling like he was marrying beneath him, I was actually chosen by God to be his wife.
Now I don’t want this post to be a total Debbie downer; because lets be real- we have a ton of fun together! We have traveled the world and been on many spontaneous adventures! We have fought hard and loved harder! In the midst of it all, God’s gracious hand has guided our way and brought healing to a place that, until we had children, I didn’t even know needed healing.
You see, when we got married it opened a door in my heart that had been closed. Having my daughter Elsie and then my son Vernon opened additional doors in my heart that had been calloused over without proper healing. Being a parent to multiple children now bubbled up past feelings of regret, anxiety, insecurity, failure and fear that had been suppressed for many years. This was the hardest time in my life where I had to deal with very personal struggles. Flirting with death, I knew that it was time to address these issues head on and work through the pain. As recovery drew nigh; Micah had to learn to love a new me that rose from the ashes of my former self.
BUT GOD was with us in the midst of it all and his love poured out on us which enabled us to love each other well and deeper than we had ever experienced previously. God’s love, the love of my husband and the love of my children literally saved my life!
That brings us up to today: Our life in a nutshell is made up of dance parties err-day, frequent trips to Disneyland and the beach, serving together in the children’s ministry at church and being ready for any adventure that comes our way. Our life is so good even though at times hard. It's messy, loud and some times unorganized, but in the most beautiful way possible.
We are a team, running this crazy race of life together.
My Micah; our family’s spiritual leader who works hard and plays harder, lives well and loves better! He puts his family first and is as genuine as they come. He’s kind of like a real life super hero (if he were writing this he would say a JEDI) Plus he still makes me laugh harder than anyone I know! He says I make his life so much more fun and can turn the smallest event into a party, and that I inspire him to love deeper and give freely without looking for anything in return. He is my best friend who still chooses to choose me! I still can’t believe we get to do life together!