In Her Shoes is a series written by readers to give us a glimpse into their lives – to see what it is like to walk in their shoes. Today I am thrilled to introduce you to my beautiful friend Amy! She is going to share a peek into her life – the heartbreak, the healing, and finding love again. You can follow more of her family’s journey on Facebook! Let’s join our friend as she shares with us what it is like to walk in her shoes. ~ Love, G
Here I am, sitting in my home office with a bottle of water in hand, cooling off after a 5 mile run and pondering where I should begin in sharing my story. There have been many seasons in my life, some wonderful and some…well, less than wonderful. But to get to today, I think I really have to start from where this season began, which was in the summer of 1991.
I was a 15 year old girl, just completing my sophomore year of high school, busily primping and prepping for a night out of country dancing with friends to celebrate the end of another school year. It took A LOT of effort and hairspray to perfect the height of those bangs! When we arrived at the little honky-tonk owned by a friend’s family, the parking lot was full. Evidently celebrating the end of school by scootin’ boots around the dance floor was a popular choice this evening. My friends and I were enjoying ourselves- giggling, sharing our plans for the summer and dancing. As George Strait’s The Chair started to play and all of us girls “awwwed”…a handsome young man (whom I had never seen before) approached me and asked me to dance. He introduced himself as we stepped onto the dance floor and butterflies took flight in my stomach. He twirled me all around the dance floor that night. We danced to any song that came on, never taking a break from conversation and sharing many smiles and laughs. It was magical…and in a very short time, I felt like I had known him for years. We exchanged numbers at the end of the evening and I went home with stars in my eyes.
There wasn’t a single day in the summer of 1991 that passed without us being together. Everything seemed perfect and I had found my Prince Charming. A couple of months into the relationship and a week shy of my 16th birthday, my parents recognized the look of love in our eyes and regretfully put an end to our relationship trying to protect my future. I was just too young to be so swept up in love with my 19 year old Prince Charming. Looking back, my parents demonstrated love for me that I can only understand now that I am a parent myself. It was a selfless act of hurting their child, in order to protect me from myself. The request was devastating, but we honored my parent’s wishes. The night that we parted ways…I vowed to him, with tears streaming down my face, that I would love him forever…and that SOME DAY…
We kept in touch off and on over the years. I knew he married and had a son. He knew that I married and started a family. We occasionally celebrated milestones or life events with a quick conversation. We talked on the phone, or corresponded by email (once that new technology had become main stream) but never saw each other face-to-face. Sometimes it would be many months and even years in between, but somehow we always seemed to find our way back to one another. I was comforted in knowing that my Prince Charming was happy and doing well.
In 2005, I sat down at the computer to upload some new pictures I had captured of my children and stumbled upon a chat session left open between my husband and an unknown woman. As I read the conversation, it became quite clear that my husband was having an affair. I went numb. My daughter was only 4 years old and son just 5 months old, what would I do? At the same time, my body was not well and I felt as though nothing would ever be good again. I tried for 5+ years to repair all that had been broken in our relationship, but my marriage was over and had been for a very, very long time. I was 150 lbs over weight, I had lost all joy outside of being a mom, I was CRIPPLED with fear and I couldn’t stand one more day of pretending to be okay. One Sunday afternoon in 2011, I took a stand for myself and my children by asking him to leave…and I have never looked back.
I will be the first to say that the months following were hard, VERY hard. Attorneys, counselors, single-parenting, etc. but there was a feeling of peace in my home that we had never experienced. I was slowly becoming myself again and my children were blossoming, too. I changed my lifestyle and started eating healthy and exercising…and suddenly, I found myself feeling FREE. In the midst of all the stress, anger, fear, attorneys, battles, and sometime debilitating loneliness…”I got mail”. I couldn’t believe it!?!
We shared our journeys and he encouraging me to keep taking care of myself and face my fears because I was worth the fight. His sound advice was words of experience, because he too had been in very similar shoes a couple of short years ago when he found out about his wife’s affair. He was now a single-dad, raising his son in a state far away from family and friends. He needed a fresh start, so he took a job offer that relocated him to New Mexico. At the time, I didn’t know what this new season would bring, but I was thankful that God saw it to bring him back into my life because of the strength and courage that he helped me find.
As the days and weeks passed, there was no denying that a promise made 20 years ago still held true for me. I loved this man with all my heart and as crazy as the timing seemed, I knew HE was my new season. There were several factors that seemed impossible to overcome. I mean, we lived 900 miles apart for starters. But God reminded me that His perfectly orchestrated plan will always be better than mine. Prince Charming received a COMPLETELY unexpected career opportunity from one of his customers just 2 hours away from me and the kids. God was putting the pieces into place.
I became his Mrs. in February of 2013. My 12 year old daughter helped plan the wedding and our 3 babies were the only attendants we had standing beside us. It was picture perfect; a small chapel with floor to ceiling windows looking out over a creek with two large Texas Oak trees intertwined with one another; a white, baby grand piano; a center aisle for my Dad and son to walk me down to my awaiting Prince Charming; and my brother and best friend, officiating. We were surrounded by our family and a few very close friends. My dreams were coming true. I finally made good on my promise by vowing before God and our witnesses that I would love him forever, in sickness and in health…words that take on a very deep meaning to this bride and groom.
You see, my Prince Charming has very sick lungs. We had been given a picture of what the next 5-7 years might look like for us months prior to our wedding day. According to the specialists, his lung function was decreasing to a dangerous level and the only way to improve his quality of life would be through lung transplant. 5-7 years would give us time to be Newlyweds, get our affairs in order, give time for the kids to grow up a bit…but God’s plan is not ours. A 9 day hospital stay with IV antibiotics for a respiratory infection caused damage that could not be reversed. And as of April 4th, 2014, he was listed as a candidate for a double lung transplant. So now our plan includes, NO plan as we wait for “the” call. And despite all the unknowns of being the wife to a transplant candidate, I do know this: I am exactly where I am supposed to be. This was the journey God brought me on, around and through in order to have what I have today. I am the Mrs. to my Prince Charming…and there is no happier place on earth for me. I do all I can to make each day count…because I made a promise, and I am unwilling to have a single regret!
To read more encouraging stories, or if you are interested in sharing your own story, please go to the In Her Shoes tab near the top of the page. I love learning about the people in this series. Connecting with others seems to make the world feel not quite as big and scary. We’re all in this together. I can’t wait to hear from you, to read your stories, and learn more of what it is like to walk in your shoes.
Soon!!! I can't wait to be in my Beloved's arms again! Finally knowing that there is light at the end of...