February 14, 2009

A Not-So-Valentine Post

This past week has been very interesting for my family. My nine-year-old son had surgery and we spent the week in the hospital with him. Much of that time was spent sitting together, watching TV - well, at least he was watching TV, I was zoning out and thinking about other things.

One of those things was how awesome Valentine's Day can be - and how much it can totally suck. (Not quite what you'd expect to hear on a wedding blog, eh?)

I think a lot about marriage this time of the year. Mainly because the first time my hubby asked me to marry him (yes, I said the 1st time), we were considering getting married around Valentine's Day. Since things didn't work out that way, I often wonder what our life would be like today if we had been married earlier, rather than later.

Today would have marked our 11th anniversary, rather than last August marking our 10th.

Would we have had more children? Perhaps different job opportunities? Would we even be here in Kansas City now had we made different choices?

So many questions. My hubby tells me I over-think things sometimes. This is probably one of those instances.

You're probably wondering why we delayed our wedding. Well, it was certainly no fault of my hubby's. It was all me. You see, I had been married once before and let's just say that my "prince charming" had a nasty streak I didn't discover until after the I Do. It ended up being a very short lived marriage. After three months, I wised up, finally recognized the cycle of abuse, and called it quits. I received lots of not-so-nice comments from some of my family, many of whom didn't know the full story.

After moving out of state, I met John. We became great friends. Then we fell "in-like" and eventually in love. But even that potent feeling of love and acceptance wasn't enough to combat my feelings of fear about getting married again. I was so scared, I kept going back and forth, yes and no - until I finally just had to say no because I was too scared to say yes. It was very difficult for both of us.

Still, we remained friends - emailing each other and keeping in touch. During those seven months, I dated a lot and prayed even more. I met with a psychologist at the University of Utah and started working through my feelings about trust, relationships, and marriage. Eventually, I got up the guts to ask John if he'd ever consider dating me again . . . and somehow we were blessed and ended up where we are today - with an incredible relationship and a happy marriage.

So, what was the point of all that info about moi? Well, I just want to leave you with a few thoughts.

Sometimes, Valentine's Day really does stink. It can be an especially unhappy day for anyone who just came out of a bad relationship, unexpectedly broke up, or has no love relationship at all. But let me tell you what girls (and guys), go out and do something fun or special anyway. Ignore all those disgusting kissy-kissy people and celebrate a more important relationship - the love you share with your Father in Heaven.

If you are going through an abusive relationship and trying to recover, then I encourage you to have faith and to pray. I promise you will be blessed and strengthened by Heavenly Father.

If Mr. Perfecto or Miss Right is no where to be seen on your horizon, don't obsess about it. Instead pray about what you can do to enrich your life. Volunteer to help with Special Olympics, learn something you've always been interested in, or save your money and go on a cruise with your friends. Cherish the opportunity you have here and now to become the person you dream of being - with no husband, wife, mom, or dad titles involved. Who do YOU want to be?

And if you do have Mr. or Mrs. I DO in your life, then I hope you will be grateful for each other and the unique relationship you share. Be extra kind to each other every day and enjoy every one of the kissy-kissies others like to roll their eyes and ignore.

No matter where you find yourself today, I wish you each a fabulous Valentine's Day. May you find lots of love from your family and friends this day.