Amen

Lord, thank you. 

Thank you for this man. This amazing and perfect man. This man I never realized existed. 

This man who changed everything. 

Lord, thank you. 

Thank you for sending me a man who loves You more than he loves himself. A man who knows You. A man who fears You. A man who isn’t afraid to talk about You.

Lord, thank you. 

Lord, bless this man. Bless this relationship. And bless this family. 

Lord, help us to live a life that brings honor and glory to Your name. 

Lord, fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we may walk in Your ways.

Lord, thank you for guiding us when we don’t know the way. For forgiving us when we fall short. And for loving us in a way that allows us to love each other. 

I pray that no matter where we find ourselves down the road, that our eyes will always be fixed on you, Lord. 

Hand in hand, I pray we will always seek you, together. 

I pray these things in Your name. For Your honor and glory. 

Amen. 

Falling Short

I wish I could figure out the words. 

The words to use to talk about this. 

To talk about us.

See? Words are my life. They are the one thing I know. The one place I feel the most comfortable. (Well, besides you.)

And yet, with you, I fall short. Every time, I fall short. 

Because, you see, it all changed with you.

The whole story. 

It changed. 

I had no idea that it could be like this. No one ever told me it could be like this. 

Perhaps, they found themselves falling short too. 

But you and me. This. Whatever this is. This is good. This is exactly how it’s supposed to be. 

And yeah, I’ve thought I’ve been here before. 

I have prayed about getting to this place.

I have looked for you everywhere. 

But it turns out, I was looking for all the wrong things. 

Because this? I would have had no idea to even look for this. 

Because I never knew this existed. 

But, here you are. 

And I wish I could figure out the words to talk about this. 

But, maybe we can just fall short together. 

Because This Time it’s Different

I can’t get over how different it all feels this time. 

Y’all, it’s kind of amazing.

I’m finishing up packing. Getting things ready to hit the road back home to North Carolina. Washing, folding, packing. 

Organizing. Or my pathetic attempt at such. 

It has been an amazing 3+ weeks. I have rested. I have been restored. And I am renergized. 

It was exactly what I needed. 

It’s been a lot like before when I took long vacations, except there’s something very different. 

Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve gone home feeling wanted? 

Oh boy. 

I remember dreading going home. Afraid of going home. Because I knew how much he didn’t want me there. Because I knew how much he wished I’d stay. 

I remember going home thinking it was going to be different. That the time away was going to be exactly what we needed. That when I got out of the car or off the plane, he would see me and remember just how much he loved me, but it never worked out that way. 

I would be welcomed with empty stares. I would have to ask for a kiss. My attempt at trying. He would half hug me as if I was the last thing he wanted to see, probably because I was. 

Not this time, though. 

This time I’m wanted. This time he wished I never had left. This time I’m missed. 

This time it’s so different. 

This time I’m not scared. This time I’m excited to come home. Because this time I didn’t run away. 

Because this time it’s different. 

And while I used to be scared of ‘different’ and scared of ‘change’, I’ve realized that this entire season of my life is just that. It’s all different. 

And y’all, different is good. Different is so good. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still scared. Most days, I’m still scared, but along with being scared, comes trust. 

Because I’m learning to trust others. I’m learning to trust Him. But more than that, I’m finally learning to trust myself. 

Turns out that when I trust myself enough to trust Him completely, it just works. Things just work. And it’s all different. 

And y’all, different is so good. 

Because I know that when I get home there isn’t going to be any half hugs. I know that when I come home it won’t be just me going in for the kiss. Because I know when I come home, I’m going to be the only thing he wants to see. 

Because this time it’s different. 

And thank goodness, it’s different. 

XXOO

And so now We’re Dating.

I don’t know why I’m surprised, but I am, kind of. I shouldn’t be. He is so good. So, so, so good!

God has been so faithful to me. To me! He told me to wait. He told me to be patient. To be still. To be quiet, and I did. I was. And He was faithful.

It was 9 weeks last Friday that my husband walked out. 9 weeks of not knowing. 9 weeks of wondering. Defending. Loving. 9 weeks of trying to hold it together best I could.

I have spent the last 9 weeks in an array of emotions. And even that is an understatement.

I was angry. I was hurt. I was sad. I was relieved. I was happy. I was empowered. I would dance between the high’s and the low’s every single day. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but He did.

Friends would console me, but I would proclaim, ‘It’s not over. He hasn’t said it was over.’

Immediately, I got the praise. “Lauren, you’re so strong. Lauren, I don’t know how you’re doing it. Lauren, I would have left by now.”

As I have said this whole time, it was never me. I had become my weakest. I didn’t have the strength to make decisions. I could barely get out of bed most days. It was always Him.

Honestly? The best thing my husband could have done for me was to walk out. I know that might sound weird to most of you, but after living this experience, I can say with certainty that it was the best thing for me. For us.

But that was before.

After 9 weeks, he’s finally home.

So what next? Because we would be silly to pretend like nothing happened. We would be silly to think that it could just go back to the way it was. Now what?

Well, we’re dating. Yep. Dating.

Yes, I know we’ve been together for almost 10 years. Yes I know that we will be celebrating 5 years of marriage later this year, but things have changed and so we need to reintroduce ourselves to each other.

So, we’re dating.

I don’t think we’re in a rush. I think we are taking it day by day, learning what we can about each other all over again. Learning about who we’ve become over the last 9 weeks. Over the last 10 years.

Like, now my husband, er, boyfriend, loves to watch baseball. I had no idea. Do I love baseball? No friggin’ way, but when you’re dating, you learn to do things that they like to do, not for any other reason, but because you like them, and you like spending time with them. So, I’m watching baseball.

We’re taking it slow. I’m sure we have a lot of people who are expecting us to fail. The many “I told you so-er’s” But finally, we are on the same page. We know what we want. We know what’s important. And we realize we’re worth it. This marriage is worth it. This family is worth it. And those two kids are worth it.

What I have learned most throughout this entire process is that marriage, on it’s own, is hard. Like really, really, really hard. Two people, two separate lives becoming one, is hard.

But He gave me people to look up too. It turns out that I’m not the only one who realizes just how hard marriage is. People have come out of nowhere to comfort and console me. I actually had someone google search ‘Beautycounter and Psoriasis’ which led them to my blog, which led them to my ‘Faith’ section, which led them to reach out to me and let me know that they were praying, which led me to share with them to pray specifically for my marriage, which led them to share with me about their own separation and struggle with marriage that had taken place just a few months earlier. I don’t believe in coincidences at all.

“I have been there.” They say.

Even throughout this I have found new friends, old friends, and now my best friend. In a period of my life where the enemy wanted me to feel unwanted, unloved, not good enough, He made sure that wasn’t the case.

Through texts, phone calls, conversations at the pool, conversations over a glass of wine, I knew I was none of those things. I let Him define me. And while I was certainly not perfect and I do realize that it takes two people to make up a marriage, and it takes two people to either make that marriage good or make that marriage bad, He made sure that I knew just how loved I was.

For so long, I hid. I hid behind my husband’s faults and weaknesses. And once he walked out, I stopped hiding. I had to. I came face to face with my fears, my regrets, my weaknesses. I came face to face with who I was and who I wanted to be.

I am grateful for a God who forgives. A God who doesn’t see any of my flaws. A God who sees His perfect daughter. I see myself like that now. I still struggle. I’m still broken, but I try not to see the pieces, yet I focus on the glue, the tape, the string that holds me together. He did that for me.

He has given us another chance. A chance to do this right. He knew what I needed. He knew that if we had been in NC and our marriage continued the way it was, I would left. I would have left and I never would have looked back. He knew.

The first few days after Justin left I didn’t know what to pray for. I cried for days, sobbed uncontrollably. All I could do was beg God to give me another chance and allow me to be the wife He wanted me to be.

He listened.

And so now we’re dating.

Drumroll, please!

Tomorrow through Friday, “The ‘B’ Word” will be available at Amazon on Kindle for FREE!!!

Don’t have a Kindle? That’s okay, too! Just download the Kindle App. Available in iTunes and the Google Play store.

Be sure to tell your friends, your family, EVERYONE! “The ‘B’ Word” is the PERFECT summer read!

XXOO!

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