I never imagined I would be celebrating my 30th birthday with a divorce. I fantasized about an elaborate upscale party with all my family and friends dressed in our best fashions, dancing the night away. Or maybe I’d be relaxing in Fiji, lounging in an ocean bungalow in paradise and feeling the tropical breeze in a two-piece bikini sipping a mojito.
But no. Instead, I was crying into a cellphone listening to another woman tell me that my husband was her boyfriend. That they wanted to move in together, that he met her family, and that she had no knowledge of who I was. You truly can’t imagine that type of heartbreak until it happens to you. Even worse was the pain and suffering I endured from the man who had vowed to love and be faithful to me.
As a writer, many of my stories come from first-hand experience, but this was a narrative I could have gone without. The venom that was spewed at me from my once-thought-better half was enough to break the strongest woman down. Until that moment, I was gentle, loyal, and passive to a fault.
I was a nurturing woman who was very non-confrontational in my relationships. I grew up seeing turmoil in romance and how love could be traumatic. I took those experiences and did everything I could to avoid fights, disharmony, and anger in relationships. I became too accepting, too forgiving. I was walked over in the name of love. Taken advantage of, mistaking it for being loyal and a ride-or-die lover. I married at twenty-five years old with no idea what I really needed from my partner in order for love to be healthy, not just happy.
The infidelity I experienced turned me ugly. Sad. Angry. That anger turned into fighting, and the fights turned to fear. The fears burned into scars. I was verbally degraded and publicly humiliated. I was ashamed. At the beginning of our thirteen-year relationship, I made it known that my fear in love was being made a fool of—to love someone proudly, out loud and honestly, only to be embarrassed.
I lost who I was as a woman. I had just hit my greatest milestone, and I could not celebrate it. My confidence diminished; I blamed myself for everything that happened. I thought if only I hadn’t ignored signs earlier on, I wouldn’t be in this situation, in this pain. That’s what you get, I told myself. I was convinced I was getting what I deserved or some sort of karma for being naïve and docile.
One day, I cried so intensely, for so many hours, that I felt as if an elephant was sitting on my chest. A tremendous weight was crushing me, altering my breathing, and speeding up my heart rate. I jumped up from the bed in a frenzy. I had never been so afraid and unsure about what was happening to me—my body, my mind, and my spirit. I heard a voice tell me “Write it down.” His voice. God’s voice.
God knew me way better than I knew myself. He knew what I needed to get out of this darkness. I was never good at expressing my thoughts verbally, but I was born a writer. It was my calling and my gift. I began writing conversations to God, prayers, even though I didn’t know that’s what they were then. I wrote everything I felt. Every ounce of hurt and anguish that was inside of me, I bled onto the paper.
It poured out effortlessly. I called out to God in ways I never knew I could. I asked Him to please leave my heart unchanged, untainted, and with all its warmth and softness still intact. My ability to love unconditionally and selflessly was what I loved best about me. I didn’t want to lose that, but I had no knowledge of how to sustain it.
All I ever dreamed of were fairytales and love, and I so desperately desired to keep the best parts of me. Through my gift of scribing, I learned that I could be beautifully balanced. Soft and passive but not a pushover. Gracious and forgiving but not a doormat. God held my hand and walked me through a chapter of undeserved heartache and into being the author of my own miraculous evolution.
Writing the beginning story, the foundational essence of the beautiful woman I was blossoming into, I learned there was light after the darkness. A rainbow after the storm. I embraced the true power of forgiveness and the depths it could reach. My ability to love and my want for it magnified, the exact opposite of what I feared would happen. I saw how boundless my capacity to love was and dreamt of how incredible it would be to love someone again. The right one. A reciprocal, healthy love.
Many people around me could not understand my grace through everything, but I owe it all to my gift, the pen, and the book God called me to write it all down in. The rest of the pages remain unwritten, unfolding before me each day.
And I will live happily ever after.