Three years ago today my world was falling apart. My marriage was in shambles, I had given up hope that anything in my life could be good again and in all honesty the thought of living was painful to me. When I would look in the mirror at my reflection I didn't recognize the woman staring back at me. I was hollow, empty.
Three years ago tomorrow Dominic and I started the journey of restoration that has brought us to where we are today. It didn't happen over night and it hasn't always been easy. In fact bad attitudes and habits are hard to break...and I had a lot of them, we both did.
But God is patient and He kept prodding us in the right direction. Putting people in our lives that would have profound impacts on the way we would choose to view life. God knew long ago that things in our home would get as bad as they did. And He knew that He would redeem our situation.
But we didn't. And at the time, three years ago I was in such a different place. Today I can't hardly believe how far we have come. We are not the same two people we were 3 years ago. And I am grateful for that. But I wouldn't be who I am today, I wouldn't have the relationship with God I do today if I/we didn't have to walk through the fire like we did.
Several years ago during one of our more difficult times Dominic and I went to see a marriage counselor. I don't remember much of what he had to say except that he had never seen a couple so much in "contempt" for one another that weren't already divorced! He told us that if things didn't drastically change that we were headed in that direction for sure.
And although he was probably right - God had something different planned for us. Like I said before it wasn't an easy time. It started really with Dominic. He started treating me with respect - even when my actions didn't deserve respect. He showed me love when I didn't deserve it and he forgave me when I was disrespectful and unloving. He started doing things for me even if he wouldn't "get" anything in return.
One day he asked me to pray with him. This was something that I had desired in my husband for years and I was finally getting that...and yet because of the "history" between us I couldn't trust that this was a change I could rely on. So although I agreed, I had a terrible attitude about it.
But something happens to even the hardest of hearts when a family kneels together each morning to pray for God's hand in all that we do. God has the power to heal the hurts. He has the power to soften a hardened heart. He has the power to wash away resentments and He has the power to restore what had been lost.
God did that for us. Three years ago Dominic and I started a new journey together. One in which we invited God to be a part of our family. One in which we both had willingness to be better people, and not just for our own benefit but for others as well. One in which trust was restored, love was rebuilt and family was healed.
My heart's desire is that I never go back to the way I was living back then. But that doesn't mean that I can forget about it completely. It is important for me to remember where I was and how far we have all come. Because today I have nothing but gratitude for the journey.
I am a better wife because we struggled. I am a better mother because we struggled. I am a better daughter, sister and friend because life got hard...really hard and God took what were the ashes of our life and made something beautiful out of it. Today, three years later, I am truly grateful.