This going to be rambling, and probably not very coherent. Sorry.
First, this month marks 25 years that we have been promised to each other. We were engaged in February, 1992. We will celebrate 25 years of marriage in October.
He saw through the fake front that my family projected, and took me out of the abuse and control and demeaning situation I was in. He has encouraged me, and built me up, and continues to support and encourage me.
My parents hated him. HATED. They did everything they could to separate us. And still he stuck around, and tried to be a good son-in-law.
There have been tough times...but God.
I have doubted....but God.
I was told repeatedly that it would never last...but God.
That said, God is still working on us...we will always be a work-in-progress.
Second, there is a mistaken thought in some Christian circles that parents always know who is the best spouse for their children. This is a faulty thought-process. Parents are NOT God. Parents do NOT know everything. Some parents do not even have their child's best interests in mind. Even parents who claim to be Christians fall into that last group.
Two and a half weeks after the wedding (election day 1992), I had a miscarriage. The words of "comfort" I heard? "I told you that you didn't have to marry him."
We have come a LONG ways since then.
6 more children.
20+ moves in 5 states.
More jobs than I can count.
More cars than I care to figure out.
Education, exposure, and encouragement have made a HUGE difference in who I am today. I have had several counselors express amazement that I never ended up with any addictions (outside of caffeine...NOT going there!), given the abuse and control I grew up under, and which no one outside the family saw.
People question why I would "expose the dirty laundry". "Why talk about it now", they ask, "that's in the past."
First, my story is MY STORY. It is how I came to be who I am today. Telling my story is how I heal, and how I show all that God has done in my life.
Second, I tell my story for others whose stories are hidden, to give them courage. You CAN be different. You CAN overcome those lies people tell you. You CAN be who God made you to be.
Third, an exposed dirty story has less power. The longer these abuses and lies are hidden, the more power they have, and my life now is about breaking those chains of control that those lies and that abuse has over me. My education has taught me the power of exposing "family secrets", and how freeing it is for everyone involved.