Two years ago I wrote a letter to my future husband. Since then I've been engaged, planned a wedding, and then promptly called it off after the discovery of some unsettling deceit that took place in that relationship. At the time, my heart just stopped and my entire world spun miraculously fast into a deep hurt and sorrow that lasted quite awhile. Since then I've been blessed with lots of healing from a Lord and Savior who is incredibly merciful and who loves me very much. I'm so incredibly grateful for all of the healing that has taken place. My first letter was a call for true love, despite Lyme disease. This one is that hope continued and reinforced with a whole new perspective. My hope goes out to anyone who feels immense loneliness due to any form of brokenness. May someday someone come along and aid in making your heart whole again.
Dear Future Husband,
I never thought that loneliness could sting the way that a deep cut stings after it’s been disinfected. It never occurred to me at this moment in my life that I would be clueless as to who or where you are. I guess you could say that in a way, the disinfecting of my heart is occurring at a slow and steady pace. That’s the problem with love. You can’t stitch up a broken heart. You can’t cover a bloody and broken down soul with a band aid. To disinfect one’s soul stings so much worse than to disinfect an open wound on the surface of one’s skin. I suppose the only way for a heart, such as mine, to heal would be with the potent healing power of true love itself.
If only I knew what that consisted of… Or where I could find such a thing.
My sweet future husband, I wish to explain my prior disposition on the topic of love and romance. If you could catch a glimpse of my innocent girlhood explanation of love, you might find an unexpected smile creeping across your lips. Seeing the inner child in me is something that I can’t even seem to recently accomplish myself. So if I may dig a little deeper than I have lately, I believe it might do both of us some good to reflect on my prior preconceived notions of love and war.
When I was a little girl, I thought that love was centered on romance. I envisioned princes temporarily disguised as frogs, true loves kiss, and one immense climax that would ultimately determine whether or not we were destined to be together. I anticipated that feeling that plants itself in the pit of your stomach that resembles the fluttering wings of butterflies. I contemplated the sugary sweet moments of dancing in the rain, “spark flying,” and the heightened senses that occur when one seems to be “in love.” My “perfect romance” I envisioned as a child went by the book. Back then, to my younger self, love was never something that hurt.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen a darker side of things since my adolescent years. I’ve seen an unsightly mascara stained face looking back at me in the mirror as the uncontrollable tears streamed down my cheeks and dripped onto my bathroom counter. I’ve felt the crushing weight of betrayal on my heart like a knife cutting into a piece of raw meat. I’ve felt the pulverizing torment of deceit. I’ve seen the hands that are never to be held again, and the lives that have been grossly forced to separate because of the cruel and sick world that will do anything in it’s power to destroy God’s blessing of family, hope, and true love. I’ve seen and felt the dark and horrifying claws that mercilessly try to rip people apart, and in this case, succeed in doing so. I’ve now seen the dark side of love. And I suppose in hind sight, that dark side really isn’t love at all.
I’m writing to you today because I love you.
Because I’m not giving up. I’m not giving up on us.
Because someday, somehow, we’re going to find each other, and when that day comes, no pain, darkness, or disease is going to destroy us.
Because I can’t wait to meet you, and I still feel like we are worth fighting for
When I wrote to you two years ago, I explained that marrying a sick girl is no easy task, and that it’s going to take hard work and effort on both of our parts. I reaffirm that fact today. In fact, I will go as far as to say that it’s even more applicable now than it ever has been before. I have found that the suffocating grasp of Lyme disease is very stubborn, and seemingly never fleeting.
I’ve also found that surprisingly, Lyme disease may be the glue that holds us together in a society where love doesn’t last, commitment and loyalty is almost non-existent, and hard work and effort is a foreign concept.
Unfortunately, my fairy-tale reality that I had as a teenager has come to an end. But it’s been replaced with something solid. Something that lasts into the eternities. Although it may be true that a kiss is just a kiss, most frogs don’t turn into princes, and most princes are just men… It’s also true that most relationships don’t last unless they’re something worth fighting for. Most love is temporary until you find out that it can endure the most painful and tragic of life’s suffering.
We live in a society that wants all the perks of love, without ever having to fight for it. A society that wants the “relationship goals” without the time and effort it takes to reach those goals. We want the magic and the sparks without the communication and the understanding. We want the physical gratification without the connection and the companionship. Fortunately, this skewed view of “love” that the world has is not what you get when you marry someone who must fight every day for quality of life, for joy, and for happiness. Life gets very real very fast with me.
But here’s what I’ve learned from watching love and Lyme vigorously unravel in front of my own two eyes: Those long sleepless nights, the tears and the screams, the pain and the suffering, the standing by each other no matter what Lyme throws at us next is what will build us an unshakable relationship that will withstand the test of time. Society’s definition of “love” may be temporary, but God’s definition of love is abundant, nourishing, and everlasting. God gives us suffering so we can learn and grow, and I know that if we rely on Him through it all we will only grow closer together. And more importantly, we will grow closer to God with every step we take. And what a blessing that is.
“Does true love exist?” one might ask. I believe that it does. And my hope for healing from a broken heart is something that I fight for every day. Pain comes in many forms in this life, but the hope in that is that healing comes in many forms as well. Someday my heart will be whole again, and when that day comes, that’s when I’ll find you.
Stay strong my future husband… within the grand scheme of life, I’m sure out paths will cross soon. I love you so much.
~ Your Loving Future Wife
I often contemplate the events and experiences that have taken place throughout my life that have broken me down and ultimately made me the person I am today. As unpleasant as it is to relive the past at times, I have found that occasionally looking back on experiences with deep contemplation and gratitude can be a way in which one can turn something broken into something beautiful.
I was recently lead through an exercise that did just this for me. A mental exercise that allowed me to take a step back in time and give my heart the rare experience to see myself as I once was, and take careful note as to how far I've come. In this exercise I was told to close my eyes and think back to a time where I was at rock bottom, and at this point in the exercise I immediately thought back to all of those long and painful nights where my endometriosis pain would relentlessly torture me for what seemed at the time to be endless nights.
I remembered pain so intense that all I could do was scream and grit my teeth hard until the sharp pain in my lower abdomen would let up ever so slightly. I recalled this level of pain going on for hours and days until I'd slip into a seizure. I remembered the firm resolve it took to be a fighter through these extreme flares of pain. I also remembered the times I prayed for my body to surrender because at times the grip that Lyme disease had on me seemed too strong and dark.
After recalling all these painful memories of my personal rock bottom, I was told to return back to myself in the present, go to that girl in the past in her state of "rock bottom," look her in the eyes, and say: "You made it... You made it through." That moment where my present self met that broken down and hurting past self was a very pivotal moment for me. I felt this sudden urge to hug that hurting girl so tight, as if I could physically hold all of her broken pieces together, knowing now that one day the pain would be significantly less, and that healing was just around the corner.
After such an eye-opening experience, I resolved to try this exercise one more time, but this time with a different situation at a different time in my life. At that particular time I had hit a brand new rock bottom, with a whole different kind of excruciating pain that took place not so much in the body, but in the heart.
I still remember that night as if it happened yesterday. I remember the crushing feeling of time stopping all at once, along with my heart. I remember hanging up the phone as it fell out of my hand, and the sharp gripping at my neck as if to stop any airflow from occurring. I remember wanting to suddenly scream and cry, but for whatever reason, I couldn't manage to get a single sound to escape my lips. I remember my entire outlook for the past year of my life being completely crushed by the weight of the situation, and my entire world being rocked upside down and shattered within seconds. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of the long painful healing journey that I had ahead of me. There were a lot of sleepless nights ahead. A lot of tears. A lot of aching and emotional anguish that manifested itself physically. At that point, I honestly never thought that my heart could be made whole again.
When my present self met my past self this time, I desperately wanted to take her by the hand and tell her that there was healing ahead! That her heart would be made whole! That she made it! I opened my eyes this time to tears slipping down my face as I realized that I still have some deep scars from that past betrayal and heartache. Scars that I've always thought were ugly, but in hindsight maybe they aren't as ugly as I thought they were.
Throughout my life, brokenness is something that I have managed to become very well acquainted with, and something I've learned is an essential part of life. I recently had a good friend ask me, "Do you think God loves broken things?" After a moment of silence and deep contemplation within my own heart and mind I responded, "Well, He has to! Because I know He loves me..."
I've come to know since then that in order for something, or someone, to be made strong it first has to be broken down. In order for a muscle to reach its full capacity of strength, it has to first be broken down with consistent exercise. In order for a diamond to become the diamond that it is it has to undergo an extensive amount of heat and pressure. In order for a rainbow to form there must first be rain. As it is with us.
We all are a little bit broken. We are all a little bit bruised and battered. We've all undergone some weathering in this thing that we call life. I used to spend so much time agonizing over my brokenness with the false belief that being broken was a bad thing... But I've come to know that it's not.
Sometimes broken people are the most beautiful people. Brokenness opens the doors to things we never thought possible. Brokenness makes us strong, and eventually unbreakable. Brokenness allows God to work in our lives if we let Him. And what a miracle and a blessing that is.
So if you're feeling broken. If you feel like the Heaven's are silenced, and there is little to no healing in the near future, my message to you today would be that there IS HOPE AND HEALING AHEAD. There are better things coming. Even when it feels impossible, it is not. Our Lord and Savior does not leave us comfortless. Let your brokenness propel you to great things and always remember that God loves broken things.