This really seemed like the only appropriate time to post something like this.
Truth be told, this exact blog post with similar titles has sat in my drafts for quite some time. Probably since early March, to be exact. I don’t know because every time I click on it, it moves my date. It’s about once a week, if you were wondering.
I’ve gone through a lot of emotional seasons and none of them ever seemed timely to post it. I’ve gone through hurt, anger, sadness, acceptance, and joy- but none of them seemed like the right time to post. I was worried that this time would never come, but here we are: my once-wedding-day. Today is the day.
I would have walked down the aisle in my white dress in two hours.
Forgiveness is something I continually struggle with, from childhood to two hours ago. Now that I’m an adult, I have an excuse and can simply label it as a “character flaw to my personality” but that didn’t necessarily fly with my parents as a kid. I could hold a grudge like nobody’s business and it could go on until I decided it ran its course. From stealing a shirt from my closet (Murn) to some of my best friends blowing me off across the country, my heart can turn ice cold instantaneously. Over the years I have come to know myself (that time of self-discovery and all) and self-awareness certainly helps in the moment. But that still doesn’t change the fact that forgiveness is immensely harder for me, maybe even harder for me than others. I hold myself to a very high standard that can be unattainable even to me, and when others (or myself) fall short of them, it’s a hard recovery process.
I never knew if I would ever be at a place where I could feel like I could completely forgive Christopher. Honestly, I blamed a lot of this on him and while he certainly carried some of this weight, it’s not solely his to bear. It wasn’t until I fought enough with God to realize that I can’t blame him for both of our shortcomings.
I spent months battling God (and Christopher, on occasions) for the reason (or really, any reason) behind those decisions. My mind couldn’t simply accept the one that was offered to me and I spent days, weeks, months looking for a reason, and as much as I pleaded and begged and even tried bargaining with either one of them, nothing came of it. And so I tried blanket acceptance, and eventually, I understood. Regardless of the avenue, I was saved from something that could have drastically altered my life.
Today was supposed to be the best day of my life. It was supposed to be my wedding day. My white dress, seating charts galore, giggles and tears and most importantly, dole whip and donuts with my closest family and friends in attendance, celebrating the start of a brand new life for me. For us.
Instead, there isn’t an “us.” There is a me, sitting in a hotel lobby for my very limited wi-fi on vacation in Calella de Palafrugel with a family I officially met face-to-face for the first time six days ago. I am listening to Ingrid Michaelson’s new album while watching hundreds of fishing boats bob in the Mediterranean Sea, preparing to catch my dinner while I try to hold a poorly worded Spanish conversation with a grandmother that does not know a solitary word in English. I have an anxious family that misses me at home but is so elated that I’m here. There’s my boy that’s watching his gal go on the adventure of a lifetime and bursting with joy and pride and a little sadness that he’s not by her side. I have friends consistently showering me in love and encouragement as I make the final steps toward feeling like myself again. A new self, but me nonetheless.
This is not how I envisioned this day on January 1st. But just as things don’t always go according to plan, I couldn’t be any more thankful for my Plan B that was God’s Plan A all along. Today, I finally feel closure from something that has gone from a bloody open wound to a scar in nine excruciatingly long months. Today, there are broken promises and no white dresses. Instead, I’m in a powder blue one, new from Paris and bought on a street market, strolling sidewalks along the Mediterranean Sea, and this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.
Look, I don’t know if you read all (or any) of these ramblings or not. I don’t know if you’ll actually ever see this or if someone will get gutsy and send it to you. But know this: I thank you now. It was unbelievably painful and some days are still hard. Sometimes, the tears come at 6 am from a bad dream or a 3 pm “what if” flashes across my memory. But know that the good days far outweigh the bad days now. The good days are filled with happy memories, hard lessons, and a lot of gratitude. It was like stretching a rubber band to its limit and it popping unexpectedly. While you can’t glue that one back together and it function to the best of its ability, there’s a whole box of new ones in your right side drawer. Grab a new one and be a little more careful than the last one.
I’m grateful you stretched my limits every way you could. It took so much courage to end things the way and when you did and I will always commend you for doing what you felt called to do, even if I didn’t see the same thing in the moments to follow. You gave me freedom I wouldn’t have imagined I ever needed. You taught me more lessons about love, life, and most importantly, myself than I could have ever imagined in the past year and a half and for that I will always be thankful for that. Today is the last chapter of our story and I’m closing the book. It’s the finale and it’s a beautiful, bittersweet one. Thanks, Christopher.