June 18th, 2011 was seven years ago today. As cliché as it may sound, it was truly the happiest day of my life.
My day started when I eagerly woke up early. I ate a healthy breakfast and hugged my family. Seven years ago today, I praised God for His loving faithfulness.
I went to the church. The church where we met. The church where we fell in love. The church where we would say our vows.
I put on the dress and the shoes and the veil. I was beautiful. My friends gathered in a room to laugh, to help with makeup and each other’s hair. Their marine-blue dresses and gray shoes were perfectly matched with the pearl bracelets I made them. They pampered me and fawned over me.
Seven years ago today, my parents were selflessly by my side. From driving me to the salon to insisting I ate dinner, my mom cried at every moment. Her joy for me and my chosen partner was overflowing. My dad met me in the dressing room to walk me down the aisle. He gave me away. He and I danced to Singing in The Rain at the reception. He practiced and practiced and he didn’t step on my feet once.
Three hundred and fifty guests gathered to worship and celebrate. That seed of love was only the starting point of what would grow in my heart for that man.
Seven years ago today, I made vows. I vowed to love, honor and cherish. I vowed “in sickness and in health.”
Seven years ago today, I promised my whole heart to a man who wasn’t capable of giving his.
Seven years ago today, I had no idea.
A wedding is a symbol of what is yet to come – the union of Jesus and the church. Was my marriage a fraud? The affair began before we were married. From the start, he did not have faithfulness to give me. The memory I had of our wedding would become completely clouded by the reality of his false vows. This discovery broke my heart and our marriage. My wedding was only a shadow of a real covenant.
One year ago today, I was broken. I could barely get out of bed. I ate ice cream for breakfast and still, my parents were selflessly by my side. One year ago today, I was in the middle of the mess that is divorce and the depression took over. However, one year ago today, I commanded my soul to praise God for his loving faithfulness.
The following days, weeks, and months had the ups and the downs that are associated with grief and depression. By the grace of God, I found a way to continue moving forward. I ran a marathon, I Reclaimed, and I signed the papers. God’s loving faithfulness was apparent at every turn.
I am certain that June 18th will never be just another day for me. June 18th is a reminder of my false marriage. June 18th points to the pain he inflicted on me when I discovered the affair. June 18th marks the day he figuratively crossed his fingers at the altar. But, June 18th also shows me that I can love well. I can choose to love. I can be faithful. I can be married. I can and I did.
So today I celebrate. Today, I will treat myself to a healthy breakfast and a hard workout. My family will selflessly be there by my side. But, most importantly, today I will praise God for His loving faithfulness.