Starting with Why

Today is December 1, 2017 and I am ending this year much different than I began it. A year ago, I was in the process of moving from California to Texas as my husband moved to England as a military contractor. Why didn’t we go together? Well, hindsight sure is 20/20, and if I had the chance to do it over again, I may have made the decision to go together. Here we were, a married couple of almost four months, electing to live separately with many unknowns ahead. We were married on August 11 after dating for almost six years and I couldn’t have been happier to finally become a wife! My single motherhood journey was finally over and this was my moment of salvation; or so I thought. Spoiler Alert: Love has won, so this will not end on a sad note!

Two weeks after we were married, my husband confided in our pastor that he believed he made a mistake in marrying me. The stress and overwhelm he was feeling was beyond his, then, ability to communicate with me directly. He, consequently, cancelled our “Before God” ceremony and disappeared for three weeks. Life had to go on during the darkness and utter shock, mixed with hope, anger and sadness I felt. I still had to take my daughter to school and work full time as a virtual educator. I drove my sweet girl to school daily during those three weeks, often in silence, with thick sunglasses on to conceal the tears I shed on the drive from her. As soon as I dropped her off, I got back in the car and drove through my neighborhood barely holding the pieces of my heart together and certainly not keeping my emotions from pouring out of my eyes like a broken fire hydrant. I arrived home and sat in the dark working until it was time to pick my daughter up from childcare. I hugged her with a reckless abandon each time I saw her and cried as if I was reliving different layers of the pain and grief, for me and for her. My husband was all she knew and I had no idea how to explain to her why we weren’t all moving together. So, I simply held her tight and close each opportunity I had.

My husband drove us to Texas, paid for all of our relocation, spent a couple of days with my daughter and me as we settled in, left for Christmas to spend time with his family in Arkansas and came back overnight before he left to close his California chapter and move to England. After the palatable heartbreak from August 23-September 19 came complete numbness. He came home to take care of me post-surgery. We laughed again, watched Netflix together, he shared in parental responsibilities and we had an unspoken agreement that we would not discuss the black cloud that loomed over our living room day after day. That was until I broke my silence and said my daughter and I would be moving to Texas to escape him, escape my small town where I no longer knew how to interact with those people whom I loved and who loved me and just wanted to protect and empower me. I needed to breathe.

We moved into the most beautiful apartment, furnished with luxe granite countertops, smart outlets and wood grain flooring. We had a doorman and building concierge with regular resident brunch and mimosa gatherings. It seemed glamorous on the outside, but I was still numb and subtly self medicating through silence and the buy-in to the façade of freedom. I chose to not just separate myself from my husband, who also was hurting and numb at the same time, but to uproot myself from my support system: my family and some of the most amazing friends that had become family to me; to us.

I called my mom and dad every single day and their patience was one that was clearly inspired by God. They never rushed me through my hurt. Their love for me, for my daughter and even for James was nothing short of an illustration of love and respect, for us as individuals and as a family; broken or not. My dad told me that no matter which direction I decided to take, he would support me. He told me I would get through this whole and in tact. Side note: We have butt heads over many of my days, but I remember so many of his words in trying times and his foresight. I had been married briefly before (in college; ten years prior) and I still remember him telling me the day before I got married that he loved me and he didn’t agree with my decision to get married, but that my family would be there to pick up the pieces when they fell. Those pieces fell, and many others did along the way, but he was right, they were there. My mother upheld me in prayer constantly. When I told her that I didn’t have the words to pray, she told me God would decode my liquid prayers, aka tears, just the same. She sent me scripture cards in the mail and looked past the awkwardness of my phone calls that were often made to just keep myself from sitting in my apartment in the dark again after I dropped my daughter off at school. My parent’s love was a tool God used to remind me that He held my heart all along and that healing was possible.

So, what does this story have to do with my blog? During my time in Texas I faced some hard truths about myself, my expectation of marriage and friendships and my relationship with God. Over the next several months, I would explore and confront answers to the following questions: Who Am I? I can’t see the forest for the trees right now, but I refuse to let any of this be in vain, so how do I yield myself to my story and experiences in a way that destroys the root of bitterness and inspires healing and truth? Will I be okay?

My belief, intentions and prayer as I open the book of my heart in this blog is that it will bring about continued healing and clarity in my life and family, but that it would also be a source of healing, inspiration and life-awakening to you. It will not all be heavy and deep, but it will all be rooted in truth and a commitment to my firm belief that when we make a decision to get real about what passions burn in our heart and how those passions and callings are often quenched or stifled by life’s routine, we have the power to move into living a life that is actually alive. I’m more alive today than I have ever been in my adult life. Maybe still a bit broken and scarred, but alive with many more smiles than tears. I’ve been a style maven and fashion industry veteran for 17 years, but at the age of 32, I transition into living a life of beauty not just by what you with the naked eye, but from the inside out. Lets pursue inside out beauty, healing, hope and elevation together.

With love, transparency & gratitude,