Some conversations stick in my mind from years and years ago. I remember sitting on my couch with a friend while our kids toddled at our feet, and my friend was sharing a story about her husband and she said, “He just wants me to be happy.”

I laughed. I thought she was kidding.

Fast forward a handful of years and I was away with three of my closest friends and I was recalling a recent incident where I had been standing by my thermostat trying to cool it down by waving a piece of paper at it and begging Jesus to make the number go down, moments before my then-husband was supposed to come home, as I had it turned up higher than he liked and forgot to turn it back down in time.

They all looked at me, stunned.

I said, “What, you guys don’t do that?”

They shook their heads no and one of them said, “I’m pretty sure my husband would just want me warm and comfortable in my own home.”

I thought she was full of BS.

And one time, I was with a girlfriend shopping, and she was updating me on how her husband and marriage were and she said, almost in passing, “He just cherishes me.”

I started crying right there in the scrapbook store.

Clearly, my normal was so far from center and yet so completely ingrained in me that I honestly thought all those friends of mine were in the minority.

Until recently.

Because I’ve not just met a man who adores me and treats me well, but now that we’re planning a wedding together, I have been very, freakishly, pleasantly surprised.

Me: “Honey, how much input do you want to have in the wedding plans?”
Tall-Shadow: “As much or as little as you’d like.”

Gadzoinks! What?!?

Me: “What do you think about fill-in-the-blank instead of the traditional fill-in-the-blank?
TS: “Love it. Awesome idea.”


Me: “Wedding question of the day: put in order of preference who you’d like to have do such-and-such.”
TS: “I want you to be comfortable. Just marry me.”

Heart melting all over the place.

And then recently, he uttered the words that I thought were simply folklore, “I just want you to be happy.”

Not that life is all about being happy (for the love, have you just met me??), but dear heavens, who knew this was out there?!  So I’m here to tell you again, sweet ones who are divorced and wounded and in doubt, that what you were perhaps used to – mistreatment, abuse, lies, infidelity, addictions, pornography, someone who didn’t have your back, someone you were afraid of – that was not normal.  Being treated well is.  And I firmly believe it’s what God intended when he created marriage.

And I’m going to do everything I can to perpetuate my new normal as a light to the rest of the world of how Christ loves the Church, sacrificially, thoughtfully, kindly, with joy and hope and patience and redemption.

If this post resonated with you, I’d love to work with you to move forward in your healing, and I’d be honored if you’d consider supporting my ministry as I reach out to help hurting women by bringing them hope.

Life isn't always how we want it. When change seems elusive, and we're stuck in old routines, a gentle push or some self-reflection can make a difference. Let these questions be that nudge to get you moving.

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