**One of the main things we want to share on this little blog is the story of how God has restored our lives – how He has replaced sadness with joy, emptiness with purpose, scarcity with abundance in all areas of life. To be able to fully appreciate where we are, we must remember where we were. To do this, we are going to have a series of His and Hers stories that give some background on both of us individually. We want to paint a picture of who we are and where we came from. Then we will share Our Story.**
I am the oldest of three girls and spent the first ten years of my life in Texas. Even though I have lived in Oklahoma for more than twice that time, I will always consider myself a Texan, yall. (Did you know that word is supposed to have an apostrophe?!)
My family has always considered faith very important. From the day I was born until the day I moved out on my own, I could count on my fingers the Sundays I was not in church. If the doors were open, we were there. I have lost count of the number of family members that were church musicians, Sunday school teachers, missionaries, pastors, and yada, yada, yada. Everyone was involved. In high school, my grandpa was the pastor of our church and my dad was the youth leader. Pretty much anything we did and anyone we knew was from our church. There was always something going on – VBS, camps, revivals, conferences. That was our life.
Growing up, I was always somewhat of a perfectionist. I’m not sure why, but I always felt this pressure to do my very best and be the best at everything. Even in kindergarten. If we were finger painting, I was going to have the very best piece of art, gosh darn it! Straight A’s were the only option in school. I joined the band, and no matter what instrument I played, it was first chair or no chair. It wasn’t until I was older that I really realized that it didn’t come from my parents, I put it on myself. (My mom always tried to tell me that, but what did she know… right?)
My first boyfriend in high school was very similar to me. We took school very seriously. Everything was a competition and we were both pretty sore losers. It seems pretty ridiculous, looking back on it now. The one thing we didn’t share was our faith. Because that was such a dominant part of my life, our relationship eventually fizzled.
My senior year of high school, I started hanging out with the guy who would eventually become my first husband. We had gone to the same school for years but had never hung out so we didn’t really know each other. He was so fun and charismatic, always the life of the party and he would do anything for a laugh. He was so different than me. It was refreshing.
Despite the warnings from pretty much everyone (you’re just so different!), I got swept up in our relationship. He made me laugh. He showed me how fun it was to not always be known as the perfect preacher’s kid who had to be the best at everything. He even knew all of the right answers to give about his faith.
Looking back, I can see the glaring red warning flags, but at the time they seemed like nothing more than tiny pin pricks. Anything that hinted at a problem, I swept away without a thought.
He did that? It’s just a phase, something he’ll grow out of.
He thinks this? Well I guess that’s not such a big deal.
Because I was such an up-tight perfectionist, I had never really been in any kind of serious trouble. I didn’t smoke, drink, or do drugs. But everyone has their weakness and mine eventually caught up to me.
The summer before my sophomore year of college, at 19 years old, I found out I was pregnant.
Read Part Two.