17

today i am finding my fight song… with a single match, it will light an explosion.

i will share only because i am called to.

this is not easy. i can feel my heart racing as i know the unraveling of truth that has been hidden away from my own thoughts for years & years is about to be released. it’s a pouring out of the darkness that causes bitterness that feeds on my heart & soul & mind.

asking for grace… forgiveness… mercy.

 

 

17.

i am the only parent to two small children. struggling to put words to a story that i kept to myself to avoid embarrassment, shame, hurt, failure. we daily live in caution 3,000 miles away from their father; who has elected to be 3,000  miles away.

i was 17 years old once.

i was raised in a very small town with no stop lights, not even a blinking red light. when someone claimed to be a Christian i thought that meant they were just like me…

a Bible-believing,
saved by Grace that i do not deserve, born-again with a cleansed heart that has been washed clean by the blood of Christ.
being baptized in the name of the father, son & holy spirit. the trinity.
living in and guiding days.
directing paths.
keeping them straight.
a Father that knew each detail before being knit together…
the # of hairs on heads,
knows hearts & minds,
the details of our lives before they unfold.
an intrinsic desire to follow His will. eternally.
without question or doubt that He is Holy.
Just.
Abba. Father.
the great I AM.
deserving of our praise.
a mustard seed can move mountains.
seas can be split.
empires can crash.
our God that created the heavens & the earth and called each by name.
He hung the stars in their place
and calls me by name, a daughter of the King.

17 years old seems so very young… i was a simple girl that smiled and laughed and had joy.  i was a daddy’s girl – i was taught to drive a standard and change oil and change a tire and parallel park. we learned how to drive in a field car and enjoyed countless hours on snowmobiles and dirt bikes and had acres to play. a small apple orchard we pressed each fall into cider. blueberry patches, a playhouse with a loft, my very own garden at the end of the north drive. i followed the rules and stayed out of trouble. i didn’t smoke or drink or have sex… no partying or wild nights. i was good. i listened to my parents, i honored them with my decisions and my heart echoed their prayer for my life.

i worked hard. i played hard. i learned customer service without discrimination, to count back change, to stay busy and help as much as i could in my mom’s shop. for hours, i would watch my dad in his wood shop building tables and repairing antique furniture and making letter openers on the lathe, inspecting the grain and hand choosing each piece of lumber for each project. he would leave his keys in the truck all winter long… just in case someone else needed it more than him. he’d come home without a jacket or work boots… without a hesitation that God would provide every need.

i drove a VW fox with hundreds of thousands of miles that was serviced by this amazing man on the canadaigua lake pier that shared stories of a life well lived. i listened to phish and sarah mclachlan and wore hippie juice on occasion. for the first & only time i cut my hair short… it took years to grow back. long before i graduated from a local preparatory academy, i knew a 4-year degree was the next step – that would make me worldly and intelligent and on a road to success where there would be good jobs and intelligent men to marry once i established a career. i attended school on a scholarship… i didn’t know i was smart. i called my mom when i was chosen for the dean’s list… ask my mom someday and she’ll tell you the story about how i believed i made the dean the best subway sandwich he ever had and chose me for his list. i did say i was naive, right?

and yet i distinctly remember that i did not feel young at 17. it was a lifetime ago.

 

he was not a Jesus follower; he claimed it with an emptiness in his heart. i believed his convincing words.

in january 2000, while i was a senior in high school. he found me in a chatroom. i was learning how to use the internet to communicate in my computer class. he was living out a year on okinawa island as a second year Marine… cruising chatrooms looking to hook someone. unfortunately that day, he found me…

we dated. by that i mean… we spent less than 6 weeks within an arm’s reach over 2 years.

he promised a future of adventure and travel and interest. his words were so different from anything i had heard in my small little town and they drowned out reason and common sense.

he called me his “angel” sent from heaven to be his perfect soulmate. pair anything with God and i was sold. i was his everything. without me, he was nothing. he could not breath without knowing i was his. i was required to maintain where i was and what i was doing and how long i would be. i thought this was love.

ladies… this is NOT love.

in truth, i was his trophy… the kind that he could show off around his local hometown during leave, to be introduced to his extended family that he made something of himself and convinced me to join his self-fulfilling party. that he proved to himself and to his childhood hurts & pains & childhood kids that picked on him & childhood that broke him & stole him & took him far, far away that he could conquer & kill & destroy. he proved that he could. i was just a piece in his puzzle.

 

engagement.

christmas eve 2001 he took away the care-free, fun-loving, easy-going passion from my life by asking me to marry him. i was barely 19. he stole my joy. he had pushed me into a very small hole in the earth with his manipulative words, controlling temperament, self-serving, self-righteous plan that he thought up and demanded that i fulfill. i was unhappy. i was suffocating under the weight and pressure that i wrongly accepted that this was the direction my life was meant to go.

he took my path and merged it with his man-made direction. he took a young girl that was designed to do great things and squashed my hopes and dreams and desires. he took a smart, naive, small-town girl that wanted to see the world and chipped slowly at my character, my confidence, my design. my parents raised me under God’s provision to do great things, to fly… to be God’s…

 

he can’t hurt me anymore. i’m untouchable.

i know my purpose. i am choosing to rise above the hurt and brokenness and proclaim that i belong to God. i know my voice and i will use it to proclaim that God brought me through this and will continue to carry me as my brokenness heals.

 

unfortunately, this is just the surface of my 13 year story… i had to bear unexpected deployments, marital abandonment, a public Christian baptism and his suicidal rages that left me broken and tattered and alone.

it has been long & exhausting. full of heartache and pain. where the few happy moments and joys are choked out by the hurt and sadness. i played a role in his life. a role that was replaced with affairs. a pornography addiction. conceited lies to maintain a facade that he created. and more lies to cover up the lies.

… this is the slow unfolding process of putting words to my story. allowing my fingers to type out the minds direction while my throat constricts, my chest tightens and my heart pounds.

 

i accept my role in this… i am guilty for being 19 and making a decision that changed the entire course of my life. i made a decision without all of the information required to make a good decision.

i do not regret my decision to leave.

 

he is a truly a disappointing approach to what a man is called to be.

the gut check. i believed him. his lies. manipulation. control. his unwillingness to participate. all of his claims. that it was my fault he wanted to kill himself. that it was my fault he could not heal. that it was my fault that i could not love him the right way. that for all those years i was never good enough. i was never enough of a mom or a wife or a cook or a groundskeeper. i was not ever good enough for him.

but the truth is… he was never good enough for me.

Comments

  1. Sweet Aimee, may God be with you as you write and share your journey. Let the flow of words and thoughts bring healing and strength that only He — the Great Physician — can bring. You are brave and courageous in your sharing, my dear. Blessings to you always!
    Hugs, Heidi

    • thank you Heidi… your love and support and prayer over us has been monumental in our lives. thank you for all you’ve continued to do to show me that God is in control of all!

  2. Beverly Kubat says:

    Aimee, your story touched me so deeply. Mine is similar. My heart connected with you right away. You are a precious child of God…..our God who was with you through it all, but was also our God who brought you back. He truly is with us in our darkest hour. I’m thankful for parents who taught us about God and for His mercy to bring us back to Him. Thank you for sharing your journey. Love and prayers to you; you are loved. Beverly

    • Beverly,
      I believe the hardest part of my story is looking to see the break that was made between how hard and feverishly my parents raised me, instilled in me, trusted me, taught me and encouraged me… to be taken from my childhood and thousands of miles from my life and be left broken and hurting and full of great sadness. I am thankful for a God that saves… and as great as parents are, they cannot save us… but they can teach us to look to Him for all things. God is good, He is always good. Thank you for sharing, it means so much to me.

  3. Erica Sullivan says:

    Dearest Aimee,
    You are not alone. You and I were on parallel roads at different times. My ex threw a couple of punches in when he could. I do not hate him, no, it was a learning experience I am glad God gave me strength to endure and in the end, it made me realize what I would NEVER tolerate again. I realized I would never set the bar so low that I would compromise myself. I was too trusting as well. Once this pain in your heart is wiped away you will realize you are the beautiful butterfly you were always meant to be.
    Your friend miles aways,
    Erica

    • Erica, sweet friend — you are so perfectly in line with where I am at today. Accepting that I have seen bitter days full of struggle and frustration and I refuse to ever, ever, ever be forced to endure those days again. I am working to steadily rebuild my confidence and strength; knowing that it only comes from God. I hope to open these wings soon.. I am on my way!

      You are loved.

  4. Aimee,
    I remember our senior year and all those trips to the post office to send care packages. Young and naive we are at 17. The fact that you have seen the light and made the choices that are best for you and your beautiful children is inspiring to those who may be going through what you went through. You are strong, beautiful and always enough. I wish you the best of luck in all you do. Ps I remember that fox 😉

    • hi sweet friend… you are so dear to me. you made my senior year GREAT. thank you for your kind, gentle words of affirmation. for nearly 3 years i have been enduring difficulty, scared to show the world the failure i was suffocating under. when met with your grace, i am inspired to share without hesitation. thank you for sharing… oh yes, that was one foxy fox! 🙂

  5. Courtney O'Dell says:

    Aimee,

    What strong and brave words. I checked in on your site on a whim and my heart instantly broke. You are so brave, strong, and vulnerable. Those two beautiful kids have a wonderful pillar of strength, true beauty, and love.

Leave a Comment

*