On the outside, everything in my life seemed just peachy for a long time. On my anniversary four years ago, I made the following tribute to my spouse on my Facebook page:
"Although my anniversary was yesterday, I couldn't let the chance pass me by to say I LOVE YOU to the man who was my first kiss, covered my yard with snow my first Christmas in the desert, was the pilot my first time on an airplane, is the father of our three beautiful children, works harder than any other person I know, moved to St. George mostly because he knew that is where I wanted to live, and has given me some of the best moments of my life. Forever and always Babe!"
It sounds just like a fairy-tale doesn't it? This was evidence to the world of a picture-perfect relationship. However, truth was that those words were from a woman who was trying to reach across galaxies to revive any life left in her relationship. My marriage was falling apart. I fought hard against the reality that I couldn't keep everything all together how I wanted. I finally had to let go of my perfect plan (my pride) and trust God with my life.
My marriage still ended in divorce. Looking back though, I can see how God had a plan much greater than I had for myself. He took all the ugly parts of life and of me and somehow brought them together in a way that made me better. He made me stronger. He taught me about forgiveness, compassion, empathy, and showed me who I am. I faced situations I would have never understood had I not lived through them. And, without ever imaging it was possible, He brought my family back together and my relationship is much stronger because of the nightmare we lived through.
This is not the story I would have written for myself, but it is somehow okay. The journey has been filled and is still filled with so many unexpected bumps, but because of a loving Creator, all those imperfections have worked together so perfectly for the good of my family.
So even if life seems so perfect on the outside for everyone else, let's be aware that battles are often fought privately and silently. Let's reach out and love everyone no matter how ok they seem. And let's stop believing we are the only one that is less than perfect. Stop comparing the worst parts of your life to the best in those around you. And most importantly, let's turn to our loving Father in Heaven who can take all the ugliness in our lives to create a perfectly imperfect life.