The good news is after reaching bottom, the only way out is up. I found a job in Salado at a jewelry store and started fresh. My step-dad was the most amazing support during this. He never judged me, he knew the horror and shame that I felt for this decision. He knew every job application I’d have to explain my “obstruction of highway passage”, any man I dated, the shame I caused my mom and my family. My arrest was proof that I had never really dealt with all that had happened and life had finally caught up to me. Life just keep happening, things kept changing and I never really had the time to grieve and get well.
About six weeks after I moved in with my parents, I was dying to get back on my own, and give them some space as well. No one wants to live with newlyweds especially if it’s your parents! (Sorry mom, LOL!) I knew eventually I wanted to find a job in Austin, so I found an apartment there and moved a couple of weeks later. My poor step-dad moved me close to 6 times before I got married. He was thrilled when I met Mark because he knew he’d never have to move me again.
I felt like I had been given a second chance at life, and everything seemed fresh to me. I wanted to start over and I wanted to start in Austin, where no one really knew me and knew my past. Because I worked on Sundays I knew it’d be hard to find a church so I asked some of my friends and found a Bible Study. I began to meet wonderful girlfriends, godly women, who weren’t perfect and accepted me just as I was and exactly where I was at. I even met amazing godly men who were encouraging and a great support for me. I had finally found a community of people to support me, and to many friends to count. Friends that are still a part of my life today. We watched each other get married, have children and it all began with that one Bible Study almost 12 years ago. God was continuing to heal and restore me, one day at time.
I began doing my community service for my arrest and God used that in amazing ways. I ended up getting a full-time job from the non-profit that I was doing my community service for. It was kind of a staff joke that I was a former CSR that was now a full-time employee. I began working for an attorney in a non-profit and just took to the job immediately. I revamped the systems of the entire department. The job was a great fit. It was yet another way that God was healing me. I had value, purpose and I was doing well spiritually and emotionally. Things were beginning to stabilize. Not to long after that, a girlfriend of mine from Bible Study asked me to move in with her. She was one of those people who understood the things I had gone through and had her own hardships as well. One of those people that you will be friends with for life. That move changed my life. Little did I know that God had planted my husband, right next door. It was only a matter of months before we were engaged. I still laugh to this day about my husband’s first impressions of me. He said when we first met he thought I partied a lot because I was out all the time. We laugh now because what he didn’t realize at the time was that I was either at Bible Study, or out with my friends from the singles group at our church. I still to this day have some of the best memories with those friends. We had so many great times, Shady Grove Unplugged, dancing at Gruene Hall, and time on the lake.
Our wedding was such a celebration. I was so madly in love with my husband and still am. We had a whirlwind romance that ended with my dream wedding. I know so many people thought that my wedding was over the top, but to me I just wanted to thank all those people that had prayed for me, loved me, encouraged me and stood beside my mom and me all those years before. It wasn’t just a party about celebrating my marriage it was a party about my healing, and that called for a celebration.
There is hope and my life is living proof. My life isn’t perfect, trust me. But this my friends, is only the beginning I can’t wait for you to embark on this journey with me.