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The thought of sharing my life again with someone after Marcus died was intimidating.
But it was but also something I yearned for deeply. I never wanted to be single. I spent almost a decade leaning on my husband, growing closer together, learning each other and building a life together. It was our own epic love story. Marcus and my relationship was so beautiful that it was hard to comprehend a new one with someone else.
I know I am better with someone. My mom joked with a friend after Marcus passed that I am a “relationship person,” so it wasn’t surprising that I wanted a partner. And that’s the truth: I knew I wanted to share my life with someone, someone to raise my children with, who would chase after my heart, help me pursue my dreams. And not just anyone, but the one. A love like that is special and rare, and it was daunting to think I could have that a second time.
I knew I wanted it, but wasn’t sure how.
My current phase of life was busy and unique. Being a stay-at-home single mom of three at 29 was extremely confining. Marcus and I got married when I was 20, so I never did any traditional “dating.” Sure, the occasional interest in high school or church, but nothing serious. So after he died and I knew I was ready to put myself out there, it was difficult to even know where to start.
I had a conversation with my dad about five months after Marcus passed about the thoughts about being with a new person. But, the conversation was led with my doubts and fears. I had lived a big life for someone my age. Married for 9 years, three children (then 5 and under), and now the “baggage” of grief, all at the age of 30. Plus I had intentionally not pursued a college degree or career with the intention of being a stay at home mom with the kids. My career choice was one of sacrifice for my family, and not one where I could flaunt my accolades in an attempt to impress some guy or bring monetary value to a relationship.
I am so thankful my dad spoke truth over my fears. Instead of validating my insecurities, he told me to instead focus on my strengths. He told me that I was worthy of being pursued. So yes, my story is big, but it is a good thing. It means that I knew how to be in a committed relationship, how to manage the stress and intensity of raising young children while supporting my husband in a way that helped him climb the ladder in his career. It meant that I knew how to be selfless and put my family’s needs above my need for personal success. He told me I was beautiful and that any guy would be lucky to pursue me.
And that is exactly what I needed to hear. True hope for another love story.
We need to speak truth over ourselves, no matter our life circumstance. Focus on what is true and real (Philippians 4:8-9) and not believe the lies satan tells us about ourselves. That we might not be worthy. That people will judge our timing or grieving. I refused to believe the lies that I was telling myself, that maybe people might think I didn’t love Marcus enough if I was considering being with someone new. Or that I would be too much for someone to understand.
People might think those things, but I can’t control that. What I do know is that Marcus and I had a fantastic relationship. We were happy. He treated me so well and we had built such a beautiful life together. Every day forced to be a single person, raising three children on my own, felt like 100 and I was already tired of being alone. I wanted to share my life with someone, and the kids need a dad on this earth to raise them.
Genesis 2:18 says “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” The Bible commands the young widow to remarry. I grieved well, focusing on my healing. I knew I would forever be grieving the loss of my first love and father of my children and that heartache would never completely go away. I will never be “over” Marcus. I will forever love him and I am so thankful for the life and love we had together. And dating someone else did not change that. I knew I was ready.
Stay tuned for the next chapter in our love story…
Check out this post to see why I chose to share so much of my grief journey and how much it has helped me. And see this one to gain insight to our daily life and how you can be a help to others in a similar situation!
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Photos by Rachel White Photography
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