Have you ever looked at yourself on paper and said, “wow, that chick is one lucky gal!”, yet the emptiness and brokenness that you feel is palpable. (Cue the raising of both of my hands.) This was me, 6 years ago, I was married to a successful Principal at a national CPA firm, lived in a great neighborhood in Boston, had two beautiful and healthy children, and was the VP of Sales and Marketing for a Jewelry Designer in NY. Come on now friends, that looks pretty great, am I right? Yet it wasn’t. You see, life isn’t just the book cover, it’s filled with pages that create the story, some less savory then others. That perfect life was costing us a lot, both financially and emotionally. Perfection, or shall I say the illusion of perfection, comes with an emotional cost that far exceeds the tangible costs to maintain it.
My husband and I had been married almost 2 years when I experienced my first miscarriage, 3 years when we welcomed our first son, followed by our second son 17 months later. A time that brings many innate joys, was the beginning of a tumultuous time for us. Our cover was beautiful, but the pages of our book were riddled with disappointments, darkness and less then favorable life decisions. The effects of grief and emotional struggles were slowly eroding our relationship. Life controlling problems were sneaking into the cracks and erupting into craters. We pointed fingers, we disrespected each other and we developed resentment. So I did what most people do when life feels out of control, I attempted to control what I “could” control. So, we sold the house, we moved to the suburbs, we each went to counseling (alone and together), we were going to fight through what felt like an impossible situation.
“Perfection,” “Impossible,” “Control,” words that filled my mind at the time when what I needed was “Faith,” “Trust,” and “God.” We weren’t walking with the Lord at the time, but I know now he was ALWAYS walking with us. I now know that life moves in the direction of your thoughts, so a peaceful mind is key to navigating all that life presents. Mid-2016 my husband said this to me “we have tried everything to fix this, except GOD.” This was it friends, this was our last attempt at salvaging what was left of our relationship and also what was left of us. It felt impossible, but as stated in Luke 1:37 NET, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
We started attending a Christ Centered Life Group, one that focused on leaning into God instead of our own abilities and will. We started un-packing years of frustrations and disappointments, and learning the gift of prayer, of looking at what our part was in a situation before pointing fingers, we started learning how to heal. This group was held at a local Christian church, and when invited to attend a Sunday service, we said yes. I was raised with religion in my life, but not faith. This church was different from what I was used to, there was worship music that I had never heard before, people were kind… really kind, and there was a joy in the air that was contagious. I remember listening to a message in those first days and saying to myself “why not?” Looking around I made the determination that welcoming the help of our savior, “couldn’t hurt.”
Perfect ending right…we found Jesus, all was better and we lived happily ever after. NOPE! The months that followed were HARD, really hard, but I kept going, I kept plugging in, and I kept crying… man did I cry. We know that when God is moving so is the enemy. But this time was different, I had the tools in my toolbox, I had Christ in my corner. My favorite verse became James 1: 2-4 NIV “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, no lacking anything.” YES!!! I used to be ashamed of the imperfections in my life, because that made me less than “perfect.” Now I see that the struggles, the dark pages of our book, the imperfections in my life are what make me perfectly his. That my vulnerability with sharing our dark story may help others. There was only ever one perfect person, and that was Jesus Christ, so now I just try to live my life as much like he would. Do I faulter, yup! Sometimes you just have to do a little better then yesterday, one step at a time as they say, and sometimes my friends, it’s one moment at a time, and that’s ok.
I’m happy to say that God helped my husband and I through our dark times and we are now enjoying our life together. Scars and all, we give each other grace, we forgive, we pray for each other, and we love each other. I’ve since left my job and spend my time focusing on my new jewelry business that was built to honor Him, spend time with our children, and making God and my husband a priority.
Find Jenn and her Beautiful Jewelry over here on Instagram