Just days before I met Tom, I had a conversation with God. I was in the midst of a 12 month separation from the husband of a fourteen year marriage and my divorce was just getting started. I had spent an ashamed amount of those months searching for comfort in all the wrong things. Or let’s be honest…in all the wrong men.

I have never been a drinker, a smoker, a substance abuser, but when it comes to love…or the counterfeit substitute…lust, I was a true addict. I had explored Tinder and POF, because goodness knows I had no confidence left to actually meet someone in the normal way. Every weekend, as soon as the kids were off to their dad’s, the loneliness would settle in and I’d be trying to find a date. I hated myself more and more as the weeks passed, believing there was nothing true or good left and that what my heart really desired did not exist. After my heart got too attached to one “new lover” in particular, I finally fell on my face and asked my Creator the most important questions of my life (thus far). I got very ‘real’ with God and I am sure it was a pathetic, selfish looking sight.

“Who the hell did you make me to be? Why did you make me so able to love just so that my love could be rejected? You did not save my marriage! Why do you give me the desire to be a wife, a partner, a lover and then just let me get hurt? Why did you make me at all?” I used every ounce of energy on crying and rocked back and forth on the floor beneath my broken marriage bed. And then— everything got really quiet.

“I made you to love. No matter what. Trust me.”

Those three sentences changed everything about my mindset. I began to know who he DID NOt make me to be. He didn’t make me to yearn. He did not make me to lust. He did not make me to hurt. He did not make me to stay and live in this anger and illness. So, I got up and washed my face and deleted my messages to the men I had been breaking my own heart over, and I took a breath. I promised myself to stop looking so hard for WHO to love and to begin to just LOVE MYSELF.

If I have learned one thing about how God works in my life when I have these “real” moments with Him, it’s that when I have faith and I listen to what He says, He MOVES fast! He doesn’t waste time once we are ready to heal.

At work a few days later, I shared my dating experiences with a close friend and I told her I was done looking. She suggested a different site called “Zoosk” that claimed to be a dating site for Christians. I swore to her that “NO way! I am not falling for that.” But then the lonlienss of the evening snuck in. After I put the kids to bed and sat alone (again) in bed, curiosity got to me and I made a profile on Zoosk. And that is where I first saw Tom. It was the moment when God’s call for me to “Love not matter what” all began. I had no idea what kind of heart healing, and deep scouring of my soul God was about to do. I just knew I loved that Tom asked me if our first date could “please be at his church”.

“YES!!! Finally, a knight in shining armor.” Oh, naive little Gem.

Tom reading our devotion to me before bed.

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