This I Believe

Jennifer - Chickamauga, Georgia
Entered on June 16, 2007

I’m just a plain, ordinary girl from a small town in Georgia. I’ve always had that dream of finding someone to love me for who I am, and I still do. I have always had a few requirements, though. He has to be a Christian, go to church with me, love Chinese food, and think all my curves are beautiful, even though they are in all the wrong places.

I had just about given up hope. I mean, who am I to be picky? Look at me. So, I searched for love where all us lonely gals go… the internet. I finally met someone and began dating him. He wasn’t perfect, but honestly, who was? He was a nice enough guy, and I figured he would do. Over the course of the next year and a half, my life went from being almost perfect, to being perfectly awful. Although the times were tough, I learned something that no one could have ever taught me. I learned to never settle for less than what I deserve.

Dating my internet sweetheart was great for quite awhile. We got along great, never fought, went out regularly, and ate Chinese food. Things were wonderful. Although we had practically nothing in common other than a love of food and each other, we got by okay. He was nice to me and treated me how I wanted to be treated. So, who cares that I had this nagging in my gut as he proposed to me on my birthday. I was going to be getting married! I pushed aside everything in my head and heart that said no, and just followed my dreams. I was going to be married to my internet sweetheart! Life was good.

On July 1, 2006, the day of our wedding, I once again ignored the nagging in my gut. I kept thinking that maybe it was all just cold feet. Things would get better once the two of us were married, or so I thought. As liberating as it would have been to hike up my dress and runaway like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride, I had to do this. The invitations had been sent, the church was packed, and the honeymoon cabin was booked. It was too late to run away, even though every instinct I had was telling me to.

Apparently, I was a little wrong when I thought everything would get better after marriage. Let me rephrase that. I was very wrong. Things only got worse. The honeymoon, for starters, was terrible. So terrible, in fact, that we deserved a place in The Guinness Book of World Records for having the worst honeymoon ever. After the flat tire, numerous traffic jams, storms, and many curse words, we returned home with a marriage that was already falling apart. As if things weren’t bad enough, my husband lost his job, quit going to church, became a heavy drinker, and became addicted to porn and painkillers. I began spiraling downhill, just wanting nothing more than to get out of the marriage.

I had finally had enough. Just because my husband was throwing his life away didn’t mean that I had to do the same. So, one Monday morning, I packed my bags and headed for home. Since then, things have never been the same.

As nice as it would have been to have completely avoided a marriage and a divorce, I am so thankful that it happened to me. It brought me closer to God, closer to my family, but most of all, it taught me something amazing. I learned that I should never settle for less than what I deserve. I am valuable, maybe not to a man, but to my God and my family. I may just be a plain, ordinary girl from a small town in Georgia, but I am truly loved. This I believe.