The photo on the left was taken in April 1992. I just turned 18 and I recently gave birth to my eldest son. I was wearing a dress borrowed from a friend. I was waiting for our names to be called by the Office of the Mayor. I was about to get married to the father of my son.
The photo on the right was taken in December 2015. It was the day I got married to the right man and for all the right reasons.
So many things transpired between these two life-changing events that happened 23 years, 8 months, and 26 days apart.
The prominent theme in my life during these years, months, and days were mostly pain and heartache.
I remember I experienced postpartum depression after giving birth but I didn’t know what was happening to me. I remember crying for no apparent reason and feeling sadness to the depths of my soul.
The marriage with the father of my eldest son was short-lived. It unraveled pretty fast after that fateful day in the Mayor’s office. We married for all the wrong reasons and we were not ready to fulfill our obligations to each other as a husband and as a wife.
Parenting is an enormous responsibility and it soon became extremely daunting for a single mother like me. I remember how I mentally, emotionally and financially struggled as a single mother. The most heart wrenching part was the fierce legal battle for custody for our eldest son that dragged on for many years.
Looking back, I realized how God sustained me in my darkest and difficult moments. All throughout those 23 years, 8 months, and 26 days, He is a loving and faithful God who never left my side. It is indeed true that “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). He healed my deepest hurts. He pieced together my shattered heart. He made me whole again.
He is also a God of second chances. I have always wanted to have a partner in life. Matagal ko nang inaasam na magkaroon ng katuwang sa buhay. But I had to work on myself first. I cannot expect someone who is God-fearing, intentionally loving, kind, and responsible to be in my life if I do not cultivate these qualities in me first. By God’s grace, I found God’s best for me. And finally, after more than 20 years, my first marriage was declared null and void in 2014 so I could get married again; this time for all the right reasons.
Preparing well for marriage means asking each other all the hard questions. Learn about the questions to ask when preparing for marriage.
God designed marriage not primarily as an obstacle, a trial to be endured through clenched teeth, but as a pointer and springboard to your greatest joy. Yes, rich joys can be tasted in this life, but the greatest joys are still to come. God didn’t design marriage to be your storybook ending, but a fresh beginning, to help get you ready for the true “happily ever after” when together we see our great Bridegroom face to face.
Married. For All The Right Reasons.