We reached out to our constituents and asked them to ask us questions for a blog post series. Some of the women wanted to know how to better educate their churches on abuse or what to do about a particularly painful situation. To my surprise, the most common question I received was, “How did you meet your husband?” (giggles!) At first, I kind of felt like it was a little bit invasive, but because I am currently reading the latest Brene Brown book, I decided I would oblige. So, here is my personal account of how I met David, the man of my dreams.
I was working really hard to keep my kiddos and myself going. I was afraid; I was shaking in my little boots; I was more alone than I have ever felt. I felt dejected, rejected, a little bit crazy, not myself and desperate for so much . . . for time alone just to pray, to feel like I belonged somewhere or to someone, for a sense of security and safety for myself and my children and so much more. My ex sent money a few times, which helped us. There was not a promise of more and, after that, it became a matter of “starving us out”: Come home and you can have money for the kids. (It wasn’t for another three years after that that we were able to obtain child support.) Ya’ll. I did not have time for “alone time”. I did manage to get up an hour before the kids and have a long, silent-sob quiet time in the bathroom with Jesus (only room in the house with a door). After that, it was very hard work. I was too afraid for my kids not to work hard. They were small. I had to be a busy mama and a working mama but, what was hardest, were the gnawing fears in the back of my mind . . . fears that almost broke me.
What will I do? When I move out of temporary housing, where will we go? Why won’t my family show compassion? Why am I being judged so harshly? Will the children grow up with their mother scorned by her entire family? How will that affect them? Will I ever have money to secure custody of my kids? Am I wrong for wanting them to be safe and loved and free from the abuse? Can I provide that for them on my own?
I always wish that I could give our mamas one year off after the finally take the bravest step, in the world, in leaving an abusive situation. Instead, they all have to jump into the unknown territory of having to be the main provider, when all they have known is being a wife and mother. The stress of the situation and their own pain and their children’s pain stretches their hearts to fracturing. I get that. We were really in poverty. People would leave canned goods on our doorstep. Someone dropped off bags of old clothes. I could not believe I was living that way.
I honestly didn’t think I would ever remarry. Who would want to “take on” a woman and her four small children? I knew, when I left, that I would probably be alone for the rest of my life.
I guess God had other plans.
I was working on taking a third job as a church pianist. I had worked for David fifteen years ago, when he was a pastor and I was a pianist. I knew we were friends on Facebook. So, I wrote him and asked for a reference, of which he was happy to give. I believe that, a few weeks later, David re-thought about my message to him, wondering what I was doing in Nebraska when he had heard that my family and I had moved to Europe. And why was I working? David decided to re-visit our conversation and he asked me if I was alright. I told him I wasn’t. He asked if we could talk. I made a decision to be completely honest with David, as I knew I could trust him. The rest is pretty much history. We talked on the phone once a week . . . then every night . . . and then, David came and got all of us, put us on a plane and brought us home — to him.
David wanted more children. He loved them, the first time he laid eyes on them. David was my Boaz. But, he would tell you that I was his Ruth. Those who truly know and love me (as in, have allowed me to be truly known and seen), know my character. Not perfection, please, but character.
“May the Lord bless you, my daughter. You have shown more kindness now than before because you have not pursued younger men, whether rich or poor. Now don’t be afraid, my daughter. I will do for you whatever you say, since all the people in my town know that you are a woman of noble character.” —Ruth 3:10–11
David had known me before. Not super-well, but he would tell anyone who asked, “I saw Megan as a good wife to her husband, years ago. She was respectful and kind.” My testimony, as a good wife to my ex-husband (as an act of worship to God — not because he brought that out in me, by any means), was what David never forgot. And what he saw was a woman working hard for meager return. He did not see me as the desperate woman I felt I was because he had known me before. He knew that this place-of-my-heart was temporary. He trusted in my solid-faith, which did not feel so solid, but it was there.
David rescued me. He would tell you I rescued him, as well. We rescued each other. Neither one of us wanted to be alone, anymore. We wanted to pour into a marriage (a second chance) that would honor and glorify God and teach our collective children what a beautiful marriage could look like.
We are so thankful for each other. And, oh, to have a marriage free from “roles”, from being held hostage, from loneliness, from pain and suffering every. single. day. To just love each other and want the best for each other. To grow together. To fall together; to get back up together. To give freedom and to meet felt needs and have someone be thankful for that.
I love my David. I want every woman to have a David. I waited so long for him. And my heart is full. And that’s our story.
And . . . just for fun . . . .