So let's see I have so many stories that have certainly developed me into the woman I am today; however, I want to focus on the one that has changed my life.
Since a teen girl I always seemed to seek out guys that were older than me. I think that was because I never really related to others my age, I was always kind of an old soul. I found myself looking for a companion who needed me, which usually meant they had hang ups and often times more than none I was the reciprocator to those hang ups.
I found myself throughout my teens, early twenties and even into my early 30's investing time in men who used me, abused me and would spit me out to say the least. In that time period, I conceived a beautiful daughter. Her father, although we had been together many years, decided he did not want to be a parent, so I was left with the responsibility of a child on my own.
I wanted nothing more than for my daughter to have a normal life, which to me meant a family, a mom and a dad. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of single parents that hold down the fort and create amazing lives for the children. However my heart broke for my child! I wanted her to have a father to love her and show her how she should be treated, a man that loved me and respected me, which in turn taught her the kind of man she should eventually one day pursue.
There were many years of heartaches for us both. Broken hearts, broken homes, loss of our possessions, and at my lowest I had to live in a homeless shelter with my child due to the man I was with deciding to kick us out.
I was an enabler, I wanted to fix things for others, but problem was I was not fixing my own mentality. Almost four years ago, I had finally had enough. I found my inner voice and strength. I knew that what my child was learning was that her mom showed no self-worth. I decided to never settle again, to never allow my child to see another person harm me, and to never wonder if she would have stability. I prayed that God would send me a helpmate someone who would not only love me but would love my daughter. I was in nursing school at the time and became great friends with one of the nursing students.
Our friendship developed over the time period of school, and eventually she talked me into meeting this hunting & fishing loving, bearded country guy. Totally not my type!! I thought what the heck, my past types certainly had not worked out. He was respectful, he was hardworking, he valued family, he valued honesty and he accepted me and all my past.
Eventually that relationship blossomed and on July 4th, 2015 he asked me to marry him, our year anniversary. Not only did he love every part of me, even the parts I could not love my own self, he adored and was the best role model to my daughter. He took me to our favorite fishing spot, a private little island and got down on one knee with my daughter watching, beaming with joy and of course I said "Yes!" He married me 9 months later the day before my birthday! Don't let that give you warm and fuzzy feelings, he actually did it so he could keep up with my birthday and our anniversary, so he didn't get put in the dog house.
My husband accepted the fact that I was a self-made family, that I was bringing into our marriage a chronic illness that would greatly affect me and our relationship. He did not care. He loved me for my heart, and for the way that others had previously taken advantage of me. He sat beside me through every hospital visit, he gives me my weekly injections, he loves me with crazy wild hair and days I look like a bus hit me.
The greatest gift he gave me was stability for myself and OUR daughter. On August 24th, 2017 my wonderful husband, adopted our daughter, making it official that he was not just by words her dad, but legally he was bond to her for the rest of his life. He is the epitome of what a true southern gentleman is and shows our daughter daily what unconditional love is about!
I share this because I know that we often feel as if we may always be alone, others may settle for being treated however. I believe once you find your own self-worth that you will no longer settle for a mediocre life, love or future. I pray that everyone may find the type of love that my family has been blessed with!
Thank you so much Leah for sharing your journey of heartache, heartbreak, and eventually true unconditional love. It has been a long journey for you it sounds like, but what a beautiful happy ending! I think it is so sweet and such a blessing that your husband adopted your daughter. I believe that shows such a deep level of commitment and devotion, and they are both fortunate to have one another in their lives. I think it is so easy to forget that we, as mommas (or really as parents in general) have little eyes watching us all the time. They are watching to see not only how WE treat people, but also how we allow others to treat us.
I admire you on so many levels! You are such a great Mom! Thank you for not only being an amazing role model for your daughter, but also for all the other women and moms out there looking for someone to say, "Yes! You are worth more than this!"