“And I made a vow that day 
That I’d spend the rest of my life
Loving my Jesus,
Showing my scars;
Telling my story of how mercy
can reach you wherever you are.”
~Casting Crowns

I graduated college in 2006. I had my degree. I had a job. I had a boyfriend that I’d been dating for a while. Check. Check. Check. 

About a year into my career, we got engaged. I planned a huge wedding. We got married and lived happily ever after. Check. Check. Nope.

Like most driven women at the know-it-all age of 25, I felt the need to check boxes off. Like a to-do list for my life, I needed to do the things that society expected of me. Graduate college. Get a job. Get married. I thought check marks next to list items equated to happiness.

The thing is, I wasn’t happy. The shimmer and shine of that fairy tale wedding quickly faded into a life that was not the perfect marriage that I had imagined, prayed for even. We were two people thrust into something neither of us were ready for, and, if we’re being honest, neither of us really wanted to work for. 

We barely made it to the two year mark when it was clearly time to throw in the towel. Now I found myself nearing 30 and going through a divorce. The aftermath was exactly what you’d expect. I went through all of the stages of grief. 

1. Denial–This wasn’t happening to me. How could this happen to me? I checked all the boxes. I’d done everything right.

2. Anger–Why didn’t he work harder? Why didn’t we love each other anymore? Did we really ever love each other at all?

3. Bargaining–God, please don’t do this to me. I’ll try harder. I’ll change. 

4. Depression–No one will ever love me again. I am used. I am unloveable. I am not capable of having a real relationship. I am going to be alone forever. My life is over.

5. Acceptance–It’s not so bad being alone. I would rather be by myself than in an unhappy marriage. 

I would be lying if I told you life after divorce was roses. It wasn’t. There were days when I had to drag myself out of bed and go to work. I had to force a smile, because kindergarteners didn’t understand that I wasn’t in the mood to be happy that day. I had to be cheery all day and then go home and feel completely sorry for myself. The thing was, I didn’t feel sorry that my marriage was over; I felt sorry that I had failed. I felt sorry that I couldn’t make him love me. I felt sorry that I felt sorry.

I had to reach the very bottom of “rock bottom.” I can’t tell you the moment when that happened, but it happened. One day I woke up and I wasn’t sad anymore. One day I woke up and I didn’t feel sorry for myself. One day I woke up and it didn’t hurt. That day I thought would never come . . . it came.

This story is not intended to be a self-help excerpt. It’s not to discourage people from getting married young. It’s not to bash my ex-husband. This story is about mercy.

At one point, after my divorce, I came to the realization that, no matter who it was I’d married, I would have never been happy. I expected my happiness to be a direct result of the things he did. When that didn’t happen, I was let down and sad. So I started to see life differently.

Everyday I woke up, went to work, and was surrounded by sweet little smiling faces who were eager to hug me, love me and learn from me. Mercy.

I was surrounded by family, friends and coworkers who were a force of prayer and a source of comfort for me. Mercy.

I was prayerful and God was responsive. I talked. He listened. I reconnected. I realized. I healed. Mercy.

I allowed myself to fall apart, but God didn’t allow me to fall to pieces. I allowed myself to feel all the hard things, but God reminded me of the good. I allowed myself to hurt, but God allowed me to heal. Mercy.

I allowed myself to feel like a failure at love, but in the end, I learned to love myself. I loved the person I was. I loved the me I’d always been. I loved that God didn’t want me to change for anyone but Him. Mercy.

I have since found out things about my first marriage that would have broken me. After all this, nearly two years later, I met my second husband. Discovering things then stung a little, but they didn’t break me. Mercy.

If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t willingly put myself in a marriage that was doomed to fail. But I don’t have it to do all over again, and thank God for that. Mercy.

I have a husband who has been through a divorce as well. I don’t have to be ashamed of that word with Bradley. We talked about it freely when we first started dating. We needed to talk about it. It was part of our healing and moving forward together. We made a pact a long time ago never to compare each other to the ones who came before. We never have. There is just no comparison. Mercy.

So now that I’ve shown my scars, I hope the right person sees them. I hope that you’ll find healing in whatever it is that is burdening you. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Mandy Luckey

I am a former kindergarten and first grade teacher. I have a master's degree in elementary education with a focus on literacy. I have always had a passion for writing, though the contents of my heart have changed the content of my writing. I am proud wife to Bradley and a stay-at-home mom to Emma (2.5) and Adley (6 months).

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading

5 Tips For Dealing With a Toxic Mother-in-Law

In: Grown Children, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Woman frustrated with her mother in law

Many people admit to having difficulty establishing and maintaining relationships with their in-laws, however having a toxic mother-in-law can be especially tricky when balancing a relationship with your spouse. I have five simple tips that can help put you on a happier and healthier path when dealing with a toxic mother-in-law. 1. You don’t have to like your mother-in-law, or even be friends. Establish clear boundaries with your spouse. Let him know that it is OK for him to maintain a relationship with his mother without involving you. By doing this you can eliminate the pressure to please your mother-in-law;...

Keep Reading

To the Mother of My Son’s Future Wife

In: Grown Children, Inspiration, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
marriage, wife, husband, grown children, www.herviewfromhome.com

To the mother of my son’s future wife, I’m in the midst of dirty diapers and temper tantrums, but I do have days where I think about the future and what it will look like for my son. I wonder who he will be, what he will do and probably most of all, who he will love. I wonder about the type of woman he will bring home to meet us one day. I have my own thoughts on the type of person I wish my son would fall in love with, but we all know that the heart wants...

Keep Reading

Sometimes the Middle Child Needs a Little Extra Love

In: Kids, Motherhood, Relationships
middle child mother www.herviewfromhome.com

Mamas, look after your middles. Those babies who are born second, third, fourth or so in the birth order. The ones who are sandwiched between the idolized older sibling and the teeny tiny baby who stole everyone’s hearts. They need you more than you know. They need a little extra love from time to time. A hug and a “good job” here and there just to remind them that nobody has taken their spot in your heart since you added to your family. Try to remember they weren’t given a choice of their place in the lineup. If given the...

Keep Reading