I've always resisted telling the story of our family because you can't fully appreciate the beauty of what we have without knowing the entire story. I wish I could really lay it all out there, but to be respectful of certain parties involved I chose to be somewhat vague about some details of my past. Plus, some of it just wouldn't be pleasant to read.
Rewind to May 3, 2012. "Umm," he stammered, "You're really pretty and I think we should go out on a date." I, tickled to death because he was obviously so nervous responded with, "Ok. Cool." (I wasn't going to make it easy for him.) Silence.
"Umm, how about Saturday?"
"I'll pick you up."
It was the first time we had ever talked on the phone. I'd seen Cody a couple of times before and he had always stood out in my mind because somehow the situation in which we found ourselves was always amusing to me. I saw him graduate from the course. I almost (literally) ran into him at my sister's birthday party and took note of the fact that we were the only crazies in the room wearing flip flops in the frigid temperatures. I lived with my sister Lauren for a brief time in 2011 while my brother-in-law D was elsewhere in the world. I remember hearing them Skype one afternoon and as I walked passed the computer, D called out, "Hey Meg, my buddy Cody saw your picture and he wants to marry you!" I rolled my eyes and said something not memorable. Love wasn't something in which I was interested.
If we rewind a little further, you'll understand why...
On October 15, 2008 at 11 AM I became a mother for the first time. The previous 14 hours had been hellish. Wait, make that "the previous 9 months" (pregnancy SUCKS). Better yet, "the previous 5 years had been hellish" is a more accurate statement. I was in bad shape at the end of Macson's birth. Not only because of the fact that the epidural/pitocin/pushed for 2 hours combo is the work of the devil, but because I was a very broken, deeply scarred little girl. I was 19.
My Macson Cruz was the bright spot in my life. When I reached my darkest, the only tether holding me back from my overwhelming hope for the end was his beautiful, chubby face. I couldn't leave that behind. Not ever. If it weren't for him, I'm not sure I would have carried on.
You see, I was hiding secrets. Not until Macson was a year old did I break my silence about the depth of the damage I experienced initally as a young child and then repeated over and over by two more perpetrators.
My family was shocked.
In addition to breaking my silence, I tore my life apart, quite on purpose and quite dramatically. I made terrible mistakes that I still regret and have no excuse for, but God used them as an act of great mercy. He used those mistakes as a catalyst to break me out of darkness and give me a hope and a future.
I am so incredibly lucky, because my family rallied around me and quickly intervened. I received the best counseling/emotional healing available and recouped for the next year at my new home- my parent's house with my baby.
Jesus held my hand every step of the way. Through times as I confessed sin that I shudder to remember; through the overwhelming nausea as I recounted the stories of my abuse to counselors; through the very painful path to redemption; He held my hand. Sometimes I would say that I felt it physically, as He picked me up and carried me through seasons that I shouldn't have been able to survive.
By 2010, I was ready to spread my big girl wings and live life as an adult again. I was a divorced, single mother of an almost 2 year old.
I had never lived on my own. Macson had never been to daycare. Heck, I'd never had to pay all of my own bills before! I was scared, excited and 21 years old.
Life went on and it was actually amazing. I had never experienced normalcy before, free of the secrets that numbed both the depth of the pain and all potential happiness simultaneously. Though I was exhausted, working full-time, mothering full-time (no shared custody- Macson was my full responsibility), my life was bright. Jesus, Macson and my family filled my life with happiness and joy.
On May 5, 2012, Cody took me on our first date. The following day, we hung out and he met Macson. I texted a picture of him playing baseball with my three year old to a couple of girlfriends with the caption, "I'm going to marry him." Two days later, I told him about my past. I fully expected that to be the end of our relationship because the last guy I told ran, literally, ran away. Cody stayed and listened very intently as I shared stories that, to this day, are difficult to tell. He was thoughtful and silent, as he often is, and when my voice finally trailed off at the end he scooped me up and held me for a few minutes.
Ten months later we married on March 8, exactly one month before he walked on to the flight that would fly him half a world away for the next 7 months. A week after Cody left, I found out we were expecting baby Laura. She wasn't quite a honeymoon baby, but started budding in my tummy not long after we came home from that Caribbean getaway.
I had prayed for Lolly for a long time thought I didn't realize I was praying for her. I was simply praying that one day God would grant me the desires of my heart in the form of a second child. Being a mother is my greatest joy and though I had laid that dream at the foot of the cross for several years, I did ask that I would become a mother for a second time quite regularly.
This one is a spitfire with a surprisingly chill side. She's vivacious and strong. Laura looks solely like her daddy, but her personality is equal parts Cody and me so the next 18 years should be especially fun.
Cody was gone for most of my pregnancy, coming home to a massive belly/cranky wife. Lolly was born the following month, December 19, 2013. One day I'll post her birth story because that day was the single most empowering day of my life and one I'll cherish forever.
May 20, 2014 is today. Our love story is somewhat unconventional and widely misunderstood as people judged and came to conclusions from a distance. Our family is blended and the every day the seams blur a little more and I feel like we've always been a family, as though we're "blended" in title only. We are as real a family as any other.
I'm sorry if this story offends you or ruffles your feathers since the tales that you've probably heard of me are far different than the one I just told. However, I'm not sorry for I'm telling it, because I believe it's a testimony of God's goodness, grace and overwhelming mercy. I feel His love for me every time I look at my little family. Cody is the love of my life and my other (better) half. He is strong, selfless and shows me how to love as Jesus does. Macson has grown into a charming, inquisitive young lad. He has impacted more people in his five years of life than most do with their entire lives. Laura Lynn makes the world a more beautiful place with her infectious smile and copious fat rolls.
I feel joy on cloudy days because of what God has done for me and who He has placed in my life.
I am so lucky and thankful. I prayed for death and God, in His infinite goodness, gave me life. One heckuva good one, I might add.
Facebook: Meg Fletcher