Restraining orders, liens, and broken belongings were furthest from my mind as I sat in my counselor's office sharing all the doors God was opening for my fiancé and me.
"Journal these stories," she told me. "One day you may forget how God orchestrated these blessings."
Both divorced, John and I had met through a Christian social club. We began dating, and four months later, we were engaged.
On limited budgets because of our past divorces, we were amazed at the numerous provisions that came our way. A friend donated beautiful wedding invitations. Another friend gave me my wedding dress and shoes.
The owners of the place I dreamed of having our wedding offered it to us at a steep discount. Over and over we felt God's blessing. Surely that meant God intended us to build a life together.
At our pre-marital counseling sessions, our pastor helped us explore our finances, parenting styles, and personality types. Cautious and carrying scars from our former unfaithful spouses, we left no stone unturned.
On our honeymoon, God blessed us again, and a month later we joyfully discovered I was pregnant. Days later the nightmare began.
I came home from work to find John cursing into the phone at a customer.
When I questioned him, he turned on me and began to call me names. Then, abruptly his mood changed, and he was the gentle man I married. I was unable to make any sense of it.
A few nights later, John's teenage son found alcohol John had hidden; I wondered if I'd made a mistake with this marriage.1