Regardless of how chaotic our life may become on a weekly basis, I am grateful for those moments that I catch myself literally stopping, lost in the thought, “Is this person really mine? Did we really choose to live – forever, together?” I love that I get lost in that thought, because it reminds me how lucky I am to have this life & to be in love. The most amazing gift in my life is my husband, Johnny. Our love story is unusual and unlikely but God allowed something beautiful to come from my devastating & harsh reality of a love lost.
This is our love story. Johnny & I both wanted to be apart of telling it below. We bounce back & forth between the two of us.
We hope you enjoy our real life love story.
This is me, Brit.
I think that every little girl dreams about her wedding day. The dress, hair, her daddy giving her away to live happily ever after.
I am a Texas girl from a small coastal town. I grew up in a wonderful home with the sweetest parents in the world. Our home was filled with a whole lotta loving Jesus, laughing, nonstop silliness, and love. I always knew I wanted the same for my life. Around the age of 14 I started writing letters to my future husband and praying for him. Whoever he may be.
My freshman year of college I became friends with this very sweet guy. We were always together, hanging out, and eventually started dating. He was everything I had dreamed of, for my love, to be. We had so much fun together. At the end of our sophomore year we got married and became husband & wife. We were so excited, very much in love, and moved off to finish college together at Texas State University.
Hey! This is me, Johnny.
Meanwhile, you have me. An Iowa born & raised guy. My family moved to Texas right before my 18th birthday. We moved from a small town of 5,000 people to Houston 4,000,000 people! I must say a bit of a shock!
The fact that we didn’t have to drive an hour anymore to go to the mall was nice. Although, I would later find out how much I missed a small town life but I have learned that home is where family is. Thank the Lord I have the best family in the world. Our home was always filled with laughing; love, doing something outside, and of course the Willard interrupting!
I had always dreamed about having a family, getting married, and growing old together with my wife. I remember when I was young I always hated to hear people talk about the rapture because I was not yet married! Ha! Silly, I know, but at the time it was a big thing to me. If I would of known WHO (Brittany) God had for me, I would have relaxed and not have been so worried.
Back to Brit again.
Eight months into being married and living in San Marcos my loving husband became someone, on most days that I did not recognize as the man I married. The lifestyle that he was choosing to live was not one that was ever us. I have chosen to not talk about all aspects of this relationship but I will say that on the good days I felt like I knew my husband, but there were few good days. My life was mostly filled with nights of going to sleep feeling as if I did not know who was really sleeping next to me. Every evening was extremely overwhelming. I lived continually not knowing how the night was going to play out. Often I slept on the floor of our tiny bathroom apartment because for many unsaid reasons, I felt the safest. The man I married and loved had over time convinced me that I was not beautiful, unintelligent, and controlled every aspect of my life. At one point in time, I had secretly (from friends & family) dropped out of college to work full time because my husband had convinced me that college was never going to happen for me so I should earn more money.
Let me say this, marriage to me is something beautiful and sacred. When I married my husband I vowed to love, honor, and respect him for all the days of my life. Even in the good times & the hard times. I meant those promises. I just kept thinking that these were the really bad times of our marriage. There were glimpses of good here and there that kept me believing it would be okay. I just kept praying that this nightmare of life would soon be better if God could just get a hold of him again. I believed I could get passed everything that he had done to me at that point in time.
One good morning, my husband brought me flowers and asked me to lunch. After, I went home. He went back to work. Ten minutes later my husband walked through the door beat red, shaking, yelling, and explaining everything that I did wrong. (I could never seem to do too much right so this was not too out of the ordinary.) The difference about this rant was, he looked me in the eyes to tell me that he did not love me and did not want to be with me anymore. Followed by, get out of our apartment. Then he went to the bedroom to lie down on the bed. I just remember repeating over and over, “what, what, what? what are you talking about?” After hearing his entire monologue yet again, this time with my back pushed up against the wall with him yelling it directly into my face, I shakily walked into our living room, sat down on the floor, looked up and said aloud, “I need you Lord”.
God truly held me in that moment. I just sat there in shock after hearing the man that, at one time, I knew was going to love me forever, take care of me, have babies with me, and grow old with me – tell me he did not love me. I just remember asking how can this be? Although on most days I did not feel loved, I really did love my husband. Regardless of everything he did to me I still wanted my marriage. The hell that I was living in had become my life. It was all I knew at that point in time. By Gods grace I left our apartment that day. A few days later he confirmed to me all of the secrets that he kept from me, but I had always known were going on in the back of my mind. Although I knew his secrets before he revealed them, I just continued to love and honor him regardless of the betrayals because I valued our covenant and held onto the hope that it wouldn’t always be like this.
The next several weeks are nothing but a blur to me. I was such a walking zombie just going through life taking one day at a time. To make the story shorter I went back home to live with my parents & left college for a year. During that time I fought to get my husband to talk to me, but he was in a place in life that was so unfathomable to most and he would not talk to me. Just as before, he continued to speak to me with so much hatred, no respect, or regard for our marriage. After months of wanting him back and him once again manipulating me into believing it was entirely all my fault and that I was to blame for his behavior. However, he had decided that he would come see me and promised all over again that things would be better. I finally had to stop choosing to continue to accept his abuse. It is interesting because before this relationship I could never understand why women chose to stay in abusive relationships. I always asked, “Why don’t they just LEAVE HIM?” One day I had the most sickening realization that I had become, that woman. In that moment, I had the choice to choose to take him back or to say no to the abuse. Honestly, I was torn. I vowed to love my husband forever. I started having feelings of should I let myself be treated like this forever? How many other women, is too many? I had become the woman who wanted her abuser back. One day while driving through town, I remember staring at myself in the rear view mirror of my car saying aloud, “How did I get here? How did I become this person? Who am I?”
Some time later, I was completely overwhelmed by emotion from finally accepting my husband had betrayed me with other women, hurt me deeply in many ways, and now I was having a rude awakening that I had become the woman wanting her abuser back. It was too much to take. I found myself sleeping on the bathroom floor at my parent’s house and one morning about 6 am I just woke up & started praying on the cold tile of the hall bath. After much prayer I told God, “I can not do this, I do not know what to do, I want my husband back – I do not care what he has done or how he has treated me – but I can not keep fighting for someone who does not want me and does not love me, please take this out of my hands.” I immediately got up and began to feel like I could kinda breathe again. I was able to eat without becoming sick and I could carry on a conversation without crying. God took over completely. I am forever changed by that prayer time on the bathroom floor.
Let me give you an idea of what I looked like at this time. This was me. I do not know who took this picture of me, but I am thankful that it was taken. This picture means so much to me. It shows where I have come from & where I never will go again. It represents the abuse, denial, and the complete state of despair that I was in and have overcome through Jesus Christ. He is truly my savior, my joy, my freedom! A scripture I hold dear to my heart is Psalm 51:8, “You have broken me, now let me REJOICE!”
Over the course of a few months I slowly started to resemble a functioning human being. Kinda. Shortly after making the decision to stop accepting the abuse and to work hard to become whole again my dad walked into the kitchen after golfing with the youth pastor from his church, this guy.
This stranger was all smiles, full of life, & seeped happiness from within. This was not someone that I wanted to be around.
The thought of being around anyone other than family scared me because I was very emotionally unstable. It was possible for me to burst into tears @ any given moment while in conversation. This guy poured out happiness and my lifeless self was unable to absorb his energy.
This is Johnny again.
From the very moment I first met Brit all I wanted to do was be her Happy! Although I just found out what had happened in her life, I just wanted to bring her some Joy. I remember a great Texas cold day when we were sitting on her parent’s trampoline just talking. I made the statement, “If the only reason I am in your life right now is to bring you happy then that is what I will do. Be your happy.”
Even though I knew there was something about this girl! I wanted to be around her for more than a little while. I called my mom and told her “There is something about this girl that I LOVE!” We just began hanging out, getting coffee, going for a walk, eating and watching movies at her parent’s house. It seriously was awesome getting to know her. It still is 🙂
Yes. There were moments of breakdowns. Moments of Crying. Many silent moments of just sitting still next to her. Moments of running in a park without ever saying a word allowed. Then there were moments of laughing out loud. And Then there were moments of uncontrollable smiling.
And those moments were seriously some of the most amazing times in my life, for me. I saw her at her worst. I get to walk with her to her best!
Back to Brit again….. I remember asking my mom what man, that loves God & desires to serve the Lord is ever going to want to be with me. In my mind, my divorce meant I was like poison to any man that loved God. I truly believed there would not be a single man, who sincerely served the Lord, that would want anything to do with me.
I had been so broken. God truly restored my heart & mind so quickly from the loss of my marriage & the deep hurt that such a betrayal had taken. However, for a very long time my happy-go-lucky spirit was no where to be found. There are a lot of things that I do not feel that I need to talk about that occurred during the time I was married to this individual. Basically I was emotionally beaten down to the point that I was unrecognizable to my friends & family. Physically I was me, but that was about it.
One day I remember my dad had said to me, “My baby girl is starting to come back, I have missed her. You will get there soon baby. It is all going to be ok.”
Those words broke my heart & I was determined to get back to the me I loved being. Through much self therapy (a ton of jogging, writing, praying, dancing in my room, singing and lots of drives in my car) the old me started to come around. For an extremely long time little things would make me burst into tears or flash backs of memories I want so badly to forget would come to my mind. Although, still to this day, I have moments of flashbacks. In time those had become less frequent. I had become a newer version of me. I liked it 🙂
Johnny became my happy. I had forgotten how to laugh. What it was like to smile uncontrollably to the point that you burst into laughter and then cry with joy!
I needed to be reminded on a daily basis that it was okay to be happy, to laugh, and to smile. Johnny let me know that it was okay to feel important and beautiful.
He took me back to the silly me that was stolen from me. His smiles are truly contageous.It is impossible to not forget your worries when your around him.
I was not looking for anything when I met Johnny. Friendship was not even an idea at the time. Johnny is my gift from God. He is the man that I have been praying for and writing to since I was a young girl. I may not understand everything as to why I had to go through what I have but I do know that God makes all things beautiful.
He took such a broken girl and turned her life into one more precious than her imagination could ever have dreamed of. Johnny asked me this question the first week that we met, “All I want to be is your happy. If I am in your life for a few weeks or a few months. Then that is what I am. Just Your happy for now. Would that be ok?” I said, “Yes.”
A year & a half later Johnny asked me to marry him on Town Lake in Austin after a fairytale date that ended with him on his knee singing to me, “Can I always be your happy?” My answer was again, “Yes.”
Six months after that, on our wedding day my husband sang to me a sweet love song to let me know, “I will be your happy, through the Good, the Bad, the Pretty & the Sad.”
My sweet man saw me at my very worst and truly loved me as a friend through moments when I could not even look at myself. The first few months of our friendship I would cry at least once a week in front of him. I am so very thankful for the gift I have in my husband. I still have moments that I think to my self; Is this guy for real? Is he really this patient, sweet, kind, gentle, and handsome? He is such a wonderful best friend, husband, and now a father. God knew exactly the type of person I needed. He gave me my husband. Johnny Truly Loves Me. I Truly Love Him. This is just the beginning of our Love Story.
Please feel free to share your love story with me. I would love to share your love story with everyone here on my little blog.