Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Story of Repentance



This is how I hope to explain
my first marriage to my children
(when they are old enough):

I was twenty-three.

The night I became engaged for the first time was really exciting. I wanted to be engaged, I wanted to get married and that night I really hoped those feelings would last. But when I woke up the next morning I felt like my soul had frozen over. I decided to pray and meditate about it, and when I did, all answers came from a very distinct, divine voice. We call it the Holy Ghost.

Do not do it.

The same voice whispered in the ears of my friends and family.

Do not do it.

They all said.

I could hear it all, I knew what they were saying was true, but there was a pride in me that could not be extinguished. The source of that pride was a deep insecurity about being wanted. I felt like I would never be loved by anyone ever again, this was my ONE CHANCE! At the risk of that, I decided to ignore the direct revelation sent to me from my Heavenly Father by the Holy Ghost.

I didn't understand this: the encompassing love of God.

I also decided to shorten the engagement to one month. For one month I could endure the pleadings, begging and flat out rejection of the people in my life. Or the loneliness of keeping pride in check. Not to mention the entire absence of my spiritual self. For one month I would carry on, plan a wedding and act as if I had all the confidence of a young bride.

One day while I was going about doing just that--planning a wedding dinner--my sister Page said, "You know we are here for you now, and you know we will be here for you when it ends." It was one of the most compassionate things anyone has ever said to me. Because at that point of course I knew it would end--my marriage--and yet I also knew I had to willingly walk into it for the sake of walking out of it.

All of these things are hard to explain. Unless you understand pride.

My mother helped me plan the wedding with all the energy she could muster. I was her second daughter to marry and I was given the same respect as Page and her wedding. Sometimes when I think about my mother driving me up to Salt Lake to pick out pricey, engraved wedding announcements and how her heart was breaking while we decided what font to use on my new last name, I want to cry. I pray I never have to go through that with my own daughter.

(Though I probably deserve it.)

On a very warm day in June I got married in the Provo Temple. I have explained before that as soon as it was official I felt as though someone had drained my entire body of blood. The room was tilting and I had a feeling of complete panic. I contemplating running out of the room.

It was this: the horrible consequence of disobedience.

But for the first time in a month I heard that divine voice--the Holy Ghost--again. It said to me,

You are going to be alright.

After the wedding luncheon I had this romantic idea of giving our guests rose petals to gracefully throw as we exited to our honeymoon car. I wanted everything to be over-glamorous to make up for how unglamorous everything really was (which is why I eloped the second time around, no need for anything but an official certificate, thanks). One of my brothers (I shall not out him) thought it would be funny to throw a fistful of crumbled petals directly at our faces, which made everyone else roar. At any other point in my life I would've laughed, but I remember feeling entirely devastated. I wanted to drop on the ground and sob.

I was married for nine months. Nine really horrible months. The details are not as important to me now, only that it was an unhealthy in almost all aspects where marriage should be healthy. After time spent praying, fasting, consulting with my bishop, my parents, and studying intently from the doctrine of my church, I knew I needed to repent. I needed to humble myself and ask for forgiveness, my health and happiness were at risk.

On one December morning while on my knees, I heard the Holy Ghost direct me again.

You can leave.

Which I did with the help of my petal-slinging brothers. There was no point in ignoring personal revelation anymore. I moved back in with my parents which had the odd feeling of being completely liberated. I was free. I knew what it felt like to walk hand-in-hand with God.

It felt like this: If no one ever wanted to marry me ever again, I would still have happiness beyond my imagination. I would always have a relationship with God. I would always be His daughter. I could always hear His council--I knew His voice. At that point, it was enough. Maybe even more than enough.

Of course, I knew that the voice could also have said, "You can work this marriage out" and I could've. The power of God has the ability to heal anything that is broken. It just wasn't what it said to me. It wasn't my plan.

My plan was this: one week later I met Christopher Erin Kendrick at a New Year's Eve party.

And at that point I knew I had been completely forgiven.




Today on dear c jane:
Good news! Toms shoes!




c jane's Guide to Provo:
Happy Birthday Stevie!

283 comments:

1 – 200 of 283   Newer›   Newest»
Anna said...

Wow. So powerful. Thank you so much for sharing. Sometimes I feel the same way as if I'll never be loved or some other irrational and stupid idea, but where you said that you had a relationship with God....wow. Really. Thanks. I needed that.

jennym said...

Don't know you...but I'd like to give you a hug right now. Thanks for sharing that intensely personal part of your history. I haven't had that particular experience; in fact, there are relatively few experiences we have in common. However, I have learned one very important lesson over the last several months of reading your blog. I want to be as comfortable being me as you seem to be being you. No apologies for who and what you are, just the courage to look at the whole picture and find the flaws right alongside the glory...and then take it ALL in stride. Keep writing, Cjane. It means a lot to me. :-)

AzĂșcar said...

Sometimes, even though you are too gracious to write the pearls here, I wish people knew what you went through during those nine months because they'd shut their preening traps and would never direct a rude, unkind, or cutting remark at you or your "life" ever again.

Signed,
Stabby McGee

Violet said...

Beautiful story, moral and girl. Thank you for sharing!

xo,
Violet

Molly said...

Amazing story, amazing girl.

stef j. said...

you
are
stronger
than
most.

(no, that's not an acronym.) :)

Kristie Holland said...

Beautiful...all of it. I am glad you have found your Chup and that he adores you.

Kebeni said...

Beautiful story of a difficult journey. I too went through the same feelings on my marriage but lasted 2yrs before I liberated myself. yet to find my own Christopher though LOL

Untypically Jia said...

Wow. Just. Wow. I've had similar experiences with the Holy Ghost where you just KNOW word for word what you're being told, despite what direction you choose to take afterward.

And the consequences (or blessings) do follow depending on the choice. Thanks for the reminder.

Emma said...

Wow. I love your blog and have never commented before, but I just have to say that the peace that emanated through you sharing your story was really powerful. This came at just the right time as I really needed a reminder about the beauty (even through hardship) and perfection of the plan that God has for all of us.

Olga Tolbert said...

Thanks so much for sharing about your first marriage. My husband was married before, and it was the wrong marriage as well. They also had a daughter, and a horrible divorce. For 3 years after he didn't date anyone and said marriage was of the devil. Until he met me. I think people sometimes make bad choices and it happens more than we know. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, and Heavenly Father wants us to be in a marriage that is nurturing and good for us. Again thank you for being so open and sharing your example.

Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing that. I completely know what can happen when you hear "don't do it" and do it anyway. However, every choice you make in life leads you to where you are, and if you like where you are, you have to accept the bad parts of your history with the good parts. And it sounds like you have.

Joy said...

Thanks so much for writing this out. For your children, and for us. I went through a similar marriage, only a child came quickly so it took nearly 2 years to extricate myself from that situation. I, unfortunately, did not have the support of family and friends, and it was a hollow, lonely time. I'm remarried now with 3 more kids (2 were a bonus!), and life is as blissful as I always hoped it could be. And the family...most of them eventually came around. :) Thanks again, c jane.

Anonymous said...

I have read your posts for a long long time - this one got to me. I have had a similar experience and am not married to the love of my life. Isn't this freedom wonderful?

Cheryl Joy said...

I think most woman can understand your need to be wanted and your fear that you may not have another chance.


I'm glad you met Chup!

Julia said...

I'm amazed at how much I identify with this post. I went through this 35 years ago and didn't recognize the confusion I felt when I prayed as a stupor of thought, as DO NOT DO IT! My family and friends were telling me not to do it, but I turned a deaf ear to them. Four and a half years, two children, many beatings, much unhappiness and unhealthful events later, I woke up and ended it. And I was OK. Three short months later I met my now husband of 30 years. Yes, the joys of repentance and sweet forgiveness. Thank you for stating this so eloquently. I have been enjoying your blog now for the past year and half. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Kim said...

I was as close as a girl can be without being engaged to marrying the man I knew I'd leave. I was 18. Thank goodness he broke my heart before we got any closer. Because I had the same voices (God, the Holy Spirit, my parents) telling me no, and I was both literally and figuratively screaming back yes.

So now even though I am still single and I do still wait, your story encourages me. :) God has so much more for us than we could have for ourselves.

Can't wait to hear the rest of the story...hope you'll tell it!

Meeks said...

Long time reader, first time commenter...What an incredibly honest and open post. Thank you for sharing that. It must have taken a lot of courage to go back there and remember. It just goes to show that someone can rise above something that must have been such a life altering event, where you just can't see the end of the tunnel...or wonder if the end of the tunnel is something you even want to reach. I appreciate you and your sister sharing your journey in order to help with your healing, but also help others in their healing as well.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing your story. It's very brave to do so and provides a lot of perspective for some of your more recent blog posts. You didn't have to share this story and I hope that you only have supportive comments on your blog today. I'm glad that you found someone who cherishes you.

Mrs.Garcy said...

Such a beautifull Post Cjane. Thank you.

Carrie Page said...

CJane, you are quite the gal! Although I cannot relate to the particulars of your situation, I have felt the "sting" and learned this lesson in my own way. Thank you for putting it so eloquently. Love your blog!

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

Thanks. Your story inspired me this morning :)

Anonymous said...

beautiful story courtney. i share a very similar experience, and my hopes and prayers are for my 2nd marriage to be filled with as much love and joy as yours! thanks so much for sharing, it made my morning. -hka

Liz said...

Thank-you for your amazing honesty. I personally feel very touched. As a (seemingly terminally) single woman, I put immense trust in the words I believe God has spoken to me that He has a husband for me and that everything will be alright.

annie said...

Your honesty and openness here continue to amaze me. Despite the detractors, you continue to tell your story. It's inspiring, and it's what we all should be brave enough to do. Our stories are the proof of our redemption.

Thanks for that reminder.

Genevieve said...

Thanks for sharing Courtney!

Emily said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I loved what you said about pride. I understand pride way more than I wish I did.

Thank you.

Tammy said...

sometimes I wish I could undo my bad choices, but then I think about it more and realize it made me a stronger, wiser person. But as a mother of two little girls I don't know if I could have done what you mom did - what an amazing woman. I am glad for your happiness!

heidig said...

What a beautiful story. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this with us. It means more than you could possibly know.

Lauren said...

I can only imagine how hard all of that must have been and the courage it took to end it. I hope I would be strong enough in that type of situation. But as always you told the story so beautifully. I am very happy for you that you now have such a great marriage and husband. You can tell in your writing how much you both love each other and that too is beautiful.

Christine said...

Hi! Been reading forever ... commented never ...love your writing... ever so much... this post? My favorite!

Pride? I know it well. Repentance? Well, I'm getting to know it better. I am facing a divorce although not my choice...I own my part it the failure of my marriage ...maybe too much. I am ready to move on...it's been 4 years since he left.

No more brow-beating and guilt. Repentance and turning and moving forward with compassion and no more judging! Lesson learned!

Keep up your beautiful writing!

Much love...

auntie said...

i love you. and--as always--i thank you for your candor and your spirit.

xo

Teachinfourth said...

I remember parts of this story, but Chup has been such a part of your life for so many years, I'd forgotten about it.

Good things come to those who wait. I guess this was one of them.

Hurrah for repentance. Hurrah for second changes. Hurrah for infertility doctors who don't know what they're talking about. Hurrah for you.

P.S. Rose petals? I'd have gone for something really great, like BYU fudge brownies…that way, had you gotten hit in the face, it would've been nothing but pure, unadulterated, goodness.

That's what I'm talking about...

Tovah said...

I know a lot of people have wondered about your first marriage, and I'm one of them (though I never commented on it.) Thanks for sharing and I'm glad you've found happiness now.

Anonymous said...

I think you are brave to share this story, and I am glad you ditched the bum.

But I admit to being completely baffled as to how you can look down on feminists after this experience. 100 years ago nobody in any church got divorced. It was legal for a man to rape his wife. Women were, in the eyes of the law, the property of their husbands.

I recognize your salvation came from your God -- but your legal freedom came from feminists.

jack said...

Well done for being brave enough to leave a bad situation and start over again. That takes a lot of guts.

Jaime said...

Thanks for sharing, C.Jane!

Jodi said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I think at 23 yrs old we all had those feelings at one time or another of never being loved again. Like that person you were with was going to be the only one EVER! I too had my share of bad...really bad relationships in my 20's and never thought I'd be truly happy, then I met the love of my life. I thought it was too good to be true, like I didn't deserve such love but we all do. Thanks again for sharing, it brought back memories and reminded me of how strong I am for all of them.

Kelly said...

I loved this post Courtney. Written from your heart and will probably help someone who is struggling out there. Well done!

I cried at your last line. He does forgive us in the best ways sometimes eh?

Anonymous said...

I joined the church when I was 20 and a guy swept me off my feet. New life, new guy, new feelings, new companionship all of which I thought represented the feeling I had for him, they weren't.

There were red flags, big fat neon red ones, but I ignored them. I prayed, but there were so many new things going on in my life that I felt good about the majority of them. My family was concerned, but supportive.

I lasted 1 and a 1/2 years. The relationship was abusive and awful. I was no longer me. Those feelings I had were fleeting because the home we lived in did not allow for them to abide.

Then I left, it was hard, yet wonderful. I met my husband a year after the divorce was final and after almost a year of dating we were married in the Kona Temple.

Thank you for sharing your story and allowing me to share mine.

bbbunch said...

Thanks for sharing. Very similar to my first marriage as well. I KNEW I didn't love him love him. I just thought "somebody loves me enough to want to MARRY me?" I was 25. I had an over the top wedding hoping that it would lead to a fantasy marriage. It did not. Four years and 2 beautiful children later and it was over. Liberated. Free. I understand that concept. If I never found love I knew that at least I was strong enough to leave a bad situation and take care of my kids. I am happy to say that I, too am happily remarried to the love of my life and best friend, and we have 2 more children. My worst day with my new husband is still better than the best day with my former husband...but I would do it all over again to have the life I have now. Thanks for sharing...it's a big boat and a lot of us are in it.

Geo said...

I love you.
And what you "deserve" is exactly what you got: beautiful mercy, divine knowing, total love.

Karen said...

I cried as I read this because I'm going through something very similar only I am the mother. The one thing I want, more than anything, is for my daughter to know how intensely she is loved my her family, friends, and above all, her Savior and Father in Heaven. It is truly amazing how many people in her life have put forth effort on her behalf during this experience. You are absolutely right...Heavenly Father does know our hearts, but we each have to walk our own paths. And believe it or not, you just became one more person that has influenced her life (and mine) for good. Thank you for listening to the inner voice (the Holy Ghost) who inspired you to write about this very intensely personal experience. I feel it was written for me and my daughter.

KaraB said...

This is one of the most heartfelt, poignant stories I've had the pleasure of reading. Thank you for continuing to share, and I hope knowing your blog begins my mornings helps you to know what an important impact you have on the life of another human. God bless.

Kate said...

Thank you for baring your heart like this. How similar my own story is... except that I stayed 8 years, not 9 months. Forgiveness is wonderful, isn't it? God truly loves us.

Chelle said...

Beautiful.

Lauren said...

I love this story. I love that you bear your testimony even though you know not everyone who reads it will understand or agree. You are so brave.

Vicky said...

I often wonder how those, without that sweet companionship of the Holy Ghost, make it through life. Thanks so much for sharing your personal thoughts. It's stories like these that make me feel good and keep me coming back. I'm glad you found the 'right' one!

Mads said...

Thanks for putting it out there when so many others wouldn't dare. I realize some of my blog stalking is an utter waste of time, but from yours I get a little dose (and sometimes a big dose) of inspiration - thanks!

Jenna Consolo said...

I have had this experience...am still in it for now...and I can completely relate to the personal feelings you have described. You did a remarkable job of putting words to a lot of confusing emotions. You are a great example.

Chelsea said...

I've never commented before, but this post merits a comment. Thank you for sharing your testimony. I'm not sure I've ever read anything so powerful before. Seriously.

In our culture it seems that a broken marriage is the one thing that's not "forgivable," (at least in the minds of the outsiders) but as you've shown everything is forgivable by the grace of God and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Allison said...

Thank you so much for this post. It was strangely refreshing to read. I was in an 8-month relationship last year, and thank heavens it ended when it did. I was miserable. And it was the first period in my life when I realized that I do possess the quality of pride-- that I had better get under check before the next big one comes along.

kwg said...

OH Courtney Jane you are the best. THis story rings soooo true for me, too. I had a relationship with a very nice man, who I'd known since I was 11 not work out soon after college. I was devastated that we could not make it work! We were nice people! What was the problem?

And we broke up. And after feeling really really sad, I had the realization that all goals I wanted in life could be done sans a man. I could adopt children on my own. I could work on my own. I could do many many things on my own. And two weeks later, I met my husband.

Good for you and thanks so much for sharing.

Ashley said...

thank you for putting yourself out there so blatantly and boldly. that takes a lot of courage.

we've all done things that weren't what heavenly father wanted us to do. i've got a trail a mile long of things that really shouldn't have happened and was lucky because the one time i did listen finally, i was able to live through the night.

i suppose i'm lucky in that what happened to me was quiet and wasn't viewable to my family and those who could judge me and remember it. but the feeling of "what did I just do?" and trying to stand by a decision you knew was wrong is the most horrible thing in the world.

i cried when i read your last line.

five minutes after i made my decision to follow the lord's path for me

literally

i met my husband.

such beauty in your humility and honesty. but mostly in your courage. thank you so much for sharing such a personal part of yourself. it's a treasure.

The Boob Nazi said...

I completely understand the pride thing. I would've been the exact same.

Johanna said...

I'm mostly a lurker, but wanted to thank you. I've had a similar experience of hearing direction and ignoring it. How grateful I am that we can repent and Heavenly Father is waiting with open arms for us to come back.

Trent and Meg said...

thank you for sharing that wonderful story. when i read the anonymous comment the other day about changing your last name for a second time, i didn't think it was a *fair* place to put it (out for everyone to see)...but i also am very grateful that you weren't afraid to share what you learned (the gist of it anyway--the personal details are only pertinent to you and your family), as i am sure you have learned many lessons and that your sweet husband knows how good you are because of the time you needed to take to learn them. thanks for your wonderful blog--you are amazing!

Anonymous said...

P.S. You are so brave to allow comments, and generous to allow anonymous ones, to boot. Some of the ones you allow are horrible, so I can't imagine how bad the ones are that you delete.

Jocelyn said...

This is so good and such a wonderful reminder of the love of our Heavenly Father. I feel his love so much right now and I am not the one who went thru this. This gives me hope and faith in a way I so desperately need right now. Your plan is your plan. My plan is my plan. But the Lord loves everyone and will bless us all.

You can tell how much you are in love with Chup. You are so blessed. And soon you will have a 2nd little precious spirit. How blessed you are.

Thank-you so much for this post. I really needed it.

Living the Scream said...

Thank you for sharing your story I love reading your blog you have this very eloquent way of writing.

Anonymous said...

Repent of what? Not following the spirit? Getting a divorce? I love the honestly and emotion of your story, but at the core of it, there is the message that your mistake of getting married is a sin?

Are there just things we do that are mistakes and errors in judgment?

It sounds like you were carrying around alot of guilt and self judgement. Very painful.

I was married 17 years in an abusive situation. My church leaders reinforced the idea that divorce was a sin...so I stayed. Unfortunately, I internalized that belief and took on most of the shame and guilt of what it means to have a failed marriage..and that I was a sinner.

I am not sure that the word repentance would be part of my story.

lady lee said...

Powerful.

Nat said...

The best part is that the Lord erases the mistake--takes away the pain and the hurt, but we get to keep the knowledge and wisdom from the lesson we learned. It's a perfect plan, eh? Thank heavens for a kind, understanding Heavenly Father.

Jessica said...

I cannot write the many reasons why I loved this. But it is was of my favorite cjane posts ever. It is real, it is True, it gives hope. How grateful I am that we can be guided, comforted and forgiven--all from the same Source, all with the same unfailing wisdom and love. What a lovely reminder for me, this morning.

Chelsie said...

It's amazing, isn't it? The gifts He gives us, that make us know beyond a doubt we MUST be forgiven, or He wouldn't have done it.

I'm grateful for that knowledge as well. I, too was offered a gift of a wonderful husband. I am grateful for the path of my life every day. It could have been so different, so awful.

I wanted to marry someone else, and I was dutifully waiting as he served a mission. And it would have been horrible.

As you I read what you wrote today, I had this glimpse of what it would have been like if I really had married him, and I am so glad I didn't. I don't know if I would have been humble enough to walk away! You are a strong, strong woman. And I am grateful for you.

I'm glad you were well cared for CJane.

Jeni said...

your honesty is astounding and inspirational.

Mindy said...

That was beautiful and moving. Thanks for sharing.

Ginna said...

I could've been right in your shoes at one point in my life. Pride is a really tough thing to get through, especially when one is young and clueless about life. Thanks for sharing your story and being so sweet and open.

Marianne said...

Wow, thank you for sharing this. We have all made mistakes like this, although most of the time our mistakes are not so visible to everyone else. You are brave and I'm glad things have worked out so well.

Amy Christine said...

I appreciated this post so much. Thank you.

edith said...

That was brave and humble to share that with us. I've felt that icky feeling of going forward with something you know you shouldn't do for the sake of pride. Hard lesson to learn.

Emmie {orange + barrel} said...

Great post. I feel like your story mirrors a friends that is still in the mess and this post just made me want to cry.

Sarah Jane said...

First off, your mom must be one great lady. And I can just tell you must be one great mom! So glad you heard and listened to the Voice.

Sharon said...

Thank you so much for this post. You are so brave to have shared it with us. Thank you.

Mimaw said...

I found your blog a few months ago. I've never commented, but your story touched me. I understand pride, and only chances etc. I'm so glad for a loving God who lets us walk with him any time WE choose, and sometimes we get a "wink" from God when he gives us a 2nd chance.

Marie Photographie said...

LOVE your blog, your honesty and your perspective in life! Love it!

Lindsay said...

This was a surprisingly classy post--surprising because of the subject matter. And because sometimes, on subjects like this, it's so much easier to be flippant or snarky. This is intensely personal, but I'd like to hear the story of why you and Mr. K. eloped. I can see why from your perspective, but what led him to be okay with it (or is that really what every man wants--to have no engagement and no wedding? Wouldn't surprise me), particularly because of the "stigma" or choice to not be married in the temple? I'm sure your families were supportive, but was there any disappointment?

Leslie said...

Oh you've brought tears again - this story is powerful and very dear to my life - I too have battled in the throws of pride and have been humbled before the Lord and received the blessings of true humility and confession. Thank you for sharing this tremendous testimony of our every gracious loving Heavenly Father.

Angela said...

I have a very similar story...it's nice to know I'm not the only one who refused to listen and paid the consequences for it. However, the lessons I've learned from my mistakes and stubbornness are priceless. It's also what made me find my way back to my faith. Mysterious ways, indeed.

Claire said...

Thank you for so honestly and vulnerably telling your story. It's amazing to see God work for the good in even the hardest of circumstances.

Kristina P. said...

Trying to discern the spirit can sometimes be a scary, difficult thing.

I had something happen during my engagement, where I had a very strong voice tell me not to marry my husband. And it happened while reading my scriptures. It scared the crap out of me! Literally, for a week, I was sick. Just sick. We had a great, loving relationship, so I couldn't understand. And the pride! Yes!

After multiple blessings, prayer, scripture reading, etc., I realized that was the voice of Satan, playing on my worst fears. And when we went through the temple, I knew it was right. All those fears faded away.

We will be married six years, next week, and I couldn't imagine my life with anyone else.

But I remember that time and how awful it was. And trying to figure out if it was the Holy Ghost, or something else.

Thanks for sharing your story, Courtney.

Todd and Amyjoy said...

Courtney,
Wonderful post. You shared something that will help others. I appreciate that you did not tear him down.
It makes me wonder how many times I have been "told" something and have chosen not to listen. We all need to be humble and be listening to whatever the Lord wants for us- not what WE tell him.
Great job! So happy that the Lord has blessed you so abundantly since.

Salmon Tolman Family said...

I got married at age 18. I left college where I had 2 scholarships to marry. I also felt like it was my "one chance" and that I couldn't turn it down for fear of never being loved again. HELLO! I was 18, what did I know? We also shortened our engagement time. My roommmates chided me, my parents, uncles, siblings all told me not to marry him. After four years of wedded trials, I prayed to Heavenly Father and told him I was leaving my husband. That was the only time in my life I have truly had an answer to my prayer, because I had a distinct impression to stay. And I did. Now we've been married 12 years, and I am happy as ever!
I love reading your blog cJane, because you're real. You've experiences real-life trials, and you have an amazing depth to your character and soul. When I first read about your first & short marriage several months back, I was surprised--but then I loved you even more because of your willingness to show that you're human. We all make mistakes, and because you can admit your own, it helps others who are struggling within themselves. You are my hero!!! (and your children will be glad you left that marriage so you could marry Chup--because your children's story of their parents ends 'happily ever after').

Amanda James said...

This is a great post. I know that every woman out there knows what it feels like to want to be wanted. Reflection is a beautiful thing.

We live in a Zoo! said...

Its astonishing to know how many people have gone through the exact same thing. I am not one of them, but I know many who are.
I do know all about pride though.

Sarah said...

Beautifully honest story!

Sarah said...

A beautiful story that resonates with many of us-- those who have experienced similar circumstances.

I remember the power that came over me the day I walked out of the relationship. I would not call it the Holy Spirit (mainly because I am not of the same mindset as you on that issue), however, it was as if I could literally feel the universe righting itself-- The serendipity that occurs when you get back on the right path is amazing.

L& J said...

Thanks for sharing. How simulair our stories are. I too was blessed tremendously by a true love. thank goodness i finally found the courage to listen!

Cindy said...

I had a similar experience the night I got engaged. After four years my man finally was ready and he gave me a ring. When he left me on the porch that night I was overcome with fear that I was making the wrong choice because we wouldn't be getting married in the temple. My feeling wasn't the Holy Ghost though (and I believe you when you say yours was). It was my own fear of disappointing people in my life and feeling guilty because I was taking a path some would disagree with. Taking a path different from what I had planned. Today (15 years later) I know it was the best decision of my life. I have three kids and the best husband a woman could ask for. It doesn't matter to me where we were married, he is who I am supposed to be with.

Glad you found your happiness the second time around.

Tori said...

Thanks for this post. This should be required reading for all engaged young women. My daughter is only 15, but I want her to read it. Thanks for sharing this very personal experience.

Silvia said...

Thanks for sharing, I think more women can relate than one thinks. I went through something like this but it took me nine years and three children later to finally have the courage to leave. It was an awful nine years but I found comfort in my children and church. My concerns for my children's emotional well being was what gave me the push I needed to leave. I was fine with never marrying again, I just wanted a happy, peaceful life with my kids. To my surprise sometime later I met somebody wonderful, who loves my children as much as he loves me. We've been married three years and have a peaceful home for our five children.

Closed for Business said...

I don't mean to be thinking of ME when you are posting such a personal thing about YOU (and thank you for such a tenderly written post about something so personal) but I am reminded myself of when I openly disobeyed a whispering of the spirit and the pain that then followed. But ultimately what is important is the repentance and forgiveness and the atonement and peace that can be ours again.

What also struck me is the way you described the whisper. Short sentences. Direct and to the point. In language very familiar. Even written out it is recognizable as the spirit.

Thank you.

aspenfamilymedicine said...

Thank you for sharing something so personal. I dated a HUGE anal gland for 4 years which was long enough that we needed to either break up or get married... I almost did it... But, thankfully, realized how impossible my life would have been. I still cringe at the thought, today... I'm certain that girls get married every day out of a sense of obligation, more then love. Thank goodness you managed to get out of that situation & you can look back and see the lessons that were there to be learned!

Heather (wife to Dave, mom to Jenna and Adam) said...

Thank you! My husband was in a similar situation long before we were together. His marriage lasted only 6 months. Whenever I hear church lessons about how 'any marriage can last' I get so angry- if he had stayed with her, I wouldn't have him! And that's just not okay. I really think that the choices we make make us who we are. Thank you for sharing your story. I think it's important for your children to hear and understand.

pollydove said...

This was so beautifully written. I completely understand how you felt, although my situation was different, my marriage ended in divorce.

My friends and family were against my decision too. In the temple the day of the ceremony, my mother said to me, "It is not too late. Even if you are at the alter and you don't feel right about it - don't worry about the gifts or the reception or any of that. It will be okay."

19 years later, she did her best not to say, "I told you so." What she did say was, "You have been long suffering enough."

I didn't know who the man I married really was or I wouldn't have married him. I recently had someone ask me if I regretted marrying him and I can honestly say no. I have five wonderful children and I enjoyed my life during most of those 19 years. But I also knew it was time for it to be over when it was.

The Holy Ghost whispered, "It's time to walk away" and I haven't regretted THAT for a nano second.

But I am still waiting for my Chup. Someone who loves me for me. Who "gets" me and still likes me! How fortunate for you that yours came along so soon after.

(Blogs sure bring out some serious emotions in all of us, don't they?)

You are inspiring and I think wise beyond your young years.

Jesslyn said...

My sister just went through the exact same thing, the only exception being leaving after 18 months of yuck instead of 9. Just as your sister said, we were there for her at the beginning and at the end of that particular journey. She's so much more peaceful now that it's over. I hope she meets her Chup soon! Thanks for sharing!

Lucy said...

Thank you for putting such intense feelings into words. I had a very similar experience, but have never been able to put into words, like you did, how forgiveness feels. I knew I shouldn't marry my first husband. I knew it! My whole family knew it. They supported me anyway. After 4 months of abusive behavior, I left. The only difference for me was that I was pregnant. I placed him for adoption and was sealed a year later to the kindest, most perfect man for me. He is evidence that Heavenly Father loves me...a lot!

Rebecca said...

Thanks for sharing.

Lizzy said...

I truly believe that sometimes you have to make the wrong decisions to understand what the right ones really feel like. All a learning and growing process. Makes you appreciate the good stuff even more!

Valerie said...

What a inspiring story to share, as probably many have been through somethign like that or are going through something like that. What a wonderful message to know you CAN get out of something awful, you CAN trust GOD, you CAN be ok...as long as you choose to be and to also obey God. I went through a similar experince, ring on my finger, three years of dating, he was my "soulmate", or so I thought. But I knew, I KNEW! It would turn out awful. I never went through with the marriage, but leaving was one of the most hardest things I have ever had to do. It was like ripping my heart out and I knew I was hurting a lot of people. But I guess I had also realized this wasn't the PLAN for me. I went on my first date with my now husband a week later too ;) Life is interesting huh

Cori said...

Since we have just been through an extremely similar situation with our daughter (the divorce is not quite final), I must thank you for sharing your story courageously. Perhaps it will help another young woman.

Sparks said...

I can't wait for some loser to desecrate this with a dumb anonymous comment.

Then my faith in humanity will return.

Lucy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gibbs said...

Wow you pretty much wrote the story of my first marriage. I left on our 9 month anniversary and the divorce was final on our 1 year anniversary. I know that feeling of pride. The experience for the most part was very unhappy but so thankful for it. It has made me a much better and stronger person. Thanks for sharing your personal experience.

Heidi D said...

I find it funny/ironic that you have a nescafe ad on the side. :)

I had kind of a similar situation when I got married. I've been in it now for almost 13 years. There hasn't been a year though that I don't question if I've made the right choice.

I feel safe saying that to you. You have no idea who I am, nor do any of your readers. Anonymity is a liberating thing. I'm just another LDS sister, trying to get by I suppose.

Becoming Jane said...

I want to say something but I am unsure of the right words. Faith is such a powerful thing. Lessons have to be learned in order to grow. But to have faith that the voice inside your head is from a devine source? That IS the truest form of courage.

I ran smack into my soulmate just as you did but I turned my back at first and then God politely turned me back around and said, "I can't make myself any clearer."

Anonymous said...

I love your post. I've been there too. I've heard that voice and felt that comfort. And to read your post, reminds me again of how it will ALWAYS be okay, no matter what. Because of that voice and that relationship. Thank you so very much for posting this. Everyone of us that read it needed it.

Andrea said...

I love that story because it is so similar to my experience, at least in the fact that I had to fully rely on the spirit to make one of the most difficult decisions in my life. I am not remarried or anything yet, but I have the hope and trust in the Lord's plan for me. Thank you for sharing!

Kimberly said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful testimony of God's grace. What a story!

Anonymous said...

"Of course, I knew that the voice could also have said, "You can work this marriage out" and I could've. The power of God has the ability to heal anything that is broken. It just wasn't what it said to me. It wasn't my plan."

What honesty and humility for you to recognize that.

The Arnells said...

amazing! thank you so much. my experience was exactly the same and i couldnt have put it into words better than that.

Cathy said...

You are a brave rockstar superhero for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this...my daughter just broke off her engagement and I can't wait to send this to her. She listened to the Spirit, even while those around her were telling her to go ahead and get married. I'm so proud of her.

Mychael said...

I don't you - but I love reading your blog

I had almost the exact same experience, and although I have not yet met my 'Chup' I am hopeful. Thank you for sharing because most days I feel like I am the only who made a mistake like this and it is so good to know forgiveness and see how far others have come from their dark times. - I needed to hear that more than you will ever know
THank You

Anonymous said...

You have no idea how much I needed to hear this.
Thank you.

{Brittany} said...

Thanks for sharing this story! You are an eloquent writer and I love visiting your blog often for inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I've never commented but I have another kind of story. Before I got married I prayed and prayed it was the right thing to do. I believed it was. Then, a few months into it I discovered my husband had been untruthful about a multitude of stuff...so much so I woke up 3 months into my marriage wondering who I was sleeping next to. It was very humbling. I had waited 43 years to get married and I believed with every fiber of my being that my wait culminated in this man. Today, almost 9 years later we are still married and we have moved on from his very grave mistakes. The moral of this story is we all seem to buy into the theory that if things are God ordained they are supposed to be smooth sailing forevermore. Someone said to me during this time that perhaps God isn't as concerned about the choices we make as He is how we handle those choices once they are made.

I am not in any way trying to second guess what you "heard" or the direction of your life. Just offering another kind of outcome. I love reading about your life and would never presume to tell you how to live it.

Very Verdant said...

Thank You!

Ange of the North said...

Thanks, Courtney, for sharing your story. What a picture of redemption and restoration!

Brooke said...

That was amazing. I'm not divorced and don't foresee it in my future (I'm very blessed in marriage) but I love the perspective you have just put on it. Because I think we can ALL understand pride and disobedience in our lives. I love, love, love your attitude about your divorce and the lessons you shared with the rest of us. THANK YOU!!!

Rhiannon said...

I too went ahead and did it. Even though I knew right up the the moment I was walking down the isle, that I shouldn't! Nine years later when he left for another woman, I huddled my two children around me a thanked my lucky starts. Sometimes, the power to leave comes from someone else, but once it does it fills your whole world with new life. I was left that day with the best gifts ever; my two babies and the knowing of how powerful and loved I actually am!

Still, 5 years later, I'm single and quite enjoy knowing that I can do anything. Weather I walk the rest alone or someone eventually joins the walk with me. The gift of knowing oneself is worth all the pain in the world. Because sometimes you have to dive deep into the bottom of it to be able to rise to the top again.

The Fear Fam said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. It has brought back a lot of memories - unhappy ones, but amazing ones as well.

the emily said...

You are so brave to share that with us. THANK you.

Mindy said...

I am quite surprised to hear of how many people have had similar experiences. Mine was a close call. Same circumstances, wanting someone (anyone!) to love me, thinking it was my only chance, proceeding with wedding plans despite the answer I got. My story didn't end with divorce, the wedding never happened, my husband ended that first engagement. He's like my valiant knight riding in on a very fast horse. :)
I too am thankful for my brothers, who helped me so much during that whole time. Aren't families totally awesome?

Stacie said...

I'm going through this right now. Been dating this guy for 3 yrs more or less. I really really like him , I *feel* like I am in love with him and love so many things about him and the things he does for me. He wants to get married, I'm taking the "Scenic route" watching friends around me get engaged, knowing thats what I want to yet I'm super hesitant bc I dont want to give up my fun and free single life. I have prayed and gone to the temple about if I should marry this guy and sometimes I feel yes other times I feel no...I think it is not so much him though as it is me, scared to move forward in that direction in life. Your post was very interesting to me though. I feel like I could marry this guy and things might hopefully be okay ( I worry and overthink things wayy too much ) so I either need to have the faith to move to Utah from Arizona and marry him (not moving til I got a ring on it though!) or else take a leap of faith and break up with him and have faith that there is someone else out there who could love me & my flaws just as much as my current bf does. I just dont want to mess up in this huge eternal decision so I guess I feel like I'm playing it safe to just date and never move forward. My bf is very patient and alright with this but we are both tired of the long distance and he is ready for me to make a decision in the somewhat near future.

heather said...

Thank you for sharing something so personal. I loved this story. It just reassures me that Heavenly Father loves his children. You met chup a week later....so awesome!
Love ya and thanks for sharing this.

kara jayne said...

i love this on so many levels. that's all i will say. thank you.

The Bakers said...

To anon who keeps it up-
C Jane won't defend her self, but I will. She never said she looks down on feminists. She defined what feminsism means to her, and then she explained how, by that definitaion, it doesn't fit into her life. Leave the poor woman alone already. She takes the time to share her thoughs and her life with us. Which MANY of us enjoy and are inspired by on a daily basis. Of course C Jane realizes the positive impact of the feminist movement, she is a living testamony to that progress. I happen to agree with her. In a good, healthy marriage, "feminism" has no place. Your duty as a wife is to lift up, and support. Fill in the gaps for your husband, just as he does for you. The idea of man versus woman shouldnt be a part of it. It is more the idea of man AND woman.

Courtney-
I deeply appreciate you and your sister sharing your journeys with us.

Love,
Marie

Veronica said...

Very powerful. I am so glad it worked out in the end. Peace be with you.

Miami Starfish said...

Dear C Jane,

Your post today actually made me cry. I think that you are so brave and honest. It is so difficult sometimes to stop and listen to what the universe or what God is telling us in this loud and busy world full of pressure and hardship. I just want you to know that your blog helps me to remember that there is more beauty and good in the world than bad. There are beautiful kind souls out there like you. I have never commented before, but today I just had to. I am so thankful that you allow us a glimpse into your life, and that you take time out of your busy days to share .
So today, I am sending warm thoughts your way from Miami.
Thanks again Cjane!

Emily said...

Incredible! It was like I was reading my own story. I was 23 too...I was married in the LA Temple...I knew it wasn't right for so many reasons,(you'd think that having had the chicken pox only 3 weeks before would make it obvious- an omen?) but had too much pride to think that I couldn't MAKE it work. Now, of course, I'm grateful for the experience. It solidifies where I am standing right now with an amazing husband and 22 month old little boy. Congratulations on living your best life:-)

Miami Starfish said...

Dear C Jane,

Your post today actually made me cry. I think that you are so brave and honest. It is so difficult sometimes to stop and listen to what the universe or what God is telling us in this loud and busy world full of pressure and hardship. I just want you to know that your blog helps me to remember that there is more beauty and good in the world than bad. There are beautiful kind souls out there like you. I have never commented before, but today I just had to. I am so thankful that you allow us a glimpse into your life, and that you take time out of your busy days to share .
So today, I am sending warm thoughts your way from Miami.
Thanks again Cjane!

The Other Mary said...

To Anonymous:

I think it's possible to work for good things without being called a specific name.

That is, it is possible to reject a title without rejecting ALL of the beliefs associated with that title.


So there's my two cents.

Anonymous said...

I've never commented before but this post touched me deeply (although many of your posts do). I hope you don't mind that I post anonymously right now.
I am the thirty-one year old product of a very similar situation. Years ago, my mother married a man her family advised against and she felt the same promptings warning her from her decision. Immediately after the marriage, the abuse began. She hung on until she became pregnant with me. When he did something that threatened the life growing inside of her, she left with the help of a bishop and her family. Her marriage was ended after two years. And he was selfish enough to give up all rights to me so that he wouldn't have to pay child support. My mother fled with very little besides me. Like you, today she is blissfully married to the man who raised me as his own. And I am so grateful for women like you and my mother who are able to have the strength to walk away in order to protect their future and their posterity. That example has shaped my life and my decisions and also given me the courage to flee from a bad relationship before it was taken to the alter. Thank you for sharing your story. It truly does help and make a difference in the lives of other women.

Princess Christy said...

Thanks you for sharing such personal feelings. Because I have the fear that no one will ever want to marry me now that I've been through a broken engagement. You've reaffirmed my belief that things happen for a reason (and I definitely see God's hand at work) and that maybe, just maybe, the friend who has come back into my life is here for a reason.

Alexa Mae said...

When I don't think I could admire and adore you more...I do. You are amazing! Love you Ms. Kendrick. I have to say I was very charmed by the adorable couple I met at Smith and Edwards...very charmed.

TheOneTrueSue said...

I think this is one of my favorite things you've ever written. I feel like I know you a little better now. Thanks for sharing this piece of yourself with us. xoxo

Jessi said...

You have so much to teach us. Thank you for sharing these personal experiences and allowing us to learn from you.

Anonymous said...

The part where you spoke of knowing you could have have stayed and could have worked the marriage out, I'm glad you included that.
I have had a similar experience. But I stayed. I recieved the voice that told me "you can work it out".
I know that my choice to marry this person wasn't what God had in mind for me but He is going to make it possible for it to be a GREAT marriage.
And I am looking forward to the many years of learning, growing, happiness and children we will have together. God IS great.

Jessica said...

Thank you so much for this. Unfortunately, I think every member of the church and many non-members, too, know the pain and heartache that come from not following the Spirit. But what a wonderful plan that was insituted by our Father in Heaven -- that all can be forgiven and made right again through the power of the atonement.

I had my own divorce experience, but when I prayed about my first husband, I heard the Spirit whisper, "This is what you've been waiting for." So it was shocking when my husband left me with a 5 month old baby just a year and a half later. Maybe I was wrong about the Spirit whispering to me or maybe Heavenly Father wanted me to have that experience -- hoenstly, I don't know which it is. But I know this, the atonement of Jesus Christ is absolutely real and can heal all pains -- those we bring on ourselves, those that others bring upon us and those that come just because they're a part of our mortal existence. That healing is a marvelous thing to experience and I thank you for sharing your own experience with it.

P.S. I did find my true eternal companion 3 years after my first marriage crumbled, so it all worked out. :)

Christine said...

I loved this post! Very intimate and very heartfelt. Thanks for sharing such a strong testimony of the Holy Ghost, personal revelation, and Heavenly Father's love.

p.s. I've been reading cjane for a while now, but this is my first comment. Hi!

-Christine
http://www.monkeycbaby.etsy.com

Anonymous said...

I went to the movies one time with my "then" fiance. I heard a not so subtle whisper: "You're here with the wrong person"

Very Clear.

We left the movie, I went straight home. My mom said I was gray. I broke it off the next day. He kept coming around and I stood my ground. Cold turkey, I was done with him.

He was a good guy, truly, I don't know what was wrong except that I know it wouldn't have lasted six months. I knew it would last long after my old boyfriend came home from a mission. I knew once I saw him, and he would have made himself be seen, I would have huge feelings of regret.

So, I married my my old boyfriend when he got home. We have been married 9 years and have three kids. All in all things are good. Although, he has hit me with some surprises that we are still working through. Even still, I know it was the right marriage. It is just still in the making. We have some things to overcome yet. Pride still exist. Neither of us our perfect, but we both intend to try. I'm so glad I didn't have to go through the pain of a divorce. What a blessing.

thanks for your story. thanks for letting me tell mine.

Smith Family said...

I think this is my favorite post.

Jess said...

I know exactly how you feel, except I struggled a whole lot longer and now I'm trying to figure out how to explain it to my daughter from that marriage. And I too am grateful for repentance, and the happy marriage I still somehow was blessed with. Thanks for being willing to put it all out there.

Hannah said...

This is a story women everywhere; in your church, my church, anyone's church; needs to hear. Thank you for your honestly and your humility.

madsta said...

that is such a beautiful post.
i never knew you were married before, it was a really big thing to share with us and it must have been god's plan for you to meet chup. thankyou for sharing, if it is possible i adore you even more now.

Amanda said...

I have goosebumps. I am so glad that you left and that you listened to yourself.

Anonymous said...

I just recently divorced after 20 years of marriage and I totally agree with you about the voice of the Holy Spirit! I fought tooth and nail for my marriage: through addiction issues, trust issues, so many issues, even endured a 2 year separation in hopes the marriage could be saved. In the end, I felt God totally release me. Thank you for so eloquently saying what I felt!

Judith said...

Thanks for those beautiful thoughts. I know as I explain my first marriage to my children, that I always pray that they can learn from my experience so they won't make the same mistakes.

I love knowing that Our Father has complete understanding of us and what is best for each of His children. What my husband now and I try to remind our children of is that it's always important to continue to listen to personal revelation and act in accordance.

We're all so grateful for the power of repentance & forgiveness!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, though I have a little problem with the timeline. So you were married in June, and were married for 9 months that would mean your marriage lasted until March. Yet you met the new guy in Jan. So did you start dating before you marriage was officailly over? I realize you might have been seperated, but come on, that's still a little quick.

2busy said...

I love your open and honest nature and your willingness to share bits and parts of yourself. You are an amazingling strong woman. I admire your strength.

Miranda said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I too had those SAME promptings when it was time for ME to get out of my marriage. And I'm sure I had the same ones BEFORE I was to marry...but ignored them. Lucky for me, I have found a wonderful man...and I listened to the promptings and knew it was right! xoxo

jeannie said...

That was beautiful.

Lanie Ree said...

I wasted two years of my life because of pride. The situations were so darn similar! Only, he never proposed. I hated that. If he had, I would have married him. I am so glad he never did. I ignored everything and everyone including myself because I did not want to be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Like so many before, "Thank you!" I too have a similar experience and was shocked to see so many readers do also! I thought I was in love and married at 21. I had a boy at 22 and after 3 years of abuse, I left. I am almost 26, divorce still not final, but I can totally relate to your emotions and feelings. I thought I was in love and married the best guy ever. It took me a while to figure out who he really was. As hard as I tried to be a better wife and person, the marriage was bad and hurtful and abusive to me and my son. I too felt so FREE and liberated and HAPPY. It boggled my mind that leaving my husband could allow for such positive feelings. But I couldn't deny what the Holy Ghost was telling me shortly after I kicked him out: "You married the wrong person and you can't go back to him!" It took my heart 6 months to come to know what my mind now knew, and I filed for divorce. It hasn't been the easiest road to travel. I have lost many friends because of my decision. But, for ME it was right. For the plan Heavenly Father has for ME, it had to be done. It has been the most awful and grueling experience of my entire life. But I wouldn't have changed a thing about it. If I could do my life over, I would still want to have this experience. Why, because I have learned the most valuable lessons of life. Lessons only a scary, abusive marriage followed by a nasty divorce, could teach me. I tell people I grew up and discovered who I really am because of all this. I feel like I have aged 10 years, and I am so much more mature. I also look at my life different now: it is a journey. For me it is a lot of experiences and trials and tests that allow me to grow. It is not about reaching the end result or goal now, that will come after I die. I have really loved and so easily related to Miley Cyrus's song "The Climb". I keep wanting to move those mountains in my way, I just want to take a nice stroll in the park of my life. That is not what is best for me and it won't mold me into the beautiful sculpture I can/will become. As hard as life is right now, it's not as hard as being abused. As hard as life is right now, I need to enjoy the climb and see the blessings and beauty around me. And when I do I begin to see the Lord's blessings more easily and recognize his tender mercies. They are all around me! He knows me, he loves me, he wants me to be happy, and he knows what I need and what I can become. I still pray for the love of my life and a man willing to accept me for who I am, to love me and my son, for part of who I am and what I have learned is because of my divorce. I wish I would meet my next husband as quickly as you met Chup, but I know (because of all this I have gone through) everyone has a different story, a different life, a different journey. We are all different and so are our lives, interests, families, traditions, trials, talents, strengths, weaknesses, etc. And that is beautiful, it makes the world more interesting and exciting. So whether I meet my next husband in a week or a year or 5 years it will be perfect timing for me. Thanks for sharing your experience. I have always wanted to know more about your first marriage. Thank you! Thanks for letting me comment about mine!

Alison said...

Another long time reader - first time commenter. Minus the Mormonism - a very similar story to mine. I accepted the first proposal I received because I never thought one would ever come. Later, less then a year after the wedding, the marriage was over and I was on my own. I was devestated, but the experience made me stronger then I thought I could ever be. I only wish the friends who had been too kind to speak up and afraid they would hurt my feelings had said something sooner. And always listen to the voices - be they the Holy Spirit or your inner self - they know what's right.

Stephanie said...

Cjane-
Thanks for writing this post. You have such a beautiful way with words.

Brooke said...

The thing I love about this post is not just your honesty but that you shared how the Holy Ghost speaks very simply in one liners... its not confusing or long winded... he speaks clearly in a way to understand.
you are awesome.

Rebekah Greiman said...

I had an engagement that the Lord pulled me out of. It was the most horrible experience of my life. I lost all of my friends; save two or three, my college professors of the christian university I attended forbade me from coming to class, I lost way too much weight for my little frame, and I considered ending it all. The Lord was so gracious and brought me through it all. I am so thankful I did not marry that man-he wasn't horrible, just not right for me. God is so faithful, even when I am a moron.

Erin said...

Hah! So much like my own experience.

Candy said...

Very good story. I went through a similar situation 33 or so years ago. A young man proposed to me and I acceptedm, but I really had THAT FEELING. Fortunately, so did he. However, a week later I acted like an idiot when he told me that he wanted to break up (pride), and I talked him into one more day. (Someone needs to write a book on breaking up with grace!) The next day, when I had some time at work, I realized that I really didn't love, or for that matter like, him. I know for sure I would have been in the same situation as you. I married the best man in the world a short time later. Funny, I taught a lesson on pride this AM in seminary. I love your twist.

Leah said...

Thank you

Rosalee said...

Thank you for sharing. Your story truly touched me today. This story reminds me why "Hope" is such a beautiful thing.

Shalyce said...

This was touching. You are very brave to share so openly. It truly shows me why we shouldn't judge. We don't know, and even if we do, what good does it do? I think sharing the lessons we have learned when we made mistakes is one of the greatest gifts we can give.

Julia said...

i had a similar experience and came out a stronger more complete me with the incredibly firm knowledge that: I am a daughter of God, who loves me...

thank you for sharing this.

c jane said...

Thanks for your kind responses everyone. I felt the need to write this one last night really late (too late?)

As for the timeline: I left in Dec. but our divorce wasn't finalized until the end of Feb (9 months from June). I met Chup in Dec. but we didn't start dating until July. But I can tell you this, the minute I met him I knew he was the one. Cliche and lovely like that.

Jill said...

How I wish so many young adults could read this. Thank you for being so open, so honest, even so raw. You will never know who you have helped, but I'm certain you have.

Allison said...

Fascinating. I knew girls who did the same thing, but this gave a rare glance into what it is REALLY like.

Rae said...

Courtney, this is such beautiful writing, and your beautiful soul shines through it, too. (Sorry. That's really cheesy. It's true though.) I'm so glad you have Chup; it is obvious that he cherishes you.

Lisa said...

I've been a reader of your blog for a while now and never left a comment. I just wanted you to know how much this post touched me and how amazing I think you are for sharing it. Thank you. It literally brought tears to my eyes.

Bean said...

It's amazing some of the things we HAVE to go through to get to that point where we trust God 110% with anything in our lives. Thank you sharing! I adore you :)

Hilary said...

You have a very eloquent way of putting things.

Anonymous said...

Saddly me too.

But now I have a little Angel to take care of. She is my life. I feel old. Is 31 old? You are very blessed. I've been divorced for two years now.. I might just be single forever. It is something VERY hard to deal with. I know I'm not nasty looking. There just aren't any single guys in my area. But I know Heavenly Father knows me and I'll do what he wants me to do. I mean he does see more then we do. It is just hard. But life can be hard. I AM happier. I go with that.

Do you know any single guys that are great? I just need to get me a bestest friend. :)

canadian ~

JameeMaLee said...

I think that's perfect.. I hope I can do as good at explaining some a the numbnut things I have done in my life to my children! That really was beautiful. I once came to a place in life that all that mattered was my relationship with Heavenly Father. I hope I can get back there someday. I love your blog! Thanks cjane:)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, very powerful. I was engaged young, bought a dress, put down deposits but when I asked my fiance if he really loved me enough to marry he was honest and said "no." Bless him! Two years later I was engaged again, another dress purchased, deposits paid but this time to a very dishonest man, I alienated all my family & friends by staying with him, and was in the worst position of my life, trapped but did not want to be the 'runaway bride' but somehow I have no idea how, one day just up & left. Two weeks later I ran into the boy voted "nicest guy" from my high school, who always took my girlfriends to dances when they did not have a date and this fall we will celebrate our 6 yr anniversary. I love to tell people I was engaged three times but only married once, they find it hilarious...I can laugh now too, since I am on the path I am supposed to be. Thank you so much for sharing your story, I had no idea, makes your life story that much richer & deeper.

McEngland like the McCountry said...

That was amazing... and took so much courage to live through AND to write about. Thanks for being brave.

Erin said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I love posts that include honesty and vulnerability - they make me want to be a better person, and to be more compassionate to the people around me.

And thank you for commenting on my blog the other day - I meant every word I said. And I have never commented on your blog before, so I am officially de-lurking myself!

Mollybelle said...

I loved this.
C Jane, I needed to know your life wasn't perfect.
Does that sound horrible? I mean, your family has been through a trial above trials....
I realize that and I look up to you for that. But sometimes, I've been discouraged. You and your family members have handled your burdens so wonderfully.
I hope you understand my heart when I say, It was comforting to hear you made a mistake. You inspire so many lives, mine included. So much so, that you seem unworldly. You're that amazing story everyone hears about. For you to open up about something from the past, that exposes a mistake you made, that proves you aren't a perfect person, makes you real! It makes me think, "Maybe I can be like her too!"
So thank you!

justbeccuz said...

Thank you for sharing that very honest story. You are very brave to post something so real and so powerful! Simply beautiful!

shel said...

post edit needed :)
so, how did you decide to be sealed to chup in the provo temple? wouldn't you have thoughts/memories of your previous wedding that day? or would choosing that temple help wash away the memory before?

also, why is chup's middle name spelled like a girls?

questions, questions...

thank you, though, for sharing your story. glad it turned out happily ever after after all <3

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much. This post was an answer to my prayers last night. seriously you don't even know how amazing this was that you posted this today. thank you thank you thank you......

Rochelleht said...

I love you. That was the best thing you have ever written. Beautiful and frank. I will print this out at some point and use it with my youth. It needed to be told. Hopefully, someone will be saved from their own mistake. Thank goodness you got out at 9 months and not 9 years. HOW many friends have I known who didn't listen to the Sprit and then stayed and had children. Disaster.

Bravo to you, my dear!

Anonymous said...

I have a question for you CJane...why is that LDS folks refer to the Holy Spirit as "Holy Spirit" much like the British say "I went to hospital" or "I go to University" and omit the "the"...I've noticed many of the LDS commenters talk just like that and I wondered if there is a reason?

Anonymous said...

Wow. That was quite a story. I am so happy your ending was happy. Thanks for sharing and also thanks to all the comment people who share their stories as well. I read many of them and was touched

We are all a like in so many ways and even though we have different thoughts ideas and beliefs, we are all connected by the desire of happiness and love.

Divorce is a hushed topic in the LDS church, which is good because we don't want divorce nobody does. But it does happen and this post made me feel not so all alone on the topic.

I have never been divorced but I married a man who was. Whom went through a similar circumstance as you. But having that pride, especially Man pride did not leave at all because of his desire to do what is right and make it work, She ended up leaving him, but when things did end, was free.

My husband is an amazing artist. He does it as a hobby.

I asked to see some of his paintings while he was married the first time and he only had ones from highschool, he never painted the whole time he was married to her. Which bears true to the fact that when you are in a unhealthy relationship you feel "locked"

Now our house is filled with his art work that he does today! Because he is free!

I am so blessed to have him!

Dorothy said...

I can totally relate to that feeling of pride. I almost married someone so completely wrong for me because of it. Thanks so much for sharing! It's wonderful to know I'm not the only one.

Isn't amazing that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us so much that he lets us get out of those dreadful mistakes?

Anonymous said...

your post has hit me HARD today. like i read it this morning and it hasn't left my mind since. i am in a marriage that i never should have entered into. the spirit told me over and over again that i was not doing the right thing, but i shut it out. i shut everyone out. i waited for the wedding to finally be over in hopes that the weight would be lifted and that i could go on living as a full person. spiritually and emotionally. that weight never came off. we 'celebrated' our five year anniversary earlier in the year. rather than a celebration, it felt to me like a funeral of myself and my self worth. it is in ALL ways unhealthy. my husband is abusive emotionally and mentally and spiritually. the manipulation has become such a part of me that i don't even have to wait for it, i do it to myself. i have two young children and that is the biggest hold. i feel sometimes like i have to sit through this for them and hope for things to improve. but they don't. there are so many things i dream of having. love, friendship, acceptance and respect. it just seems that i am stuck by some invisible chains in the place where i am. i have felt like i don't deserve help from anyone, including Heavenly Father because i was acutely aware of what i was getting myself into. i am to the point where i feel that even if i never find myself in a happy, healthy marriage, i would rather be out of this and struggling as a single mother for the rest of my life. i guess i have been living in my own little world, believing that these things happen and people just grin and bare it. this post has opened my eyes and helped me to see my own strength and self worth a little clearer and understand more the unconditional love that our father in heaven has for us. thank you cjane.

February Jill said...

Blogging is such a weird game.

I have so many questions for you now and I don't think, in fact I'm pretty sure it is none of my business... but then there's the fact that you put it out there so I just wonder if it's ok to ask?

Here goes...

a) how does divorce work in the Mormon church? It sounds like your first husband was also LDS or you would not have been married in a temple. Were you sealed? Can that be undone?

b) Why were your friends and family asking you not to marry him?

c) What happened during those 9 months? I don't know if that's a fair question.

d) I'm so sorry for asking these questions. But I really do want to know. And since you made me want to know, can't I ask?

e) I'm sorry.

Jill

Anonymous said...

Thankfully, I got myself out of a bad engagement (my first). My second engagement to the man of my dreams/best friend ended with him committing suicide. Long story but I'm so thankful for personal revelation and some very good friends who helped me see what was really going on. I'm married to a great guy now.

Rebecca said...

Late night inspiration? I think a lot of people needed this post - I marvel at your ability to share things that are so personal, and I'm thankful for it. You truly are helping others.

Jessica said...

Never regret what you've been through... it is the path that has brought you to where you are today - happy, healthy, peaceful and inspirational.
Thanks cjane. I love your blog.

mrs. kleiner said...

You are lovely and I appreciate the varied ways that you present your story...I almost always laugh, but today I am in tears. I am not lost in the details of this being a marriage story. This is THE human story of us all--choosing our own desires over the voice of God.

I love and identify with this line "the loneliness of keeping pride in check." I also know of the great peace that comes with surrendering to the Holy Spirit.

Anyway, I just loved this post and wanted to send you a little squeeze from Seattle.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about blogs. thought i'd check out the buzz. don't understand the desire of people to share their intimacies of life with others and try to make it all sound so poetic and well written. life is messy, not photogenic nor posed. so many adoring fans. enamoured by someone's divorce story. weird.

HunDuddle Hussy said...

i totally didn't know this about you. very cool story.

so are you and chup sealed? were u able to get a temple divorce? i wanna know the rest!! tell me tell me!!

jesslynlowe@gmail.com

Mary said...

That was completely beautiful.

As a young, stupid girl I was engaged to the hugest BEAVIS, and I relate to so much of what you wrote. The romantic idea of marriage outweighing the fact that the guy you're with is not right for you. And you know it.

And I have heard the same words from the Spirit ("You are going to be alright.") several times through the years, right when I needed them.

I love the last sentence. It made me smile. You two are totally adorable.

Christa said...

And you're not a feminist why, exactly? Yeah, you haven't benefited at all [insert sarcasm].

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing from your heart! May we all find the courage to be true to God's promptings.

Emily said...

It was very brave of you to share such a personal story. A witness of the Holy Ghost is powerful stuff, you have strengthened my testimony of it. Thanks.

Sarah said...

I love reading your posts!!! Love them!!!
I too had a similar experience, but I recieved the other answer. The one that said I should stay and work it out. A year and a half after getting married I found out the person I married for eternity had dark secrets from a life before me. Those secrets came back to haunt our marriage and would continue to haunt it for the next six years. What a rollercoaster, would I trade it? No. In fact I am happy to be celebrating our 10 year anniversary this week.

My brother, just a year younger than me was also married in the temple. He lived through a very abusive two years, before he chose to leave. What a struggle this has been for him.

Talking with him one evening he put it this way, he said, "Its hard when you are told your whole life you will get married in the temple. When life doesn't turn out the way we planned, its so easy to feel like a failure or like you are doing something wrong. Even if its not entirely because of you."

If have have learned anything it is the POWER of the atonement. That Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. No two plans are the same. He loves each of us and knows what we need and what we can handle.

You are such a great example to me. Thank You!!!

Bonnie said...

I appreciate that you wrote this for us.

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