This is my husband. He is an Alaskan fisherman. I am so thankful for him. We met in May of 2009 at a retreat in Colorado. I went to the retreat to reconnect with God. The theme of that year’s Best 8 Days was entitled “Revolution”. I knew I needed a change, a Revolution in my life.
I was a year into a bitter divorce. I was on the “man hating train” to no where fast. You see when the person who vows to love you and only you for the rest of your life, all of the sudden has an affair, you are derailed. Life was turned upside down for me. I knew her, I worked with her and to top it off she was 13 years younger than me. I began to doubt myself. I compared my self over and over again.
When we arrived at the base of the mountain in Westcliffe, Colorado, I had been praying. God “spoke” to me. He told me, as I placed my bag in my room, that the person he wanted me to be with was here and for me to look around and I will find him. I laughed and said “He!! No.” (yep, I talked like directly to God.) So God placed Michael in my “family group”. As he sat next to me on the couch that first night I didn’t think much of it. It was the next day that things began to change for me.
I spent the first three days of that 8 day retreat being cleaned out spiritually. The topics were real and hit home for me. I am naturally a deep thinker, so going deep is easy for me. The second day of the retreat we were given a piece of paper with questions on it. It was to help you figure out why you were there. I already knew. My life was changing, I was having a hard time dealing with that. When we were going over the questions that first family group meeting. I simply said “I know why I’m here, I’m not sure we are ready to go that deep yet”. After the meeting Michael approached me. He told me that if I needed someone to talk to, he was willing to listen. I wasn’t sure I wanted to talk to a man. I was afraid. I was afraid to admit out loud that my ex had an affair. I was afraid that he would automatically be on “team man”. My ex said some pretty hurtful things those last few weeks. He knew what my weaknesses were and he played those against me. I was afraid to let someone get that close to me again.
The second day of the retreat was Sunday. After a worship service on the side of the mountain, we met as a family group and the topic was loneliness. Yep. Loneliness, imagine that, someone who is going through a divorce talking about being lonely. It was when Michael said “When I went through my divorce I was extremely lonely” that hit me like a ton of bricks. After our family group meeting we had a few hours of free time. A lot of people went hiking nearby. We climbed the old ski lift behind the retreat center. Now before you get all impressed, I am out of shape, we were already 7,000 miles above sea level. Breathing was not easy. I made it about three quarters of a mile up. Michael did not push me, make fun of me or leave me behind. He sat with me, on the side of that ski lift. We talked for what seemed like hours. I opened up. I told him everything. He sat and listened. He was not automatically on “team man”. In fact, I believe he said “I really can’t imagine someone wanting to be with someone else after being with you.”
We spent the next several days, listening to sermons, taking road trips and getting to know each other. When the retreat was over and we went back home. It was about two days before Michael called and told me he wanted to see me. He drove three hours. When he arrived I was nervous. He said to me “I did not just drive three hours to be your friend, I want to be your boyfriend.” And so it began.