Friday, March 30, 2012


Wednesday was one of the most important days in my entire life.  And it has nothing to do with a beautiful wedding dress {although there is a stunning wedding dress that became mine that day}. It goes much much deeper than that.

Wednesday was healing. I don’t mean metaphorically or symbolically either. I literally mean I had a miracle take place – a walking on water, healing of the leper’s kind of miracle. 

I remember talking to my best friend Lynsey one night “I feel like I am never going to be there…I feel like I am broken and no matter how hard I try I will just not catch up.”

Because somehow – a long time ago – when I was just a very little girl I was told I was bad. And that I was unlovable. That no one could love me or want me…and that it would be better if I just hadn’t even been born.  And I was too little to know any better. So I buried that secret in my heart. 

And it changed me forever.    And it changed my life.

And then life’s events started to convince me that this was truth. 

 I lived in so many different homes with so many different families - and my little buried secret would whisper “this is because you are bad…and so unlovable”

My husband loved so many others and I was just never enough for him – and again I knew that “I was broken and unlovable. “

These past years have been incredible. I have often felt like I am on some great adventure – discovering myself for the first time. Seeing the pieces of me that are lovable.  And good.  And beautiful.  Finally seeing that little girl and realizing how good and lovable she really was.
 Oh how I wish I could go scoop up that little baby Andrea and tell her just how good and strong she is. I want to whisper in her ear, “Don’t you believe a word of it. You are amazing and you will come out of this okay. Just hang on…there is happiness and love and peace – years and years of it waiting for you on the other side of all this.”

And yet even with all of this there was still that little voice that whispered, “it’s you…you are the reason. You are broken, and bad, and unlovable.”  I mentioned this in my 3 Trees Post (you can read that here) a couple of years ago that I have felt like I am carrying this burden alone.  Sometimes I felt like I was climbing this steep mountain all alone. Terrified to fall backwards – worried there would be no one to catch me.  

And then the most loving and perfect women I know gave me this gift. Not just the gift of a beautiful, stunning, breathtaking wedding dress…because as nice as that is it’s just a dress…but the gift of healing that piece of my heart. The gift of knowing that there are (and always have been) people waiting to catch me if I fall backwards on that hill. The gift of pure, unselfish love –putting that secret lie to rest once and for all. 

Because it isn’t true.  And for the first time I really really know that. 

I have never felt so loved. I have never felt such goodness and kindness and loyalty and friendship. It was one of the most sacred experiences of my life.

I read each of your letters and saw each of the friends who had supported me and I cried. When the day was over I think I had a love hangover. It was overwhelming – in the most beautiful, grateful sense of the word. 

And like all service does – it turned my heart once again to a Heavenly Father who never ceases to amaze me in His mercy and kindness.

I kept thinking of the years that I felt so lost and forgotten and alone. I specifically remembered one particularly painful night when I was curled up in a bed next to a man who had just broken my heart once again and I remember sobbing myself to sleep. I remember wondering if He was aware – if my prayers were even being heard. Feeling lost and trapped and terrified that happiness was never to be a possibility.
And then yesterday, I swear, I had this image in my head of this giant cookie jar in heaven. And that during all of those years of pain and heartache and trials God just kept putting this goodness and bliss away for me. “Not yet,” was my answer. Because without the bitter I would never have treasured the sweet.
And it felt like the floodgates opened. The whole cookie jar was just poured down on me. In the form of Shawn – amazing, perfect Shawn – who loves me and my boys perfectly.  In the form of inspired friends and kindness from strangers and love. Years and years of it all condensed into one day. Seriously, we are lucky I lived. My ticker almost couldn’t take it all. 

I want you to know that you have touched and healed a piece of my heart I wasn’t sure could ever be fixed. And for that – I am forever thankful to each of you

I Love You


Charlotte said...

You deserve every bit of it, Andrea. I was a little slow getting my part of it out to you, but it's on it's way.

We only really knew you for a very short time in Rexburg- our first year of marriage- but we have never forgotten the feeling of "home" you created in your little apartment. Never forgotten that. And have always tried to live up to it.

I've loved following your blog because you are definitely someone to look up to, and you are WORTH following.

I'm so excited for you and Shawn. He's a lucky guy.

Michele said...

It's amazing how critical our lives are when we are young. Things said and done stick with us. I wish you and Shawn so much happiness! I want you to know through all your trails, you have always had a smile on your face and kept on going. Even though we were not close friends at school, I thought you were amazing! And Lyndsey is right, you really have a glow to you. You are an inspiration to all of us! Good luck with everything and have fun planning this wedding!

lynsey said...

i know we talked about this and i cried then, but you putting it into words so beautifully brought me to tears once more. the way you felt about the surprise was SO much more than the surprise itself! i would do it a thousand times over if i could, to continue healing those pieces that were taken from you so long ago.

you are so amazing.

i just can't say it enough! and i have been so blessed to have you in my life. i love you.

Rachel Chick said...

You are so beautiful, Andrea. (Certainly on the outside, but even more so on the inside.) I barely know you - in the real world - but I want you to know that I think about you and pray for you often. Even through your blog and being "friends" on facebook, I can feel your goodness and the light that you have inside of you.

Thank you for sharing even this tiny little part of your journey with me. It has changed me. I love you.

Anonymous said...

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You is kind
You is important

Rachel Holloway said...

Andrea. I just want you to know how much I care about you! I AM SO, SO thrilled to have taken part in such an incredible thing...because I DO hope you know how loved and cared for you are! And SO many others do too!! :)
I wish you SO much happiness and love and AMAZINGNESS (not technically a word...yet...but I wish it for you!) This next chapter in life is going to be the BEST yet!

Michelle said...

*** tears in my eyes ***

You are amazing, my friend. So, so happy for you.

potentially sane mother said...

Oh Andrea you are charity personified! We love you! Tyra

arizonamarshall said...

Wow Andrea you never cease to amaze me. I am never on Facebook but couldn't help but wondering why everyone was crying from your blog. And I have to say it made me cry too. I hope you know that I love you too and I am So happy for you. You truly are an amazing woman for having gone thru what you did. It reminds me of Oliver twist who finally had everything come together after a childhood of abuse. In your case a little longer. Just watching eyrings talk on trials really hits the spot. Love Christine

Anonymous said...

I can tell you that I love you with all my heart and that I am so sorry for the childhood that you had. I could tell you over and over but that would never be enough, I could tell you that my pain and sadness in not having you in my life is real and the sorrow I feel for not being the mum you and Lindsey deserved is real, a pain that haunts me. I wish I would have been whole, complete and not damaged when I became your mum and I wish more that you will ever know that you were a part of my life. You are a beautiful daughter Andrea Nicole and I only wish you all the joy and happiness that heavenly father can shine down into your life. I failed you and let my past abuse and pain get in the way of being a good and protective mother and I am from the deepest part of my soul so very sorry and humble my self before you and threw my prayers to my father in heaven and ask for your forgivness. I love you. and I'm so very proud of you and your sister. mom

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