Why I gave up my husband for lent

Yes, you read this right.

I gave my husband up for lent.

However, I cannot led you to believe it was WHILE we were married. That would be silly, right? This was before we were married.
 

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Here is the deal. We've been together for 10 years now (look at our baby faces in these pictures ha ha). We met each other at college in 2004. At the time, I was in a 4 year relationship with my high school sweetheart. Nick informed me that he told his cousin he met "the girl of his dreams but she was practically married."

{I know, its sappy. It gets worse.#sorrynotsorry }

Don't get me wrong... when I met Nick, he was CUUUUTE (cute pronounced in two syllables). Long shaggy haired college guy who played guitar. Yep. 

But I had my blinders on because I was in my comfort zone. I mean, I had dated this other guy for FOUR YEARS. And why change something that doesn't feel broken? hmmm... 

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Let's fast forward. I broke it off with the "other guy" on our 4 year anniversary. I know, cold hearted. But we both realized we were drifting apart. Cried a week in my dorm room. Then opened the door on a whole new life chapter. 

Yet, ironically, instead of feeling FREE, I felt naked. I felt nervous. I felt vulnerable. I panicked. I realized that for four years I lost myself in the identity of being someone's girlfriend.
 
 I wasn't Laura. I was just someone's girlfriend.


I missed me. I wanted to FIND me. Where did she go? She apparently had built a fort around her comfort zone and forgot what butterflies, adventure, risks felt like.

Even though I was feeling anxious, I oo'd and aah'd over fun puppy love feelings when Nick and I started flirting via text (did you just roll your eyes? You did it too. Don't lie.)  

After a few weeks, we were loving our time together. I kinda really liked him. And that was the problem! I wasn't ready to have all these feelings again!! What if I screwed this up? I knew that if I invited this amazing guy into my mess of a life... it wasn't fair to him. I just wasn't confident. I wasn't even sure who I was, let alone what I wanted in a relationship!

So I sat Nick down on February 9, 2005. I told him I needed space. And not just a little space.. but like, I could not SEE HIM or TALK TO HIM for a few months.

I fully expected him to be like, "um, you are a crazy chick. I'm out."

But you know what he did instead??? He said, "It's ok. Do what you need to do. I feel like you are the one. I love you and will marry you one day. Take your time."

{{{ I could have PASSED OUT }}}

This guy was CRAZY. Here I am stiff arming him because I need space and he basically proposes?


We had just started dating actually!

I mean, I am not even catholic and it wasn't intentionally around the time of lent. It just so happened to be around February and ended around Easter. So, I suppose it aligned perfectly.

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Well, for the next 46 days (yes, I counted), I did not talk to him, see him, sit in the same room as him, notta. Nothing.

It was hard but it was so refreshing. My heart needed to heal. I needed to be LAURA HAWKINS (my maiden name). I needed to figure out me before I invited someone else into my life.

 

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So for 46 days, I prayed. I read. I laughed. I cried. I got my spunk back. I grew as a person. I was fresh and clear and confident. 

Day 46... Nick braved his way to my college dorm room. He showed up with flowers and gummy bears (my love language) and asked me on a date.


WHAT A PRINCE CHARMING!!

We went on our first new date on April 2, 2005.
We got engaged on November 3, 2006.
We got married on October 27, 2007.

I believe with ALL MY HEART that if I hadn't given Nick up for lent... that our relationship would not have worked out.

That is a WILD assumption. But I really believe God was working something out in both of our hearts. I believe God put us together to do big things and we wouldn't have been ready for the job unless we were independent and confident BEFORE we became Nick & Laura.

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MY THOUGHTS
::: Have you ever felt like I did? Feeling foggy, confused, stuck? Is there something you need to "give up"? Is there something you can remove from your life for a period of time so you can really dig deep? Do you recognize who you are anymore?

MY ADVICE ::: If you are married, don't give up your spouse or family (ha ha). You have responsibility. And if you want to RUN from your commitments, my tough love is that the problem is NOT them... it's you. You can choose to give something else up (like TV, sugar, snooze). Choose something that you can sacrifice that would allow you more time to grow as a person. Work out more. Eat healthier. Find a community of friends who lift you up. 

 

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Nick is a trooper. He is such a strong man who leads our family. God knew what he was doing when he was healing my heart. I had to give God my complete heart before I gave it to a boy. 

The layers of our story continued after we were married. We've moved 8 times in 8 years. Been $40k in debt. Have had $40k in savings. Lost our home. Lived with my in-laws. Lived in a 4,000 sq ft house. Lived in a 700 sq ft basement cold apartment. 

Through the ups and downs, one thing has remained the same. We are in love. We are a team. We want to always grow stronger, better, wiser. 

We are now both Beachbody Coaches and work from home with our two baby boys. This online business has allowed us the freedom in our finances, the flexibility in our schedule and the traveling that our adventurous spirit desires. 

I am sure you have a fun story too. We all do.

If you don't mind me looking like the weekend (pony, lounge clothes, no makeup, totally me), here is a video about our story:  


xoxo