It’ll be just about almost three years since life with my daughter and I have changed. Two years ago we lived in Manila. The place we called home until I was faced with the decision to leave or stay.
It was a normal day at home when I received a phone call from my father. He asked me to sit before he could tell me anything. I walked down the hall straight to the stairs. I could barely catch my breath before my father said another word.
“ Jax has been having an affair for quite some time now and he’s been taking Harper around the girl.”
My heart jumped deep into my stomach as I tried to take in everything he was telling me. Time stood still as it felt like someone pulled my heart out from my chest and shattered it into a million pieces, all while I was trying to breathe.
This was the day my marriage collapsed. Everything I had always prayed for was gone in a matter of seconds. It was as if someone had pulled the plug and I didn’t even get the chance to save it or even say goodbye. Just. Like. That.
The first person I thought of was my daughter. Harper was with her dad that evening. I needed to find a way to safely bring her back to me. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to leave the country without her. I no longer knew or felt safe with the one person I trusted the most—Jax. He was everything to me.
I quickly had to think of a way to take my daughter without having Jax question me about our whereabouts. As I sat in the taxi, I watched my dad walk over to meet Jax as he transferred Harper into my father’s arms. I gave Jax one last look from where I was sitting.
It was as if I was looking at a stranger. My husband was no longer alive in my eyes. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I turned my head.
I will never forget the way he looked at me, it was as if his eyes were empty.
With Harper safely in my arms, I brushed away those tears, took a deep breath, and never looked back. All Jax knew was that we were off to my brother’s apartment. He never called that evening to check in nor did he call the following morning to see why we never came home.
I sent him a message that morning, telling him I knew everything and that Harper and I would be gone. I called his family to notify them about our flight back to the United States and all that was going on.
Vividly recalling back to the memory of Harper and I standing in front of our terminal gate, I remember constantly looking back, wishing, hoping Jax would be running after us. There was nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not a phone call, not even a reply to my message.
Walking onto the plane, I could barely keep myself together, carrying Harper, with a fever. I could barely say a word, shaking in tears. Our lives had completely changed. The moment I realized I was officially a single parent was when I held my daughter in one arm while trying to medicate her with the other. She threw her arms up, which tipped over the medicine.
In that moment I found myself urging to call for my husband's name. I couldn’t anymore.
As the days passed and we finally got settled in California, I remember thinking to myself—I have two options here:
1. I go into deep depression and allow myself to turn into a wreck, or;
2. I do something I’ve never done before. Cling to God—this God I’ve known all my life but never really understood.
Today, almost three years later, at the beautiful ripe age of 30, never would I have thought I’d be sitting here sharing my story of how faith introduced me to myself.
You see, I never really knew there was a difference between feeling joy or happiness. Joy is a feeling that comes from within. Happiness is a feeling that’s created.
I always thought that in order for me to be happy, that would come from my happily ever after marriage. I mean, that was all I ever prayed for. My journey into discovering who my creator is gave me this unbelievable strength that carried me out of my darkest days of depression. Coming from a toxic marriage filled with manipulation and deceit; I allowed myself to be become a victim in my own mental prison. I remember nights praying on my knees begging, crying out to God; save me, help me, do something!!! I’d hear silence, feeling alone. I just wanted this pain to go away.
Little did I know, persisting with prayer and as time passed; God was already answering my prayers. It didn’t just appear one day, it took me taking action of course. He met me half-way. I’d find myself staying busy, focused on my goals and myself. I’d find myself laughing again…feeling joyful.
The most supernatural things started occurring in my life. God would then orchestrate me meeting such courageous and brave women who had experienced exactly what I had. I call them my angels.
Though my favorite angel of all is my daughter. He chose me to become her mother. The biggest blessing of all. She gives me the purpose to wake up every morning to be my best self. Not only for her but also to help serve others around us.
At this moment in my life, I finally understand who my creator is. He’s after my character, my well-being, and my heart.
I will always love the memories we created as a family. I will always have a place in my heart for the person I once fell in love with. But today, I choose what’s best for both my daughter and I first. Through my journey of healing and faith I discovered that everything starts from loving yourself within, first.
In order to nurture within, you must learn to nurture the right way by defeating destructive self-thoughts, limiting beliefs, and the belief that it takes someone else to make you happy.
God has equipped you with all that you’ll ever need from the very beginning when he created you. He gave you the power to fight those thoughts so that you can you live to be your best self as he created you to be. Let that light shine from within, always.
May my journey to healing be a light to yours.