I've always done things in my life backwards. Not really intentionally, but I did a lot of things based on emotions when I was younger.
When I was 20 I was having issues with my ovaries. My doctors were afraid I had endometriosis because I had such horrible pain all the time. They had me on birth control pills from the time I was 16 until I realized at 20 the abortifacient properties and negative health implications. Because I stopped the pill, my pain came back and I started worrying that I would never be able to have children.
So, I started dating a guy and we married 8 or 9 months later. Everything was okay at first, but he became increasingly more emotionally abusive. Yelling from the time I'd get home from work until dawn, literally. Nothing I did was right. I got pregnant and ended up having a partial molar pregnancy and miscarrying at 15 weeks. I was heartbroken. He was happy and told me so. He got rid of my dog. He screamed some more. One day, he yelled at me in front of the little boy I was nannying at the time and I lost it. I moved out a few weeks later and never returned. We were divorced just after I turned 23.
During my impending miscarriage, I began my conversion. I will someday write out my whole story, but my miscarriage was a big part of it. I was never able to find an RCIA that worked with my schedule, so I'd attend mass once in a while in the hopes that I would find one someday that worked for me. But I would travel on a whim, got a tattoo (that I now HATE), and slept and ate very little. I went to mass when I felt the ache.
Then I met Kyle, online, and we started dating. Again, because I was following emotion instead of doing the right thing, I flew up to California to meet him. A few months later we were pregnant with Amelia. I moved to Cali, and we tried to find a parish we liked. He was baptized Catholic, identified as a Catholic, but didn't practice. We never really found one we liked.... California has some weird dioceses... Until we moved back to AZ and started attending the parish near home. I liked it because the people were warm and caring and mostly because they had an RCIA that worked for me. I wish Kyle would have been confirmed with me, but he still, to this day, has not done it, unfortunately.
I was baptized and confirmed into the Church in 2006. I was baptized with Amelia. But I had to stop taking communion right after that anyway, because we were living in sin. We switched parishes and I realized that I wanted to get married in the Church. Unfortunately, I'd have to get an annulment first and even though it didn't cost a lot of money, it was still money that we didn't have to spend. It was $50 for the annulment, $28 for a divorce decree from the county, $28 for my marriage license from the county, and $5 for my ex's baptismal certificate. I procrastinated for years.
My heart and soul ached from not being able to take communion.
Kyle decided to reenlist in the Marines just after Lily was born, so we ended up getting married civilly instead. He wasn't accepted, so I had married outside of the Church, which is something I didn't want to do, for absolutely no reason.
I procrastinated more on the annulment.
Until this Lent. When I made a promise to myself that I would order the papers they needed, and get the stinking thing done, because I wanted to be in full communion with the Church. Not only for myself, but for Amelia, who would be taking communion for herself in 2nd grade, and I knew how fast time would go and she'd start asking questions and that is not something I wanted to face. I had no good reason to be keeping myself in mortal sin. To keep my marriage outside of the sacrament was not helping anything. I need it to be done. I need our marriage to be blessed. We need our sacrament. I truly believe that the Holy Spirit will bless us even more completely once our marriage is convalidated, and hope with all that is in me that Kyle will eventually go through RCIA and feel the Holy Spirit in his life.
I signed the papers the day Charlotte was baptized and I received a phone call today saying it was done!!! I asked her if they were sending anything to me and she said no, that the diocese just said to notify me that the annulment was done. I laughed that that was awfully anti-climactic, but that I was so happy and asked what the next step is. We can either go through the complete marriage process and have a full on wedding or we can have our marriage blessed by the deacon in a small ceremony. Due to money and time reasons, we will likely do the latter.
This was a pretty personal post, but I guess that's okay. I'm certainly not perfect. But this is my journey. This is my life. And I'm so thrilled that we are moving forward on the path that I know God wants us to be.