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Guest Blog by Vanessa

Blog Resilience

My name is Vanessa.

The winter of 2016 is one I won’t ever forget. It taught me how resilient a heart can be when it has no other choice. But the story really starts in May of that year. I was in a strong, four year old marriage and expecting the greatest gift, a beautiful daughter to start our family. We were over the moon excited and ready to start this new chapter. 


As my pregnancy progressed, it was definitely not sunshine and roses. I was sick for a lot of it, having to take medication to keep food down. The one thing I was sure would never shake was my marriage. I was confident that despite the difficulty my body experienced being pregnant, in the end we’d have a beautiful daughter and a loving home. Both those things happened, but not how I ever dreamed they would. The marriage I believed was strong started to crumble and while I spent that summer keeping food down, it slowly slipped away without my even realizing it. 


I had lived thus far believing that I was safe from the devastation others experience in life. I had checked all the “boxes” for the plan that was my life until that point. Masters Degree in teaching, marriage and now a family. 


In September, I could feel something was wrong. I didn’t want to admit it so I made excuses for why my relationship felt the way it did and tried to bring it back together. I couldn’t admit to myself what was happening and fully confront it though. I thought I was safe because I did everything “right”. By Thanksgiving, unbeknownst to me it was over and my husband who I believed would never leave my side, wanted a divorce. I was around 32 weeks pregnant and the world I thought would never shake was shattering around me. 


I spent the week of Thanksgiving that year clinging to hope that it wasn’t true and everything would go back to normal. I wanted so desperately to believe I was impervious to disaster and that I would wake up from this, having it all be a bad dream. All the while, my heart had quite a few gaping wounds and was bleeding out on the table. As it turned out, the pain was not a dream and despite all my best talking and convincing the decisions that had been set into motion before I truly knew it were happening. 


So I spent the next month moving out of the home my soon to be ex-husband and I created together, into the home of my amazing parents. I gave away almost everything at a time I was supposed to be building a space for my baby. It was a dark time for me. I struggled between being so happy that my wonderful baby was coming any day and so destroyed, desperately clinging to the pieces of my broken heart. I had so many wonderful people who helped make the clinging to heart pieces a little easier during that time and I’ll always be eternally grateful to them. My life had come to a crazy catastrophic halt and I felt like I was in limbo. Nothing was how I thought it was supposed to be. I checked all the “boxes” on my plan. I did everything I was “supposed to do”. I was baffled, devastated and truly hanging by a thread. 


It took about a month but I moved out, handed over our house back to our landlords and slowly tried to piece together a new situation. My saintly parents did everything to make me as happy and comfortable as possible, including creating a gorgeous nursery for my baby. The pieces to that shattered heart were in hand and as my delivery date neared, I realized I had two choices: let this take me out. Fall into the gripping despair I felt closing in around me. Or pick it all back up, throw out the list of checked boxes and adjust the plan. I was a month or so away from welcoming one of the greatest miracles I’ve ever experienced in my life and she was going to need me. I could let this take me down, let the gaping holes in my heart grow. Or I could be the mom I knew she was going to need me to be. I’ve spent every day since continuing to be the mom I know she needs me to be. Her arrival at that desperate time gave me the final push I needed to pick it all back up, push forward and continue to grow in everything I do, always. 


Being a single mom and living with my parents at 33 was never in the plan I had for my life. At times, it’s been an uphill battle to come to terms with everything that happened and not let it swallow me whole. But through all that dark and despair I can look back and see the blessings in it. I have grown in tremendous ways. I’ve taken chances on myself I never would have living the life I was before and surprisingly enough, I’m grateful. It was so hard and so dark at times but it taught me that I can be bent, but not broken. I can continue to pick it all up and keep moving even when it feels impossible. The Moody and Peachy Resilient Heart line really spoke to me when I first saw it because it embodies how I view my own heart. Strong, not without damage or holes but moving forward and repairing everyday. When it feels like our hearts have been shattered, they can always be patched and put back together again. A heart with holes and damage is still a heart worth using to guide your life. Mine has only enriched my life and is helping me become the person I’ve always wanted to be. 

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