Tag Archives: marriage

how social media saved my marriage and restored my soul

Social Media Saved

I know this is going to sound slightly over the top, but I’m beginning to realize that by the grace of God, social media has helped save my marriage. And maybe…just maybe, it’s helped to save me too.

We hear often how the internet and social media have contributed to the breakdown and destruction of marriages. No doubt about it. This could have been true for me except for the most marvelous phrase in all of Scripture:

“But God”.


I’ve been a Christian since I was about  13 years old. Obviously, I didn’t understand all that meant then…or now and I’m still learning.  However, the last several years have changed and cemented me in ways only God could have designed.  I now understand a great deal more about my own heart and I understand more about God’s heart as well. He is good.

Well over 20 years and 3 kids ago… shoot, I was really just a kid myself– a writer, a poet and 2nd-rate performance artist, full of dreams and creative aspirations. Sadly, I was also full of the fear and dysfunctional behaviors that go along with chronic abandonment and abuse.

I confess that when I met my dear husband he fulfilled my number one (maybe only) qualification for “marriage material”:

he was nice and he didn’t hurt me.

It didn’t matter much that both of us had no clue what we were doing.
It didn’t matter that we had no real family guidance or grounding.
It didn’t matter that we had no plan,

Five months after we met, we were married and on our way…to who knows where. All we knew was to do marriage better than we’d seen our parents do it–how hard could that be?

It also didn’t matter at the time that I’d traded in my personal dreams and goals, exchanging them for the supposed security of that coveted “M.R.S.” degree. Heck, these things would sort themselves out later. Right?


You know, it’s hard to succeed when you wake up every day and go to bed every night slightly terrified you’re doing it all wrong and you can’t ask anyone for help. You’re certain everyone else has it all together and you have to pretend you do too. That was how I felt.

Somewhere, along the way, I’d lost my identity. A gaping, lonely hole was working it’s way into my soul and I didn’t know how to fill it.  Believe me, I tried. Basically, I lived most of my days in fear that sooner or later, someone was going to call my bluff and I knew I didn’t have any real or lasting answers.

It took the jolt of a sudden and unplanned move to care for my dying mother to reveal that I –in a very real way– was dying too. Dying on the vine. My final shreds of sanity were wearing thin. The very slender hold I had on my identity as Christian, wife, mother…and daughter– was slipping fast. I recall how one day I stood outside as a friend was leaving and all I could say was, “This is not who I really am.”   Trouble was; I no longer knew who that person could be.

I certainly didn’t know where to look.  I just wanted to push “pause”, catch my breath, rearrange the scene a little so I could catch up, sort it out and start again. Not happening.

Little by little, I was beginning to unravel.
But God.

I understand now how necessary this unravelling was. God was up to something bigger than I could see and was also about to step into my mess in ways I could never have known to ask for.

Truthfully,  it got much worse before it got any better.  I just couldn’t find my way through the maze of what God was revealing as my next step in doing life with Him. He was speaking and I know I heard something. In my grief and confusion, the enemy wasted no time in luring me off track with empty words and promises spoken in the midst of my brokenness… words I trusted were shared from God –but were not. I had hit bottom.

I was a wreck.
My marriage was a wreck.
My family was disintegrating.

But God.

You know, God  is in the redemption business and little by little He was buying back every piece of me I had given away over the years.  It got deep. It was intimate. It was a *particular* redemption.  God himself became… and then gave me back… the key to everything…. to me, who I am in Him.. to my heart and my soul.

All I had to do was surrender.


The healing came ever so slowly as I began to write again.

I took a chance on a blog and  began to reach out and discover whole groups of women–and a few men who are serious about the nitty-gritty living of this sometimes, ugly, underbelly life. People who care about God and others and themselves and about BEING the Body of Christ. My faith and hope in the right things was restored in the right ways.

I discovered a community passionate about things worth fighting for and the Reason behind the fight. In arranged marriages yet committed to their spouses and faithful to the cause of Christ. Some struggling transparently with infertility, cancer, ALS,  eating disorders, depression or the daily grind of the daily do of family life.

The internet became an altar and these writings became my sacrifice to Him because somewhere out there, somehow, some way some one needs to know there’s hope…needs to know that no matter how far they think they’ve gone,

Home is calling and our caring Father is waiting and is really is
only one step away.


So yeah, call it the hyperbole of the century but fact is,  social media saved my marriage and restored my soul…sorta. Saved my sanity, is more like it I guess. All I know is God didn’t let me go, he brought me through to here.

If you’re reading this today and see even a small piece of yourself in my story, I’m inviting you to come on home. He’s got your key too and I’d love to help you open that door.

Let’s be brave, shall we?

Restored, Lorretta signature



Moments of Defining & Refining

christmas-crossI’ve started decorating the house for Christmas and
I have to confess;

I’m having a blast!

Honestly, I haven’t done a ton of major decorating I mean,  you have to understand–we don’t live a very “upscale” and entertaining lifestyle. Even when I thought that should be my goal in life, I could never quite pull off that Martha Stewart thing!

No, we’ve always lived rather “low to the ground” and as such, I’ve tried to do things reasonably while at the same time, as tastefully as possible. In fact, I was  probably “shabby chic” before it was in vogue!

(Ok…maybe I was just the fool who put the “shabby” that dangerously close to chic, but certainly I ought to get an “A” for effort!)

But hey, this year– I’ve decked some halls y’all! Let me tell you more…

staying power

Alternately entitled: ” tales from the very. worst wife”

November 16, 1989 editStay.

To be honest, this little 4-letter word means more to me today than it those many years ago. 

Back then, I barely understood the true meaning of most words even though I thought I knew all I needed to know about this one and another word spelled


  Heck, I thought I knew a lot about everything.

Taking a step back to adjust my focus I can clearly recall the scene…

She’s standing there in the upper portion of an Italian restaurant (now a Hooters) between the rented candelabras and before a Justice of the Peace who just happened to play Bridge there every Thursday afternoon. She was their waitress.

Just a slip of a girl….no family present and terrified. This is the first wedding she’s ever attended and it’s her own. There she is, standing in her future mother-in-law’s altered wedding gown, in a god-awful DIY headpiece she made herself, next to a guy she’s only known for 5 months and they’re about to say “we will stay” for the rest of their lives. No, she wasn’t pregnant….just stupid and in love.

She says it. A quick slug to the arm from his brother and Best Man, causes him to snap out of his daze just long enough to stutter his “I will” to the amusement of his family members.  And that’s it: they are married.

It was November 16, 1989.

Stay. What did they know about staying?

She……abandoned and left to her own devices against the system of a world that was none too kind. Abandoned by parents who divorced and remarried multiple times and showed no power to stay true to anything or anyone anywhere

He… no better off, abandoned by his father who likewise left behind a family so wounded that it would take years to repair and recover even a little of what was lost.

What did these two have to offer one another from that day forward?
How would they ever  know how to stay?

How could they understand the cost of staying?
They had no idea.

  God did.

And God would see them though the birth of 3 children and a business, multiple moves, a variety of churches and the death of their mothers.  He’d be there in their good and bad decisions, and especially in the sometimes daily hand-to-hand combat with that unseen enemy trying to tear their marriage apart every step of the way.

Yes, God would be there because somehow, even in their ignorance, they knew early on to call out to Him.

They’d stay.
Even when staying was simply the last place to stand.

When the enemy would
prowl outside their door
like a wolf in shepherds clothing… and fighting…
sometimes against one another,
sometimes against the God who loves them
and sometimes against
the shadows
and the skeletons
and the whispers
and the darkness hiding inside their own souls….
they’d  fight so hard to stay.

Because leaving is not an option.
Because staying is beautiful.
They’d learn the whole way… how to stay.


Last night I stood at the drugstore counter ready to checkout with an anniversary card in hand. The young clerk and I chatted about the chocolate I was buying for Him [because that’s the way he rolls and I know he’ll share!] She asked me how long we’d been married. When I told her, she sucked in her breath and in amazement asked me:

“What is it like to be with the same man for so many years?

I had to stop for a moment. Truth is, no one had ever asked me that question before and I really didn’t know how to answer. On this particular day, no lie…it felt like hell.

It had been a horrible day in our history and I wasn’t really up to the task of locating an “I-love-you-Baby-with-all-my-heart” anniversary card.  It wasn’t the first such day and it surely wouldn’t be the last.

But today?

Today has been wonderful and to be honest, there have been many more days like today than those like yesterday and I know by now to hang on for tomorrow; if God even gives us a tomorrow.

november-16-2012It’s because days like yesterday mix and mingle their flavors with the flavors of days like today and the result is the richness of relationship necessary to keep these two sinners hanging on to one another and clinging to God with all their might.

It’s the Holy Spirit’s staying power: God gives us the power we need to stay.

So tonight, I can celebrate that I do know what it means. I understand the cost and I’m willing to pay the price…

knowing It’s not a perfect relationship….
but it is a beautiful marriage.

And the only reason we know is because these two people were given the courage, by the grace of God to stay through it all just one more day.

       Staying.Lorretta signature