My life had been turned upside down. I was no longer a husband. Although I had my son a large majority of the time I was really only a part-time father. I had been given a do-over and was effectively back to where I was when I left the Navy. Being socially inept, especially when it came to talking to people of the opposite sex, I turned to the internet to try to find a relationship.
If the internet had been around when Dante had written the Divine Comedy I have no doubt that he would have included a tenth circle of Hell just for internet dating. The eleventh would have been reserved for Face Book but that’s another post. I have heard that there are millions of success stories when it comes to internet dating, including mine, but for every one that goes right there has to be a hundred or more that end in tragedy or worse.
I had nothing but the best intentions in the beginning. I was a nice guy and had a lot to offer the right woman. That is when I learned that nice guys don’t finish last as I always had heard the saying go. Nice guys are devoured by ravenous succubae that lurk behind every virtual rock and tree. I was no exception and was gobbled up and spat out over and over again.
I bounced between relationships with great moral ambiguity. My once uncompromising principles were checked at the door. I found myself engaged in behavior that I abhorred just years before and hurt a few good people along the way. When I looked in the mirror I didn’t recognize the person looking back. I didn’t like what I saw.
Now I said that God was with me every step of the way. I would like to think that he protected me from the really big mistakes and the things that could not be undone. He guided me through the bad so that I may recognize the good. There was a girl, recently divorced, also wondering in the desert. An unbaptized mother of two unbaptized children. When the time was right our paths crossed.
Two years later she took my name in a quaint country chapel. In the hours leading up to the wedding severe thunderstorms battered the area and tornadoes were sighted both north and south. Somewhere someone was not very pleased that we wed but in heaven there was joy. God smiled down upon us that day.
I was picked up, dusted off and led back to the road to be given another chance. God was far from being done.