A little bit about me

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I’m pretty sure Dr. James Dobson wrote The Strong-Willed Child about me. Well, he could have. I am stubborn, strong-willed, and have a strong sense of justice. For most of my life, I thought my personality was flawed. I thought there was something inherently wrong with me because I could never live up to the unrealistic expectations put on me by myself and others. Add my difficulties with focus/attention into the mix and you have a pretty warped sense of worth. I was involved in church and “got saved” at eight years old, but I didn’t really get or understand what it meant to be a Christ follower. I tried to push my pain to an inaccessible area of my brain and forget it. I overachieved in high school, college, and grad school, trying to live up to my older brother’s example. I got married at 24 and approached my marriage with everything I had. My efforts weren’t good enough. Neither of us had any idea how to be married or love anyone but ourselves. It is really difficult to give what you have never really received. If you don’t know what intimacy looks like, how do you know when you have it? Our marriage began to fall apart.

In the summer of 2009, our marriage was at rock bottom. We separated with plans to get a divorce. My life was completely ruined. I felt like God had stripped me of everything. This was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was the most painful, but the best. Before my marriage and life fell apart, I gave God bits and pieces of my life, but not all of it. I had so many idols…food (this is a BIG one for me), shopping, better house, better car, more of anything that could fill the void and numb the pain. My own attempts at happiness were not working out so well. I went to the bookstore to get some books on what to do when your life falls apart. As I was sitting in my car looking through one of them, trying to decide if I should divorce my husband, I realized I had two choices. Follow God or keep up my feeble attempts at straightening my life out. I chose the former. I chose to let God use my rebel personality for His cause. My husband and I are still married. God has restored our marriage and our lives. As always, we are still a work in progress. I have learned to stop trying to control other people, including my husband. It never, ever works. I’m not sure what we ever did to deserve it, but every Thursday night we get to lead one of several small groups for married couples at our church. I hope you are blessed by my story and would love to hear yours.

I am in the process of shifting the primary focus of my writing to marriage topics. I am passionate about sharing our story of hope with others.

And now, on a lighter note…

  • I love to go surfing (we live nowhere near the ocean, so not a daily activity, but I wish it was).
  • I have a phobia of fiction books and mostly read non-ficition (I’m working on becoming friendlier with fiction).
  • I love to be outdoors in nature.
  • I do not give up easily or without a fight.
  • My favorite (all time) movie is Back to the Future
  • I can’t imagine a world without dark chocolate.
  • I have a heart for children with autism, children with ADHD, the homeless, and people who wear crocs (just kidding about the crocs).

    My first devotional ebook Losing It will be available on Amazon soon. Proceeds will be donated to one of my favorite charities, Compassion International.

    Connect with me via Twitter: @meltitus

    *Disclaimer: This is my personal blog. My opinions do not represent those of my employer.  The information I provide is on an as-is basis. I make no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.

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16 thoughts on “A little bit about me”

  1. Melissa,
    Thanks for letting me get to know you better and sharing such personal things. Esp., about your marriage problems. Your transparency probably already has ministered to many. I praise God that you are leading a marriage class. The best leaders have been through the trenches. AND, interestingly enough, I’m a surfer cheerleader…lol. Our kids surf and I sit on the beach and cheer them on! Back to the Future is also on my top 15!! I had a serious conversation about flux capacitors with a young man at Home Depot not too long ago. 🙂 Keep writing your heart, it’s lustrous!

    • Your encouraging words mean a lot to me, Pearl! I hope sharing my story…His story…will give others hope. I’m so glad we have connected! That’s funny about flux capacitors! I have always thought it would be fun to drive a DeLorean that just happens to have a time machine in it ;). Back to the Future reminds me to keep dreaming big because when I watched it as a kid it ignited my imagination and fueled my big dreams! Reminds me to be that kid with big dreams again!

  2. ha! that part about crocs just cracked me up!

  3. I would love to Melissa! Thanks for the opportunity! =)

  4. Thanks so much for following my blog! If you send me your email address, I can send you a free copy of “101 Cheap Dates!”

    • I would love a copy! Would you be willing to write a brief endorsement of my women’s devotional study “Losing It” ? (see the Losing It page). I will send you a copy when it is ready and you can decide if you want to write a short endorsement. You can check out a sample by visiting the “Losing It” page.

  5. Melissa,

    I just discovered your blog and you have a great testimony.

    I read that you have “fiction phobia.” Let me post this quote:

    “Fiction takes reality and human experience as its starting point, transforms it by means of the imagination, and sends readers back to life with renewed understanding of the world around them.” (Leland Ryken)

    That was from my blog post and a devotional I did at work for a Christian group.

    http://kammbia1.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/wisdom-of-marion-2-19-god-is-not-safe-but-we-are-safe-in-him/

    Lastly, there is a book of essays called the Christian Imagination edited by the same author of the quote above. He gets essays from people as diverse as Annie Dillard, C.S. Lewis, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy…and many others. The essays deal a love of reading fiction (as well writing fiction) from a Christian worldview. That book of essays open minded to possibilities of reading literature and honoring my faith.

    http://kammbia1.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/book-review-19-the-christian-imagination-edited-by-leland-ryken/

    I just posted that review. I really hope these will help your “fiction phobia.”

    Marion

  6. Melissa, thank you for sharing your inspirational testimony! What a blessing that God is using you and your husband to minister to married couples; and through His healing of your marrriage, you can share hope and encouragement with others…I love those “aha” moments when we can clearly say “Ok God, so that’s what all that was about…and now I will use those trials and experiences to serve You and serve others….” Whoo hoo!!

  7. amberdobecka said:

    Melissa, you are a doll! I’d love to send you information on becoming a contributor to FaithVillage – a new social network for faith experiences. Would you be interested? Check us out, and let me know if I can answer any of your questions. You can find more information at http://www.faithvillage.com/contributors, but I’d be happy to send you details. 🙂

    Blessings,
    Amber Dobecka

  8. Danica Dixon said:

    So I never really comment on blog posts, especially the about me page, but I just really like how you wrote this. It made my heart leap to know you didn’t get divorced. You’re my second friend who had a miracle in her life in this area. I also went surfing FOR THE FIRST time this week and it was amazing! I was visiting California from Canada and wanted to try it. Awesome! Well, just thought I’d share

    • Thank you! I’m glad your friend’s marriage was saved, too. It doesn’t always happen, but it can. Surfing is amazing. I went for the first time when my husband and I were separated for awhile. It inspired me and it’s easier for me to listen to God out in the middle of an ocean. God bless!

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