Last year, I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I decided to get married—again. I can understand if people roll their eyes at this, but if you’ve never been divorced, then you may not ever be able to understand. My divorce wasn’t nasty or drawn out in the traditional sense, but I was left quite broken, scarred, and afraid.

I had gone through emotionally difficult break ups before, but it wasn’t until my divorce that I truly understood—could actually feel—physical pain, from a broken heart. That kind of pain—brokenness—changed something within me. Even though I have been divorced for quite a few years, it is still very hard for me to put it in to words, but that is because there aren’t any words I know that seem sufficient enough to describe what it felt like. And a part of me wonders if there ever will be. My divorce didn’t sour me on the institution of marriage, but it did make me quite apprehensive about being married. I still wanted to commit myself, in a union, to share my life, build a future, and a family with my best friend. That ideal—desire—still burned within me, but it was tainted by the fear of the other side. There was this nagging question that maybe I just wasn’t cut out for it—or was too incompatible for me to make that ideal a reality. I have had a steady belief, for quite some time now, that when a relationship is over we should not dwell upon it, for the person most certainly doesn’t dwell upon us. I always fought to work through the hurts I have experienced so, when I was ready, I could consider a new relationship with a clear mind and an available heart. Yet, even after a year of being on my own—trying to work through my divorce, I was still trying to heal. I was still trying to work through the damage that had been done.

I had never known emotional fall out of that kind. I had never been stripped so bare nor have I ever felt so raw before. Even as I write this, I still feel some of the pain. And I hate to admit this, but I don’t think it will ever completely be healed. But, that’s okay. I stopped looking behind me quite a few years ago. I learned a lot about marriage, myself, and love (what it is, and what it is not) from my ex-husband. There was no regret in my heart over our relationship ending either. So, when it came time to make that decision—when I was faced with the question of whether or not this love, this person, was worth it—the answer was a clear, “YES”. There are still difficult moments for me, sometimes doubts are born within these moments, but instead of turning away from my husband—I turn towards him. I communicate openly and honestly. And we try to take it one day at a time. I will always believe everything happens for a reason—every thing. Given the choice I wouldn’t change my experiences—not a single one.

I have learned that sometimes the hardest decisions are the most worthwhile. Life and love–they aren’t easy. We essentially must risk ourselves in order to fully experience and understand them. That means we have to be vulnerable, open, and honest with ourselves and others. And that may be the most difficult–wonderful– struggle we ever undertake.