DreamGirl #6 "love outside the box"

We all want the storybook life... instead some of us get the adventure of a lifetime!

Each of us has a specific gifting & calling on our life, it is what makes you totally unique! For some of us ladies, our passions can bring on the feelings that we might end up alone—forever! How could love possibly “fit” or “work” in your life?

No worries my lovelies, LOVE (& the many forms it will take) cannot be limited to our human understanding… The dreamy Raena White Williams shares with us her sonnet of love outside the box.

My husband and I met in 2004 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He was starting a Masters program in Naval Architecture/Marine Engineering and I was majoring in Theatre. I didn't realize he was "the one" until 2005 after we both fell in love with each other and tried to conceal our feelings. We were both playing games, but love prevailed and pushed through all the BS. While dating, he would come to my concerts and productions. He also had to compete with my strict rehearsal schedules in between classes. I had no clue this was preparing us for our future life together.

From our 2008 marriage, until now, I've been a professional actress with a focus in musical theatre. My career has demanded a travel schedule that separates my husband and I for months on end. In our first year of marriage, I had to travel to Atlanta for 3 months. It was the first of many times we were a long distant marriage. In the first 3 years I had been away about 6 months each year. The first few times it was extremely difficult. I was homesick and we missed each other terribly. I also had trust issues that I hadn't quite dealt with, so I was worried that he was moving on with life without me. Occasionally, we would find ourselves defending our relationship to conventional thinkers. Many of whom were family and friends who meant well but couldn't venture outside the box. "You leaving your man THAT long?" I can't tell you how much this upset me. This sentiment created the idea that if I traveled for work, that my man would be unfaithful. It took years for me to fight against this fear. As a wife, infidelity was one of my worst fears. However, through much prayer, trusting God to bless us with a loving marriage and support from my Hubby, I finally let go of it. I no longer allowed it to inform my thoughts and emotions.

We decided it was time to accept that traveling was a non-negotiable aspect of my job. Instead of complaining about being apart, we developed a system of visiting every 3 weeks. Absence truly makes the heart grow fonder. We found that we were giddy and crushing on each other like we had just met! The visits became mini vacations and romantic getaways where we kept the embers burning. It created a fresh new dimension to our love.

I recently finished a 5 month stint in the national tour of Disney's "The Lion King". I'm currently on maternity leave. As I continue to progress in my career, and approach motherhood (Nov.12th!!!) I realize that God had prepared us long ago for what would be our "unconventional" marriage. He paired me with a man that believes in me wholeheartedly and is willing to sacrifice. Through it all, my husband has remained by my side as my biggest fan and confidant. I'm fortunate to be able to take time off to reconnect with him and welcome our baby boy! We plan to take the whole family on tour next year. Why? Because it's an awesome job, an adventure and a blessing to our family. We have fully embraced being unconventional!

I hope my story encourages you to reach beyond the box. Others will say what they want, but at the end of the day you do what works for you and your family. Don't conform to traditions that don't line up with your vision. If you're married, know that it's easiest when both visions align and your spouse is on board. Dream on Dreamgirls!

Contributed by Raena White Williams, Actress, Recording Artist, Wife & New Mother. #DreamGirl #DreamLife

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