Disclaimer: This story mentions drug abuse and may be triggering to some.
“All I ever wanted in the beginning was to experience the love of a father, and someone to take good care of me and to make me feel safe. But this never happened, so my quest for love began at an early age and led on a journey which ended in me finding the true love of Jesus Christ. My first husband was ten years my senior, and to me he represented everything cool and hip during that time. It was the late eighties, I was out of high school and had already survived childhood molestation and the ugly stuff from high school, and now here he was, handsome, older than me, and able to take care of me. So I thought.
I was always a great dancer; it was something that provided a way of escape. The more bass in the song the better, and when I danced, I got the attention of everyone in the club. My girlfriends and I would shop for a new outfit weekly just to make sure we had on as little clothes as possible. This way, the attention would be on us and the drinks would fill our table. The waitress would come over with a tray and sit the drinks down repeatedly. They would be sent from men from across the smokey room. It was a cold winter night in Kansas City, and if you know anything about Kansas City winters, you know I should have been at home.
At the time, I lived with my best friend. She had recently divorced and had a nice three-bedroom house, so it was perfect setup. She was not much of a party girl like me, but we loved each other until the day she died in 2013. It was a few years before that she told me she shared some of the same baggage I did. I am so glad she saw my life changed. I wanted to dance that night, so I got dressed up, which for me meant too short and too tight. I wore my heavy coat and went out to one of my favorite dance clubs. As I walked in, I saw old friends from high school and as we greeted each other, a waitress asked if I needed a table. I always sat near the dance floor, and as she guided me through the smoke-filled room, there he was!
He was on the dance floor, but the music he was dancing to was not at all what I danced to, it was slow, and as the strobe lights danced off his face, I became captivated by his style. He moved like Fred Astaire, the lady he danced with was not as nearly as smooth as he was. The two-step is what they were doing. He spun and turned, pulled her close, then released her, and the floor was all his. I had never seen a man dance quite like this in real life. It was as if he were a real-life celebrity. As soon as one song ended, ladies would meet him at the edge of the dance floor and ask him for a dance. I watched as the smooth, well-dressed man captivated the crowd. He seemed to be extremely popular, not only with the ladies, but also the men would clap and cheer him on.
If only I could get his attention, if only he would ask me to dance. The night seemed to pass quickly, and it was as if I was invisible. I think I danced once that night, and then it seemed like out of nowhere one of my old classmates walked over and introduced me to her uncle and it was him. My soon to be first ex-husband. He asked me to dance, but unfortunately, I had no idea how to dance that way, so he led me to the dance floor and taught me, right there. I caught on quickly and it just seemed natural. Although I could not explain this moment, we danced the rest of the night.
We married quickly after a short courtship. The next few years were filled with lots of disappointment, hurt, and shock. My dancing king, my first husband, was addicted to drugs, and I had become addicted to him. The marriage was short, but this short marriage taught me many tall lessons in life at a young age. I loved the person he was but hated what the drugs made him. I was never a hard-core drug user, but I profited from the drug he also sold. I had now become accustomed to nice things, clothes, handbags, and fine cognac, which we ordered and sipped from warm snifters as those around us drank from beer cans. We lived the ‘life’ well, so I thought… how sad.
I am now as good a dancer as he was, in my mind, anyway. This whole mess made for strange bedfellows; I would never love like that again, so I thought. But this fairy tale had ended, and it was not happy. It was now time for a divorce. Years later, after relocation to Dallas, Texas and yet another failed marriage, my life was on a fast ride to destruction. It was not until years later I realized growing up without a father had truly played such a pivotal role in my life. I was tired of the fast lane, the parties, and the men. So, it was time to be still and allow the total healing to take place. I had always been in church; yes, even living the fast life, it was never so fast I did not attend Sunday morning service and sing in our church choir. This is the beauty of Jesus Christ. He loved me when I did not love myself.
One Sunday after church, a friend invited me over to a BBQ. Her husband wanted me to meet his best friend. So, I decided to go. If nothing else, I would get the chance to eat some of her baked beans. She told me he was outside on the patio, so I peered out of the window and I saw him sitting there. The first thing I noticed was his big beautiful brown eyes, and although he did not seem to be my type, those eyes said something to me; they still do. I made my way out to the patio and we met eyes. Those eyes ministered to my soul. His eyes said he saw me and not my body. He saw me as a woman. I admired how he was quiet and not pushy. He sat quietly on the patio while a few other guests mingled, and as I began to approach him to say hello, he stood and met me halfway.
He then introduced himself and asked me to come sit with him. I was used to loud men, men who commanded attention, so no, this would not be my next husband, I thought. I wanted to be remarried, but I did not know what it would look like, so much had taken a place between the time I left Kansas City and discovered the true love of Christ. After holding on for dear life to a complete set of emotional baggage, I finally had to surrender it at ALL the Cross. Seventeen years later, I am still happily married to my quite Godly husband with the big beautiful brown eyes, Retired Army Sgt First Class Matthew Dozier [TD1]. He has shown me what it is to walk into a room humbly and allow your presence to speak, or be totally fine just being there. Matthew is an amazing man. He loves and supports me in ministry.
Oh, I forgot to mention this once-party girl is now an ordained Pastor and founder of her own women’s ministry, Created for Destiny Women’s Ministry. Under this umbrella, you will find Tammy Dozier Unfinished, Death of a Bag Lady Monologue, the soon book release, and our empowerment coaching class, Ministry Mid Wife. Yep, the quiet, shy guy got the girl. You see, I was the one who had to change, I had to know God loved me and He had been with me all along. I had to receive His love and forgive my absent earthly father and both of my exes. In seventeen years, God has shown me His true love and the amazing covenant of marriage.
Matthew has been a great father to our unique family. The father I only wish I had and now a grandfather, my husband is loved and respected by many. He is a discipled man, ready to continue serving and teaching others, and I have certainly learned so much from being his wife. We both enjoy reading, old school music, mobster movies, entertaining guest, and yes, BBQs on the patio. Love is all that really matters, because it’s Gods greatest command.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Pastor Tammy Dozier. You can follow her journey on Instagram here and here. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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