Defining Moments

If we take time to examine our hearts we will find moments in our lives which define us. Typically these defining moments are found at the end of a long road of pivotal circumstances. And those pivotal circumstances, positive or negative, can leave our lives forever changed.


Several years ago Jeff Goins was promoting his new book, Wrecked, he asked people to share stories of when their lives had been “wrecked.” Jeff published the story I submitted and today I share an excerpt of Damage Goods with you today.

Early on we both knew where we were tracking as a couple. Our relationship was so rich, the conversations were so natural, and our values and beliefs were totally in sync. We were confident the path we were on would lead to marriage some time in the fall of 2011. Our plans were for an extended courtship, not because we weren’t ready to get married, rather because we wanted to do everything we could to protect and ensure Shari’s teenage sons had time to adjust to a new man being in their lives. 

We knew time was on our side and time being our friend would allow my relationship with the boys to evolve as our romance to continue to blossom, that was right up until we learned my cancer had spread yet again.

Although words like relapse and re-occurrence were shared with optimism initially, when my oncologist used the words “stage four”, I knew this defining moment was a game changer for me and for the people in my life.

I no longer thought I was damaged goods…I knew I was.

I saw this diagnosis wrecking my one chance for love. I felt our relationship would initially dim as the news sunk in, and it would begin to fade as treatment took its toll, and finally drift away as Shari came to see me as I saw myself: damaged goods.

– How could someone who had already lost one husband when he chose to leave subject themselves to losing another husband to a disease?

– How could someone allow her sons up to potentially losing another male figure in their lives especially during those impressionable teenage years?

– How could someone open themselves to so much pain and heartache with no guaranty of what the future would bring or even if there was a future?

At the end of the week, one we declared was “the week from hell,” everything transition into a bright new light as I began to see myself through the eyes of the most amazing person I have ever met.

– When she asked why we were waiting to get married, I was speechless.

– When she said she wanted to be at my side as my wife, with cancer or not, I was amazed.

– When we both exchanged our vows 21 days later in front of family and friends, I was wrecked — wrecked by her capacity to love me, damaged goods and all!

Today is the 4th anniversary of when I was wrecked by love, the day Shari said she would marry me!


You can read Damage Goods in its entirety on the Wrecked website by using this link.

Has there been a time in your life when you were wrecked, when your comfortable life was slammed by this broken world, if so share life lessons you learned in this defining moment? 

~ Tom Martin

trusting God period!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.