Soccer star Abby Wambach has opened up about her relationship with "Christian mom blogger" Glennon Doyle Melton and said that the pain she experienced after getting a DUI allowed her to open her "arms and heart to this new love and this family."
Wambach, who retired from soccer in 2015, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in 2016 - less than a year after celebrating winning the 2015 Women's World Cup with the U.S. national team.
She recently shared with the AP that the pain she experienced from that incident allowed her to find love with Melton, a popular blogger and the author of "Love Wins". The two women started dating last November after both divorced their previous partners and married earlier this year, as reported by GH.
"Pain is a traveling professor," Wambach said. "It knocks on everybody's door. And the wisest people I know are the ones that say, 'C'mon in, sit down and don't leave until you've taught me what I need to know.' And that's what I did. The truth is that pain is the very thing that allowed me the space to open my arms and hear to this new love and this family."
Wambach, who was named the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2012, has appeared in four World Cups and won two Olympic gold medals, added that she decided to turn the DUI into the "best thing" that ever hapened to her.
"A year and a half ago when I was really struggling and pretty sick, If you were to tell me I'd be a stepmom and sober and living in Florida and as happy as I've ever been, I would have called you a liar," Wambach said. "We've got a 14-year-old, an 11-year-old and a 9-year-old and these are the best teachers I've ever had."
She added, "Thinking about the DUI, and thinking about how I wanted the DUI to impact me, it was an intentional decision to make that moment into the best thing that ever happened to me, a start to a better life. I couldn't anticipate over a year later the joy I would feel now. I'm just so grateful because I just did it one step at a time, and I did it without hiding."
As reported, Wambach grew up in a Catholic home but began dating girls in late high school, reports The Washington Post. She mentioned during an NPR interview last year that she had been revisiting her religious convictions. "I kind of turned my back away from the church and did steadily until kind of, not necessarily the church, but just like my faith until recently," she said.
In turn, Melton regularly speaks at Christian events and mainline Protestant and non-denominational churches around the world. However, she actively endorsed same-sex marriages for year, and said she believes such unions do not violate Biblical principles.
In a 2015 blog post titled "I Support Your Right to Share My Rights", Melton wrote: "I support equal rights for my gay neighbors not even though I'm a Christian, but BECAUSE I'm a Christian. In the Gospel Jesus makes it crystal clear that if we are going to take seriously only one of his suggestions- we should make it this one: love your neighbor as yourself."
When asked how she interprets scriptures about homosexuality, Melton argued that "When these scriptures were written, there was no precedent for monogamous, consensual homosexual relationships."
In April, Melton claimed that she and fellow author Jen Hatmaker were "shunned" by "Christian figures' after they both came out in support of same-sex marriage.
"You can imagine that I know some of what Jen's felt this year. It is one thing for people to tell you that they hate you, it is far another for people to tell you that God hates you. It's really something. It really is. it never stops stinging," she wrote.
The Momastery blogger went on to offer some advice for Hatmaker and others "who feel like the outcasts of today": "religion is not God," she said."There is chasm wide difference between the two. No man can keep God from you. God is yours and you are God's. Nothing can separate you from God's love."
She also advised the "gatekeepers" to "consider using your words to love instead of crucify [Jesus'} beloveds."