About the past four months though, I have grown deeper in understanding the ultimate love and relationship: my relationship with God.
Now don’t get ahead of me! So many of us know the clichés said about that: Christians, the churched, unchurched, agnostic, all kinds. I have had a wonderful relationship with God basically my whole life. I grew up in a pastor’s home, and I loved God with all my heart. As a child, I would stand outside, or in my room, singing “to the world” and crying as I felt their pain; I would be singing about His undying love for them. I didn’t even know all the pain the world had to offer, I just felt it deep in my heart and soul, even as a child. I continued to love God all through high school, and into college. Then, my second year of college is when I fell into a destructive relationship, which turned into a marriage based on false hope and false promises.
When I look at the time I wasn’t living for God, and also when I reconciled my relationship with God during my abusive marriage, I see His hand in my life (and AJ’s infant life) protecting us and calling us into safety. I saw the futility of our marriage, and that staying any longer could put us in fatal danger. Not long after I left, I kept hearing about other people who were not so lucky. I wept in hearing about the women and babies and children caught in the middle of those dark situations, knowing that I was one of those stories waiting to go off like a time-bomb. God sustained my mind, and He protected us in the midst of what we did go through. Even when I was beat with fiber glass rods, I believe He protected me from worse and deeper harm, as well as AJ, since one of those instances was when I was 3.5 months pregnant with him. What was it about? It was about sexual frustration, because he “loved me so much” that he was angry at how he felt about the time we lost our virginity. He was angry at the emotional, circumstantial surroundings. Wow, he must’ve really loved me to care like that. Not. Throughout our relationship/marriage, I was trapped with threats, and manipulated with “reasons” and “lies” in sugarcoated forms. I was even threatened with the fact that if I left, he’d do everything to make sure I didn’t have AJ in my care. I didn’t want to chance anything. I finally left, went home to my parents, and took time to heal and grow again. Now, I am in a wonderful place, not just in my marriage, but where we live, the church we go to, and all the different kinds of people in our lives. This past year has felt like three years’ worth of connections and circumstances. I love it!
However. Yes, there’s a however. I have learned even with all that, if I am not pressing into God with everything I have, and if for a moment, anything means more to me than my connection with Him, than my joy in knowing Him, than my satisfaction in the day just because of Him, than my eternal salvation alone because of Him, I am empty. Also, my relationship with Josh is not the same when I am not plugged in to Him. Everything on the surface could be “perfect”, but when my joy and happiness start becoming based on results, events, opportunities, dear relationships and how they are going, I start feeling an emptiness; a sadness and irrational loneliness fill me. Why? Because all those things are fallible and temporary. Any time fallible and temporary feelings/events/people are put above what is constant and undyingly faithful, you will feel disappointment. Once they take second-stage and aren’t your number ONE relationship, it won’t matter how often and how well all those other things are going because they no longer depict your happiness, mood, or satisfaction. None of those things are truly life-giving, and to rely on them is like relying on living in a house built on sand in a windy climate. Fallible and temporary satisfactions won’t fill my life with the consistency that I need to have daily joy. Romantic (my marriage), friendly, and family relationships will let me down because they are of a human source. Awesome events won’t always be happening. So, there will always be ups and downs. But God is consistent, eternal, and unwavering in His role in my life, and if I have Him first I can have that satisfaction and joy in which I seek. We are ALL seeking for constant joy and satisfaction. Because I am human, I am fallible, and I have learned just how constant I have to keep in check with myself on who or what I am really going to or seeking. How much do some things or people matter to me? Too much?
So, this Valentine’s Day, I have been reflecting on The One I cannot live without. He was there in my darkest times, and I still need Him the most in my best, on-top-of-the-world times! No matter where you are at in life, no matter how dark and lonely, no matter how providential and rich, no matter how popular in church (or anywhere), no matter how loved, no matter how blessed, it’s important to keep in check on what is depicting your daily happiness or lack thereof. As much as I love all the added goodies, they are just that, added goodies, He is the ONE I cannot live without. Ultimately, God wants YOU to be His valentine.
I Love You, and I want the best for you,
As this Valentine’s Day approaches, not only do I think about my husband, who I love so much, but I think about relationships in general. With the buzz frenzy going on about 50 Shades of Grey, it automatically forces me to think about my past, when I was with my own “Christian Grey”. My main outlook is not on all the reasons not to watch the movie, it’s that I feel a heartache for the girls and ladies who are throwing away cautions and seeking their own “Mr. Grey”.
Why? Because I don’t want them to end up in a situation that by the grace of God I survived. However, that is for a different article without the focus being on a singular, fictional character in a story that even actors, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, don’t find appealing at all (see an article on their personal views/opinions). With articles everywhere about 50 Shades of Grey, my memories flash back because I was caught in a relationship with a chillingly similar, charming, sweet-talking, dark, mysterious, and brooding character who displayed a sadomasochistic side that I was unaware of in the beginning, and didn’t realize that’s what it was until later and sought healing. I’ve read some of the quotes in which people find sexy, and I’ve had the same ones said to me, texted to me, etc.; I have been stalked in similar ways and told that it was because of his love he had to know what I was doing. I have been hit and punished because of his “love and passion for me”. It was not spur of the moment, it was planned and premeditated pain, a punishment in which I "needed because I was his”. I started to lose my identity, and just did my best to survive, make sure no harm came to my family, hope for the best, and pray that he’d finally return to who he really was. Thing was, I thought it was a state of character he needed to return to under just the right circumstance, but in reality, a true change needed to take place; me, my actions, and other’s actions, were not the answer. This is NOT even the tip of the iceberg of what I’ve experienced and survived, physically and emotionally. Some of it, I am unsure if I can/will even put in print in the future.
Then, my mind snaps back to the present. I have a wonderful marriage I never thought I could have. My husband, Josh, is so patient, giving, and trusting. He loves Adriel (AJ) as his own. We’ve had our ups and downs as any marriage. Josh and I have been able to grow and help each other become a better person. I appreciate our memories and the amazing ones that await! Ahhhh…Valentine’s Day.
I randomly desire to sit and relax at a campfire with good company on a grey-skied day and a cool breeze. Don't forget the s'mores!