(Began writing this on 11/09/16... watch the transformation as you read into the "continued" date! )
During one of my rants this morning to the Lord, I learned quite a bit! It's funny, actually... Hey all you men out there, sometimes a woman just needs to talk things out in order to process. We soon know when we are overreacting and you don't even have to say a thing! Just be sweet like Jesus, ok?
I was talking to the Lord about my frustrations with my deep desire for a marriage relationship yet, I'm of a mind that no man is trustworthy. Clearly those two don't go together. And please hear me, I don't want to agree with those thoughts. It's really all I have personal experience with. And this doesn't even necessarily reflect on individual relationships I've been in. It's really my mindset that has attracted men like that into my life. Maybe my expectation of men to prove themselves dishonest is actually what inspired it to ring true. You know what I mean? The law of attraction is a real thing guys. And it's not some New Age thing you've gotta be scared of. But I'll get into that in a bit. I like to give my readers a clear background before going into the issue at hand. In a nutshell, my first encounter with desire from a male was at the early age of 5. This, I know, is actually a more common story than you'd think. Sad, but true. I was sexually abused a handful of times in my young years. I kept that hidden for quite some years, though. However, it shaped my view of men AND my self-worth. Because of those unfortunate traumatic events in my life, I felt that lust was all I had to offer a man. I believed it's all they ultimately wanted. Any man that wasn't crude from the beginning and expressed interest in me was " a liar". I was uncomfortable around "good" men. I battled over the issue within myself. Either I was unworthy of being with a good man, or I ultimately trusted them less than the obvious lust-driven men.
That was a big nutshell, I've noticed.
Back to what I am making a point of. I decided to acknowledge that my spirit has the deep desire for marriage. My person, however, doesn't trust even the best man that walks this earth...
( Continued on 8/08/17, almost 9 months later! )
Let me just start by giving God the glory and praising His name for His faithfulness and unfailing love! I randomly clicked on this untitled draft of mine and, to my amazement, was reading part of my testimony I was just going over in my head over the past two days! It's a testimony in progress, but aren't all?
Shortly after I brought the above issue to the Lord, things began to shift drastically! God began working out this desire of my heart, while addressing the issue at the same time. By the end of November of last year I found myself faced with an opportunity that took me by surprise. You see, at the time I had recently redeveloped a friendship with an ex I hadn't spoken with in exactly a year from breaking up. I had just started going to a school at our church and he was a second year there. He was one of the "good" guys I had dated and ended up breaking up with, ultimately out of fear and wounds from my past. From the outside looking in, there was no good reason at all to have ended our relationship then. ( Honestly, even before we began dating God had revealed him as an answered prayer to me and my children) . But I was still of a mind that I will not wait to be fooled, and I will leave before I get left.
This school I started going to was a School of Transformation. It was designed to help the students discover their identity in Christ and to begin living out of that truth. Healing is inevitable... and painful. But, like anything with God, if you say " Yes" to His leading He will walk you through it all the way. School began in August and I saw my ex 3 times a week and didn't begin speaking with him until October, really. A lot of healing had already begun. However, I was still stubbornly keeping a wall up, like I still had something to prove to myself. I didn't see him as ever becoming more than a friend from this point on. I'd frequently make comments about it to him, jokingly. Rude and immature, I know, but it was a defense mechanism .
Fast forward to late November. We had coffee and talked for a while. And that's when it began, for me. I don't even think he was aware. I don't even know if he was interested in being more than friends. In fact, I don't think he even allowed himself to consider it. You see, I was talking to him for a good 20 minutes about my life's drama and he just listened the entire time. Then he responded to everything with such genuine concern and wise advice. I was shocked, really. I mean, I would have expected him to tune me out. I wouldn't have even blamed him! Then, God got my attention. Holy Spirit challenged me to observe my feelings throughout that evening in my interaction with him. I felt peace, and safety, and in a moment I had realized that he is the first man I knew I could completely trust! The following week I couldn't stop thinking about him and how I felt. I began a dialogue with the Lord, asking Him if His hand is on this relationship. He assured me it was. So then I asked, " so, should I pursue it?" His response to me revealed an aspect of God I never really processed before. He said to me," Do you desire to? My desire if for your desire, too." I have a choice, I realized. In a different way than how I used to think. I always knew we have freewill. But I also thought that I was at risk of passing up the right choice for a wrong choice, based on my desires. As though my desires innately conflicted with right choices, except for the rare exceptions. How did I begin even thinking that? I didn't realize I thought that way until I was challenged with the truth. Anyway, through that I was challenged to commit to my desire before stepping into a relationship. I felt such a freedom in knowing that I was choosing this man out of my freewill and desire, and not just because I felt it was God's will and I had to. God would have blessed me regardless. But it's the best feeling knowing you're partnering with Him in your destiny with anticipation and a willingness!
So, a lot has happened since then. He agreed to give it another shot and, 9 months later, we are only a few short months away from our wedding date!! He is a miracle man to this family! He treats my kids as his own and they love him! He has so much patience and grace in living in the chaos of our lives and dealing with an ex that refuses peace. He's a protector, a leader, a man after God's own heart. And he is my answer to so many prayers, in such great detail!
Yes, I still have a lot of healing to go through. I still need my mindset to be transformed concerning men and trust. Which actually reveals that I still haven't fully accepted my true identity in Christ. But it's a process. I know, I too have grown to hate hearing the word " process" because it seems like it takes forever, right?! Well, it actually does, until we are no longer in this world. We are always going from glory to glory, always transforming until we are fully out of our flesh and in our eternal bodies. So, we should just accept that process is good and promising!
As I close this article, I want to encourage you to constantly bring the desires of your heart before the Lord. Even if you feel undeserving of receiving great desires, share them with Him. His greatest desire is to be in relationship with you, where you know you can ask anything of Him and trust Him to give you those desires, so long as they don't harm you. That's the thing about God, He is ONLY good! He would never give you your desire if it would harm you. That's a huge deal! That knowledge of His goodness is a weapon in itself! For example, when I begin to be afraid that I'm going to get the rug pulled out from underneath me in my relationship, I remind myself that God would not have orchestrated such a thing. And God reminds me,too, through the comfort of His Holy Spirit! If you are faithful to bring things before the Lord regularly, seeking Him and His will first, you won't be led astray because He says He will direct your path! It takes discipline to remain active in your relationship with Jesus, as it does for any relationship. He's literally always there, wanting to be invited and talked to. And He wants to relax with you, laugh with you, and cry with you. Grasp the reality of His nearness and lean into it. Never give up! It's all going to be worth it!!