Recently, I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching as a way of [healing] and I’ve definitely sat with a few of my truths and had a real in depth conversation. Those conversations were intense, non-judged, and raw; mostly silently in my head; sometimes out loud with my husband or the empty spaces and muted furniture that quietly sit in my home. In this process, I’ve learned a lot. A lot about myself, about my pain, about my struggles, and the struggles of those around me. But my greatest lesson came during one of my most broken moments and that’s when I felt God’s love comfort me.
It was then that I realized that all that I’ve endured was not a “Just Because’, but for a CAUSE! Now, I can see that I’ve been spared so that I can help spare someone else. It’s in that moment that the guilt and self-criticism ceases and you begin to see the value that your pain has and will make in the life of someone else. Reaching back to my childhood, I can remember seeing drugs and alcoholism daily and not fully being aware of it because of being an innocent mind wrapped in an environment that was not so innocent. I can vividly remember seeing the men in my life be so unfaithful to those whom they claimed to have loved (and/or be married to) and that was not considered to be “unheard of” or anything against the ordinary. Hey, I guess they felt that they should have their cake and eat it too. Now, looking back, I can’t fully understand how it is that I didn’t run away from [marriage] after seeing so many marriages or relationships fail or stifle in their dysfunction. For me, marriage meant a death sentence or at least that’s what I saw. It was nothing more than just two individuals cohabiting in one house, but not connected in any way; neither in their building of their future, their respect for one another, their vision for their family, or even their love for God or themselves. It was just something you did to say you did it. And I now can see how I’ve struggled so much in my marriage in the beginning. The arguments. The bickering. The disagreements that we never communicated. The fears of failure that we never uttered. Or even the I Love Yous that we barely understood the meaning of. Let’s face it, both my husband and I have seen marriages fail at a record rate; even among our own parents. Fortunate for me, my parents are still together, BUT not together in MANY ways. So you can understand my dilemma there.
BUT I ONCE READ THAT LOVE IS PATIENT. LOVE IS KIND. IT DOES NOT ENVY, IT DOES NOT BOAST, IT IS NOT PROUD. IT DOES NOT DISHONOR OTHERS, IT IS NOT SELF-SEEKING. IT IS NOT EASILY ANGERED, IT KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS. LOVE DOES NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL BUT REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH. IT ALWAYS PROTECTS, ALWAYS TRUSTS, ALWAYS HOPES, ALWAYS PRESERVES. LOVE NEVER FAILS….1 COR 13:4-8 †
Unfortunately, I was never taught how to love. I never seen it modeled. I never experienced it by anyone, except for a few that are far & between. And I was never told that I could be it. Rather, I was put down to the lowest of lowest. Verbally told that I wouldn’t be loved EVER. Told that no man could love me from the man that should’ve been the first. But low and behold, God has blessed me with a Husband that does and a son that will for the rest of his life. And a God that ALWAYS HAS. Two men and one soon to be man. How ironic, right?
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF; THERE IS NO COMMANDMENT GREATER THAN THIS…MARK 12:31
But it took me a while to see this fact as TRUTH. I’ve been so battered by my past pain that I was not able to see the remnants of the GOOD that I still have. Now, I can understand that the losses that I’ve experienced were simply making a great amount of room for the good that God has prepared for me. I found out in my process of search, that my life is a living testament to how things can be a big part of your life, but not be a big part of YOU. For every woman (or man) that has been neglected as a child, I can understand. It’s OK. You are worth it! They just couldn’t see it or could, but didn’t know how to handle your worth. For every woman (or man) who’s struggled (emotionally, mentally, or financially) to go against the grain and be more than what you’re expected to be, I understand. The road less traveled is often the hardest, but keep going; the end of the journey is near. For every woman (or man) whose faced the hard reality of feeling unloved and unaccepted by the “big people” (whether a mother or father or other relative) that should’ve made you feel safe, protected, and secure; I understand. It’s OK, those “big people” just didn’t know how to be that for you, it’s no way near your fault. For every woman (or man) that has been put down and criticized to the point of not being able to fully trust yourself or be confident, I understand. It’s OK, you can heal and learn how to trust again. Those who hurt you were just as hurt too, possibly from the ones that hurt them because they were hurt. The cycle can end with you facing your truth. For every woman (or man) that has dealt with sexual abuse or being violated in some way, I understand. It’s OK, don’t blame yourself what happened to you. You were not the cause of that pain so it’s time to let it go and be fair enough to yourself to be FREE. For every woman (or man) who has now become a parent yourself (or hope to be someday) BUT never was parented to or taught what to do yourself, I understand. It’s OK, you DO have enough love left to love a little human being. But first, deal with your own demons so that you can love in the best way and not the limited way that you’ve experienced.
AND NOW THESE THREE REMAIN: FAITH, LOVE, & HOPE. BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE…1 COR 13:13
I’ve recognized that life can be different. My life most certainly has. Unfortunately, sometimes people will judge you by what they [think] they see. Often times, if your struggles, weaknesses, and pains aren’t forefront, people will assume that you don’t have any. Low and behold, some people have just built houses with the bricks that life has thrown at them. I, myself, would like to think I’ve done this or am in the process of doing so. I’m determined to be anything like what I’ve seen. Yes, there will be moments of difficulty and possibly self-doubt, but keep pushing through. Success is free to everyone. But only a few grasp it long enough to fully climb. Success is not only monetary either. Success is just accomplishing your purpose. So live on purpose and know that you aren’t the only one who feels the way that you do, even if it feels like it, because others choose to live more quietly. It’s never truly a one Wo(man) army when it comes to picking up the broken pieces that life has handed you in the process. There’s always another woman or man who’s trying to rebuild their broken puzzle just like you. I am one.
“Learning to trust yourself means focusing on the good you are, the good you have, and the good you desire so that the truth can heal all error thought and allow you to see the blessing hidden in all that you have been through, gone through, and grown through.” – Excerpt From: Iyanla Vanzant. “Trust”