The past will leave a pall over our livs that if we are not careful will steal the joy of the present and future away from us. I never lived in a house where there was a man. I never saw a good romance, except on television, and even as a child, I knew those stories weren’t real.
Yet, to love and be loved is one of humans’ greatest desire and need. But, without a blueprint of what real love looks like, you stumble through unhappy relationships. You fail to appreciate your value and worth, seeking something that seems elusive and an illusion.
Then, someone good comes into your life, bringing love and acceptance and joy. But, you’ve been so broken, that you insist of judging them by the people who have hurt youin the past. This is how I almost lost the most wonderful man.
Ironically, during the time when things were near the breaking point in our marriage, I prayed that God would change Douglas, making him a better fit for me. But then the miraculous happened, and God changed the way I responded to Douglas’s words and actions.
One day, during a walk, I was about to go into another angry rant at some imagined form of disrespect from Douglas, when I felt that small voice in my spirit say something like, “You are not angry with Douglas. You are angry at yourself for the choices you made in the past. He is not the men you dated in the past. Let it go!”
I apologized for thinking he was the same as the men who had hurt me physically, mentally, and financially in the past, and I promised to see him on his own merits. It was a turning point in our marriage, one that I believe made the differene in my being happy and joyful today or remaining unhappily single, forever choosing the wrong people to have in my life.
On Friday, June 25, we celebrated 16 years of marriage. Each year on our anniversary, I send up a prayer thanking God for opening my eyes to see that I had become so used to being hurt that I couldn’t separate the past from the present. It was a painful lesson, for I had to acknowledge and confront the pain of the past and say to myself that I wouldn’t allow it to plague my present or define my future.
The past never fully lets go of us, but we can choose to not allow it full reign over our present and future happiness and chances for joyful living. Instead, we must use it as testimony to our strength to overcome and find peace in our lives, ready to accept love when it is so patiently and fully offered.
Thank you, God, for the amazing gift of a good husband, for truly the person who finds a spouse who loves them, believes in their talents and calling, supports their dreams, and laughs with them in their frailties has found a treasure, a good thing that represents the favor of the Lord. Sixteen years down, and onwards to death do we part.