Friday, May 16, 2014

{coffee talk} FORGIVENESS



In honor of our anniversary, I wanted to share about what I have been thinking about recently. I feel that there is ALWAYS room for growth in all areas of life, particularly my marriage and my relationship with others. But forgiveness has been at the forefront of my thoughts lately. And how I had it all wrong there for awhile...

It's hard to go there, but the nitty gritty is that I got hurt early on in our relationship. Now, Pete will tell you that he loved me at hello. That he never knew love until me. That he knew shortly upon meeting me, we were meant to be together. That I am his soul mate, if there ever were such a thing. But the way he went about showing it was insanely painful the first year. Where for me it was a vulnerable experience, for him, it was all he'd ever known -- surrounded by probably the most evil and vile of human examples, of both men and women he associated with -- he defiled what I thought was sacred. He basically let me suffer and watched. Chose himself over us. Yet in my every attempt to walk away, Pete would ask for my patience. Ask for my forgiveness. And ensure me that he was working on himself...to be a better man. A man that I would be proud to marry one day.

It's hard to recover from that. And hey, most people don't because of what I just explained. No one starts a new romance and says "sign me up for a hellish experience." Now, MY adversity may not be remotely similar to YOUR adversity, but this post is more about that of forgiveness more so than experiences, or the comparisons thereof.

But I remember being there. Anger mixed with sadness, mixed with deep hurt, and intermingled somewhere in there were feelings of love. Strange feelings to have all at once, huh?


I walked into this relationship, ready for the fairytale, missing the part about God using it to point out your sin, change you, mold you -- you know, the whole 'dying to self' thing. Yet there HAVE been so many parts that are just like a fairytale... so many beautiful, raw parts that I hold so close and so dear. They just came differently than I expected.


Sometimes the downward spiral in a relationship starts with something small in the grand scheme of things. He lets her down, so she withholds a piece of her heart from him. She disrespected him here so he is not going to meet a need there. And so it begins. The downward spiral begins....until it's a thrashing river rapid, appearing hopeless, and your only solution is to jump ship.


There’s a difference between having a real relationship and just being together because that’s all you’re used to. There’s a difference between meaning your “I love you’s ” and just saying them every night because “that’s what you do.” There’s a difference between being together and wanting to be together, it’s a relationship, not a routine. 

It's attaching yourself to someone and sharing your life with them. Entirely.

It's a journey, but you start with forgiveness. You somehow, at some point, make a decision. A choice to absorb all the costs of that forgiveness. Just as Jesus' example when he absorbed our sins and said, no more. I'm paying for this. While we were still sinning, He died for us. While we were enemies, He died for us. While we deserved the opposite of grace and mercy, He died for us.


God came down and changed our hearts, mine and Pete's. He showed us that forgiveness is the beginning. Not the end.

5 years later, as we sit on the couch together, my husband stealing kisses and making me laugh at something utterly ridiculous, I smile on the inside. About the past. About the future. Thanking God who kept us together. Because it is so good. So rich. We stuck it out, saw it through, during the growing pains. Pete continually encourages me to spread my wings and is always trying to make my dreams come true. And there is truly no one I would rather figure out all of this with than him. He makes me laugh, he loves our babies well and he has fought for us even when things seemed hard. He's helped me find myself in a lot of ways. He gives me the freedom to be me and has taught me more about love than I ever imagined. He not only sees what's good about me, but he sees the bad, and still wants me. I love him more than I could dream.


I read an article today written by Dr. John Yzaguirre, a specialist in marital enrichment. So many beautiful points that when intertwined can form a beautiful union of marriage that is full of grace, peace, and filled with humility.



"Listen. No advice, no conversion, no change, no great response. Just listen with love. No agenda. Answer with the way they want to be loved."

"Be the first to love. When we practice initiative, we are free."

"Anything I don't share, gets lost. Love becomes real when we share who we are and what we have."

"First say it with your life. Then say it with your lips."

“Live in the present. Worry prevents loving. Worry is self absorption."

"Wisdom reminds me what matters. Is this worth losing unity? Renew decision to love. Fruits of a decision to love are tolerance, flexibility, patience. Wisdom puts things in perspective. People first; tasks second."

Do you know someone who needs forgiving?





8 comments:

  1. "First say it with your life. Then say it with your lips."

    Oh my goodness!!! I love that so, so, SO much!!

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    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, Beckey! It's nerve-racking putting all your "stuff" out there for the universe to read, but if it inspires even one person, it's all worth it.

      Thank you for reading my blog! I am grateful for you!

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  2. Spend More Time With Your Children http://www.nightart.org/fundus.
    It does not matter if you work full time or part time. Maybe you stay at home with your children but you are working from home. Even if you stay home with your children, you are busy trying to get everything done. No matter who you are, you probably think that you are not spending enough time with your children. Quality time, that is. There are many ways to spend more time with your children.
    Your children do not need to play every sport or do every extracurricular activity out there. You could spend all of your time running your children from one practice to another. Pick just one or two activities that your children love and stick with them.
    Plan family dinners where everyone sits at the table, eats, and talks about their day.
    Make dinners special so everyone likes to spend time together while eating.
    Let your children help when you are working on things.
    They can help fix dinner, clean, and fix things. Children learn by watching and doing. Chores can turn into time together so that they are much more enjoyable.
    Do things that your children want to do.
    It is hard when the house is a mess but get on the floor and play with your children. Play games that they enjoy. Have a movie night and watch their favorite movie.
    Find things that you enjoy doing together.
    Arts and crafts can be a big hit. NightArt is helping bring parents and children together. You can design a drawing and watch it light up together.
    No one feels like they spend enough time with their children. However, you need to make the most of time spent together, instead of worrying if you are spending enough time together. Find things that you enjoy doing together, like NightArt. Check it out at http://www.nightart.org/fundus. It will bring out the artist in everyone, bringing families together.

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  3. I really adore how honest you are in your posts. It is so encouraging and beautiful to read. Beautiful writing as always.

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  4. I love everything about this. Relationships are no fairytale and I have seen many couples break because their high expectations have not been met. Love is a verb and it takes work, hard work, but loving through God and letting him fulfil his glorious plan makes it all worth it

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  5. Very well written! Hopping here from Friendship Friday and following on Bloglovin'. Blessings to you and yours!

    Marie @ http://asatisfiedspirit.com & http://countedcrossstitchcafe.om

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  6. So beautiful. I love the thoughts about needing to share so it doesn't get lost and being the first to love. Love can be the ultimate healer. Great post!

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  7. What a beautiful post I think that most people would totally agree with you ! Thank you for lnking up with the I'm proud of that link-up.

    ReplyDelete

I am incredibly grateful for your comment! I will respond as soon as possible. XOXO, Mandi

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