Wednesday, October 20, 2010

worth it all

Tonight I had an epiphany.
I love my husband with all of my heart and soul. This was not my epiphany (obviously), but it has a whole lot to do with it.

There are many reasons why I fell in love with him, why I married him.
I cannot name them all, for I am still discovering them each day, but I can name just a few:
He is kind
He is selfless and selflessly loving
He is protective
He is respectful and earns respect instead of demanding it
He is extremely caring
He is honest
He is humble
He is genuine
He is understanding
He is reliable
He is devoid of arrogance or false pride
He is generous
He is unassuming and in the least bit entitled
He is patient
He is faithful
He is never self-righteous
He loves me even in my failures...

Here is where my epiphany starts to unearth itself a little:
There is a man I knew my whole life. For the past 10-12 years my "relationship" with this man has been, shall we say, strained. Very, very strained... to say the least. 

Okay, let's back up a bit.

When I was 9-years-old, my father passed away from stomach cancer. He was a good man. A very good and wonderful man. Ten years later my grandfather, who was also a very good and wonderful man, passed away as well. My mom's boyfriend has been in our lives since I was in ninth grade and although our relationship was rocky at first (for obvious reasons), he and I have grown very close and I now consider him an extremely important person in my life whom I love and respect. I have an adopted brother who came into my life only a few years before my father's death, who looked after me and cared for me, protected me and loved me and still does, as I do he.

Needless to say, men either come and go in my life or come later in life (with the exception of the previously mentioned man). For a little girl growing into a young lady to now a woman, this is a crucial point. 

Now, let's fast forward a little.

This man whom I looked up to from before I could remember to the time I could make sense of things and listen to my instincts and who was, for lack of a better term, a constant in my life should have been a great example, should have done what he told my father he would do and look after me. Not only did he lie, but he did the opposite. 

For reasons I cannot understand this man cruelly and purposefully pushed me away and broke my already broken heart. Ever since then I quickly lost respect for him. I know for a fact that I am not the only person who felt/feel this way and experienced the same or similar issues with this man. Or worse.

Throughout those 10-12 years A LOT contributed to the distance growing between the two of us. Without realizing it my bitterness grew and I shoved it away and kept it silent for years so that I would not hurt anyone's feelings or step on any toes.

I have held all of this in for years. I have and always have had a right to express how I feel. If there are people out there who don't like that (especially those who know not how to mind their own business), that is not my problem. I am not going to apologize to anyone for my feelings or for what my experiences have been. Just because I have been silent about them does not make them any less true.

Over the course of the past decade or so I took mental notes. One of my gifts is observation. Perhaps it's the actor in me. I have often learned from others' mistakes or actions and paid attention to what I should and shouldn't do in my own life based on those mistakes and my observations. Not to say that I haven't made mistakes, I certainly have. I've made big mistakes and I'd be the first to admit it, but I have also learned from those, too.

Moving on closer to my epiphany:

When David, my husband, came into my life the aforementioned man immediately became threatened. You could feel it in the air, it could have been cut with a knife. Why? Who knew? Who cared? Least of all David and, of course, me. Which, looking back, I'm sure fanned the flame.

Falling in love with David was easy. One of the easiest things in my life. There are many, many reasons why I married him and one of those important reasons is the fact that David is the complete opposite of the aforementioned man. David possesses qualities I never observed in this man and neither does he possess any of this man's major... hmmm, how shall I say this... shortcomings.

All of this I have known for quite some time, but what I realized tonight was this:

I know that there are plenty of lessons to learn from this, plenty of room to grow and become a stronger, wiser, better person, I know this is all part of God's bigger plan, BUT...

If everything I went through because of this man for the past decade or so, all the pain of betrayal that I shoved away and swept under the rug for the sake of others that is now unearthing itself and spilling out all over, if all of this brokenness and bitterness and anger was all meant for one reason and that one reason being that it taught me what qualities I should look for in a wonderful husband, an amazing man such as David. If that were the ONLY reason, then it would all be worth it.

Absolutely WORTH IT ALL. 

God has blessed me. I am learning to be joyful in trials and am finding the blessings in all of this mess. As all of this pain and anger and brokenness is bubbling out of me, I am eternally grateful for the generosity of the Lord. 

I prayed for David before I met him. I prayed fervently. My mom prayed for him and prayed that he would possess the qualities that he does. The Lord certainly answered our prayers. He has answered many of our prayers. He is STILL answering prayers. In the midst of all that is going on, God is answering our prayers. The answers may hurt for the moment, but the reward of our faithfulness will be greatly worth it all.

"My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have it's full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1: 2-4)

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