Ours is not a storybook romance where we met in our youth with a pure and naive outlook on life and love and commitment, ending in a marriage union resembling something more like an extended courtship. Instead, we married later in life, i almost thirty-four and Randy forty eight. We were both "set in our ways", and suffice it to say our first year of marriage was, shall we say, quite "interesting".... I will leave the rest to your imagination. Alright, I will give you one clue - i was what one might refer to as a "handful". :-)
From the moment I first met Randy, though, over twenty years ago, I have loved him. Yet even as his wife of close to twelve years now, I haven't always known how to love him. For much of my marriage, up until very recently as a matter of fact, I thought that by looking back at my past, way on back into my childhood, and seeking ways and means by which Randy could provide me with the security, protection and attachment I did not receive from my parents that somehow the "healing" I thought his behavior could secure me would give me some sense of how to be a "good" wife to him now.
You see, I deduced, however erroneously, that since my parents were incapable of providing their twelve children a safe and godly upbringing free from great fear and sorrow, in order for me to truly know how to do a marriage "right", Randy was going to have to do some serious fixin' of what had been broken as a result of my parents' failure (and their parents' failure and their parents' parents' failure and on and on). I ventured to believe that unless i got healed from all that pain, i would always be broken and struggle to know how to love my husband and parent my little Sonya well since no one had ever shown me how to do either. Due to my impaired thinking, i have long sought to be understood by Randy so that he could "get" me. If only Randy could get me, you see.....
then everything would be better....
then I could be the wife and parent I have always dreamed of being..... You get the picture. It was all up to Randy. Until...
the very beginning stages of our adoption process for Cassie, when stress levels in our marriage and family were probably at their all-time highest, you know - no money, no plan, no money - I was getting seriously exasberated with the Father over the fact that he started me off in life by plopping me down into a dismal excuse for a childhood that never taught me anything about weathering the current "storm". And i'm like, "God, seriously? How am I supposed to do this?! No one ever showed me how to be married. No one ever showed me how to parent. No one ever showed me how to do a family. No one ever showed me how to walk in faith...."
And the Lord responded, "I am showing you now."
When I first heard these words, it was my very first clue that maybe, just maybe, looking back at my past for the answers was not only unnecessary, it was never going to get me where i wanted to go. Reading these words in front of me, it seems like a no-brainer to me now, but back then, I still had some more growing to do in order to finally "get" what He was telling me.
Digressing, in the adoption world, a child who is adopted at an older age is referred to as coming from a "hard place". Our little Cassie comes from a "hard place"; abandoned, rejected, alone, raised in an institution, left behind by all her friends who have been adopted before her, on and on....
Parenting such a child poses a challenge to even those who started off life on solid footing with parents who doted over them and met every one of their needs. How then could i be expected by God to ever hope to reach my little Cassie and offer her any semblance of healing in her fractured little life if i didn't even have the assurance of stable childhood memories to cling to?
And the Lord said, "The past holds nothing for you. Turn to me now for help."
And then i got it! Even though some people have found certain strength and buoyancy to face hard times in life by drawing on a life filled with love and attachment from the very beginning, that scenario will never be mine, no matter how many times i try to go back and redo it, undo it or fix it. Rather, i must be willing to be completely delivered from my brokenenss by none other than God Himself. No one no where can fix my brokenness. No one no where can love me out of it. No one no where can ever "attach" to me enough to cure me, heal me, "get" me, etc. Only God. Only God. Only God.
And God has... He has delivered me from the mire and entanglement of a worn-out, broken down , used up, sorry excuse for a past only because I was finally willing to let it go. I have been delivered by God Almighty! I have been given new tools to parent my daughters and love my husband. I need only to turn to the Lord and ask for direction daily. And let me just tell ya, God's way works a lot better than my way ever did. Surprise, surprise, right?
It was suggested to me once that when I pray to the Lord regarding my husband that I ask the Lord to help me love Randy the way He wants me to love him and to help Randy love me the way He wants him to love me. I can see the wisdom in this prayer now that I have been freed from placing Randy in a role to live out for my benefit. God's ways are not our ways. God's thoughts are not our thoughts. They are BETTER. God's plans for my marriage are far better than anything Randy or I could ever conjure up.
God is doing a good work in our family and in our marriage right now. This good work is a direct result of our desire to obey Him, and this good work is a part of the blessing. I told Preacher the other day that we are obeying God not to receive the blessings, but because we love Him.
I LOVE GOD! I LOVE JESUS! "I LOVE YOU, JESUS!" i haven't always. I used to be pretty mad at Him. I am not mad at Him anymore. i am grateful to Him, and I am grateful He gave me Randy for a husband. He is the perfect husband for me! PRAISE THE LORD!!!!
If you are reading this right now, and you don't believe God exists or you don't believe that God loves you, please oh please, call out to Him and ask Him to show you that He is REAL. He will give you a sign, and then He will ask you to confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior, admit that you are a sinner and are in need of Jesus in your life. Then, ask for forgiveness and repent of your sins. I'm telling you right now, it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE! FOR THE BETTER!!!!!
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26