I miss writing here, miss sharing my heart…my summer has been filled with fun and not-so-fun moments, and with preparations to send our oldest to college in 15 days, seriously where has the time gone?!
I am not sure that my heart is ready for the change.
And isn’t that the way with so many things? Life, reality, comes at us and we have to deal with it regardless if we are prepared or not.
And as a girl who doesn’t like change, or things out of her control…well this can be a bit of a tough road to go down!
I don’t know why God felt that 2015 needed to be the year of all the lessons. I mean really, one good one would have been plenty for this girl…but it has been chock full of learning and growing.
Most days I probably grumble more than I should.
Many days I focus on the pain of the stretching and not the beauty of new growth.
But every once and awhile I get it…it is a light bulb moment and change happens, and that is what I want to share with you today.
I have vaguely shared that for many years Dominic and I struggled in our marriage. I haven’t shared lots of details, but married life didn’t start out easy.
We jumped right in as young adults into a big world of expectations and we both got burned in the process.
On our wedding day, as my dad gave me away, he told us both to never, never, never give up.
It made me cry and I thought that it was beautiful.
And then I got angry at Dominic for something and wanted to run.
I am not sure where that all comes from really…I need some good therapy to figure it all out. But when things get hard and uncomfortable – I want out!
Very early on I established a pattern in our marriage. It was a damaging and awful path to be on and I walked in it for years. Divorce was a swear word and I used it with a vengeance.
Make me angry, I threaten you with everything that should be secure….family, home, our relationship. It didn’t matter if I really meant it or not. I got mad and opened my mouth and out spewed unmatched ugliness.
Can I just pause and say here that this is NOT where I thought I was headed with this post when I started writing it…that being said I am going to keep walking this out as I feel God is maybe giving me the words for someone who needs to hear them.
In my Hello Mornings study we have been reading through James and yikes can I say that it is a tough one to read when there are so many things that I can personally relate to.
So to lay it all out there…me mad = many people hurt by my actions/words.
I used my words as a weapon time and time again. And Dominic received the worst of it.
And I always felt justified. The conversation in my head always went something like this…
“Well if he wouldn’t have done/said xyz…then I wouldn’t have gotten angry.”
So in my mind it was never my fault. (I see the error in my thinking now, but this has been a struggle for YEARS and it caused so much hurt.)
I became an expert at the silent treatment. Even when forgiveness was asked, and I “granted” it (even though I should have been doing the asking) I would drag out my punishment for days being silent and cold.
Sounds like a wonderful, inviting home doesn’t it?!
We went around and around in this cycle for way too long.
Yes several years ago there was some significant restoration and healing…but bad behaviors are hard to break, especially for someone like me. And walking in true forgiveness wasn’t something that I had mastered.
I forgave with conditions.
I never let go, never took full responsibility for my part….I have been walking in chains and so desperately want freedom.
A few weeks ago Dominic and I had a really great conversation. It was one of those unplanned, deep talks that led to a frank discussion about forgiveness.
Dominic used himself as an example saying things like “at times I do this and say I forgive you, but I don’t really and I hold a grudge….” Everything that he said was something that I should and could say as well. We both do it and it isn’t healthy.
And then he said “We have got to say we forgive one another and then walk forward like we actually do.”
No more I forgive you but….
I forgive you but I am going to remain guarded and distant.
I forgive you but I am going to remember this for next time.
I forgive you but only after I have punished you for a time first.
We have walked that path for longer than we ever should have.
And so that night we committed to walking a new path.
A path of true forgiveness.
It has been a little silly around our house as a result.
Arguing and hurt feelings happen. We are flawed human beings…so now we say “I forgive you” immediately.
Forgiveness is flying around like crazy. I will admit it has become a bit of a joke (sometimes he forgives me for forgiving him), but we are practicing it every day. 🙂
There will be a time where one of us hurts the other. It is inevitable. And as a woman with all.the.feelings., well Dominic just has to look at me sideways on the wrong day and I could get all twisted up.
But if it happens, I will choose to walk in forgiveness.
I will say it and then act like I mean it.
I will not hold a grudge.
I will not threaten our marriage.
I will not give the silent treatment.
He deserves better than that and so do I!
We have a choice to walk in freedom on the path of forgiveness. (<====Click to Tweet)
There is a lightness in my step as a result.
I still have LOTS of issues that I need to deal with, my anger first and foremost at the front…but I have confidence that there will be freedom there as well.
As my dear friend Marlene told me “God has given me the key to freedom…I just need to choose to walk in that freedom.”
So I am marching ahead. Want to join me?!
Joining the beautiful writers over at Jennifer’s place #TellHisStory
Photo Credit: agnivohneb