I think we all have those pivoting moments in our lives that end in, ‘and then, everything changed.’
People think marriage ends the whole golden rule struggle. If you are unfamiliar with what my kindergarten principal referred to as the golden rule, the answers kindness. Kindness is the golden rule, and who ever dreamed that kindness would have to be on our lists of qualities we want to see in our future husbands. Must-haves. What little kid would have ever sat on a blanket in the middle of a park, chomping on a pb&j, confiding in their friends, ‘well I want my future boyfriend to be nice to me.’
Really? Is that where we are?
Are we really in a place where our hopes are set high on the fact that he’ll have blue eyes, dark hair, & be really nice to me?
The whole concept is whack if you think about it. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I are far from perfect, which is why I kicked this off pointing out the flawed theory singles may easily mistake for truth. One day a man puts a ring on your finger and makes a bunch of promises and then he will never be mean to you again, not to mention your little kindhearted self. But in our house, some nights end with unhealed hearts and sleeping on the couch. Hurtful words slip out faster than they are thought. This marriage thing is not perfect, and definitely is not the end to the golden rule battlefield.
But I don’t want to talk about marriage.
I want to talk to you, scrolling through this random post someone shared that seemed quick, easy, and a brainless way to zone out under the covers.
I want to talk to your single hearted self. Your engaged self. Your divorced self. You. Its you I want to talk to.
This is my little homemade fact: 99 percent of people chanting ‘you are enough’ ‘you don’t need a man to complete you’ ‘your prince will come’ are in relationships.
So I had a dream a couple nights ago. In my dream, my husband and I got a divorce. Immediately, I had decided I would start dating people again, and in my dream the important part was actually the this: I specifically remember the sudden angst I felt to have to find someone right this second. The rush of feeling like tomorrow you might turn sixty with fifteen cats peeing on your sofa and so you have to hurry up while the fish your age are still swimming upright.
That feeling. That warm fuzzy, hey I remember you feeling. The feeling I had completely forgot about.
So here I am to chant that familiar chant and share a little bit of my experiences and pray my parents stop reading here.
Here’s the deal. I’m experienced.
I have been kicked out of someone’s bed before. It doesn’t just happen in the movies, folks. There are serious people out there like that.
After he got what he invited me over for, instead of allowing me to rest my weary head on the pillow for the night, he asked me if I’d leave because he was really tired after that. So I left.
Then I went back every night at about ten at night for the same old routine until he found someone.
I’m pretty sure my heart was broken. (one thing that does change after you get married, you don’t care about the people nor the heartbreaks— therefore, you don’t remember)
Then there was one guy I dated who liked to fight with me and would only get more angry when I didn’t yell back. He said if I didn’t yell back then he just didn’t matter to me.
On my birthday the one year we were together, he convinced me I needed to be baptized a second time to save myself because the first time didn’t count. Before walking to the church to meet all our families for the baptism, he had gotten mad at me for whatever reason and ripped the console out of my awesome silver pontiac sunfire, shaking me for how much he hated me sometimes.
I remember the night I finally got out of the car and said it was over. The following morning I thought I’d be kind and give him a ride to work. The whole way there he screamed in my face. The whole time at work he tripped me and ripped my glasses off my face so I couldn’t see anything.
I remember going to my manager crying, trying to explain to her the situation and ask that I be let go early. Instead, she let him go early, where he waited by my car for me in the back lot, stealing my keys and my phone. Every time I tried to get away and go back to work to call someone for help, he would chase me down, carrying me back to the lot to fight.
But maybe you think its all petty.
Maybe you want to believe its petty because he calls you over every night so he’s obviously not seeing anyone else.
Maybe you think its petty because he’s only like that when he’s angry.
Maybe you think its petty because he said last
time was the last time.
Here’s the thing, love. Kindness isn’t just a rule. It shouldn’t have to be. God didn’t place fear in love. He didn’t mean for the good times to be spent happy and the bad times to be spent afraid.
And maybe you know this isn’t the one, but whats the rush in getting out. You’re just killing time. Let me assure you of this. The remnants of my past relationships are hardships in my marital fights, as are his. When he and I battle, my gut instinct is to want to fight how I was fought. It takes my being purposeful for our fights to not hold the residue of the past.
God is the one who claims your worth, you are the one enforcing it. Don’t think how you’re treated is petty, love. Don’t think of it as something you’ll work on in the future. Don’t think you’ll build up some immunity to the pain if you continue to tolerate it. Step back and look in at yourself. You are worth so much more, darling, and now matters, too. Do this for yourself. Live in the Maker’s worth.