Thursday, December 4, 2014

Why I Waited for Marriage...

If there is one thing I know, it's this #doseoftruth... Every day is filled with chances and choices.

I have two children, that I love with my everything. They are a most amazing product of a relationship that was just not meant to last, it never resulted in marriage and it just crumbled from our immaturity and a pure lack of solid foundation. A relationship is a series of choices, made by two parties, with results that change the course of history for everyone involved...even the new lives that are born from it. The end product is a story to share that creates a beautiful tapestry. If you have ever studied a tapestry, you know this: The front side is a true work of art, intricate details and inspiring design... but the back side is just, well... quite frankly ugly. A convoluted series of knots, criss-crossed lines of fabric and plenty of loose threads, It's the perfect analogy to life.

From the side everyone can see, the side we display to the world, we can appear quite lovely, very put together and whole... even darn close to perfect! But the reality is, on the back side of the tapestry... where all the choices we are faced with and the chances we take are located... that's where we live. That's the Land of Authenticity... that's the side we should be showing everyone, and not be afraid to do so. Because honestly? People really don't want to be fooled by your seemingly perfect life that you think you need to front day in and day out... the people around us want us to be genuine. We should be encouraging each other to share the raw parts of ourselves that make us human! Front your mistakes, your fears and doubts, your flaws, your struggles and your inadequacies because that's real. Forget about what you think represents "normal"... this is ALL of us... THIS is what's normal. Embrace it.

I digressed. :) Why do I share these things with you? Because I have the desire to be transparent, to live out the things that I believe to be true, to live a life that's consistent with the person that I show to the world, and not to be ashamed of the backside of my tapestry. So I go back to my kids... one of them is a young lady who will be 13 just two short weeks from today, and she is such a gift. "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." (Luke 12:48) She has been given and entrusted to me... and sometimes, not only do I not feel worthy, but it also scares me! "God, she is way too precious, and I mess up too much! You know this about me for You are familiar with all of my ways." And He answers, "Yes, I am. And I know you will do right by me. I trust you Shannon."

Wow. So what do I do with that? After a few years of being single, I took a chance and began a relationship with a man, a relationship that I knew was real and solid and gripped my heart with a force that only life-changing love can. And now I was faced with a choice... do I wait for marriage? Or don't I? Do I live out my desires in a way that's totally acceptable in our world? Or do I put my desires on hold because I claim I believe in a God I trust, and because I have a soon-to-be teenage daughter at home who is witnessing this all unfold... and unfortunately she does WAY MORE of what I DO in this life and far much less of what I SAY!?

For 3 years and 4 months I waited. It was one of the most extremely difficult tests I have ever put me and another person through. I waited because I wanted to honor God with my body and with this amazing gift of a man He blessed my life with. I waited because I had made the choices and took the chances that led me down a particular path in this life before... and even though they produced some amazing elements of my tapestry, I had the chance to try again and to be different this time. I waited because I wanted to set an example for my daughter, at a critical time in her life of self-discovery, that she can be different than her peers... IF she chooses. I know that regardless of the seeds I attempt to plant, she will continue to get older, and she will make her own choices that ultimately have NOTHING to do with me... and those choices may lead to mistakes, consequences and results that will change the course of history for everyone involved. BUT, no matter what path her life takes, I will forgive because I have been forgiven. And I will love because I have been loved. And I will teach her to do the same, because I have been entrusted with her life. Thank you God for the lessons.

Until the next dose,