Although no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
~ Carl Bard
Today I am going to talk about trust.
Is it possible to trust after you have been betrayed by a spouse?
Can you ever truly open up your heart and believe that “Happily ever After” just might be possible after all?
This is the issue I am facing right now in my life.
This summer, after being in the dating scene for seven years, I was engaged to be married.
But…once again love was a big disappointment for me. ;(
He turned out to be a big liar. Not the kind of man who I would join my life with at all. So I ended our engagement.
I got down on my knees and “informed” the Lord that unless he had a different plan for me, I was done with dating. I was content to live the rest of my life as a single woman.
My exact words to the Lord that day were, “ If you have plans for a man in my life, you had better announce it with a neon sign when I meet him, otherwise I will chase him away.”
I really was DONE!
I was not ever going to set myself up for this kind of pain and disappointment again.
In my life, relationships with men had been the source of most of my pain. Dating and marriage have never, for me, been safe, comforting or secure in any way.
Love for me had meant abuse.
I have been single for a long time.
I am used to this life.
It has been safer and more comfortable to live as a single woman, then it ever was when I was married.
I have a really great life.
A life that is filled with family, friends, and plenty of adventure. I have a job that provides me with financial security, a nice home, and my Painting business that feeds my soul.
I was not even remotely considering the possibility of dating ever again.
But then out of nowhere comes Jeff.
We went to high school together but we never even talked. His younger sister was a friend, but he was so shy that we never got acquainted. I only knew him as Julie’s older brother Jeff.
I noticed his picture on a dating site, and thought I recognized him. So I sent him an email and asked if he had attended my high school during the same period that I did.
He replied that YES he had.
That is how we got reconnected.
We sent several emails back and forth for about a month before scheduling our first date.
We live in an unusual place with landscapes that are amazing to say the least. Our area was once home to several different American Indian tribes, and therefore we are blessed with “Rock Art” from the past that we can discover and enjoy.
Both Jeff and I are avid “Rock Art” hunters…
a fact we discovered while emailing each other.
We talked about it on the phone and decided to schedule our first date and go for a four-wheeler ride and hike.
He took me to a spot he had recently discovered and that he had wanted to go back to.
Little did he know, he was literally taking me to that NEON SIGN, I had told the Lord I would need to see.
Jeff took me to a place that contained a picture of a sacred ceremony. I had been told that there was such a picture in our area, but had not been able to find it. Nobody that I had talked to know the exact location of it, just that it was here somewhere.
I had looked for years trying to find this specific panel.
Jeff took me right to it, without even knowing that I was interested or looking for it.
When I looked at that panel and realized it was the ceremony panel I had been searching for, I was immediately overcome with a presence from the Lord.
I knew that this was my neon sign…and that this man standing next to me was sent into my life for a reason.
If there is one thing I have learned to do without question, it is to obey the promptings of the Spirit.
Jeff had no idea what was going through my mind in that moment, he just says he really wished he would have had his camera ready to take a picture of my face when I was standing there looking at that panel. He said the look on my face was priceless.
Our love story began right there…standing in front of that panel.
Jeff and I are like a coin.
We are two sides of the same object.
We are perfectly balanced together.
I never believed it was possible for me to find a man who shared my view of the world.
Who was so self-contained and genuinely happy in and of himself.
Jeff is the most mature and responsible man I have ever known, (next to my own father). He understands the concept of responsibility, and takes them very seriously.
He has been out in the world and discovered who he is, and what matters to him.
He is comfortable enough with himself to relax and be childlike in his approach to life.
He laughs easily.
He loves deeply.
He is kind and tender in ways that few men have the courage to be anymore.
He is a gift.
He is my treasure.
A man sent to me from the Lord…
Announced with a Neon sign and everything. 😉
So back to my original question.
Is it possible to trust when you have been betrayed by a man you loved. A man who is the father of your children.
For me, the answer, miraculously, is YES.
Trusting Jeff has taken more faith than I knew I possessed.
I am not sure if he is able to appreciate just how miraculous it is that he has won my trust, and thereby won my heart.
It is a testament to his impeccable character that I can look him in the eyes and tell him that I love him and that I am willing to include him in my future.
I pray daily for the courage to keep forging ahead with him. I need courage because Jeff could hurt me worse than I have ever been hurt before. I know this because I have never loved someone besides my children this completely before.
He literally holds my heart in the palm of his hand.
My eighteen year old even commented that I look at Jeff the same way I look at my kids. He told me how happy he was that he could leave home for college knowing that I would not be alone.
All of you who know me personally, and have known me for years, knows that I have more failed relationships than most.
I have a talent for finding the bum.
My friends tease me and say, “You will know for certain that a man is a loser if Melanie is attracted to him.”
That may sound cruel for them to say that, but sadly it is true.
If you put me in a crowd of 100 men and only 1 is a loser, I will go straight to that loser and talk to him.
That is why I was done.
That is why I knew I knew I could NOT trust myself to choose a relationship wisely.
That is why I put this matter in the Lords hands, and I literally walked away and left it with him.
The Lord had tempered my heart, he had brought me to the place of total surrender to his plans for my life.
He had made me ready for Jeff.
As I reflect on all of my experiences with romance, I have come to realize a very beautiful truth.
I have been in love with Jeff since that day as a child I read my very first love story.
I have carried him in my heart waiting, wishing, hoping that I would someday find the man who could make me laugh. The man who knew exactly where every single button was and how to push them.
The man who would know me almost better than I know myself.
So, While I cannot go back and make a brand new start to the story of love in my life…
With Jeff by my side, I am determined to create my happy ending.
I am going to love him till the sun burns out!