Today I want to talk about relationships.
Relationships are among God’s greatest blessings.
Imagine for just a minute that you are stranded on an island with no one to speak with or collaborate your survival with.
Your life on the island would be empty, lonely, terrifying.
Relationships are the source of our greatest triumphs, and our deepest tragedies.
In my adult life, I have been a wife… and I have been Single.
Both situations have had their share of challenge and blessing.
So, are those of us who are single missing out on a higher quality of life?
Seven years ago, it seemed there were no beginnings left for me.
My world appeared to be crumbling all around me as my marriage ended abruptly on a saturday morning.
That day started a journey for me that began with a brand new wound that needed to be cared for. I was being forced to face my own shortcomings, and I was going to need to learn to forgive, myself, and my ex-husband.
I remember feeling like I had just been sentenced to living out a consolation-prize life, now that my marriage was over.
But, I was wrong.
The ENDING of my marriage would mark the BEGINNING of a truly magnificent life for me and my children.
There were times when I would feel, as I am sure many single people do, that I was missing out on something special. Worse – I had been married so I knew personally just what that something special was that I was missing.
In time however I did discover that nothing…absolutly NOTHING has the power to derail my life except ME!
God really does use everything in our lives,
to make us into the person we have the potential to become.
He is able to bring good out of every set of circumstances, no matter where we find ourselves in this journey of life.
In those months following my divorce when my identity was so shaken, when I was no longer a wife.
no longer a daughter-in-law.
No longer the step mom to my two little girls…
I began to realize that I was NOT these bits and pieces of identity.
They were secondary to who I really was.
I began to learn that because, they were secondary, they made a poor foundation for an overflowing life.
When those layers of my patchwork self were peeled away by divorce, I was left with the only identity that mattered.
MELANIE ANNE WILLSON
It is during these difficult seasons of life such as divorce, that we must cling to our true essence like a lifeline.
Doing so has the power to disarm every single insecurity that will surface during the healing and recovery process.
When we venture into conversations about singleness or marriage, we touch raw places of the soul for many people who have been beaten down by the storms of relationships in their lives.
I am writing today as neither a single person, or a divorced person, but as a healthy and whole person, no matter what my relationship status may be.
What I want to share is not my status, but how I moved from pain to healing as a person who had lost the only identity I had known for years.
I had to learn to live in the exact same world, surrounded by the exact same people, but as a single woman, instead of a married one.
My divorce has blessed me with so many personal insights and revelations that it is hard for me to look back on it with any regret at all any more.
I honestly look back at it, and if I had to put a label on it, the label would read,
” The moment God gave me back my life.”
Before marriage, I was a confident, beautiful person. I knew who I was and what I wanted in life.
Marriage took most of that away from me.
Divorce has given it all back.
It was a steep and winding hill to climb, but one that has been worth every struggled step.
I have met and dated a few men along the way. Each and every one of them blessed my life with insights and lessons that served to further strengthen my personality.
Each one of them had a life lesson to teach me.
I am now a successful 41yr old woman who feels intense gratitude for my full and amazing life. I am content without a husband, and contrary to many well-meaning friends, my happiness is NOT on hold while I wait for wedding bells.
I have freedom to give my time and resources to the people in my life that I deem worthy of these gifts.
Neither being married or single defines the good life. There are a thousand ways to be happy.
Trials and blessings are not divided along a line of married or single, we all receive both in life.
It was only AFTER, I had matured and truly understood these things that I had the capacity to enjoy a healthy relationship with a quality man like Jeff.
Seven yrs ago, I would never have been able to recognize just what a unique man he was.
I probably would have never given him a second thought.
That is the very reason I feel so strongly that we need to give ourselves the time needed to heal. The exact amount of time needed will be different for everyone, but for me it has taken me seven years to reach the point of contentment in life no matter what my relationship status was.
I love Jeff. Not because I NEED him.
I love Jeff because I WANT him in my life.
He honestly makes me thankful that it never worked out with anyone else before. Because if it had, I would never have been given the gift of his love and friendship in my life. Loving him has been the easiest and most natural event in my life since I became a mother.
So, if we can find happiness no matter what our relationship status, why do we seem to segment ourselves in ways that perpetuate a false notion that the two categories are entirely distinct, almost as if we lived on two planets.
The truth is:
What binds us together is far more comprehensive and profound that what sets us apart.
Our unfulfilled desires.
Our bursts of joy.
Are not fundamentally a result of our status as married or single but rather because we are human.
We ALL know brokenness.
We all know Blessing.
Each and every one of us long for friendship and companionship.
And each one of us has had those hopes crushed.
I have learned a very beautiful truth, my happiness does not depend on a wedding ring, or a friendship. My happiness is an inside job.
It is MY responsibility to create my own happiness.
Once you discover that for yourself, you will be well on your way to your very own happily ever after love story.
We have many adventures ahead of us, and we are both excited to get them started.
Let me know how you felt about todays BLOG. Leave your comment below.