Alright, so I’ve told you, dear readers, that I’m fighting some monsters from whom I’ve been running. I’ve decided to share with you some things I’m learning. Picture us, ringside, me in my bright pink boxing attire (I’m thin and gorgeous with biceps for this dream. I’m not sweating but merely glistening.) I’ll just be sharing with you some lessons I’m learning in the fight.
Round One: The hurtful actions of another say NOTHING about me.
My first marriage involved repeated incidents of infidelity. I left that marriage with the idea that my first husband’s cheating habits were a big ol’ billboard to the world. They said “Rebecca is UGLY! She’s inadequate! She’s undesirable and gross!!” A few miles down the road, another billboard boasted,”Rebecca is a FOOL! She has NO CLUE.” Then another saying, “Rebecca is stupid and fat and definitely NOT SEXY.” I’ve carried this idea into my new marriage, living in total fear that my new husband will see the billboards and change his mind once he knows these things about me. I’ve let it affect my confidence and my ability to love.
Guess what?? There are NO SUCH BILLBOARDS. My first husband’s cheating habits say this: My first husband cheated.
There is not one piece of information about ME contained therein.
Sure it’s part of my story, part of my darkest moments, and I can’t change what happened, but as far as making a statement about ME… it doesn’t.
Ick… I shudder to think how I’ve worn it like a badge. I’ve identified with it and allowed myself to believe that the cheating MUST have happened because I’m deformed in some way. Not true.
I hope you are rolling your eyes right now, thinking, “DUUUUH! How could it have taken you this long to figure this out???” But if you aren’t rolling your eyes, then…Please. Please don’t get stuck in the tar baby I’ve been fighting with all these years. If someone has hurt you, if you’ve been abused, if you’ve been betrayed… please don’t let those hurtful actions define YOU. Sure it might make you FEEL rejected, unloved, miserable and worthless. But that doesn’t mean you ARE rejected, unloved, miserable and worthless.
Really the only actions that can define me are my own. The only ones that say anything about ME are the ones I carry out. OK, so maybe I’ve been a wimp about it sometimes. Maybe I’ve hidden from my pain. Maybe I’ve had a lot of bravado but haven’t really dealt with things as bravely as some might have. I’ve tried to trust God, and I’ve questioned Him, too. I’ve made rash decisions in painful moments. I’ve checked out of life rather than face my pain head-on. I’ll take these statements any day over the billboards quoted above.
Man, I bet the road of life is full of some amazing scenery now that those ol’ lyin’ billboards are out of the way.
OK, there’s the bell! Time for round TWO!