Holy Matrimony

Dearly beloved,

We are gathered here today in the sight of God to join this man, and this woman in holy matrimony. Not to be entered into lightly, holy matrimony should be entered into solemnly and with reverence and honor. Into this holy agreement these two persons come together to be joined. If any person here can show cause why these two people should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Marriage is a sacred union between husband and wife and shall remain unbroken. It is the basis of a stable and loving relationship and is a joining of two hearts, bodies and souls. The husband and wife are there to support one another and provide love and care in times of joy and times of adversity.

We are all here today to witness the joining in wedded bliss of (Groom’s Name) and (Bride’s Name.) This joyous day celebrates the commitment and love with which (Groom’s Name) and (Bride’s Name) start their lives together. Through God, you are joined together in the most holy of bonds. Who gives this woman in holy matrimony to this man?

These are traditional wedding vows. Would it be blasphemous of me to announce that I’m married to Jesus? My vows to God and Jesus go something like this:

Dear family and friends,

We are gathered here in the presence of God, to witness the holy union of Mia and Jesus Christ. This is a commitment that should never be taken lightly, but should always be held in reverence and a manner that is pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

Repeat after me…

I, Mia, take thee Jesus to be my heavenly partner in life. I will honor and obey Your word, dwelling on all that You speak to my heart. I will always come to You in prayer, sharing my struggles, asking for Your guidance, and seeking You first when I have anything pressing on my heart. I will rejoice when my earthly life is good and praise You when it is difficult. I promise to be patience, kind, loving, and always look to You as my standard for living. I know that I have a purpose and You give me hope for the future. I promise to love You and place You first in all areas of my life.

Not bad. It’s where my heart is and my faith grows daily. Faith is a powerful thing and I know I only need it to be the size of a mustard seed to move mountains.

“So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:6

I asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me many years ago. While I said that prayer of gratitude for the atonement. I still behaved in a manner that was displeasing to God. Today’s blog is about recommitting myself to God. I haven’t written much in the past week or so, but it’s okay. Spending time with God and Jesus is my priority. I wake up in the morning and kneel beside my bed, praying before I’ve even considered going to the bathroom. That’s commitment, yo!

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24

The Holy Spirit is in me. It prompts me when I need to seek God’s Word and guidance. It’s there when I need comforting. It is present when I need to escape any situation that is detrimental to my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I feel complete now.  Like a whole person.

That doesn’t mean I don’t want to be married while living in this earthly existence. I would love to be married. There is some sort of peace in it. Security, even. I want to come home and kiss my husband, wake up in the morning and kiss him again. In the movie, Sweet Home Alabama, Dakota Fanning plays a younger version of Reese Witherspoon’s character. She asks the boy, “Why do you want to marry me anyhow?” He replies, “So I can kiss you any time I want.” That’s only part of what I want. I want the person who is committed to me; who wants me as much as I want him. Someone who is willing to do 25 to life with me. I have no idea how much time I have on this planet. Neither does anyone else. I just want to spend it with someone who values and appreciates the woman that I am just as much as I appreciate the man he is.

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled,” – Hebrews 13:4

Nothing is worse than being cheated on. It left me feeling like I wasn’t good enough as a wife. Then, as the affairs continued, I felt that I wasn’t even good enough as a person. I forgave him. I’d forgive the next guy too. That doesn’t mean I can forget the feelings of worthlessness that were created. I’m not perfect. I’m COMPLETE.

“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33

I respected my husband. In fact, I’ve respected all the men in my life. There was truly no reason not to, even when I didn’t agree with certain things. I trust implicitly too, until I’m given a reason not to trust.  Yes, I’m definitely gullible and naive when it comes to men and relationships. It’s not fair. It’s not right for me to judge someone on their past. I want my husband to treat me as well as I treat him.  I don’t need material things. I don’t need a lot of money. I’ve never been that way. I need security and comfort. I’m happiest with a home-cooked meal, a movie on the TV, and snuggling on the couch.

I want a partner in life. Someone who loves God more than he loves me. Someone who wants my affection and passion. Someone who will let me love him through the darkness of time as well as the bright sunshine of day. Someone who laughs when I’m being goofy and holds me when I melt down.  There’s a whole list but the most important thing is that whomever he is, he needs to love God first.

“We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

Until God tells me that He has someone for me, I’m married to Jesus! And impatiently patiently waiting as God makes me into the woman He wants me to be.

Heart of Hard Flesh

I am struggling. I’m not perfect by any means. Nor do I ever wish to be perfect. Perfection is a very difficult standard to live up to. Only one being on earth was ever perfect, God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Perfect is boring and I loathe boring.

I am not ready to discuss what I’m struggling with. It’s very personal and I’m still reeling from the situation. Right now, I just want to pray that God will give me perspective. I am trying to understand some things and I am hoping that the situation will be resolved in the future. I have no idea what the future holds. All I know is that for the last few weeks, I’ve been praying for something to be removed from my mind and my heart. I’ve asked for a guarded heart. Sadly, I’ve asked for a heart of stone. Bear in mind, the situation I’m struggling with is extremely painful for me. It happened at the worst time, in the midst of a severe depression and took me to the brink of suicide. I was rejected by someone I deeply loved, cared for, and trusted. My heart was wide open. Perhaps that was my first mistake after 30 years of having walls around my heart. My heart was put into a blender and pulsed into oblivion.

I felt worthless. I felt insignificant. I felt unwanted. In my mind, I had no value. I was unimportant and I didn’t matter to anyone. Rejected. Abandoned. Hopeless. Degraded. Destroyed. Stabbed. Cast aside. Dejected. Trashed.  Thrown away like a used garbage plate trash.

I felt unloved.

I cried for several days. I still cry.  I may never get over this situation. Only God can heal my heart. But, I want a heart of stone. I want a heart that will never be broken again. I would deny myself if that’s what it takes. During the process of this situation, I have torn myself apart. Degraded myself and self-worth. Honestly, I know where these thoughts come from and they certainly do not come from God Himself. It’s all Satan and his vainglorious attempts to take me to the depths of hell. That’s one place I have no desire to be. However, it feels like that living on earth sometimes; hell on earth. It comes from being imperfectly perfect.

I still want a heart of stone. I do not ever want to be rejected by another person ever again. I refuse to trust. I refuse to love. Yes, my stubbornness is coming out. In reality, the only being I want my heart soft for is God and Jesus.

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26

Father, please don’t.

My walls are back up and right where they should be. I should never have taken them down. I had prayed about it when I first did; at that moment, everything was secure and I felt safe. I no longer feel safe. I no longer trust anyone. I no longer love.

It took me a few days to shake what I was feeling about myself. I needed to see myself through God’s eyes and not another human’s. God doesn’t make mistakes; People make mistakes. I made a mistake in trusting and believing. It feels like it was all a game. I hope it was worth it. While I am feeling the loss, in the end, I know who I am and only God’s opinion of me is what matters.

I still want that heart of stone.

“His heart is hard as a stone, hard as the lower millstone.” – Job 41:24

It’s the only way I will get through this season. Perhaps even the rest of my days.

Here’s the good news for me…

I know I am loved. I am loved by the One who gives UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. You don’t have to love me. In fact, at times, I really don’t want anyone’s love. Not because I don’t think I don’t deserve it but rather, it might be a waste of time for you as I won’t reciprocate it. Unrequited love is the worst possible thing on earth. To love someone who doesn’t love you back is just awful.

Just called me “Elsa”, the Ice Queen. Oh yes, I’ve been called that many times. One person said I was one of the most “uncaring, unloving, beautiful women” he had ever met. Good. Now let’s get back to it.

I know in God’s eyes, I am worthy. He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to die on the cross for me if I wasn’t worthy of something. I am important. Every one of God’s children has a purpose on this earth, during this temporal existence. I have value. The Proverbs woman is worth more than rubies and so am I. I’ve never been rejected by God. Not once. He’s been waiting while I’ve rejected Him.  I’ve rejected Him a LOT! I don’t have to be perfect to have God’s perfect love.

One thing I’ve learned is that I do not have to trust or believe anyone but God. I will have my heart of hard flesh once again.

You Say – Lauren Daigle

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know (ooh oh)

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe (I), oh I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
I believe

The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity, (ooh oh)

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe (I), oh I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
Oh, I believe

Taking all I have and now I'm laying it at Your feet
You have every failure God, and You'll have every victory, (ooh oh)

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe (I), oh I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
I believe

Oh I believe (I), yes I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
Oh I believe (oh)

 

What is LOVE?

You know you sang the title.

But, what is love? Love means so many different things to so many different people. I’ve heard some women say, “I know my spouse/boyfriend/significant other loves me because they did ___________________________ (fill in the blank)”. Ask my mom how she knows I love her. She will tell you it’s because I cook, do the dishes, carry the laundry downstairs, play with the dog, and do all the heavy lifting around the house. Ask the dog how she knows I love her and she will probably want you to pet her while she nips at your nose. She’s a dog. I give her water, snacks, and force her to go outside. Sometimes we go for walks. I gave her a bath once, in hopes that she would dislike me and not want all of my attention. It didn’t work. That dog thinks I’m the greatest thing since Kraft American sliced cheese (her favorite treat).

What is Godly love? It is the love we give without conditions.

“I love you but…” Ugh! I cannot stand when people say that. If you are expecting something in return for your emotions, then why do you love that person? It’s as if you need to have something in order to give something. The world is full of people who take; why not try to give sometime?

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8

I’ve read this verse before. I read it again today. It has a profound impact on the way I love others. I have no expectations. My love has no expectations.

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13

Jesus laid down His life for us – no questions asked. God gave up His Son, whom He sent to earth to do His work, to call His children back to the fold, and to restore a lifeline that had been severed when Eve ate the apple in the garden. There were no arguments when it came time for Jesus to die on the cross. Even while hanging on the cross, Jesus demonstrated love. He asked God to forgive the people.

“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'” – Luke 23:34a

Many of the people during that time did not fully comprehend the love that Jesus had for them. Still today, God’s love isn’t easy to understand. Questions like, “if God loved us, why do so many bad things happen in the world?” or “God doesn’t love me. If He did, then why did he take my parent/spouse/child from me?” or the even more popular question, “If God really loved me, then why did He allow _______________________ to die?”

God does love us. He loves you. He loves me. Those above questions stem from the human inability to give unconditional love. Jesus was the epitome of unconditional love when He died on the cross for us. That love is demonstrated in so many personal ways. You may find it in a sunset or a simple cup of coffee. You may even feel it when your child runs up to you when you come home from work.

Physical love is different than emotional love. I used to believe that the only way I could feel someone loved me was through physical gratification. Yes, sex. Physical love is fleeting! It took me many years to stop believing that love was only physical and that if I loved someone, they needed my body. For many years, I believed that if my spouse didn’t have sex with me, then he didn’t love me. Wrong! This way of thinking is so detrimental to a woman’s mental health. It has nearly destroyed me on many occasions.

CONFESSION: I used to meet random guys and have sex with them just so I could feel that I was loved for a moment. I cared about these guys but I didn’t truly love them. After the act was over, I would wrestle with the genuineness of my emotions and mental health. It never ceases to amaze me how that one act can alter the wiring in your brain when it is not done within the bound of marriage as God has ordained.

Several years ago, during my last marriage, I made a conscious decision to emulate Christ’s love for His people. I decided that I would learn how to love unconditionally. At that time, I often heard myself say, “I love you but…” and I didn’t like that. I didn’t want to put a price tag on my love for others. Honestly, I don’t think I could put a greater price on my love than the love God has for us. I would die before I gave up the life of a child. Yes, I would give up my life rather than see a child die. I’ve been pretty successful in voicing my unconditional love; I’m still working on demonstrating it. Work in progress, as usual. I’ll get there.

A more recent decision I’ve made is to not have sex again until marriage. I learned a long time ago that sex within the boundaries of a God-ordained marriage is way better than sex outside of marriage. Someone, please hit me in the head if I ever forget that! It won’t be easy, especially because I’m so used to having this in my life. However, it is a very accepted worldly trait. It won’t be easy. Sex is the physical act of love deemed wonderful and beautiful within the boundaries of marriage as God has commanded. Outside of marriage, sex is temporary and unfulfilling. I’m tired of being unfulfilled. So I will wait on God and His perfect timing for love. God’s love for me will last far beyond any feelings I would have here on earth.

“Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:2

Dear Heavenly Father,

I come before you to confess my desire for love in all forms. Please help me to understand how You love me, as You gave up Your Son for me to have a life in heaven with You. Please help me to be strong when temptation arises and not give in to the temporary love that is found on earth. Please continue to teach me how to demonstrate the beauty of Your love and the permanence of the fulfillment found in Your embrace. Allow me opportunities to show my love for others and a continuing obedience to You. You have commanded Your children to love one another and so I shall.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

What Is Love? Pt. 2

My boyfriend and I had the following conversation last night:

I’ve spent most of today thinking about what love means to me. I’ve come to believe love is circular in many ways. Think about it for a moment…

A wedding band is a never ending circle demonstrating the emotional bond between two people. Love is two hearts sharing a single beat. Does your heart skip a beat when you look at your significant other? Mine does. Perhaps it’s my heartbeat syncing with his as I fall in love.

Love can be symbolized in many ways. It is often seen in the form of a heart. When love, we’re supposed to love with all our heart, right? The symbolism of the heart equating to love began in the 15th century. It’s a great way to write love. Red roses also represent love.

For me, after much thought, love is more of a demonstration rather than the verbal or written word. My boyfriend shows me his love (maybe I shouldn’t use that word just yet in regards to him yet) by doing little things for me. He holds my hand when we walk through a store or at the movies. He holds me when I need to be held, without even saying a word. He came to see me this past weekend after the horrible week I had. I didn’t ask him to but he knew I needed to feel how much he genuinely cares for me.

He’s filled my gas tank on more than one occasion. That demonstrated so much of how he feels about me. Case in point – I drove nearly everywhere and my ex never once offered to pay for gas. Not even for the 45 minute one way drive to pick up his ex-stepdaughter. Sad.

Gifts from the heart are great for birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas but they don’t truly symbolize what love is. Material goods are not a replacement for real love.

Actions speak louder than words. The same goes for love. Anyone can say the words. They’re just words. Do they have meaning? Yes. When said at the right time and in the right context, those three little words have a powerful impact on its recipient.

Love is a very strong emotion. It is possible to love unconditionally. I mean more than just your child.

Love is the ability to give all of yourself, every fiber of your being to another person. It is the internal swelling of your heart when you look at him. It is in the way you kiss – kissing him like you miss him, even when he was simply in the next room. It’s resting your head on his shoulder and holding his hand while watching television.

It is communication. It is finding the words to lift each other up, especially during arguments. It is being supportive during hard times. It is finding the time to just be imperfect together. Nobody is perfect.

Love is a learning process.

It is the process of two hearts becoming one.

Marriage

As children, many girls fantasize about their wedding. I was not one of those girls.

My aunt and uncle celebrated their 31st anniversary today. It’s caused me to reflect on what marriage really means to me. Marriage is a committed relationship in which two people overcome challenges together, that are brought about from basic life.

Marriage isn’t something I really wanted growing up. Honestly, I want it even less as an adult. I’ve had three, tumultuous and painful marriages. The first two ended not by my choice, but the third one did. I know I hurt him pretty bad. I simply could not ignore my mental and emotional pain any longer. It wasn’t his fault. He wasn’t even why I chose to end it. He’s a good man and will always have a special place in my heart.

I just don’t think I could do another marriage. I am perfectly content being in a committed relationship, growing old with someone special, than having a piece of paper designed to tell the world that you belong to each other. It might not be ideal, but it’s where I’m at right now.

A fourth marriage terrifies the hell out of me.

I belong to God. I don’t belong to another man, whom by all standards, will fail in some aspects as he is human. God and His Son, Jesus, are the only two beings I know that are perfect.

Still, not something I wanted. Why did I get married in the first place? That’s easy.

I didn’t want to be alone.

At the same time, I had no clue what love was. I had a twisted sense of love that allowed me to victimize myself. Love in the real world wasn’t the same as the love you see displayed on TV or in movies. I believed in the idea of love. I wanted to be loved by someone other than my family. I wanted a tangible relationship with someone who would give me the Cinderella fairytale.

That’s not how marriage works. Work. That’s exactly what it takes to be married and committed for 31 years, or in the case of my grandparents, 66 years as of yesterday.

Do I want to get married again? Not any time in the distant future. I’m not settling for a man who cannot love me for me. I only want what God wants me to have as a husband. The man will have his work cut out for him, as he will have a bit to prove to me. Until then, I’m finding myself and contentment in flying solo.