It would appear that my life is completely unrecognizable from what it was a year ago.
So many things in my circumstances have improved, but the most noticeable changes are those that are going on in my heart.
1. I've stopped believing that my marriage could have been saved.
- I've realized through repeated trial and error that it was something beyond salvaging, nor would I have wished anything could have been different about the way I handled it. I gave him grace when it was undeserved, and even though it causes me some problems now, I'm still proud of what I did in spite of his vitriol at the time. It has taught me what it truly means to "turn the other cheek", and it humbles me even greater in the shadow of Christ's sacrifice.
2. I've fully realized my worth and the qualities I value.
- During years of emotional trauma in my marriage, I lost myself. I was so worried about trying to help my then husband that I forgot to take care of me. After three years of recovering from a devastating divorce, raising twins and a toddler alone and going to school to finish my degree, I can see how much I'm really capable of. I've learned that I have great qualities that can, at times, move mountains.
3. I've stopped being afraid of my ex.
- When he used to threaten me against doing something, or demanded that I never wear brown, I acquiesced. I thought that was what a true Christian wife was. However, I learned that a Christian husband respects his wife's leading by God first even before his influence over her. I've learned that God made us as partners, not dictators.
4. I've stopped being afraid of life "coming to get me".
- I have started to accept circumstantial change as natural and fluid. People will let us down. We'll lose sometimes. Things will break, get lost and cost us money that we at times don't have. God is the one who has true control over life, and even if I try to protect, fix, help or modify any of it, ultimately God's will is going to be done. I've learned that I simply need to put each footstep where God directs it and leave the rest to Him.
5. I've gained more faithful friends than I've ever had.
- My new-found self esteem has enabled me to be choosier with who I trust, and I've never been happier with the group of people I have chosen to surround me and share my triumphs and my sorrows. The test of a true friend is loyalty and faith, and they've all passed with flying colors on all too many occasions. I've learned that having negative, "fair weather" friends poisons my soul.
6. The right man will love you right where you are.
- I spent so much time trying to make myself outwardly beautiful enough for a new guy in my life, but God was working even more fervently on my inner beauty all along. It's that inner beauty that lasts beyond wrinkles and gray hair. Ultimately, the best guys I've dated have been attracted to my heart first, and my appearance second. I've learned that if you're dating, worry less about what your date looks like and more about what he acts like.
What are some of the most powerful lessons you've learned over this past year?