“Miracles were just second chances if you really thought about it–second chances when all hope was lost.” – Kaya McLaren How I Came to Sparkle Again
Oh my gosh! I just went out on a date, and I had a really really good time! I lay in my bed and I think I should be totally excited. I mean, it’s been a VERY long time since I had a date. Come to think of it, I never really had a date after I got divorced. A lot of people tried to make me go thinking it would help me get over my situation. And, yes, I did get asked out every now and then. But, no one seemed interesting enough to compete with my precious time with my kiddos. Plus, I needed that God-given time to heal from the divorce. But, now it feels a little different. This guy is different. And, he asked me out AGAIN! What is this going to be like? What if he is a freak like a stalker or a weirdo? What if he lies to me like my ex-husband?? What if I’m a mess, and I’ve forgotten how to trust someone?? The night that ended in such promise just became a ball of nerves that has decided to settle in my stomach.
I stare at the ceiling as my mind races; I begin to pray to Jesus. I really just want His blessing. It’s taken me years…. I’m not exaggerating…YEARS to work through the issues of my divorce. I have forgiven my ex-husband a long time ago, but what if the effects of what he did bleed into my new relationships? I literally try to think of every scenario that could happen, and try to think of how to handle it. It’s not just me here; I have my kids to think of. And, I just don’t think I could lead them down a path that could end up in their little hearts being broken….again. And, this time, it would be all on my shoulders. Is any of this even worth it? I totally spill my guts to Jesus. I’m just a big ole mess at this point. I’m speaking a mile a minute, and then, almost like He’s had enough, He decides to interrupt me. I just have this overwhelming feeling like He’s telling me, “Shannon, it’s ok.” And, that’s all I needed to hear.
So, I took it step by step…day by day. I had to be really intentional about not putting my ex-husbands sins on this new guy. If an issue came up that would cause me to feel unsettled, I would bring it to my new guys attention and we would talk about it. For example, the cell phone was a major problem with my ex-husband. He would talk to people on it he shouldn’t and hide it from me. But, then tell me that I was crazy for not trusting him. When I communicated this to my new guy, he was a complete open book. He wasn’t mad or frustrated. He was very understanding. He said he didn’t want to have any secrets between us. What is mine is yours and you can see it whenever you like. So, because of that, I never felt the need to be looking over his shoulder because his actions were so transparent. It was like a whole new experience. It was like it was supposed to be. It’s amazing what the healing power of forgiveness and the Lord can do in a person. All that baggage can be lifted and washed away. All of the feelings that I thought I would have I really didn’t. The Lord was right, it was ok. Well, needless to say, one date led to another, and then to another. Yes, this wonderful honest man full of integrity decided to ask for all of my chaos to be his, and I was more than happy to share it.
My new husband had never been married before, and he didn’t have any children. Boy oh boy! Was he in for it!! For some reason he kept saying how tired he was…. funny! Welcome to my world!! However, we actually blended pretty well. There were a few bumps here and there, but nothing crazy huge…another answer to prayer.
One night, my husband had back-to-back softball games. He was in a church league, and sometimes we would go and watch. But, tonight was a school night, and the second game was going to go pretty late so I decided not to watch and get the kids to bed on time. After I got the kids settled and I started to get nestled in myself, I hear my 6-year-olds little feet plopping down the stairs. He has a look of real concern on his face. Worry is a terrible look for a 6-year-old. He sits down next to me on the couch and actually puts his little hand on my leg and says something that totally boggles my mind. He says, “Mom, do you really think that dad is playing a softball game at night? Most softball games are during the day. It just doesn’t make sense, does it?” Oh my heart just broke for him. Of course, I felt like I was going to have trust issues because of what we went through, but it never crossed my teeny brain that my children would have trust issues, too! What was I thinking?? Goodness!
I took his chubby little hand, put him in the car and drove him to the softball field so he could see his new daddy playing exactly where he said he would be. I’ll never forget Eddie’s face show such relief that he had not been tricked. He was not going to be fooled again. He was told the truth. That boy has never doubted his dad again. He was never given a reason to.
The effects of deceit can run so deep. Especially when we have been lied to by the ones we trust the most. It’s a pain that penetrates our souls. And, of course we don’t want it to happen again. We don’t want to be fooled and feel like an idiot again, so we put up this shield to keep people far enough away so it won’t hurt so badly. But, that’s no way to live. It prevents us from being close with anyone. We are meant to learn from our past, not be defined by it. It’s okay to take a second chance at things.Trust your gut. If you think someone is not being forthcoming, confront it. The Lord gives us discernment for a reason. Don’t be afraid to forgive and more towards your future.
Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. – Psalms 30:2-4