I had made it to the other side, the side where the grass truly was greener after the end of a toxic relationship, although I feel quite certain that a baron, stinking wasteland would have produced more life than the parasitic relationship I had escaped. However, from where I stood, I was free and unburdened. I was planted upon plush, green blades of the softest grass and gazing upon a blossoming future of wildflowers.
How did I end up needing to get out of a terrible relationship in the first place? Well, to offer some background, I was always the quiet, good girl. I made good grades, loved everyone I met, prided myself on being responsible, and only made a handful bad choices throughout my childhood and teen years, with minor consequences — nothing life altering. I immediately signed up for full-time college hours after high school and had only one year left of being a teenager. I was breezing through life and my future looked bright. That is, until I very suddenly and accidentally on purpose plunged into Crazyland and into a relationship that would forever change my life. I was a walking oxymoron — my life made no sense whatsoever. I was a “good” girl; I loved God; I was responsible, with dreams galore, yet I had become a much older man’s cook, maid, personal assistant, and worst of all allowed him to use my body for his selfish gratification at any request. Did I want to be living this life? Not at all, but I couldn’t figure out how I had ended up there in the first place, or more, how to get out of the convoluted mess and back to the “easy” life I was living before. Within a mere three months of living this wilder life, I found myself pregnant. And after another three months of living in Make-believeland, where all would turn out dreamy, he would change, and we’d live happily ever after, I found out this man had an appalling past that required him to register as a sex offender. Needless (or not) to say, I cut all communication upon this discovery, but the breaking of my heart for the person I wanted him to be or turn into continued for months, as did the growing of my impregnated belly. Eventually, my mother and I moved into a beautiful home farther away from that man, I had my beautiful daughter, and I was invited to an empowering, life-giving church that was walking me through healing, and encouraging a future far better than I could have ever dreamt, even in my life before my giant lapse of judgement. Healing or not, though, I had no intention of ever dating, getting married, or having another baby with anyone ever again. It was me and my Jesus. He was my first, true love and He was all I’d ever need.
So, there I was — standing in my kitchen at seven o’clock in the morning, groggy eyed, waiting for my shot of espresso to brew for my usual morning latte, thirty minutes before my baby woke up (yes, she was that predictable). Life was peaceful, I was healing, and this was life on the greener side. When suddenly, a stranger’s thought swept across my mind.
I can’t wait to have another baby with my future husband someday.
Excuse me, I corrected myself. This thought was like stepping barefoot on a lego, an adrenaline rush at its finest. I wanted nothing to do with getting married or having another baby. Ever. In fact, the day before I had joked with a friend about how far fetched this desire was from my mind, when she implied that parenting would be easier and so different when I was doing it with my other half and future babies. I was married to Jesus and nothing was going to change that, because He was the only one who would love me like I deserved. But for some strange reason when I repeated the thought to myself again I felt a familiar peace rain down, encompassing my entire body, from the inside out. Jesus was telling me this. He was telling me I could not wait to have a baby with my future husband someday. The peace was familiar because on a day, long ago, I once dreamed of being married to a totally hot man and raising beautiful little babies with him. Jesus was restoring this dream. Right there in my kitchen, before I had even had my coffee (I’m a fiend), He rocked my entire world and restored what was probably the most intense desire of my entire life and heart; He restored a desire I had suppressed and cancelled out because of my past hurt, bitterness, and the idea that I would never find someone who would love me after all of that mess, with a baby. I was certain my dreams had been cut short because I got pregnant as a teenager and I was a young, single mom.
That revelation in the kitchen was two years ago this month. And only two months after that I began dating my husband, Kyle. He instantly loved me — and my baby. He instantly showed me more respect and honor than any man ever had in my entire life. This man who after walking me to my car after church one evening, stood there and said if I chose to never tell him about my past, about how my daughter came to be, he would still love me, because he loved who I was, who she was, and the past is where all of that could stay, if I so chose. I knew this man was the real deal, because I had put aside that time with just Jesus. I learned who Jesus was and allowed Him to show me who I was magnificently created to be — a daughter of The King; The King who wanted the best for His daughter. I pursued Jesus and abandoned control of my heart to Him, so I could feel romance in its truest, deepest, most breathtaking form, from the man who loved me so much that He died for me. I learned how strongly, passionately, and respectfully I should be pursued by a man on this earth, so if any counterfeit approached again I could call his bluff from a mile away. I knew when Kyle respected me and wholeheartedly loved me regardless of my messy past, like Jesus had, he was “the one,” not to mention he is totally hot. We have been married for a year and almost four months, he adopted my beautiful first daughter, and we’ve since had a second precious daughter. The man is surrounded by girls and he LOVES it! I am now living the dream God’s whisper restored to me in my kitchen that morning, and this dream leaves me speechless and takes my breath away every single day.
This same God, who restored this dream of mine and so many more, says this to you, as well:
I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (MSG)
Is there something you have sworn off — men (a husband), future children, or something else that was once a dream in your heart? There is a God who longs to pursue you with beautiful, reckless abandon. He longs to rock your world with the restoration of all your dreams and even more. Maybe you need to ask Him to show you how to be pursued, to remind you of your value and worth. Maybe you need to allow Him to be the only man in your life for a while, so you can spot a fraud when you meet one, or even just spend some time asking Him to recall and restore dreams you threw out a long time ago. He is eagerly waiting for you to ask Him. Call on Him and allow Him room to show off His BIG LOVE for your big dreams today.
Written by Jackie Fox