Thursday, February 11, 2010

My cardboard testimony

I don’t know if you have seen this YouTube video of a church here in Amarillo doing a cardboard testimony service.

If you haven’t you really should check it out.

I came across it on one of the many blogs that I follow. It was late one night after Eli was asleep and Chris was watching TV. He ended up turning off the TV and watching it with me. I was so moved for these people.

I started to try to think of my cardboard testimony. I have lived a pretty charmed life; no tragedy has turned my world upside down, I have never even seen drugs, let alone tried them. My parents were always able to provide my every need. I look around at what others are going through and my heart aches for them; nothing that I have experienced can even come close.

It may not seem like much, but my cardboard testimony would say:
Front: Let him treat me like dirt. I wasn’t good enough anyway.
Back: God showed me that I was good enough. Don’t settle.

I have a passion for young adults between the ages of 16 and 25. I choose this age group because I believe that the choices that one makes during these years molds and shapes them into the person she/he becomes later in life. These are pretty important years. These are the years we start driving, date more and become more serious in our dating relationships, try alcohol, pick a college and leave behind our parents, get married….the list goes on and on. Every single decision that we make may not seem to have huge implications, but it can.

I was in a relationship lasting longer than 3 ½ years before I met my now husband. We were young and immature; we started dating while we were both in high school and dated through college. I thought I was going to marry this guy, I am certain that he thought he was going to marry me; our family and friends knew it.

He told me he was ashamed of me…that I wasn’t pretty enough. He would never take me to meet his friends. We fought, we made up, we fought. Everything, for me, went back to the issue that I knew that he felt like I wasn’t good enough, that he was ashamed. I thought that I needed to change me, so I did. I lost weight and magically, it was like he loved me more. Those feelings didn’t last long though. I was so shaken to the core about my worth to him that I tried everything to make him happy. It never seemed to work. One time, we were driving and he slammed on his brakes to look at another girl walking…and I was sitting right beside him.

Finally, I had enough. In one of our fights I took everything that was mine that he had and left. I totally thought that we would get back together. Then, just a few weeks later I met Chris. I always joke that God knew I couldn’t make it every long without this other guy, and Chris was my distraction.

Chris treated me with such respect and kindness, I was totally blown away. Through him, God showed me that I deserved so much better than with my former boyfriend. Eventually, Chris and I got married. I can tell you that he is still so wonderful to me. We have dealt with many issues stemming back to my feelings of not being good enough, or that he should be ashamed of me. He has never given me a reason to feel disrespected or not loved. I have never caught his eye wandering…and I have tried to catch him! We joke that I check more women out than he does.

Now, I am not saying that your significant other doesn’t love you if they look at other people. For Chris, it stems from being hurt in the past by a girlfriend cheating on him. He has told me from the beginning that he will not stand for cheating, and that he would never do it. I believe him. Today, you can still see the scars that event has left on him.

Going back to my former boyfriend, he is married know, and from what I know is a wonderful husband to his wife. I am so happy for them. I know that the relationship that we had helped us both to grow and mature. I still talk to his wonderful family. I thank him for helping make me who I am today, he changed me and brought me to a place that I don’t know if I would be otherwise. I really think that he is a good guy who just needed to grow up a little…so did I.

The lesson is not to settle. Know that God has someone perfect for you! Don’t rush into love with your eyes shut. See the warning signs; listen to your family and friends. Did you know that the average “falling in love” feeling last for two years? After that time is when we start to see our significant other without blinders.

So many young women tell me that there just aren’t any good guys left. That isn’t true. I felt the same way. Be patient and let God amaze you. He did me.


Emily said...

Hey dear! Thanks for the encouragement!! :o) I do feel like all the good ones are gone sometimes when I look around, but you're right. God will bring the right one at the right time. :o) Thanks for blessing me with your story!! Love you and miss you!