I have always struggled with "being too nice" and giving into other people. I have a wonderful, loving father who set the perfect example of the type of man I should look for. Unfortunately, I was young and naive and didn't think the bad decisions I made in my dating life would affect me forever. I was the typical girl who always wanted to "fix" a broken guy, who had so much potential, he just needed the right woman to help inspire him to reach it. Ladies, I am here to tell you now, you can't fix a man. God can. You can't. If you are able to, it'll take everything you have to accomplish it. You will be empty by the time it is over-and it isn't worth it. With the exception of one, none of the guys I dated were good for me, and instead of bringing them up, they brought me down. I think subconsciously, for the longest time, I felt like I had to take the mistreatment, because I was taught to love others. It's all over the bible-love your enemies, love your neighbors, love, love, love; but the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all of your heart, with all of mind, and with all of your soul. If the "love" you show others causes you or them to live in sin, it's not love. If you are enabling them to hurt themselves, it's not love. Tough love is still love, and it is completely acceptable. Love without truth is dead. It's a matter of knowing what TRUE love is.
I didn't think of it that way. I just wanted to do anything and everything I could to make that person happy. I tried to earn love when it should have just been given. That is not the way it is supposed to be. After doing things wrong from my first "real" relationship, it became a pattern. One that was hard to break. Add different types of abuse to that, and I was essentially brainwashed into believing I had to do these things to be happy and to keep someone. Oh, how stupid I was.
The thing is, deep down, I knew better. But I didn't know how to break that pattern of thinking. Fast forward, and I finally understand how to be happy without a man. I finally understand a man like my dad or my brother or all of the men in my family really, is worth the wait. And if I don't find one that fits that standard, then I'm better off alone. The most recent relationship I was involved in had a lot of potential-but it was never reached, so it was also very harmful. I lived in sin with this guy for years. I also did a lot of other stupid things. I was at a bar almost every night; I wasted so much precious time. I wanted to run back to God, but I didn't feel like I could.
One weekend I went to this thing called Tres Dias. BEST three days of my life. You can't really talk about it. That made me very hesitant to go-in my mind I was like, you can't talk about it? Sounds cultish. I was so very wrong; you don't talk about it, because you don't want to ruin the experience for others. Essentially it's 3 days for you and God. You just bond with Him. You are loved on and served by others. It's so incredible. Truly. After that, I was flourishing. I had started a bible study, and I was right on track! However, I also struggled with "earning" love from God and "earning" salvation. Jesus already did the work, we just have to accept that. He wants to be the one to fix us-but I wanted to try to be perfect FOR Him, instead of allow Him to do it for me (because lets face it, we can't do it on our own; He is a must). I got too confident in myself. I didn't realize it though. I thought I was doing so well. Then bam, the next thing I know, I'm pregnant.
I share all of that as a starting point for those who may be where I was when I was a teenager, it's not too late to get it together before you have to really learn the hard way. I say that for those who have already done so much you think it can't be forgiven; God can turn it around. Everyone's story is different-but we all have one thing in common. We are all human. There is nothing that God can't handle. Give it to Him-he will get you through.
Stick around. There is so much more to come!