I married my high school sweet heart at the age of 19. We had already had a child together two years prior to getting married. Like any other relationship we had good and bad times, but looking back I can see that our relationship was never healthy. I realize now that sometimes things that momentarily feel good may not actually be good for you. We were confused regarding what was needed for a healthy relationship. We confused love with lust, protection with jealousy, strength with violence, submission with respect, stubbornness with perseverance, and truth with hurtful words and actions. Sadly, as a result of our lack of understanding, our relationship was marked by neglect, manipulation, abuse, avoidance, and addiction. We were two very broken people who were unable to see that our relationship was very sick, and because we did not recognize it was sick we were not able to seek out the help we needed to become healthy. As a result our relationship died. We ended up divorced after 28 years of struggling in a toxic, life draining marriage.
However that is not the end of my story! In fact that was the beginning for all the truth that I now know regarding relationships to take root in my heart and life. As a result of the death of my marriage I learned to place a high priority on relational health. Those dark times of isolation and loneliness produced an abundance of wisdom and personal growth. Thanks to those times I have been able to discover who I am as an individual. I have reclaimed my voice and learned the value of being honest with others regarding my thoughts, feelings, actions, likes and dislikes, even when it is difficult or uncomfortable. I have been able to establish boundaries, overcome fears, regain confidence, and speak truth. I learned intimately the the pain of sin and the healing of grace, forgiveness, and love. I am no longer a slave to the bondage of self hate or the approval of others. Through my trials I have been able to develop some very strong, honest, deep friendships. I am not afraid to live life alone as a single person, nor am I afraid to be committed in a healthy marriage. Above all else I have learned to find my identity, my hope and my security in Jesus Christ.
I have started this ministry as a way for women to evaluate their relationships, to empower them to create changes that will move them toward health in their relationships, and to encourage them with the hope that things can be better than they were before. It is my hope that my words will be a light on your journey that allows you to recognize and heal from wounds in your past that hinder you and assist you in your pursuit of health in your current and future relationships.
Learning to love well and be well loved,
“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Hebrews 11:1 NIV
Photo credit : Brent Guinan-Mullineaux
Brent is a freelance photographer who resides in Endicott, New York and specializes in photos of nature and candid photos of people.