The beginning and the end of everything.
As women, and even men, we oftentimes find ourselves in relationships where we allow things that we shouldn't that are completely counter-intuitive. It doesn't happen in WHAM-BAM moments, its a million little compromises that, before we know it, become a life we NEVER thought we would be in.
We allow people to control us. We allow people to belittle us. We allow people to call us outside of our name. We find ourselves in marriages where we are treated more like property than a partner, and our children watch this. They hear it. Where they then filter "love" through this behavior and later in life, find themselves in the exact same type of relationship.
We allow ourselves to enter into friendships that are unbalanced and unhealthy. We find ourselves saying yes to things we never would, and not saying no to things that every part of us is SCREAMING "NO" on the inside. We compromise in ways we never imagined we could and don't even understand why. Sometimes we see it and sometimes we don't.
Or often times by the time we see it are so far in over our heads that the thought of swimming against the current to get back to land seems impossible. We think it would be easier to remain alone on an island in this relationship/friendship than the struggle it would be to get back to "normal". So why? Why is this not unusual? Why do we end up in these places in our lives? Why are we willing to allow others to chip away little by little at who we are until there's almost nothing left? Why do we allow other people to define us?
The simple and the complicated answer- because of who we believe we are and who we believe God is. It says in Genesis that God looked at all that he had created- including humanity- and "it was very good." God was pleased at what He had created. He created us in His own image, filled with every good thing. Even after Adam and Eve did what they did, He still covered them up, showing them that He still loved them and that there was still hope. He still allowed Adam to give Eve the name Eve which means "giver of life." We are innately good, with the best of intentions, but through life and trauma (tactics by the devil) we start to lose sight of that. Of who we were created to be. Then we either become the oppressor, the oppressed, or a little of both. We don't know the Lord, so why would we trust Him much less believe that He says that we are good, holy, worthy, redeemed, created with a purpose, fashioned for good things. Some dictator in the sky who judges us and condemns us from His throne, says we are good? Yeah, okay! I get it- I have been there, really I have. I have viewed God that way. I have been in unhealthy and unbalanced relationships that I am still trying to heal from. However, the closer I get to Him, through learning about Him in His word, through prayer, through being still before Him, and just allowing His presence to heal those broken places, and especially through a community of people who know and love me, but more importantly know and love HIM, the more I start to see and believe who HE says I am. The less I sell myself short in relationships with other people. My prayer for you is that you would get to this place too. That you would know to your core that you are loved, needed, wanted, good, redeemed, and have a purpose. You NEED to know who you are and who He is so that you can walk in your purpose and help others. Knowing who I am because of HIM, has also allowed me to see other broken people, like the ones who have hurt me, through His eyes. This has given me perspective that has enabled me to forgive them and to pray for them completely removed from bitterness, anger, and resentment.
It has and continues to bring more freedom than I could have ever imagined. It has allowed me to get off that island and swim against the current back to land with the sun shine on my face and wind at my back. I wont lie and say it is a problem solved. The enemy still tries to creep in through words of others, things I read, or things I hear said about me from those past relationships.
I have to immediately forgive and remind myself of the fact that I am who HE says I am. It will be a forever relationship with the Lord that will keep me grounded. Requiring maintenance and attention just like any other healthy relationship. Building and maintaining trust. So that I can know, that I know, that I know- I AM who HE says I am & in that truth, is the beginning and end of everything.