Today we have a very special happening on the blog. I have been very excited as this has been in the works for a little while now 🙂 It is my very first guest post from an incredibly sweet woman, Mary. Mary is actually the one who inspired me to get back into blogging so I thought it was only right to have her be my first (of hopefully many) guest posters. Let’s all give her a big warm welcome and take it away Mary!!
I have been a Christian since I was 7 years old. There was an invitation in Vacation Bible School to accept Jesus as your Savior and I did. Growing up in a Christian household and attending church since birth has allowed me to become immersed in the Word for my entire life. At the age of 13 I was baptized and recommitted my life to being a follower of God. I went to Sunday School, Wednesday night service and youth group every week. I attended camps, retreats, and conferences. I was in small groups, Bible studies and participated in local mission work. The Word of God was constantly being poured into me in every single stage of my life. However, despite my upbringing, I still managed to fail and to stray away from my beliefs. I fell in ways I never would have anticipated, spiritually, emotionally and physically. I compromised my values that were instilled in me since a young age and I became lost, distant, and far from God.
When I was 16 years old I decided that it was time for me to date. Yes, that’s right, I decided. My parents never really had rules (at least that I was aware of) about when I was or wasn’t allowed to start dating, and at this very wise and mature age I felt I was ready. I guess most of these feelings were the result of falling for “that boy who plays drums.” He was the guy every girl wanted. He looked at me in a way that my young, innocent and girlish ways couldn’t resist. I fell for him hard and fast. He treated me like a queen, spoiling me with presents and dates weekly. Blowing off his friends to spend time with me, in which I followed suit. Calling me at night and talking for hours after spending a whole day together. Telling me that he has fallen in love with me in which I responded that yes, I had fallen in love with him too. He wasn’t a Christian, but I was convinced that that wouldn’t affect me, that I would be a good influence on him and change him for the better. Ever heard of missionary dating? It was my mission to get him saved. To make him into the boy that I wanted him to be. However, it didn’t work. Instead, he turned me into the girl he wanted me to be. Throughout those two years I lost friends, fell far away from God and made him my number one priority. I chose everything over him, including my morals and beliefs. Consequently, I ended up giving him pieces of my heart that weren’t his to have and in the end was left broken, feeling inadequate, unsalvageable, and anything but loved.
Looking back, I still have mixed feelings about this relationship. I am a full believer in God working through every situation of my life for a reason and a purpose. I still don’t know, and am sure I never will, the reason that God placed this particular boy in my life. Maybe I did have an impact on him and wasn’t aware of it? Maybe God needed to break me in some of the most fragile ways in order for me to turn back to him. Maybe there was no other reason but to be able to look back on a time in my life when I was away from Him in order to recognize how lost I am without him. Despite all the bad, I can see many positive things that came out of this season of my life. Things that have made me who I am today. Lessons that I learned and took into my next relationships. Memories of my teenage years that will forever remain with me. Yet, I still regret the relationship. It lead me to fall, to abandon God, my faith and everything that my life had been so firmly built upon. Not only did I fail my Heavenly Father but I also failed my parents and my friends, leading to even more brokenness and hurt.
My failure and inadequacy didn’t end with this season. It’s still occurring each and every day. I will constantly fail promises that I make to myself, to others around me, to my Savior. I will never be without sin in my life and sometimes that is a hard concept to swallow. It is exhausting to fail over and over again. To try my best just to come up short. Yet I know that in all things, God is with me. There are seasons in our lives where we may fall away from God, abandon him and everything we have held onto, yet he is still faithful. Always with us, never leaving or forsaking us. I didn’t deserve his love for me during that time and I will forever be undeserving of his love. However, I will still praise his name. No matter what heartache and brokenness I may face in the future, his unconditional, unwavering and endless love will always prove to be enough.
Thanks so much Mary for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this for me and my readers! Congrats to you and Jed again on your engagement!