Honor what is…
“So, tell me your story.” Five little words were spoken and panic stung my heart. My mind was racing. Should I be honest about everything? Should I sugarcoat the bad decisions I’ve made? What if he decides I’m not good enough? How I responded to those five little words could alter the course of my life. I did not want to make a mistake.
After much deliberation back and forth in my head, I felt a nudge to be honest. Looking back now, I am confident this nudge came from the Holy Spirit. How do I know that? It was the exact opposite of what I actually wanted to do. I am forever grateful I listened. There is something sweet about beginning a relationship with honesty. I learned the valuable lesson of living authentically that night.
Unsure of where to start, I decided to begin at the beginning. I walked him through being an only child and only grandchild. I explained how the relationships I developed with my family were strong and dependable. I told him how I came to know Jesus during a Vacation Bible School when I was seven years old. I confessed mistakes I made in high school, seeking my worth in things other than Christ. Then, I stopped.
I made mistakes in high school, but college was different. “College Casey” was someone I am not proud of, someone I do not wish to be again. Feeling that nudge all over again, I swallowed my pride. I let my guard down. I became vulnerable for the first time to someone I really cared about. Fearful of the reaction, I started the “College Casey” story. It is a story of brokenness, of darkness, of sadness. Most of all, it is a story of grace, patience, and protection.
Through my eyes, I was worthless. I was not deserving of someone’s love. I was scared and exposed, vulnerable and terrified. But through the eyes of my future groom, this, he did not see. He saw something different.
He did not see broken and worthless. He did not see a woman undeserving of love. He did not see the darkness I felt controlled my destiny. What he saw brings tears to my eyes even to this day. He saw how God exposed my darkness, allowing me to walk in the light. Light overcomes darkness, right? He saw me for who I was in Christ.
On our wedding day, vowing to love and cherish one another as Christ does for the rest of our lives, I saw the same look he gave me in the gazebo just one year earlier. A look of redemption and restoration. The way he looked at me showed me a glimpse of the way I believe my Father looks at me. His exact words to me were some I still cling to today: “I see you for who you are now in Christ, not who you used to be.”
My marriage would not be the marriage it is today had I lied and hid my deepest, darkest secrets that night. Embrace truth. Embrace honesty. Embrace grace. Honor those God places in your life. Being real is better than being fake, even if it does not feel that way in the moment.
Honor what is because authenticity and integrity are essential to healthy relationships.
Questions to Ponder:
- Are the relationships you are cultivating based on honesty?
- What keeps you from being authentic to those you care about?
- What is your restoration story?
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