Batteries Not Included - Lessons Learned from Romantic Relationships

Foster Care & Family

I am by far no expert when it comes to romantic relationships. I’ve probably caused more headaches and heartaches in this department than the ordinary woman.

I was reminded of this today at my annual check-up at the doctor’s office. I had to complete a New Patient form because my husband and I have recently moved back to the same area we lived in two years ago. As I checked off the married status I chuckled to myself thinking of how, at one time or another, I could have checked off just about EVERY STATUS on the form.

Married?  Check
Separated?  Check
Divorced?  Check
Single?  Check
Other?  Check
Hopeless?  Check
Doubtful you will EVER COMMIT AGAIN? Check
Sarcastic?  Check.  Check.  CHECK!

(Sigh)  Let’s just say I was a little dense in the “Oh, batteries NOT included?” department also known as Romantic Relationships. However, through my haphazard so-called romantic roller coaster ride of turbulent highs and lows, perhaps some of my experiences may be of value to even just one of my female readers. I mean, that’s what I do here.
I share real stories. Real experiences. Real ideas. And real lessons.

Ok, let’s shift gears for a moment to see if you can relate to any of these scenarios:

* You are SINGLE…perhaps waiting for your husband.

You are OK with this, choosing to live an EXTRAordinary life single.

OR

Your life feels incomplete.

* You are widowed or divorced.

You are mourning, seeking answers, and/or suffering with an overwhelming heaviness on your heart.

OR

Time has passed, you have mourned, you are ready and willing to move forward to a new phase that God has planned for you.

* You are married, yet disappointed in your marriage thinking “IF ONLY…”

If only HE…was more romantic, less obnoxious, loved me more, didn’t try to control me so much, never made that detrimental mistake, could be more intimate with me, could know God, make more money, take better care of me… (fill in the blank)

OR

If only WE…had a baby, a new house, a better financial situation, better health, better in-laws… (fill in the blank)

* You are in an exclusive dating relationship with the man God chose for you.

You have confidence that you are moving forward according to God’s plan.

OR

You have little to no regard in God’s role in your relationship.

* You are in a relationship not knowing if this is the man that God has chosen for you.

* You are in a joyful and/or hopeful marriage.

This means that regardless of the past, or even current issues, your weaknesses, your husband’s weaknesses, unfortunate circumstances, YOU are choosing an EXTRAordinary Marriage Relationship. Perhaps you stand by Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is confidence in what we HOPE for and assurance about what we do NOT see.”

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Well, excluding the status of widow (which by the way, my heart goes out to women in this category more than the other scenarios), I have experienced every other SCENARIO throughout my adult years of life. This still does not qualify me as an expert. But, please allow me to share my humble experiences in romantic relationships and some feelings that you and I may have in common…

I know how it feels to long for your Prince Charming for YEARS and YEARS while having the heartbreaking pleasure of watching everyone around you finding joy and happiness in their picture perfect romance while feeling the sting of loneliness and “WHY NOT ME” syndrome.

I know how it feels to experience the loss of identity, the feelings of being completely thrown off kilter, rejected, abandoned, frustrated, afraid, sad, bitter, CONF– USED, resentful, regretful; all as the result of the nagging “WHY DIDN’T I…WHY COULDN’T I…WHY WOULDN’T I” thoughts.

I know how it feels to completely lose control as a result of out-of-control circumstances…”IF ONLY I was healthy…we had a baby…I didn’t mess up…he didn’t mess up…our circumstances were different…” etc.

I know how it feels to be in a relationship that God did not intend for me. And this is the absolute most awful out of all of my experiences on this topic. My heart goes out to any woman that is in a toxic relationship or with someone that is not God’s BEST for her.

And I know how it feels to build up such a hard wall of rigidity and self-absorption (as a defense mechanism after being hurt) that even after by God’s grace, I met the love of my life. I was too unyielding, too stubborn, and too firmly set in MY OWN WAY.

I can probably write a best-selling novel based on my ups and downs in romantic relationships and how I wrestled with commitment, fear, intimacy, and vulnerability, even AFTER God graciously provided me a second chance at marriage.

Through it all, God has been loving me through EVERY RELATIONSHIP STATUS I EXPERIENCED. He loved me single and he loves me married. He forgave me for my divorce and he graciously gave me my husband, Scott.

God is faithful. He has the perfect plan for you. He loves you MORE than any person can (including the so-called Prince Charming out there). And if you’ll have faith in His promises, YOU CAN & WILL EXPERIENCE AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE REGARDLESS OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP STATUS.

Remember, God can make all things NEW!  “If anyone is in Christ, the NEW creation has come. The OLD has gone, the NEW is here!” 2 Corinthians 5 vs. 17.  He did this for me, and He can do this for you.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. This verse is the scriptural foundation of LE Woman. I highly recommend you write this one down and bring it with you, everywhere you go.

So, what is your current status? Are you still looking for batteries not included?  Are you living out your life in an extraordinary way in spite of being single, dating, happily married, separated, widowed, divorced, unhappily married? Are you trusting God in his plan for your future?

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P.S. The following list of references includes EXTRAordinary books from EXTRAordinary authors (my personal favorites).  These are also my top recommendations for women: single, married, dealing with heartbreak, and/or struggling during/after a marriage.  I pray that you may find at least one that may bless you, as they have all blessed me!

Wild at Heart by John Eldredge – This book was written in order to unveil the secrets of a man’s heart and soul.  While this should be a MUST read for any man entering adulthood, women have benefited from Eldridge’s poignant message with awe-inspiring accounts from popular movies, legends, and tales, united with insightful truths in accordance to Scripture.

Captivating by John & Staci Eldredge – Designated for women, the message is that in spite of women’s circumstances there are desires in her heart that God placed there, and more importantly, HE wants to be the one to help you unveil these desires (that perhaps are buried from past experiences) and be the hero that can truly help set you free.  (Be prepared for this book to sweep you off your feet!)

The King’s Daughter by Diana Hagee – This 12 week interactive guide helps female readers identify themselves as royal heirs to God.  Hagee confronts common issues women face today from poor self-esteem to hopelessness and broken dreams and relationships.  This book challenges readers to acknowledge their worth, purpose, and calling as a divine daughter of a King.

The Bible – Here you will find dozens of success stories pertaining to female characters (such as Bathsheba, Ruth, Rahab, Tamar, Mary, etc.) that endured oppression, brokenness, infertility, widowhood, adultery, prostitution, you name it.  See for yourself how God restores these women, their lives, and their relationships.

Becoming the Woman God Wants You to Be by Donna Partow – In accordance to the ever-so-popular (but rarely embarked upon) description of “The Wife of Noble Character” set forth in Proverbs 31, this 90-day awe-inspiring yet powerful challenge will help female readers transform from the ordinary woman to a woman living truly extraordinary. Prepare yourself for an improvement in self-image, lifestyle, and relationships.

The Power of the Praying Wife by Stormie O’Martian – This book is a great wedding gift for any bride.  I would recommend this book to be kept as a reference, as it is full of scripted prayers to help wives lift up their husbands in prayer in just about any area of their lives.

Managing Your Emotions by Joyce Meyer – For women that are passionate and wrestle with emotions (or lack thereof) in a balanced manner, Joyce Meyer takes the reader on an insightful journey to help recognize emotional instabilities and call upon scriptural promises to help manage emotions and channel them in a way that may benefit God’s purpose.

 

 

 

 

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