Relationship with your husband (or boyfriend). For those if you who DO have a significant other, you know this is one of the BEST and hardest relationships in your life - simply because God gave you this person not to save you or fix you, but to mirror you, to walk with you and be there for you every step of the way. That's some pretty intense stuff - so intense that sometimes it's hard to take a step back and realize how amazing it is, and I'm not talking all roses and romance. I'm talking about how this person sees your every beauty, imperfection, and broken crevice at the depths of your soul and still loves you. I'm talking about when it gets tough and you see each other hurt, grow, struggle, and you still LOVE. If that's not the love of God I don't know what is. I learn every day from my husband how much God loves me and is rooting for me. Marriage is tough, especially for this girl who was terrified for so long because all I saw was a broken one, but it is BEAUTIFUL and I am SO glad God chose me to walk the journey cause it isn't easy! But it's worth it.
Relationship with kids. In my case, this is step kids. Whether your kids are your own, your spouse's or their adopted, relationships with kids are an absolute GIFT. In my case, they are teenagers now. We met when they were in elementary school, and now they are all budding into awesome young adults. Every day I get more excited to see them grow into their own. I'm not painting some picture of how perfect family life is, or how being a stepmom is all glamorous. Of course it's not. But it's also not what you see in movies like Parent Trap. It's just real, and raw, and tough, and beautiful. I can't explain the love you can have for stepchildren, but it's special. I learn more from them every day. I cherish the little moments like any blood parent out there. I just have a different perspective on the love but there is no doubt it is absolute LOVE.
Does it seem like it would be harder to love stepchildren? Of course. I haven't had my own yet, but I'm sure glad I've gotten to love them first! I really am grateful that God didn't just give me a husband. He gave me triple that love. Were were scared to blend? I mean, duh. Was it tough for the kids for us to get married? Of course! But the beauty is that it's a journey, a beautiful, messy one, and I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way. I will take giving a ride to practice or making dinner any day.
Relationship with friends. I always refer to the phrase, "People are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime." I would absolutely Not be where I am without my friends. The ones I have today aren't about quantity, they are about quality. They are there for me in the thick of it. They get on the phone with me or sit across the table from me and we get to the root. We share our struggles back and forth. Sometimes one of us needs to get out more than the other. But it doesn't matter, because we're there for each other. Period. Of course over the course of life, friends come and go. We grow our families. We move. Our priorities change. Some you talk to once a year and it's like you never stopped. Others, it's not so much there. You miss that friendship. But you are grateful for that friendship, because at one point in your life - it was there for a reason and a season. The important thing is that you have them. Whoever they are in your life at this moment, they are there for a reason. Cherish them, and if you don't feel like you have real ones? Then reach out and find the ones who "get" your struggle cause you'll will be amazed at how much strength you'll get.
Finally, relationship with family. This one has been a big focus in my life recently. The past few years, has been a season of sowing and reaping in the home. We've been planting seeds, and my family life here in South Bend has been my focus. We've been through hell and we're beginning to see the light. I'm beginning to see how much God has brought us through on a whole other level, and it wasn't because I was expecting my blood family to be there, but because the people who were standing right here when my Dad died, when I walked down the aisle, and everything else - they were the ones walking with me, and I'm more than okay with that. Sometimes you need another family to help you heal your relationships with your real family. When your family is kinda broken, you feel like you don't have one - whether there's been a divorce, a death or there's just plain old family politics or strife, you need to know you belong to a family. I know today that i'm a child of God and that I belong to a church family. That has been a tremendous comfort, so has my recovering family. But today, as I finally feel myself growing up - I see the tremendous value in my blood family.
The other week I got to spend time with family - with my mom, with my stepmom, with cousins, with babies, and toddlers and aunts and uncles. I hadn't spent time with them like that since before our wedding, and it was nice. It got me excited about reconnecting in those relationships, however God intends. We're all coming out of seasons - of building families, of raising children, of fostering marriages, of career paths, of love and loss, of so many things - and it's cool to just be able to see that for what it is - a season and realize that a new season just may be around the corner if you are open to it. I sure am.
All that being said I want you to think about those how these relationships reshape your idea of what relationship really means. If you got it, you realized that the imagined "relationship" that the holiday of Valentine's Day creates, is just that - an imaginary one. Seriously, it's like our bodies. Is there one ideal one? NO. Is there one ideal person or relationship? IN your DREAMS!
I suggest you tell society to go stuff it - Valentine or not. You ARE in relationship - with a heck of a lot more than one person. I mean I love my husband, but if he's my everything? I'm in trouble. I need every relationship I have and each one is God's GIFT!!!!!!
So I encourage you to contemplate where you are at in your relationships in this season in your life (and try not to beat yourself up). Give yourself some credit for how far you've come. Recognize the ones who've been standing by you - some in presence, and some in spirit. Get excited about what's to come, cause it's SO much better than getting a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day. I mean really, after everything I just mentioned - there is SO much more to life than just HAVING a date on the day. You want it because the world tells you that you have to have it. You've got it. You just gotta recognize it.
With that, I hope you have an awesome Valentine's Day and just know you are loved MORE than you can imagine, and ESPECIALLY more than the stupid holiday will imagine for you. Sunday will be here soon enough.
xo, Your Healthy Voice
If yo are still stuck, watch this video: