Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Domino Effect

Monday is our 6 month wedding anniversary but it is also the 4 year anniversary from when we started dating. In hindsight it's surreal to find myself here today. I met Brian at my very first job my senior year in high school. He was a sophomore in college and didn't talk to anyone. We were both painfully shy throughout our lives. It's odd because when you get to know us we are both total dorks and aren't quiet with the people we are comfortable with.

We were treading into unknown territory with each other. Neither of us had any experience in dating, which made the whole process exciting, memorable and special. When I look back it's so perfect to have experienced all my firsts with my husband. It will be one of those stories we share with our kids and grandkids. It's sad to say that we are an anomaly these days. It isn't unusual to marry your high school sweetheart, that happens fairly regularly still. Yet, for them to be your high school/college sweetheart and to go on your very first date with them, the number of couples do go down quite drastically.

I'm not saying that our way is the right way or the best way. Sometimes we do wonder what if we had experienced the bad dates. Yet we look at each other and immediately veto that thought. Why do we need to experience bad when we know how very blessed we are? It seems pointless to us.

Yet, many times experiencing the bad does make you appreciate the good much more. Having not been a Christian my whole life and having family that has it's ups and downs more than most, I've experienced my fair share of the bad times. I don't begrudge those times though. They've led me here and I wouldn't trade my life for anything. Not many people know about my broken relationship with my dad. He's an absent father who drinks too much and has many hurtful tendencies that come with him. It took me up until 6 months ago to finally realize that there is nothing more that I can do to fix our relationship. I invited him to our wedding and instead of getting a response, yay or nay, I get a card from him, delivered by my Grandmother, with cash. It was signed Sincerely, Robert Foster. Definitely not even the signature I expected let alone the response. At some point I stopped being surprised, but only a few months ago did I stop being disappointed. I just looked at the card and realized that I have a loving step-father who walked me down the aisle and a loving Father in heaven who has been there my whole life.

My father has impacted my life, the fact that it was a negative impact doesn't matter. He changed how I feel about the father of my children and about how my children will be raised. Even those negative impacts positively impact my children. They will benefit from my father's mistakes. They will have a dad who loves them and is there for them, because my father impacted the type of man I married. Brian knows this and we've talked extensively on the matter. He knows how important to me that my children have a dad who doesn't make them question his love. He responds with the ability to be that dad, no questions asked.

No matter what an experience may be, good or bad, you can use it as God intended. You can use it to be stronger, change the meaning of the experience, and give it away as a positive impact. You can take the transformation of those moments into yourself and make the world better. I don't see the negative points in my life as an opportunity to get pity or even empathy. I see it as an opportunity to change the future. God placed every experience in my life for a reason,  I just don't always see the reason until it's behind me and I can see it clearly. As a couple, we've learned to trust and let things fall where they will. God will show us in the end why things happened the way they did. And even if he doesn't, well it had a reason to me. It helped me grow. It helped me mature. It helped us overcome another obstacle in this life. You may not see the end result or your end is not the end for someone else. It's like dominos. I may be the beginning or end or somewhere in the middle, but I was essential to the whole domino effect, no matter where I am in that long line of dominos. If I don't hit that next domino then the whole things stops.  I have faith that God will use each moment to get us where He needs us to be and He will push that first domino to get the motion started.

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