“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”-Maya Angelou
I always thought this was a pretty pessimistic outlook on life. I have had so many failures that reflect poorly on my character, that if folks didn’t give me a second chance, I wouldn’t have any friends at all. What about giving someone the opportunity to learn from their mistakes? What about realizing that everyone grows at a different pace? What about recognizing that with age comes wisdom? Give a girl a chance!
It took my divorce for me to fully understand what Maya Angelou was so graciously trying to tell us. When my husband told me he didn’t want to be married to me, he wasn’t lying or confused or going through an early on-set midlife crisis. He really and truly just didn’t want to be married to me. Plain and simple. No amount of soul searching on my end was going to change that fact. Like I’ve said before, the “why” doesn’t really matter. I would have saved myself a lot of grief if I has just accepted his words as being completely honest. It would have given me a more realistic perspective of where we were and where we needed to go.
This doesn’t mean that I still wouldn’t have fought for my marriage or that God couldn’t have helped us save our relationship, but starting on a firmer foundation of honesty would have been healthier for me in the long run. This advice rings true in every partnership in our lives, not just marriage. Because of my failed marriage I tend to cling to “my people.” I find someone I can trust, put them in my tribe, and suffocate them. I do this whether they want it or like it or have asked for it or not. I’m clearly a gem that way. Taking a step back and truly listening to the words or actions a person is putting out into my world is not a concept I have fully grasped yet. Not my finest attribute…I like to consider myself a constant work in progress.
In thinking about this particular topic, I, of course, feel much gratitude to those who humor me and patiently stay corralled in my basket of loved ones…but it also made me think about what I’m saying to God on a daily basis. What am I showing him? Is what I show him a direct reflection of who I am, and if so, is that the kind of girl I truly want to be? It’s all fun and games while we sit back and judge what others are showing us, but what have I shown my Lord and Savior lately? Ugh. What a terrible thought.
I should have believed my husband when he said he didn’t love me. I should believe my friends when they show me they need space away from me and my crazy. I should believe when people reach out to show they care, that they truly are interested in my life. And I should own the fact that what I put out into the world, is who I am at my core. Aren’t we all blessed that God never accepts our first answer. He believes I am capable of more, he created me for better, and he loves me too much to let me stay unchanged by his mighty power.
*Special thanks to all those who selflessly accept their place in my tribe without complaint. I know it can get rough in there.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”