As excited as I am to start a new chapter in my life this fall, I've been thinking about how to avoid some of the mistakes I made in my first marriage. Wow! I am a completely different person.
I used to pride myself on my godly character. I used to think I was a "good" Christian because I didn't curse, drink, smoke, use drugs, or practice some other sins considered to be highly immoral by non-Christians. As I look back on my life in my early 20's, I see that I was quite hypocritical.
I worried so much about keeping up appearances, that I failed to actually have a relationship with God. I didn't allow cursing, drinking, immoral television shows, and many other things in my house. I was trying to be a godly woman and wife. That failed miserably! Why? Because I was too focused on the appearances and didn't really have a clue what it meant to have a relationship with God.
As my marriage ended I started using profanity regularly and my obsessive compulsive disorder surfaced. Since my life was in shambles, I started focusing on petty things such as color coordinating my closet, loading the dish washer a certain way, color coding the cups in my cupboard, and sorting my wash cloths in the linen closet a certain way. It doesn't matter how tired I am, things must be done a certain way.
After being divorced for several years, I was beginning to think there was no hope for my love life. Who wants to be with a woman who sorts her wash cloths a certain way? Who can handle living with someone who is OCD? I tried really hard to stop my OCD ways, but I still have to have my movies sorted alphabetically, and I prefer even numbers over odd numbers.
Now that I'm engaged, there is a little part inside of me that is wondering if I will mess up this marriage too. I started critically analyzing how I messed up last time, and am so relieved that I am a completely different person.
Yeah, I may curse, have some obsessive tendencies, and commit a few sinful acts; but I have a real relationship with God now. I have real struggles, but I now cover my worries and family in prayer. I'm far from perfect, and I no longer try to live a facade of perfection. I don't pursue religion or legalism. I pursue a deeper relationship with God. And I finally have a good loving godly man to join me.
Change is a good thing.