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the way...

Dear Laura,

I met a man who I am so sure is my future husband. I look at him, Laura, and I just know. We have been dating for a while now and today I told him about a past with an old friend. Me and my friend had never been together, we were nothing more than friends. However, when I told my boyfriend today, he was very upset and feels hurt and stupid and betrayed. I, of ALL people, should not make him feel that way! I have so much guilt and pain in my heart. He always gives me one thousand and ten percent and I feel like I have failed him. I feel like I failed at being the kind of woman God wants me to be. That may seem a bit extreme but I just feel as though I have failed. I have failed at so many things, and this - today - just put me over the edge. I don't want attention from anyone but my boyfriend. I want to show him how much I love him. I feel like I haven't done enough when he always gives me the world. I feel sick to my stomach even in writing this email to you. I need God right now; I need guidance and comfort. I can't seem to focus on God; I am focused on trying to fix this mess I made. I had no intention to hurt the man that I love whole heartedly. I am so lost as to what to do. I feel lost. Thank you for your time!


Looking For A WAY Back

Reply:Thanks for writing to me! I am so sorry your heart hurts! I hope can encourage you with some awesome TRUTH, my friend! I've been praying for you - for your heart - and for God's Word to speak to both of us. So thanks for looping me in to this awesome opportunity to encourage you and LEARN with you!

You are definitely in a struggle - heart and mind struggle. So I want you to do something that may help you think through this battle strategically. Go back to your message to me - and read it with one focus. Ready for what that focus is...??? What have you said that is TRUTH - and what have you said is FEELING. Truth is God's Word over our lives, my friend. Truth is what drives our faith - our decision making - our peace - our LIVES...Well, it should be anyway. What happens - and this happens to all of us - circumstances start to scream at us and become our reality - our truth...and we miss the TRUTH that Jesus came for us to know and live.

You say that you are sure this man is your future husband. TRUTH - or feeling? How do you know? Woman, if I had a dollar for every time I thought the guy I was dating was my future husband, I'd...I'd...have a lot of dollars - that's about all I can say. A lot!!! I know - I was a mess - ...I was in love - with love. Not that you are me - but - feelings can be deceiving and can lead us astray in the midst of ANY situation.  This young man is not your husband now - and he may in fact never be. (WHAT DID I JUST SAY!?!? Take it back! Take it back right now!!! - is that what you're thinking???) I'm sorry! I don't mean to throw water on your romance fire, reality -  this is true. He may not.  I get he could be - sure - but...He may not.  Give that marriage idea - that he is your future husband - to God. COMPLETELY!!! What will that look like? THAT kind of surrender is thinking about your boyfriend through the lens of who he is right now, and with that view - read God's Word on how you need to treat him - how he should be treating you.

I love that you consider he could be your future husband. Wise view. Why date him if he is not someone you would consider marrying! Wisdom. Great wisdom! I love it! I respect that! BUT... He is your boyfriend currently - a brother in Christ - and you owe him one thing - the love of a sister in Christ to a brother in Christ. Yes - honesty is one aspect of that love. I Corinthians 13. Love rejoices in truth. I hope he comes to the point where he can rejoice with you in this truth you are now walking in together. You have hurt him by hiding this past relationship until now, I get that... But you told him. Right? What he chooses to do with that truth is now between him and God - and then you. You are not his wife. He can choose to trust you again (Love always trusts. I Cor 13:7) - and grow with you in this lesson in being open and honest with one another - or he can choose to let you go - because he must be able to trust the one he chooses to marry - as do you - and that includes trusting that person to be able to forgive you - ya know what I'm sayin' here? Can you hear me on this one? You need to know you can be forgiven and not have your wrongs lorded over you. Cuz, you're gonna blow it. Love keeps no records of wrongs - I Cor 13 again. I could just insert that whole passage right here. Read I Corinthians 13 when you get a chance. And ask yourself as you read it: how are you loved? how do you love??? Thought provoking when we consider God's definition of love.  There's no great kissing in that passage - or great hair - or great body - just love. Smokin' chemistry is not love.  I'mjust sayin.' - I'm sure you know that - . ... BACK on topic - Whether you marry him or not - and I know you might not see it this way - but I sure do - EITHER WAY - whether he forgives you or not - either is a win for you, my friend. You have learned something precious about not hiding your past - innocent or not - and you have also learned the value of finding someone who will love you, forgive you, and embrace your past with you, and your present - and all God has taught you from it - in it - through it.

Forgiveness is a huge aspect of marriage. I married an awesome forgiver. THANK GOD! (Thank you, Kemper Lewis!!!)  Because I am a sinner - and wearing a wedding ring, loving Jesus, and being this amazing man's wife - doesn't keep me from sin. Right? I'll answer that for you just based on my life this week...RIGHT! Your feelings about hurting your boyfriend and loving him - should be directed toward God. "Against you and you only have I sinned." That's what David wrote in Psalm 51. Not that his sin did not have consequences that affected others - but what David was expressing is that the focus of his life is God, which is what our focus needs to be. When we sin -  we choose ourself rather than Him, and we hurt GOD first,  and the reprocutions from that blow ultimately affect everyone else. God directs us toward realizing His love - His grace - His forgiveness - so that we will walk in relationship to Him - and bless others by the way we live for God, and then not hurt others, because of our primary relationship to HIM. Does that make sense?

SO - Do you need to give your boyfriend the world? Think about that... Does he need to give you the world? I know what you're saying - but that is shaky thinking ground where your heart meets the way you live. That is shaky ground when you are weighing what you have done with who it is you are first and foremost responsible. That is shaky ground when you consider what your response needs to be to your boyfriend in this situation- and what your boyfriend's response needs to be. That is shaky ground when you consider who is your God no matter what. 

Sweet one, I love that this dishonesty crushes you - ONLY because I know that God is teaching you to pursue honesty in your relationship. That's awesome. TOTALLY BEAUTIFUL AWESOME! Don't miss that! Isn't it amazing how God unearths what we don't even realize is going to hurt us??? and  He is so faithful to  bring it to the surface of our heart - to bring the wrong into the open of our life to make it right... PLEASE KNOW that God forgave that sin, - before you ever committed it. ROMANS 5:8! Crazy, right? If your boyfriend can't forgive and trust you again...that is not your failure - that is a revelation about your relationship - SO learn from that what God would have you realize about this man you are "sure" is your future husband. Unforgiveness - shaky ground for marriage that is given by God to last a lifetime.

I could go on and on about the value of forgiveness - the value of honesty - the value of learning how to love one another in spite of our sin - and to grow with one another even though we are so sin riddled - CRAZY that we can love at all. Which to me - goes to show the miracle of what God does in us. I won't go on and on though - it would just be redundant at this point. You are loved by God. You are forgiven. And like Romans 8 and Galatians 5 teaches us - we don't live in relationship to God expecting that we can go on sinning and just "POOF" be forgiven. We, who love God, don't have that attitude toward sin. WE LOVE OUR GOD! WE WANT TO LIVE FOR HIM!!! isn't that amazing?!?!?! Because the Spirit of God indwells us,  you and I now "Walk by the Spirit so we don't gratify the desires of our sinful nature" Gal. 5 - We have set "our minds to what the Spirit desires"...Rom 8. Check it out when you get a chance. SO - that being said - so enthusiastically - yeah I'm a little excited when it comes to the change in the way we want to live - ...YOU, by God's Spirit - will FOREVER MORE desire truth in your relationships because God's Spirit puts that desire in you. Your heart breaks over the dishonesty because God's Spirit in you is conforming you in to His image. ISN'T THAT BEAUTIFUL!?!??! Yes it is! Woman! You're lookin' GOOD!!! 

I would like to encourage you to ask God to help you grip with HIS WORD - HIS value for TRUTH - the beauty that already indwells you. Like, for example -  do a word study from your Bible concordance about TRUTH - HONESTY - LIES... Ask GOD - our teacher - to walk you through the passages your Bible concordance directs you to and ask HIM to IMPRESS on your heart what He would have you know from those passages WITH YOUR HEART - not just your head protect you from what seems to you as an innocent coverup - but is actually a lie waiting to cause havok in your life - and to encourage you with what His SPIRIT in you lives to help you realize is YOUR new life...I'm most certain this study will draw you deeper in love with the ONE who holds your heart - you molds your life - who has given you more than the world - He's given you eternity - the ONE who is the TRUTH - John 14:6 - and the ONE - JESUS- who wants you to hear from HIs living Word - His voice speaking it to you...So incredible! Don't miss it! Please don't miss it!

One last thought - my virtual hug to you - and God's living Word around you. I Peter 4:8 "Love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." This is our Father's ETERNAL love through Christ. And this Word is a reflection of marriage, too. By His Spirit we can love this way in relationship to one another. Crazy miracle of God!!! Not every believer chooses to love THIS WAY. When you find someone who walks with you in THIS kind of love -  oh Girl! you have found a love for a lifetime.