Jeremy loves me well.
I felt a need to write about this because I have been so overwhelmed with the amount of broken relationships out there, and the crazy amount of hurt and anguish they seem to cause. I have been there, first and foremost. I had my share of bad experiences with relationships, and I have seen how truly awful some men can be. I, like many others, decided to write off love and relationships completely before God turned my heart around. I thought, “What is the point? Why even get married when all they will do is hurt you? Why be trapped with a guy who will eventually lose interest and ignore you completely?” I processed through all of these thoughts and fears with a man I met at camp last summer. He would listen as I went on and on about why I was called to singleness, why marriage is from Satan, yada, yada, yada. He would gently correct me and point out areas in my theory that were subjective and very much bias. And I remember before we parted ways that summer, he said “One day, Ione, someone will prove you wrong.” I dismissed that comment in my head and moved back to Rocklin, where I argued with my then roommate (who has been in a five-year long relationship) about why I was right and why I was called to be single forever. Like my friend at camp, she listened and (not so gently) corrected me, but I still held to my convictions.
Then, out of nowhere, these RIDICULOUS “feelings” pop up for this guy I met at the end of last school year. I denied them for a good three-four month’s because, well, I was called to be single and I didn’t have time for that. I guess God had a very different plan in mind. It was a bumpy start, not because of him, but because of me. I come from a place of deep wounding when it comes to ideas of love and relationship. I was wary of Jeremy, wanting to cling to my comfortable fear while battling this sense of comfort when I was with him. (see FIRST NOTE at bottom)
As silly as my ideology about marriage and love was, I am thankful I came to that conclusion for a season because I think without it, I wouldn’t be getting married in seven months. You see, during that time I grew crucially. I learned how to be solely dependent on the Lord, how to find all my desire in Him and Him alone and learned who I was based on truth and Scripture. And that is a very foundational part of being in a healthy relationship.
I can allow Jeremy’s love into my life because I am not dependent on it.
Before I run to his open arms, I run to Jesus. Before I process through all my crazy emotions with him, I vent to Jesus. Before I deal with conflict in our relationship, I filter it through the Word of Truth and come with a more renewed sense of purpose and forgiveness. I can love Jeremy well because I rely on Christ’s love. I am filled with the Holy Spirit and He directs me to meet the needs of Jeremy. Once you realize that your aim in relationship is to serve the other, you suddenly cannot be dependent on them.
I know that there are so many women out there who come from a similar background as I; one of abuse, heartache, pain, and rejection. It is hard to allow someone back into your life in that way. It is difficult to trust, and love in return. And it is nearly impossible to break the chains of insecurity, fear, etc.… And looking to a man for validation, for security? It never works. That is how you end up in a seemingly endless cycle of “bad boyfriends.” When you can come to the realization that everything you’ve ever wanted or needed is in God, everything starts to change. I am not saying that things in your life will work out exactly the way they did in mine, but once being in relationship with God becomes enough for you, expectations start to change. For my story, God worked this all out and THEN brought Jeremy into my life to complete the healing. And for me, it couldn’t have been anybody else. (see NOTE’s at bottom)
That is why I would like to say, that Jeremy is a rare guy. Because he showed me something I have never experienced before from another human being: grace. He gave and continues to give me, the space to be who God created me to be and room to navigate through my own fears, insecurities, and emotions. He lets me process, understands the pain I have experienced, and gently reminds me of the truth of God’s unconditional love, as well as his own. He has a supernatural patience, and a gift of discernment that God knew would be so crucial to have in a relationship with someone like me! Through Jeremy, God has brought a beautiful healing to the most broken of places in my heart.
And this is why this wedding, this marriage, is more than just two people in love. It is redemption, it is healing, it is reconciliation and peace in my life. It is a miracle, it is a clean slate, it is a renewed heart. I wish I could explain better in words just how big of a deal this is in my life but words fall short when I try to encapsulate all that Jeremy Paz is in my life and as a person.
But, I wouldn’t have been able to experience this without all the other seasons of life. Because I have known abuse and manipulative love, I can appreciate more what I have now. Because I have known how to comfortably be alone, I can better cherish being together.
“He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19)
FIRST NOTE: I have a huge passion for encouraging women who have similar experiences as my own. Because I know how utterly alone it is to be in that dark place, I know how painful it is to journey through healing, but I also know how beautiful, powerful, and joyful it is to come out on the other side. However, I also know how difficult it is to be presented with such a great guy, but not know how to separate him from your past experiences. When talking with women through these issues, that is a question I often get asked. “How did YOU separate the two?” And I will be writing a post on that soon, so stay tuned!
SECOND NOTE: If you are struggling with past wounds from similar situations, I have added a “Prayer Requests” form to my page. Do not hesitate to reach out. Having been through it myself, I am connected to a few different resources that were monumental in my healing journey and could be so for you as well.