"The greatest friend of truth is time; her greatest enemy is prejudice, and her constant companion humility." Chuck Colson
I haven't dated much since getting divorced almost 8 years ago. I went out a few times with a man from church a few years ago, but when that didn't work out, I realized I still had a lot of work to do in me before I was truly ready to give fully in a relationship. After that, I didn't date again until this past December when I met Joe.
Little did he know, but Joe was not only dating me... he was also dating my past. My new view within a relationship now came through the lens of tinted glasses. I was on guard. My marriage ended so traumatically for me, that I was determined to not let anything touch me in that way again. I was vigilant in watching for red flags. I listened for every word, every hesitation. The slightest movement in the wrong way sent a signal to my brain to lock the gates and call in the guards.
I had a real war going on in my mind with this new relationship. How could I distinguish between what was real and what was an overreaction due to these tinted glasses that I wore? Words were a large part of the manipulation I experienced in the past, so they now became a source of question for me. Could I trust anything? The Bible says that charm is deceitful. I enjoy being romanced, but too much charm sets off my "freak-o-meter" as one friend calls it.
What I've realized so far through all if this is that no one is perfect. We are all flawed individuals. I have struggles, and Joe has his own as well. What matters is how we handle them. A person of weak character can display positive qualities and traits for a time, but it won't last. Proverbs 26:11 says "As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." Someone who is sincere and genuine will remain of good character for the long haul. Sure, we all will continue to make mistakes and to not expect them is foolish. However, character is something that develops over time, and also proves itself over time.
There are no guarantees in relationships. Although the wounds of the past may have healed, the scars still remain. Naomi Zacharias said in her book The Scent of Water, "Scars are an important part of our stories. A scar can remain as a tribute to what happened; it tells us something went wrong, that someone got hurt. A scar lets us know that she survived."
Learning to trust again is hard. Through it all, I'm learning that time is a gift.