After reading a thought provoking post with my granddaughter about relationships and who we are as women, this was what God laid on my heart in response to her. What I realize most is we truly do gain wisdom from our life experiences. To go back and change our choices is impossible. However, to learn from them and get understanding is the beginning of gaining wisdom. Throughout God’s word we see the value of wisdom, especially seeking wisdom from our elders. When we are young, we think we know it all and rarely listen to the counsel of our parents or elders. As I reflected on this, I realized the richness I missed in my life by refusing to heed the wisdom of those who have had more life experiences than I had.

Through much hardship and toil, I have learned the wisdom of knowing what a healthy thriving relationship looks like. I realize how not knowing who you are, and what you want in your own life is key to being trapped in an unhealthy and unsatisfying relationship.

Today, I realize how growing together takes two people who want their partner to become the best “them” they can be. It is a “Selfless Love” that wants the best for you and wants to have the best with you. The unselfish love derives from an ongoing desire based on a mutual love and respect for each other. It begins from the start of the relationship and can never be allowed to stop on either fronts.

Growth is an action word, a wheel that should never stop rolling. If one person stops that rolling wheel it will stunt the other partner’s potential to grow and becone their best self. Eventually, that wheel will stop moving and the rot will begin to set in. The rot becomes death to the relationship. This can happen no matter how long you’ve been together in the relationship. The wheel must continue to turn. That’s why the saying goes, ” A relationship takes alot of work”.

Death of a relationship can happen with a dim slow fade. I know this personally from experience. After 28 years of marriage, the slow fade became a complete blackout in my relationship.

The challenge for us all is to see what is “the” reality and what is the “hoped for” reality. We can’t exist in a “hoped for” reality status of a relationship. We have to remember and know we can never fix anyone, love them into behavioral change or heal their faults and pains away for them.

We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see them for who they are at their core values and belief system. Then we have to look honestly at ourselves to see if what they want, desire and believe matches up with what we want, believe and desire in our own life.

The core value of a person can only change by their own desire to be changed. They may stop for us temporarily but eventually they will see it’s not what they really wanted and in result they return to their old ways.

True change only happens from a person’s complete surrender to God and and a choice to die to our own selfish ways. That’s nothing we can ever do for another person.

Our growth begins to happen when we are true to ourselves and choose not to settle for anything less than God’s best for our lives.

If we ever have doubt that a relationship isn’t good for us than more often than not it isn’t. There is always a realm of truth that exists within our doubt. We just need to ooen our eyes and see it. We can’t wish away our partner’s undesireable behaviour. It must be handled with gloves of truth and honesty. It’s so easy to push what we “hope for” from our minds. We easily set it aside for the sake of others, for our own desire or “idea” of love. We close our eyes because of our circumstances, for the sake of our kids, for fear of being alone or for fear of being unloved.

The hard part is trusting that God has a plan for us and believing that His plan is best and because we are worth waiting for it. He promises us in His Word if we are patient and seek Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength then He will give us the desires of our heart.

I wish I would have gained this wisdom at a younger age instead of choosing to go my own way. I wished I had known not to seek the love of a man, acceptance from others or material things to try and gain happiness and contentment in my life. Had I gained the wisdom at a youthful age, I certainly could have saved alot of hardship to myself and my loved ones.

The good news is God still has a plan. His ways are higher than our ways. His plan is always the best plan for us. It’s also never too late to begin to walk in that plan. I am 58 years old and I have just begun that walk myself. How thankful I am to know who I am at my core, to know what healthy relationships look like and what my value and purpose in life is.

I could have begun much sooner but I have no regrets here. Some people never find godly wisdom. I am blessed and grateful to have gained the wisdom in life. It is because I know my identity in Jesus Christ that I can honestly say I am living my best life now.