Anthony & I went to see the movie Marley & Me when it came out in theaters. Only months before, my husband had finally gotten me my dog, Dublin, that I had been wanting for about 3 years. Anthony isn't much of a dog person. He didn't want the responsibility of having a dog, and he thought it was just another phase of mine. I understood Anthony’s feelings. I grow tired of things, usually, very quickly.
After 3 years of asking, Anthony gave me Dublin as a birthday present. I was sooo excited. Dublin is absolutely one of the sweetest dogs. He can drive us crazy at times, but over all he's very obedient & even more loving. Only 9 months later, when God blessed us with our daughter, Dublin received her with open paws. He only had a couple episodes where he acted out in jealousy (tearing holes in the carpet). Dublin loves our daughter, and puts up with a lot from her. Almost daily, Dublin, is subjected to wearing tutus, and having tea parties...we know deep down he loves his sister. (Our daughter refers to Dublin as her "brother".)
After, Anthony and I saw the movie Marley & Me, we were on are way home, and I was very emotional. I told Anthony, "I wish we had never gotten Dublin. He's going to die one day, and I'm going to lose him." Anthony said, with love and compassion for my upset, "Loss is apart of life. If we based our lives on never wanting to lose people, or even animals, we'll never have anyone. We'll never really know what love is."
How true are Anthony's statements. You see, only a few years before getting Dublin, I had walked away from Anthony for fear of loving him, and him loving me…even more than that, for fear of losing him. I had been in some very rocky relationships that left me hard hearted, and scared to love again. Even though, I wanted to be in love, I refused to be hurt again. I was NOT going to let someone break my heart, or my spirit. But, instead of protecting myself, I ended up hurting Anthony. I would let Anthony in just enough, until fear took over, and then, I would push him away. This went on for months. I was protecting myself, but I was breaking his heart in the process. The very thing I was keeping from happening to me, I was doing to him.
After ending our relationship for good (or, so I thought), and hurting him once again; Anthony & I didn't speak for months. I was absolutely sure I had made the right decision. I had even started seeing another guy, and Anthony was going on dates too. We were done.
After about a month of seeing someone else, I had the same feelings of fear rise up again. I decided I needed to take a week to myself, and get alone with the Lord. During that time, I read a book called Deal With It by Paula White. Paula White said in her book, "You can not conquer what you do not confront."
Was Anthony, or this other guy really the problem? Or, was the problem actually, me, not wanting to deal with my fears? When I grabbed on to that realization, I also realized I was in love with Anthony. But, I had hurt him, so I thought I would never have another chance. However, during that time, the Lord was also showing Anthony that I never meant to reject him, I was dealing with fear.
When Anthony and I finally talked, Anthony told me he was still in love with me, and was waiting for me. I was shocked, and very happy. We were so sure of our love for each other that a month later Anthony proposed, and 18 days later we were married. Anthony swept me off my feet. Anthony showed me how Christ truly loves His Church.
God sent His only Son to be born, love and die for us...no matter our faults...no matter our fears...no matter our sins. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us. God knew we would reject His Son, hurt His Son, and kill His Son; but His love was so much greater than our sin that God sent Jesus anyway. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy, I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
Anthony, unselfishly, looked past my rejection, and saw what I was really dealing with, fear. Fear, is really only False Evidence Appearing Real. Anthony never gave up on me, or that the Lord could break down my walls of fear, and allow him to love me, and me to love him. I want to make one thing clear, Anthony never acted as a door mat…he never let me walk all over him. What Anthony did, was show me, that if I was willing to let him, Anthony wanted to help me get past my hurt, and my fear. Anthony was willing to love me for exactly who I was when he met me, and believed in me, and the Lord, that I could over come.
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Roman 8:37