I’m never getting married again.
Yep, I said it. When my first marriage ended, I said emphatically, “never again.” I wasn’t speaking in the heat of anger, but in the throes of raging despair. The whole situation turned me off marriage “forever.” (Sssh. Don’t tell my husband.)
Be that size again? Never.
I look differently at the “me” in those photos, than I did when she was the girl in the mirror. She was overly sensitive about her reflection and sad more than anything else. She felt unattractive and out of control. (Truth is, I’d pay money today to be the “fat” I was in those photos.)
I said, “never,” but I did. Repeatedly.
Remember the last time you said “never” in anger or despair? Did you think it through? Have you ever said to someone, “I hate you! I’m never speaking to you again!” And, when’s the last time you spoke to them?
Perhaps that’s a dramatic, juvenile example. But, it makes my point. Our pained or hot-head oaths laced with “never” rarely last that long!
I pay more attention to my words these days. I attempt to be less careless with what I allow out of my mouth. And now when I think back on those “never” statements, I find one or two things in common – fear and pain.
No one will EVER hurt me like this again.
The ways we try to avoid pain are usually pointless when they’re not grounded in the instructions God outlined for us. I learned – better late than never – that to guard my heart on the front end, was easier than bringing Him pieces to put it back together again. Still, I grew tired of the Humpty Dumpty life long before I ever changed my process.
What about you? One of my best assets is the power to look back and be honest. Once I can acknowledge where I was responsible, I can change how I perform. God gives us grace to look back and not be swallowed up in quicksand of regret. How? By reminding us of wrong choices or quiet moments that led us astray. Truth can swiftly stitch up your scar and start your rehab, if you’re willing to make different moves. Making new moves in the face of old habits shows that we learned a lesson. And sets us up to win.
Pain resulting from making tough choices or taking risks is the pain of a winner. Similar to soreness after a long, hard workout, it’s not a traditional win, but it’s a win.
Conversely, the pain of quitting before you start, or deciding to avoid the threat of disappointment and not try, is a different feeling. And it hurts more than pain from risk and growth. These days I’m getting better at accepting loss when I had the courage to try.
Unconvinced? Still think there’s occasion to use never? You may be right. Repeat after me: I never quit, so I never truly lose.