I love being a woman. I love how God made us and how important we are to Him. I have previously shared our story and the lessons we've learned as a testimony, hoping that it will bless you. This post has 2 parts where you will see that love stories do not always start off as fairy tales. Actually, they usually begin with a confrontation with the bad and the ugly that is killing us inside. Today I share some of the baggage that I and many sisters out there have had to leave at the Cross before being able to walk down the aisle.

Not everyone will think that I am wonderful and that’s ok
As a young woman in ministry since the age of 16, I have learned (the hard way) that in order to be free, we have to resist the urge of wanting to be ‘wonderful’ to everyone. Not everyone will appreciate our talents, understand our personality, or even acknowledge the calling of God upon your life. I know this may sound crazy, but that’s o.k.
 God has traced the limits of our world and the influence we will have in it (Job14:5). It is not our job to prove who we are or what we are worth. Though God requires holiness and a good testimony, many times God will speak for us and fight our battles when we choose to decrease. 
This is a very important lesson for marriage but also for life in general. It is really liberating to not feel like you have to impress anyone. The truth is, there will always be at least one (usually someone that does not know you very well) that will dislike you or even think less of you. I’ve had to learn to recognize who is worth my time and my efforts and nurture those special relationships instead of trying to impress people that were determined not to see who I really was. However, when in a relationship, you should recognize each other’s ‘wonderfulness’ and be in complete awe of it. Brag about each other’s strengths and be each other’s number one fan. I do not have to work to be ‘wonderful’ because my husband already thinks I am (even when I fail miserably) and his love gives me room for error and is quick to give me a hand to lovingly be more Christ like.
Love yourself because you are enough. Jesus already paid the price for you in the Cross and there’s nothing we can ever do to impress Him or make ourselves more lovable then we already are in His sight. 

Not everything is a competition 
I am naturally very competitive. I have seen how to a certain degree, competitiveness has been healthy for me, always pushing me forward. However, when not measured wisely, it can get out of control. After quite a few tantrums with God, I had to accept that I needed Him to control my whole life (including that area, obviously) because that whole idea of having to prove myself could have been a relationship killer. 
Please understand this: God deliberately chooses to use us the way he pleases. No one is better than another, we are all servants and whatever talent or blessing we may have, comes from God. Therefore, all the glory is to God and not to the vessel through which he operates. Constantly feeling like we are not recognized enough for how great we are and constantly feeling the need to prove it, is really a sign of insecurity. A “one on one” at the feet of Jesus may be necessary for us to gain of healthy perspective of who God is to us and who we are in Him and Him alone. 
As young ladies we are often expected to be viciously jealous of each other and constantly trying to compete with each other. Honestly, women are not like they are depicted in the movie Mean Girls. Women bring people and nations together because of the nurturing instinct and motherly love. God created women as sociable beings and not one emotionally healthy woman would ever feel at peace when there is discord among sisters. There comes a time when each girl needs to become a woman and act like a lady.
I have happily learned to dance to the rhythm of my own drum and it is a liberating experience. I now strive to fully live for God according to what He asks of me and me alone. After all, that is what I will be judged on. What He asked me to do and I chose to do or not do (Matthew 7:21). Will I ever be tempted to try to impress people? More often than I would like to admit, but God’s grace is enough to keep me and you.

Jealousy is poison 
Let me start by saying it loud and clear: Jealousy is NOT a proof of love. It is rather a proof of underlying insecurities.
 When you date a godly person that is sincere and committed, you would think that there would be no reason for jealousy. Wrong! The harsh truth I learned is that jealousy is always a reflection of scars of unhealed wounds in our own heart. It often has nothing to do with the commitment of the couple, but more with the condition of the heart. No matter how controlling or territorial I choose to be with my man, it will NOT make him be more faithful then what he has already committed to be. 
Imagine being in a long distance relationship and being anxiously jealous? We never really knew what the other was doing unless we took each other’s word for it. There are many people out there that are not worth your trust (unfortunately in and out of church as well) but if you are or desire to be in a relationship with a committed child of God you will have to learn to trust. Imagine if I would have had been stressing over the thought (because that is where it all starts) that he may be somehow cheating on me or in danger of falling for someone else? I would’ve quickly become crazy. I can sit here and try to convince you that your love chose you, so he/she is not going anywhere, etc. But the truth is that until you surrender the control into the strong, loving hands of Jesus and allow healing to begin, you will not be free to love. 
James 3:16 "For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind"
On my road to the altar I had to learn to let Jesus heal me from memories of unfaithfulness I had witnessed growing up. I learned to trust that if God trusted my husband enough to care for my heart after being so protective of me for so many years, who was I to doubt Him now? After all, this whole love story was his idea. 
God understands your fear but His love casts out ALL fear (1 John4:18). I recently shared a scripture related to this issue of control on my Instagram: “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city (or a relationship), guarding it with sentries will do no good” (Psalm 127:1). If God is the creator of our story, He is also the keeper, so do not stress. There’s nothing we can do better than God. God NEVER fails. Start your healing today in the arms of your loving Father.