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Jeremiah 31:3
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
Hebrews 13:5b
God has said,
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Can you hear the promises from God to you?
This was a deep question I asked myself…
when we were sitting in a marriage retreat by John and Staci Eldredge.
Because of my ‘childhood’ and the abandonment issues.
I brought into our marriage as a young bride the ‘agreement’ in my heart…
‘no one will hurt me again.’
If my walls were high enough and my heart was shut off tight enough…
no one could enter and no one could cause hurt.
I went into the marriage with the ‘knowing deeply embedded inside my heart’…
that I was not important and I didn’t matter and in that knowing…
I made an agreement to believe…
‘what was really not true in this relationship.’
Even so… the lie continued to reinforce itself.
As my husband and I were sharing after the retreat a feeling many years ago on our first anniversary came forward for me.
I was pregnant and sitting in a sparsely furnished apartment while he worked over time.
There was no ‘dinner’ out that night. Although I do believe we did go out on a different day.
I wanted it to be our day and to feel special and it wasn’t.
I was sick and nauseated and
I was emotional…
and I was feeling non important.
The lesson replaying itself … if you really were important to him he would not be working overtime.
you are alone…you have always been alone.

We talked about that and in the frame reference from where we are now…
and it would not ever happen. If it was an important day…
work would wait.
But when you are a young person you only ‘see’ the paycheck with the over time on it…
you don’t see or feel or even think about the feelings surrounding that decision.
The opportunity for the enemy to come alongside and speak his lies…
was there… it was a prime event for him.
John said, “In relationships… interpretation needs time”.
Listen to the self talk.
Pay attention and listen to what is happening inside you.
He said, “Pain is the enemies playground for agreements, when you are in pain you are most vulnerable to the enemy and his tactics.”
As I sat alone in the sparsely furnished living room on our first anniversary night.
I told myself… “see… I knew I was not important… I know it doesn’t matter if it is our anniversary… work is more important.” The agreement I made that night set our ‘relationship’ up with the message any time he said, “I would like to go hunting, I would like to go fishing…” my internal interpretation was…
“I need time away from you and this is my way of doing it.”

That really wasn’t the truth of what was happening but because I had placed a filter around the agreement. I could only interpret his leaving as ‘you are not important enough for me to stay.’
This is more important to me.

I have learned a lot in the last 37 years.
Each of us brought in to the relationship baggage from our past.
My big one was abandonment.
As I grew closer to God I realized my husband did love me.
My husband did not purposely choose to hurt me.
We were young. We didn’t know. We both made decisions out of immaturity.
We have worked hard and we made it and it is good.
The promises above… I have loved you…I have drawn you…
I will not ever leave you…*a commentary said the verse really means never never never never never…five times… to get the point across.*
That is a lot of never’s.
I challenge each of us today to ask God to show you what kind of agreements you have made in your marriage if you are married… if not what personal agreements have you made about yourself or other relationships.
John said, “if it doesn’t feel risky it is not love.”
For love risks… to love deeply.
He said, “Your marriage will have rough waters, and deep turbulence, you will have pain and crisis moments, how you handle them as a couple will determine the strength you have in the relationship.” He says, “You live in a brutal war and the enemy does not want you strong and united.” He will whisper accusations to you just so you can replay the, “See I told you so moments.” (boy did we ever have some stretching moments in 37 years) John said,
“You must guard your relationship.
Watch your heart. Take note of your attitude towards each other and pray.”
John said “God is always after deeper healing~ deeper character building~ deeper transparency.”
He also said, “When the storms come… and they will…you must have an anchor to hold onto.”
Do you have an anchor… who loves you deeply and won’t ever leave you?
Take hold of it and cling tightly to the one who keeps you stable.
You cannot drift far if you allow Him to love you and keep you in a safe place.