Forgiveness Brings Peace

Last night, my family and I got to together with a friend of mine, whom I haven’t seen in more than 10 years. I first met Edgar when my stepdad was stationed in Italy back in 1993. It was good to see him and meet his wife and son.

It was fun reminiscing about the “old days” and getting caught up on what we know about the others from our group.

Many have married, had children, live somewhere in the States.

It was good.

But inevitably.

Whether it’s discussed or just drudged up in my mind.

I had a significant dating relationship there. With a guy who is six years my senior. Van pursued me and of course, as a 19-year-old small town Michigan girl with limited dating experience, I was easily wooed.

As with anything in life, Hindsight is always priceless, but as a 19-year-old smitten girl, I was completely and utterly lost in this person.

He had all the credentials, Army officer, Stanford grad. Yada yada yada.

He was easily my first in a lot of respects, of which I have many regrets.

No, it was good to see Edgar last night for many reasons, but it confirmed something I had already known. Edgar knows that Van, in fact, hadn’t remained faithful to me when I left Italy to go back to the States to attend college.

See, I had left, and Van stayed, but we didn’t break up.

I was supposed to go back and visit him for my Thanksgiving break.

Here I was, in Kentucky, racking up hundreds of dollars in phone bills calling him, talking to him and never once did he end it.

Maybe I was good tail?

I don’t know, but like I said many regrets.

There was a time when Van was my entire world, if he said “jump” I’d say, “how high” So when he started being critical of my appearance, I took it in stride, or so I thought, but looking back I realize this relationship was so destructive to me on so many levels.

Of course, as a nineteen-year-old, naïve girl, I didn’t know any different. All I cared about was making sure he was happy because somehow that would mean he’d stay with me and be faithful.

HA was I wrong!

I’ll never forget calling his Italian apartment and a girl answered, questioning me like I had done something wrong by calling him?

Up until 2000 he has denied having an affair.

When I did speak with him, I ended whatever phony relationship we still had.

Yes, I was devastated. That was April 1995.

Once I picked myself up and God got ahold of me, I was just done dating casually. I told God, “if you want me married, you’ll have to bring him and make it obvious because I’m not marrying ANYONE who’s not my best friend!!”

But I digress.

So sitting with Edgar, hearing him confirm what Van could never, felt like a sigh of relief.

I wasn’t crazy.

I wasn’t just an irrational nineteen year old girl.

All those emotions were real and deserved.

But then it hit me, hearing Edgar confirm it. I felt NOTHING.

NOTHING!! No justification. No anger, nothing.

I mostly felt peace.

As we were driving home and I looked over at the man, I’ve had the honor of being married to for the last seventeen years. I realized many things, but mostly.

I am blessed.

See, God sent me my best friend and together we’ve weathered some pretty intense storms in our short seventeen years together. This man, who isn’t insecure but knows exactly who God has called him to be, he can handle listening to my “old Italy days” without winching.

As I looked out the window, I realized not only have I forgiven that 26 year old version of Van, but I’ve also forgiven the 19 year old version of myself and with that thought came tremendous peace.IMG_0692

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