Was It Worth It? (Belated)
I have been swamped at work and as such haven’t had the time until today to actually write much less read blogs. Therefore, I missed the boat on the everybody write on the same title thing. Sammie tells me it’s ok for me to do a belated entry, so here it is. (The wedding blog is coming…I promise).
Yes, it was worth it. I didn’t know it at the time, but experiencing that much emotional pain right before my first semester finals in graduate school was definitely worth it. It brought me closer to God and taught me a few things about our relationship. In fact, now it is one of those situations that I will forever say that if I had it to do over, I’d do it exactly the same because I wouldn’t trade the lessons I learned for anything.
There was this boy in college that I got pretty close to. In fact, if you didn’t know us and just saw us walking across campus, you’d probably think we were together. I actually thought it was headed that way and as a result put a lot (if not all) of myself into that friendship. This lead to what I realized later me putting him before God. That’s not a good thing, folks. I had invested so much in this person that when it all came crashing down and he announced to me that he was dating one of our other friends and that they had been dating or talking about dating for quite sometime, I thought my life had ended. Considering he was someone I talked to every day and we told each other everything, it was a total shock to say the least that I knew nothing about it until he told me (or rather answered my question). The play by play kind of start with my woman’s intuition kicking in and asking him a probing but circular question: Is the girl dating anyone? I figured if they were dating he’d tell me that and if they weren’t he’d tell me that, too. For icing on the cake, a lot of things had happened before all of this between myself and the girl he was dating. We were definitely what you would call conflicted acquaintances. The day he told me about their relationship he and I were on our way back from the cafeteria after lunch. I was headed to work at the student services office and he was headed to class or back to the dorm. I don’t recall now. I got a few choice (yet honest) responses out before we got back to my office. I hugged him. I walked into the office and one of the advisors walked in behind me and point blank asked if he was my boyfriend. I lost it…right there at the front desk. This was the week before my finals in my first semester of grad school…so like I needed this to think about.
As I walked through the fog that literally was (at the time) my worst nightmare, I made some pretty hardcore decisions that day. One was that I couldn’t do anything about it now because I had to focus on my exams. Praise God, He helped me with that one because I wouldn’t have gotten through it all if He hadn’t helped me put it all on hold for a while. The next was that I needed to feel good about myself because this was without a doubt one of the biggest blows to my self esteem that I’d had in a REALLY long time. That actually came pretty easy. My campus ministry Christmas party was like a day after all this happened. I had to be cheery and in the holiday spirit and smile for pictures. I still have pictures from that night and you can see that there is no light in my eyes, but I’ve got a smile on my face. On the other hand, I felt really beautiful that night and good about myself. While I was there, one of God’s angels walked up to me and told me that I looked beautiful that night (he’s now married by the way). I almost fell at his feet sobbing, but I held back. To this day, he has no idea how much that meant to me.
So, I got through finals and stared my 10-12 hour drive home for the holidays right in the face. I had put my thoughts and emotions on hold because I knew I would be in a car all by myself for that length of time and would have plenty of time to ponder it all. I loaded up the car, and off we went…my car, God, and me. In the hours following my departure, I realized that I had put this guy before God and didn’t have my priorities straight. As a result, I learned a pretty hefty lesson about what happens to your heart when the worldly things we care about more than God let us down. God is the total opposite of this situation and if I had kept Him first, then I might have realized earlier that this guy and I weren’t going to end up together. I learned the signs to look for in the future if (God forbid) this kind of thing happened, again. It hasn’t because I’ve kept a hard check on it.
One of my other decisions was that I had to take the guy and his new girlfriend out of my life because it was a giant opening for Satan to use against me. The feelings I had: anger, depression, disbelief, lack of self-esteem, defeat, deception etc. would all come floating back when I was around them. As they are all avenues for Satan to get you in his clutches, I had to be pretty drastic about it. I had to stay away like a child needs to stay away from a hot stove. It confused this guy and his girlfriend (who is now his wife…they got married about a year after all this). They thought that I was doing the wrong thing spiritually. Funny thing was that the guy had a philosophy on praying. He always prayed that God would take anyone out of his life that is causing him or the other person to stumble. Obviously I was stumbling, and when I talked with God about what I needed to do to get my priorities back on track, I knew that I couldn’t be a part of the guy’s life anymore, but he didn’t seem to understand this.
In any case, it brought me closer to God as I threw myself into working for His Kingdom. I had only been a Christian for 2 1/2 years and was really still searching for my gifts. I can look back now and see that the way I desire to volunteer at church is a result of this situation. When I walked away from them and walked towards God and the Christian family at the church I attended in college, I found these desires inside of me that had been hiding because I wasn’t focused on the right thing. I still think about it all to this day. I still get angry or upset every now and then when I have a weak moment, but I catch myself pretty quickly and go right back to work. I haven’t spoken to them pretty much since all of it happened, and I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to this side of Heaven (since I don’t know where they are, it’d be kind of hard anyway).
I’ve done the forgiving that I needed to do, but I know that underneath it all the feelings I felt during it all are still there and still available to Satan, so I choose not to go there 99.99% of the time. I’m thankful and blessed that God was willing to run after me, that God was willing to take me back even though neither of us had really left each other, and that God was willing to teach me these lessons in a gentle way. Because, truly, this could have been much worse than it actually was, but definitely worth it.