I’m so tired of crying.
I cried when my first girlfriend and I broke up and I cried when my second girlfriend and I broke up.
I felt this deep sadness and despair. I contemplated what I could have done differently to keep the relationship going. I wrestled with those thoughts and tried to put together the jigsaw that seemed just so hard to solve. Sometimes the pieces seem to fit, but it really was me squeezing a piece to another that really didn’t belong. Why was this such a mess? Why couldn’t I figure it out?
Losing someone is not fun. It’s not fun to start over. To pour yourself into someone and make memories together, only for it to not work out. That in itself was a reason to try to make it work. But when it doesn’t, it’s seem like a tragedy to just forget all those good times that you had. Those meant something. Those were precious moments spent with someone you deeply cared about. Of course you mourn. Those were special moments.
I always felt that I was close to conquering love. It was like on the tip of my tongue. So close.
But like the song, as much as I thought I had thick skin, it still cut like a blade. For every failed relationship, it was an attack on who I was and what was wrong with me. As my heart broke, I cried. I cried because I had regret. I cried because I didn’t lead well. I cried because this failure spoke worlds of who I thought I was, and it hurt.
Why can’t I make it work? Why am I not enough?
Grieving not hurting
I’ve spent a vast majority of time on this earth as a single person. And legally speaking, I’ve always been single. I’ve had enough years in between relationships to really reflect on those relationships and how I can better equip myself for the next one.
As I reflected I noticed something very important that I didn’t realize until recently. The failure of those relationships gave me an identity that I believe in. I wasn’t grieving or mourning a loss. I was hurting like I was being attacked. God wired most of us to long for our wedding day. So as we date and get to know the other person, we start to love them, their family, and their special nuances. We create memories together and start building a life together. Dating is a means to marriage, and God’s design for marriage speaks to His design for our dating relationship. We were created for love that lasts just like God’s love lasts for his bride.
That’s why you mourn. You mourn and grieve the loss of love.
As I heal again from a recent relationship, I’m in mourning and not hurting. I finally lead well. I’ve have loved, been gentle, pointed her to Christ, and lead in purity. All of which I failed miserably in my previous relationships. That’s what caused so much doubt in myself and why I was so confused and so hurt before. Some of us do need to examine why we keep hurting, and see if we have baggage we need to take care of.
But when you put God first, and make him the center of your relationship, you end up leaving a person better than you found them. It’s much harder to question your identity that way, even though the enemy will try to make you doubt. My heavenly father fills my cup and reminds me that I’m made in his image. He says I’m his masterpiece, He created me in my mothers womb and has prepared a place for me at the altar. That is where my identity comes from.
The Future is Bright
Now, I’m a lot more confident in relationships. Not because of what I have to offer, but because I have my identity fully rooted in Christ. And I don’t compromise in who He says I am and how I should lead.
You know I’ve sold myself short on all those past relationships. I settled for mediocre, cookie-cutter Christianity. Those relationships are not what I needed. I know who I am, how to lead well in a relationship and I can see clearly that I was settling in my walk before.
The Lord says many things about who I am in His Word and they’ve become quite clear to me. My single years have been good to me because they have sharped me to be the man I am today. I still have a lot to learn but I’m in a good spot to lead. I’m confident in this, because I’m confident in my God, not myself. That’s the difference between confidence and arrogance. The source of your confidence matters.
Now I know what I’m worth and I don’t feel like crying anymore. I’m going to lead like the Word tells me to lead. I’m going to keep my community close and my church leaders even closer. I can read His Word and live selflessly when I pursue someone. I can walk confidently in any relationship regardless of the outcome because I put my God first and not the relationship.
After all, I deserve the best and the best is Christ.