It’s a beautiful day today, despite the clouds and the flurries. Ever have one of those days where you just feel beautiful and blessed no matter what is going on?
It is said that every single woman hides in her heart a poignant memory of The One That Got Away. The Mr. Right that she took for granted; the one who makes her wish she could turn back time. The one that causes her to advise others to be careful because you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone and because what you see as trash, another woman is fasting and praying for.
Look. My theory is pretty simple: “The One That Got Away” is an oxymoron. The One will not get away. The getting away immediately negates the fact that this person was the one. I’m going to risk being accused of taking scripture out of context in providing this verse from 1 John as evidence:
“They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” – 1 John 2:19 NASB.
If you’re struggling to get over someone, and if, like me, you love hard and hold on to hope and faith, and if you have what I call the gift of persistence and resilience, reading the verse above in your current state of mind might not do much for the pining over that man that left when you were 19 and foolish, or the one who dumped you last year, or the one you dumped last week.
Let’s talk. Why are you not over him? Is it because he is The One? Or could it be because…
1) You simply cannot picture yourself with someone else? When you build a relationship with someone, you share a part of your life with him. When the relationship ends, it can feel like a part of you went away with him. From that point until the day you heal, every man just will not measure up. Before you met this 5’7 man, you could not even consider being with a man whose height did not begin with a 6. But suddenly, after he walked away, all these tall men are too tall. Or you pictured having biracial sons with him (come on, now, I know you did! Lol), and they had square jaws and big shoulders, and now you’re looking at this blue-black-dark, skinny man hitting on you and wondering how a combination of you and him will work. Relationships slowly grow into a comfort-zone. Until you can wiggle yourself unstuck, break that bond and tear your mind away from the concept of this man as perfect, you might not be able to move on. Some people say to do this you have to picture him constipated on a toilet seat, some say remember and replay his flaws and the ways he disappointed you. I have been here, and I can tell you the only solution that worked for me: Jesus. Trust Him to have worked this out before time. If you feel like a part of you is gone, trust Him to make you whole.
2) You saw him as the solution to your singleness? Did you, somewhere along the way, begin to make this man the source of your happiness? If you equate being single with misery, then you will latch on like a black-jack to the first man who seems like marriage material. There’s a reason people say that if you are not fulfilled as a single woman, you will not be fulfilled when you are married. Human beings are flawed. That same despair you feel when he walks away is felt by many married women when the humanness of their husbands is revealed against the backdrop of the permanence of marriage. Some people say that to be happy, you must rediscover your hobbies and meet new people. But that’s like drinking a beer to forget your problems; when it all wears off, the problems stare you in the face, saying, “I’ve been here a day longer; what are you going to do?” Shall I suggest a solution that works a lot better? Jesus. Jesus brings more than happiness; He is JOY. Allow Him to be more than enough for you.
3) You’re holding on to reminders? As hard as it is to get rid of those pictures, letters, teddy-bears, you have to do it for your own peace of mind. The enemy will get a kick out of that five minutes every morning where you pause in your living room on your way out and look longingly at the framed photo of the two of you, then pick it up as your eyes glisten and the lump begins to form in your throat. The enemy will love it if on the 12th of every month, month in, month out, you cryyyyy for hours because it was your anniversary and you remember the way he did this like that and did the other however. Forgive me for this statement but you already have your monthly period to deal with; why add another regular stressful period of monthly crying to your life? Do you have a God, or what? Why behave like someone who has no God? I’m not saying you have to rip everything up on a whim. If that’s too difficult, just pack it all in a box and put it far away – ask a friend to keep it for you or put it in storage. Anything that does not really bother you can stay, but anything that causes wistfulness and nostalgia needs to go into that box. Maybe one day, you’ll look back and see just how far you’ve come – and laugh hard at your monthly crying.
4) You’ve refused to believe that it’s over? This is a tricky one. I know women who fasted and prayed and had their relationships restored simply because they refused to believe it was over and went before God with the importunity of the knocking neighbor. I cannot refute your faith. According to your faith, let it be to you, in Jesus’ Name. But in the interim, while you wait for the fig tree of discord to dry up at the root (here comes a rule I’ve broken too many times), respect that at this time, he wants it to be over.
Even if you have to tell yourself “It’s just for now,” don’t do the barrage texts, 10,000 emails, and 20,000 apologies. PLEASE TAKE IT FROM ME! I am – sorry, was – the queen of apologizing and long emails. It does not help. Not only is it disrespectful, it gets your hopes high only for them to come crashing down when they are met with indifference or worse, dead silence, the entire time causing the man to think, “Eh eh? Is this how crazy she is? Thank God I dodged that bullet.” It takes two people to form a relationship, but just one to end it. But nothing happens without God’s permission! If you are beating yourself up for being the guilty party, remember David’s words to the Lord in Psalm 51: “Against You, YOU ONLY, have I sinned, and done this great evil in Your sight.” Accept God’s forgiveness. If God forgives you, nobody, not you, not this man, has any right to cause you any guilt. Even if people say, “You messed up,” and even if you really did, you’ve settled it with God, and that’s all that matters. Allow this phase to be over. Refuse the guilt. Because even if God brings this man back into your life, you will have to start fresh to keep from going around this mountain again.
5) You’re plagued by fears that this is The One That Got Away? See the first paragraph above. The One will not get away! Period. If the man on your mind is The One, he’ll be back. Either way, fear does nothing to help you. Some miracles are instant, some are not. Fear is inside-out faith, and without faith, it is impossible to please God.
6) You’ve forgotten your Word? This usually happens when you allow a man to become the source of your happiness (see #2). If this has happened, dust off that Bible, open it, and read it. The Word says it does get better. It says mourning is exchanged for dancing, beauty is given for ashes, and those who mourn shall be comforted. It says all things work together for good to those who love and are called by God. It says there is nothing too hard for God. And, page by page, it reminds us that God’s love is not performance-based. The Word is the key to finding out where you went wrong. It’s the key to correcting that. It’s the key to a fresh start. It’s the key to guilt-free living. It is the key to moving on. Read your Bible and pray every day if you want to… well, move on.
7) You’re replaying the wrong tape? Whether it is those painful words he told you the last time you saw him, or the friends who told you that you did not deserve him, or even the words you said to him that you now so deeply regret, you need to hit Stop and chuck that tape. Record over it if you must, like we could do with those old cassette recorders. Faith comes by hearing… and I know you’ve probably heard a lot. Pole, mama. I know. Just begin to carefully choose what types of conversations you will be a party and audience to. Listen to people who tell you not the facts of your situation (he left, you‘re single, you messed up), but the truth about it (God is on the throne, so regardless of facts and statistics, everything has no choice but to be alright). See how Truth trumps facts?
8) You have too much idle time? Think about it and just observe your emotions over a period, say, one week. You’ll notice that the pining mostly occurred during those times when you had less to do. Use that time to finish projects that you had tossed aside, keep in touch with friends (especially if you forgot about them because you were too busy making this person your world), and polish up on your Word – why not? One day at a time, and you’ll soon look back to see that the pain is not so bad anymore. Jesus said, “Occupy til I come.” Don’t let a simple breakup cause you to risk your crown.
9) You’re doing a stop-and-go? I suppose this is just a different way of putting #4. You look for him, find him, keep in touch, get your hopes up, then he disappears. Rinse and repeat. Some women do this for years. Some even after the man is married and has started a family. All this time you’re stopping-and-going, you might be missing out on the one person who will stick around for keeps. Please refer to #3 and #4. A double-minded woman is unstable in all her ways. Move forward, set your hands to the plow and get to steppin’! Let goodness and mercy follow you. If he is a blessing, he will follow you – kutaneni mbele, lol.
10) You’ve not taken enough time to heal? If, by nature, you’re an energetic, creative perfectionist, it can be difficult for your flesh to accept that you need to pause to heal. Words like pause, wait, and be still may not even apply in the dictionary of your flesh. No wonder the Bible says that we should walk in the Spirit so that we do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, and that there is strength in quietness and confidence; in returning to God and resting in Him. It’s difficult for headstrong women to accept that there are emotions somewhere that need to be dealt with, and – even worse – that certain things, like moving forward in that area, have to be put on hold for this to happen or will be put on hold until this happens. But you owe it to yourself to allow this situation to play the role it was supposed to play in helping you become a better woman. You owe it to yourself, and, dare I say, to God, to take the time to learn why and where you went wrong and how you will do better next time. You owe it to yourself – and it is important, if you are to progress – to pitch a tent right there, like Abraham did in every new territory, and see what God is saying not about you and this man, or about you and your future husband, or about you and your issues, but about you and GOD.
You are beautiful. Glorify God.
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