Throughout my late teens and 20’s I was a serial longterm dater, with no real space in between. I think my diary as a 14 year old represents it best, when I wrote the words, “He broke my heart into millions of pieces and I will never, ever, ever feel this way about another boy again.” Then the very next day I wrote, “Woo hoo! Scott just talked to me for 30 min. in the middle of the street, and asked me to go to the pizza hut tomorrow night! I can’t wait! He’s soooooooo cute!”
I never seemed to have a problem getting into relationships, but what I was avoiding was the pain of how each one of them ended. Usually, they would just disappear, with no warning, no explanation, no closure. As far as I knew, our connection would feel closer than ever, and then I’d never hear from them again. This happened so many times, I began to think I must be some crazy psycho chic and not realize it. What I was doing wrong to cause each of these men to just abandon me in the most hurtful way bewildered me for years, until June of 2009.
One month before, I had just been through the most traumatic relationship ending yet, due to his sudden mental illness breakdown. It felt much like a sudden death, one day we had an amazing life going on 10 years together, and the next day, everything changed dramatically. A month later, as I was still reeling in shock and disbelief, I prayed to God for an answer. Any answer to make sense of why the men I chose were always ripped from my life, with no explanation or understanding.
Then, over the next 30 days, I received 3 letters. Each of them were from men I had dated several years prior. In every letter was an apology for the way our relationship ended, and the truth of why they left the way they did. It was so surreal to receive these letters after 12-20 years of no communication, and within days of each other. But what was even more stunning, was they all gave the same explanation.To summarize, they each said, “I just knew you were going places in your life, I couldn’t go. You didn’t belong to me. I felt like I was going to hold you back from who you were meant to be.”
I was blown away. All those years I suffered, abusing myself with all the reasons I must not be enough for them, and all along, they felt they weren’t good enough for me. They had the courage to let me go, because they genuinely loved me, not because they didn’t. They could see the light in me, glimpses of my destiny, before I ever could. They knew they wouldn’t be able to fulfill me, as my life expanded, and you know what, they were right. Now, with time as my perspective, our life paths didn’t match at all. Suddenly, I felt incredibly humbled, grateful, and blessed. But most of all, I felt something I’d been missing my whole life. I felt loved.
Since then, I’ve learned God is always preparing us, or protecting us. Our greatest guidance often comes in the form of rejection, or closed doors. It’s healing for us to feel the pain, but useless to abuse ourselves with shame. For there is always something bigger, better, and beyond these moments, that are already reserved for our name.