End of year is always a natural time to reflect on what has happened over the last year. I try to work in reflection more often than that, and due to the way I am wired I tend to be reflecting all the time. In fact, I tend to keep going through things in my mind until I can find the lesson or meaning in it, and ultimately gain a little closure.
However, closure is not always a guarantee. Sometimes, things happen and you have to move on without getting all your answers – I really thought that was the case with my last relationship. It was not healthy and needed to end, but I hated that reality. I liked the feeling of being adored – or what I thought in the moment was being adored. I was greatly mistaken though – I was used and I had to admit that to myself – and couldn’t deny it any longer when I got an email from him that spelled it out rather clearly. It turned my world upside down, and not in a good way. I was so confused – he seemed so genuine. I really thought, I will never know why this had to happen the way it did, never get to ask the why follow up questions – the last communication was going to be this email confessional to me and I had to deal with it only with the Lord. I had to trust that this was best for me and try my hardest to walk forward in that.
And try I did – though it is up for debate how much I really tried because stopping right now and looking back I see I was not trying to trust the Lord. I was hurt, really hurt. I was letting my feelings stirred up by this letter define me, and thus, I took on the role and lived it up – say like I was feeling 22. It helped numb me, but by no means fulfilled me. I hurt more – I wasn’t hurting him the way I had wanted to because he had no idea what was happening in my life – as we had cut off all communication.
Now, fast forward to about a couple weeks ago. It’s been two and a half months since the last communication. I walk into a party – and there he was. A million thoughts ran through my head – but the clearest was, “Vengeance is not mine to have.” So, I said hi (not in the sweetest tone by any means) and walked on to enjoy myself. Eventually, he came up to me and asked if we could talk. So, we did. I was in awe – the Lord rushed over me with peace and I could feel him holding me, protecting me and thankfully letting me see – this really is good that it did not work out. I had nothing to lose, so I could ask any of my questions – worst thing that could happen is he said he wasn’t going to explain. It would have been sweet if the story ended there, but oh no – I am sinful and so of course it did not end there. As we were talking, there was a sick satisfaction welling up inside of me – to see that there was pain in this for him and that I still had power over him – I knew that I could get what I want and this time be the one to wipe my hands clean – gah, why is my heart so sick and dark?!! Vengeance is not mine to have, and yet I still sought it in a subtle manipulative way.
I want freedom from myself. I want the Lord to change me. I want to trust the I am where I am for my good and stop trying to take matters into my own hands – seriously. But, I did what I did – I need to walk forward. I want to rest in grace and know that God can and will change me – I am not defined by anything other than God himself. But I need to let Him – I need to chose the way out of temptation when He gives it to me, because He always does – that night I just chose my selfishness – and yet, still the morning after He was gracious to me feel like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I finally feel like my heart is healed and I can fully move on – I have finally released this ex – and for that, I am extremely thankful. The Lord’s mercies are new every morning. Today is a new day – and I can honestly say today that I want to change. I want to fight my temptations because they do not fill me – they cannot fill the void that only Jesus can fill. I want that to be sweet good news again.
There are still lessons to learn and things for me to work through in my heart. But at the same time, there is closure to that season. I can now look back and remember the happy times with a smile and own the poor decision I made, and learn from them. The Lord really can redeem all things and use them for good. Those that know me well, know I am rather stubborn and tend to need to learn things the hard way. I know a lot of this pain could have been avoided had I listened to so many that love me, but I didn’t. I chose to walk down this path – but the Lord never forsake me. He is my sweet shepherd, and has brought me back to himself – so thankful that this good news is true for me today.
I know that this is rather personal – and that a handful of people that read this will know the people involved – but I share because the Lord works through our stories. I share this story to show how committed He is to us – there are so many evidences of grace at work in this story. I share because I want people to see Jesus more clearly. He loves his children and deals with us graciously, so graciously that he even gives this stubborn little brat closure to show me He is with me in this – and He really is better.
Hope this finds you this Monday seeing that Jesus is sweeter than anything this world has to offer – whatever that greatest draw is for you. I am sure it is a good thing, but it is a good thing that is meant to point you back to Him and not be an end in and of itself.