I struggled with writing this.
In fact, I had a couple of false starts and even almost had an entire blog written (and if you know me, they can get looooong), but all that I had written just wasn't right, somehow.
I set it aside a few days. Sometimes that's all it takes to figure out how to go about this.
Because how does one approach writing a blog about the tenth anniversary of what was one of the worst days of one's life?
It was also my 25th birthday, just FYI.
And I got dumped by a guy I was absolutely and totally in love with. I thought I was going to marry him.
But I didn't.
In fact, he's married to someone else.
I don't mean that in a Grumpy Cat sort of way. I mean like a real, honest, wonderful good.
The reason I struggled so much to write this blog, something I'd planned to do for about a year now, was that I realized it's just not even that big of a deal, anymore.
I spent a the better part of the last decade thinking of that guy every single day. I prayed God would take care of him. There were times when I prayed God would bring us back together. There were times when I just prayed God would get me over him. But mostly, I just tried to live my life in the midst of the struggle. And people didn't always like the way my life looked. They wanted me to move on or whatever.
I did. Just not how or when they wanted me to.
This post isn't so much about the relationship I had with this guy that ended ten years ago as much as it is about how God has used the struggle to shape my life over the past ten years.
It wasn't until about this time last year that God finally let me know it was time to let go. And there will be people who will argue with me about that and say I needed to let go way earlier, but I can't worry about them. It wasn't their struggle. It was the one God gave me. And He had me struggle with it for years--about 13, all in all, considering the time when I met the guy to the time when I was 100% over all that had happened with him. I still do love him, really, but oh, not at all in a way that might be considered romantic or even friendly. I honestly hope I never see him again--not because I hate him or because I'm bitter, but simply because it would be ALL KINDS of awkward. I wish him well. I pray for him sometimes, whenever he comes to mind--which is not nearly as often as he used to. I pray that he and his wife will honor each other and honor God. And I leave it at that and go on with my life.
I couldn't do that until a little over a year ago. And it's okay. In fact, it's good.
And if you ask me why God had me go through all of that, I don't have a definitive answer. I can give you a few things that I learned through it, a few ways I'm a better person for it, but in the end, that's all rubbish. The real answer is: I don't know.
People told me right after the relationship ended that God just wanted me to learn something from it. But I rejected that idea then, and I reject it now. God didn't want me to love someone just so I could gain some lesson from the experience. Certainly, I did learn a thing or two, but that wasn't the only reason or even the main reason for the relationship. God wanted me to love that guy because He wanted me to love that guy. Plain and simple. He wanted me to, and so I did. And He wanted me to wrestle with that for almost 9 years even after the relationship ended. So I did.
I don't claim to understand it. Trust isn't about understanding. Trust is about obeying.
And the same Father who brought me into it brought me through and out of it, and I'm here on the other side a 35 year old (gosh that age sounds so grown up) woman who is still kind of figuring out who she is apart from that struggle. Of course, I've got about a hundred other struggles that have come into my life since I became free of that one. It's still okay. It's still good.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I really hate the winter. I don't like the snow. I don't like the cold. I don't like the stillness of nature, probably because humans are too busy to slow down along with it. We're still going about all of our business unless we get snowed in or something. Because humans are too dumb to hibernate.
But spring is my favorite season, and I'm glad that my birthday comes at the very end of winter. It's not quite yet spring, but the world certainly knows it's coming. Sometimes we have to struggle through some very long winters before the spring comes. Sometimes we have to struggle through some very long nights before joy can come in the morning.
It's good. I don't claim to understand it, but it's good.
So ten years later? I'm not exactly who I thought I'd be. But I know myself, and I do like myself. I think both of those things are pretty important.
It's almost spring again. There's a lot of uncertainty in my life right now--I have no idea what life will look like in a few months, let alone a few years. Chances are, I'm going to have some struggles.
But, as I've said before and will continue to say, there's mercy in the struggle.