That’s right, forget it. It never happens how you think it’s going to, anyway, so give up and surrender it to God.
Three years ago I thought I had my fairy tale. Turns out I was wrong. And, true to the saying, I have 20/20 vision looking back.
I’ll spare the gory details, but I was positive he was THE ONE. And for most of the time we were together, I’m fairly certain he thought I was the one, too (or he was just a really good liar). The circumstances in which we originally met and then reconnected were so coincidental, it had to have been fate. Looking back, I can see it was God.
I’ve often said I can look back and pinpoint God’s many attempts to get my attention. And this was one of them. He gave me what I wanted. And when I worshiped the wrong one, He took it away. But I didn’t learn from it, so it kept happening over and over again. Until recently.
One good thing from all that over and over again, I finally learned. A lot. I learned what I need and what I don’t need. I learned to look for an emotionally stable partner who doesn’t have what my therapist refers to as mommy issues (I think that’s a clinical term…), or any other issues I’m ill equipped to deal with. I learned I needed to take a break and focus on myself. And give God the attention He wants.
Now I think I’m a little old for fairy tales. And anyway, I think I’d rather let God handle it. I have faith He knows what He’s doing. Plus, I’ve heard princes are high maintenance anyway.
I woke up at 4 this morning thinking about parasites. Not sure why, but then I started thinking about how a lot of my relationships (and even some of my friendships) resemble that of a parasite. Then I thought of the famous quote from J.F.K. and altered it for my own amusement. “Ask not what you can do for me, but what I can do for you.” Yeah, my mind can be annoying at 4:00 a.m.
In school we learn about the different types of parasitic relationships, but the one I envisioned this morning was with me as the host, slowly draining away for the other person I was in relationship with.
One of the most prevalent feelings I’ve had while on my dating sabbatical has been freedom. I feel free to make my own decisions without having to consider my partner. But while in a relationship, I dramatically compromise this freedom for someone else. Everything from the big stuff: “Where should we go on vacation?” to the little stuff: “What do you want for dinner?” was compromised to fulfill another person’s wishes.
I would even change my behavior for my partner. Have a milk intolerance but love dairy? Okay, I’ll wait until you leave before I chug this amazingly delicious glass of chocolate milk. I’ll see movies I don’t want to see, listen to music I don’t want to hear, and eat at restaurants I don’t like. All to make you happy. Not sure if you want to come over Friday night? It’s okay, I’ll hang out at home in case you decide you want to see me.
In a way, I want to mimic my relationship with God with my next partner. God relies on me to be obedient to His word, and I rely on Him to provide me with grace and love. I know I can’t always be the giver, and nor do I want to always be the taker. God and I have a symbiotic relationship, which means both parties benefit from each other. A fine balance, but one I will now strive for in our relationships.
I’m slow to trust. And slower to forgive. Amendment: I rarely forgive. And I never forget.
I don’t speak often about the poor experiences I’ve had with people who have let me down. Mainly because I believe everyone’s been let down in their past. But I do wonder if I deal with it differently.
I’ve had several experiences in my life where I have had to consciously cut ties with people I once cared about. The common ground these people share is their betrayal of my trust. I will admit I give people more than enough opportunities for redemption. Chances to apologize and move on. But there are those certain instances where the path of destruction doesn’t halt because the other person ignores the opportunities. As a Christian, am I supposed to forgive those and forget it all happened?
Should I say “It’s ok. We can be friends.” to people who have just dragged me through the mud over and over again? Should I wish them well? I certainly don’t wish ill upon them. But I don’t go out of my way to make sure they’re peachy, either.
I’ve always had an acute sense of self preservation. Besides the fact that I repeatedly give people chances for redemption, once I realize I’m coming too close to self destruction I have no choice but to cut my losses. It’s not easy, but continuing to hope to heal the relationship just isn’t healthy at a certain point.
Judging from what I’ve learned so far, I don’t think I should beat myself up for cutting people out of my life. After all, I do believe God gives and takes, and He places us in situations and in front of each other for different reasons. My problem is that I still struggle to trust God’s authority and give these situations to Him. He’s in charge, not me. And while I can try to forgive those who have betrayed my trust, maybe God’s point in all of this is that I’m not supposed to forget it.