I have never put all of this into words, bear with me through the struggle of this.
The spring before I started Nursing school I became friends with a boy from work. We had a mutual friend that brought us together. I did not have very many friends at the time and neither did he. My spiritual life was not at its best, school was a major excuse for me to get distracted. But He decided that he was going be my friend. He started slowly and progressively talking to me more and more. We texted all the time, I was glued to my phone. I was enamored that someone would want to talk to me so much. The attention he gave me meant so much. Though I would never have admitted that then. He began sharing his “secrets” with me. This made me feel special and important. I knew nothing of what I was getting myself into….. His secret sharing made me feel like I was beginning to know him well and I opened up to him.
That summer and fall he “dated” or almost dated someone. It was not healthy and it ended badly. It didn’t bother me cause he and I were friends. That was a hard time for him and I was there for him and supported him. That “almost relationship” was everything I knew I didn’t want in a relationship. He had so much that I didn’t want, I saw the bad in him, but I also saw the great potential he had to be good. A part of me was convinced I could bring out the good and make him better. I wanted to believe he was good.
As school started and we continued to talk all the time we got closer and spent a lot more time outside of work in each others company. Lunch after class became a frequent occurrence. He continued to open up and share his “dark past” with me. The more he shared the more important I felt. He made me feel wanted and important. How dumb was I to believe that! All through my first semester of nursing school he supported me and encouraged me.
We consistently stayed up until 1 or 2 in the morning talking about everything and nothing. At the end of that year in December. He admitted to me that he had feelings for me. I didn’t know what to say to that. Everything I knew about him… I wanted to run. He took my lack of an answer as a yes. That was how my first relationship started… The lack of saying no. I had been running from God since the beginning of my friendship with him. He pulled me further from God than I have ever been. I did it to myself… I let it happen. In that moment when I should have said no, that still small voice was telling me to walk away. But I wanted what made me feel good, special, happy and needed…
Everything was smooth sailing and fine for the first month or so. He was kind of odd, wouldn’t hold hands, go on dates… Just different….. I never understood why. Was it me? Was I not good enough?
Our first major issue was a girl he always talked to, as much as me, if not more. I never liked it and it made me feel insecure. We fought about that ALL the time. He would hang out with her, or her and her friends. Never once did I think it was okay but he did not find it to be wrong. He would say,”She’s just a girl, I care about you, I chose you” It was enough to make me stop talking about it for a little while. I was foolish to believe him. In the first two months we almost broke up over her… Sigh…. All the bad things, the wrong things, the red flags, I should have seen them. I lowered my standards and expectations and accepted this “girl” as a part of our relationship. This led to a gateway of other things.
Where did it all go wrong? I wanted acceptance and love and I looked in all the wrong places. BUT he said he cared about me, and that I was the most important person in his life! When I should have turned to God for fulfillment, I didn’t. He made me feel like I was special. When one day he started pushing boundaries…. At first I could put him off. But he kept pushing. It started small and he would push a little further every time. Saying no gets harder and harder the more someone pushes. I would leave and feel terrible and he would say he was sorry and how much he cared about me. Which at the time made it all better. How could I say no, I didn’t want to lose him. I am not blaming him because I have fault in this as well.
After several months of pushing, giving in, and remorse I was done with all of it. We could make it work but only on my terms. I was resetting the boundaries. He didn’t deal with that too well. He started to close up. He wouldn’t talk to me, he pulled away. I didn’t understand. It made me feel worthless, like I meant nothing. Words are very powerful and they can greatly hurt someone. He was a master at using words. To manipulate and get what he wanted as well as to inflict great pain when necessary. It started with him saying that our personalities didn’t go well together. Then he would straight up tell me that he didn’t like who I was. He thought I needed to change. He tried to change me. He altered my clothes, the way I acted, so much of me and I let him. Slowly I had lost who I was. I didn’t know who I was anymore. Church wasn’t a priority in my life anymore. Doing my quiet time wasn’t even a thought in my head. I just wanted to make him happy…. Who was this girl? Who had I become?
Nothing I did was good enough… Everything I did he had something negative to say. I was defeated. He tore me down and made me feel like I was the problem. Verbal abuse comes in many forms and I believe that it is not something to joke about. Nothing anyone said to me made me feel better. One day I was driving to work and I heard the song “Through Your Eyes” by Britt Nicole. Tears streaming down my face I sat in the parking lot at work and thought about how much my Heavenly Father loves me. He defines my worth not a mans words. It pushed me to start going to church consistely and engaging in groups of godly young people. There was a sermon about letting go of whats weighing you down to grab onto what God wants to do through you and in your life. I knew what I needed to do, I just didn’t know how to do it or if I could go through with it.
He and I had a conversation about breaking up. He said, “I don’t want to hurt you, so I’m taking time to see if you’re worth it.” So much of me wanted to say I was done right then. But I didn’t. He was my best friend despite all the terrible things he said to me and how terrible he made me feel. I didn’t want to lose my friend….. I had already lost my friend at this point. I didn’t know who he was anymore. Finally after several more weeks or verbal torture and me begging God for a way to say something. He told me he was done…. He said,” I’ve begun to resent who you are.” No tears were shed by me, a huge weight was lifted off of me. I felt like I could breathe again. I was angry, at how he treated me and how I let him treat me.
I listened to Britt Nicole’s song on repeat. I wanted to feel loved, I knew God loved me. I ran from Him, I ignored him…. How could God still love me, I was worthless…… In the quiet in the stillness of the morning, I was thinking about how I didn’t feel like I was good enough. What makes me so terrible? How could anyone love me? A small voice breaking through all my doubts says,” You are enough”
I thought,” but I’m broken”
I will heal and repair
” I’m not worthy”
I am enough and I love you
I didn’t even know who I was anymore. But I know the one Who does know. The Lord can heal and fix anything you’re going through. It was time for me to turn to God, turn everything over to Him. He can redeem any situation. Slowly as time passed God mended my heart, I learned to let go of any feelings I had. Sometimes I still struggle with anger over it all.
How can a God so big bend down and love me through utter brokenness?? He fixes all the broken cracks and fits it all back together.
I gained a friend through the end of that relationship. She loved me, supported me and understood what I was going through. She repeatedly told me the I am not defined by my past and my mistakes. It has been a while since the end all this. Most days I am okay, but I still struggle with believing that I am good enough. When I struggle I turn to my Heavenly Father and He is enough. His love is so big and overwhelming. It took me turning to God and letting go of everything I had become to find who I was again.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:8
I was keeping my head down
I didn’t know love
But I do now
And then you broke apart the lies
You told me I had something beautiful inside
You brought to life the part of me I thought had died
‘ Cause you stood right there until I saw me
I saw me through your eyes”