It’s always darkest before the dawn
Shake it out, shake it out . . . .
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
so shake him off.
~ Florence and the Machine
We all long for something we don’t have. We all want for something that’s out of our reach. “We will never find true contentment this side of Heaven,” a dear friend shared with me several years ago. It still has a grip on me. I can’t figure out if it’s me who has a grip on the situation and can’t completely let go, or if the situation itself has the grip on me. Does that make sense? I don’t feel as if I’m consciously holding on, but it’s there and it’s strong and it’s real. The giddy, romantic girl inside of me still looks for him. I still feel that flutter sometimes when I think about him. You know that feeling? It’s like a butterfly inside of me. It gives me pause and makes me feel happy, bliss-filled. I still watch for him to come through the doors at church. I still wonder if he had a good day at work or what he’s doing this weekend. I still have moments of expectancy when my cell phone lights up with a new text message wondering if it’s from him. It felt good. I felt young and warm and carefree to hope for attention. And when he did respond, I was in a state of bliss.
In this time of moving on, I’ve felt a void. It’s a space that’s been left vacant; a hole that I’m assuming will close up and heal over time. Moving into a new stage of my life and stretching my faith has not been easy. I don’t want to keep thinking about how I’m NOT thinking about it. But, I realize that I will continue to think about him and what he represents for awhile; deep roots take hard work and strength to pull up. I want to get to a point where this situation doesn’t invade my thoughts at least once a day. One stage at a time; one foot in front of the other. It’s a form of grief. The process is the same. It’s letting go of something I will never see again. I truly do believe I’m not simply letting go of my disappointment over some guy. It wouldn’t be this difficult if that were the case. I’ve been holding on to him and what he represents for a long time. A lot is wrapped up in him. I’m letting go of the promise of marriage and children. That may seem ridiculous, but that’s what it feels like to me. That I’m letting go and I’ll never ever experience it. I’m accepting that. It very well could be my reality. Sometimes, I think God wants me to completely let go before He shows me what’s next. It’s His way of testing me to see if I truly trust him. I have a good friend who left her job without any plans of what was next. She let go and God unveiled a wonderful new career opportunity for her. It’s not void of struggle, questioning, and doubt, but stepping away sheds light on new paths of discovery. It’s like letting go of the bar on a trapeze swing and God’s on the other side with arms stretch out ready to catch me.
I had become so comfortable living into a situation where I was consistently hope-filled. Even though there wasn’t a relationship there to speak of, I caught glimpses of a life with him – partners, trust, in love. It was a yearning that I sought to make that my reality. It wasn’t real. But, the hope of more felt good. And the crazy thing is, that part of me wants to turn around right now and run back into that situation. I crave the challenge of the hunt. At times, I desire to reach out to him, but I refrain (and, I have too many friends who told me that if I ever even think about contacting him, then I need to call them so they can talk me down.). I still feel this struggle within myself where Good is resisting Evil. My Christ-centered self is moving forward, but there’s still this ‘devil on my back.’ There’s still this urge to go back to the way things were before. Oh, do I need God or what? Yes, but I also need the strength from my family and friends. Words of encouragement, prayers, and a listening ear are amazing blessings as I journey through this. It’s about really knowing who I am and how Christ made me. If I’m not content with that, then I certainly need to be comfortable with it. I’m moving on sans romantic relationship and not interested in looking for it right now. What challenge there has been in moving on to continue in my singleness; being alone; by myself. Sometimes it’s so much easier to continue to live in the comfortable – the familiar, even if it’s not ideal.
There has been noticeable progress. I don’t yearn for these experiences like I did even a few weeks ago. I have amazing moments of pure joy. Like the other night when I went on a walk in my neighborhood. I was overcome with thanksgiving and gladness. I was basking into the next stage, even though I’m not quite there yet. God was showing me the grace of living into this moment, and not turning around to see what’s behind me. He was showing me what it feels like to be free. This situation will always be part of my past. God used it to grow my faith, but I can let go now. He doesn’t want me to hold onto it anymore. I’m tired of holding on and I’m grateful that these moments of struggle I’ve described are not a state in which I consistently live. I’m not there yet, but I will be. I’m loosening my grip….one finger at a time…..and it feels amazing.