Monday, July 09, 2007

It is finished

So I've been cleaning house the last couple of days. It started with smashing to bits a few of the gifts he gave me, then today I found his letters and burned them. Everything he gave me has now been either destroyed or given away, and that makes me very happy.

When this process began a few days ago, I did not even realize that it marked the end of the 40 day fast he had asked for until a friend reminded me. I suppose the timeline wasn't that significant to me, because he had requested a fast from our relationship. As we no longer had a relationship to speak of when he asked for the fast (I broke up with him two days prior to the request), I suppose the "fast" he requested was essentially over before it even began. At any rate, I inadvertantly marked the end of the fast by ridding myself of the things that represented the initial impetus for it.

I do not believe in coincidence. Even though I was unaware of the timing, I think God used it to bring an end to an era in my life. It was about so much more than just that one relationship. In destroying those things, not only was I severing soul ties between myself and a man who wounded me more deeply than any other man I've known, but I was symbolically bringing an end to the Stephanie that would ever allow such a man into her life to begin with.

It would be easy for me to point an accusing finger at him and say, "You played me! You schemed me and manipulated me from the beginning!" I also, though, have to look at my own role in this pain. Yes, he did play me. But, I let him. In wanting to believe for better things, I chose to ignore the signs that God was letting me see. If the last 40 days have meant anything to me, it has been a time of reflection on why I allowed the relationship to carry on for as long as it did, and why I was so vulnerable to such a man. Why I have been so vulnerable to men of his caliber throughout my entire life. All it took was sweet words and a sad story, and I was his puppet. Why did it take something this drastic for me to learn that if I have to keep the blinders on to make the relationship work, it is a relationship I need to end sooner rather than later?

God has definitely used this to teach me a thing or two about walking in the way of blessing. Just as I had to pick up the sledgehammer and smash those gifts by the force of my own hand, I can actively choose to embrace or reject the blessings He wants to bring into my life. Just as I could not hold on to those gifts and still expect the ties to be severed, I cannot make bad choices in my life and then wonder why God is not blessing me. I cannot choose to be with a man who is not good for me, who is a player, who is a fraud, etc..and then wonder why God is not blessing me with the "right" guy. I cannot choose to take matters into my own hands, then just hope will work out into something that is blessed by God.

That's what I've been doing. Not just in relationships, but in a lot of things. I do think there are times...many times...when we do not have a clear indication of how God would have us move, at which point we must simply make a choice and go forward in it. However, there are times, especially in matters of the heart, when I know I am not making the best choice, but I want what I want. Then, when it blows up in my face, I have to deal with the pain I played an active role in allowing into my life. There is no getting around it.

So, looking at my pattern, I finally realize that I have no clue how to find the guy that is right for me. I realize that the right guy will come along when the timing is right. Until then, I am content to be single. I would rather be single and lonely for the rest of my life than be with someone who is not right for me and who I feel miserable with.

These lessons have been hard lessons to learn. This is without a doubt the most painful relationship I've ever gone through, and so much of the pain would have been avoided if I had just heeded the warning signs I was seeing. It is a lesson learned, however, and it is the end of something old and the beginning of something new. In smashing gifts, burning letters, giving things away...purging my life of all things tied to that particular relationship...I am embracing a new perspective, a new approach.

Everyone wants to be loved. Even the most hardcore person feels a yearning to find that perfect other to share their life with. It is a natural yearning, and it is one built within us for a purpose. So, I am not going to deny that I do yearn to find that other, and to share my life with him. However, it is not the be all and end all of my existence, and I understand that. I do not have to be with someone who brings unhappiness and pain into my life just so I will not be alone. There is joy in being single that I am learning to appreciate it more as time goes on. I know that the day will come when I will find that other to share my life with, but until that day comes, I am embracing the joy of this season of my life. I will never again be manipulated into being in or staying in a relationship I am unsure of, simply because I do not want to be alone.

Never again.

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