So many questions flooded my thoughts as I sat on the edge of my bed with a wet face in my hands. I was crying. The “I got-it-all-under-control Me” had been broken. —- I look forward to writing an entry that tells you all how beautiful the ceremony was and how postponing the wedding was the best thing that happened to us…
…only there was never a wedding. He dumped me and married someone else a year later.
Yes! I love that I had the guts to say that. I am not going to publicly bash my ex and give you 100 reasons why he’s a jerk. I’m not going to talk about the ‘other woman’ either … this isn’t about them, it’s about me.
The excerpt above is from the last time I privately, but publicly, shared my life in a few paragraphs. I owe it to myself to “finish that entry.” The glaring question after my fiancé dumped me was, “OMG. What happened?” Umm… so you want me to spill out the guts of my broken relationship? Ha! … a very fine line to tread, because as much as this experience happened to me, it also happened to him. So, although I may be willing to share the gruesome details, I still need to respect his privacy. In short, I would answer, “He wanted to be with someone else.”
It’s just that simple. Ladies and Gentleman, if someone does not want to be with you, let them go. I repeat. Let Them Go. This break-up shook me to my core– I felt like a pile of rubble after Haiti’s earthquake. If you’ve seen the Disney movie, “Inside Out”, this life experience had become a “core memory” in my life. Although I no longer feel the pain that accompanied this heartache, I still live with the places in my character that were refined because of it.
Let’s begin with the public humiliation. After the initially scheduled wedding date, I bumped into a woman at church who asked me, “How’s your husband?” A.W.K.W.A.R.D. In my politically correct manner, I responded, “We decided it was good for us to take some time off.” More like, he dumped me and was warming up to my replacement. As if grieving the hurt alone wasn’t enough, I now had to grieve in front of the masses, my social media mass that is. Sharing pictures of us together came to a sudden halt, and then there was that slow follow-up of having to take down pictures that were already posted. I didn’t do this immediately, as I needed some buffering room between the actual break-up and the public announcement of it. I was devastated. I would wake up crying! How is that even possible? I lost so much weight. My hair strands were brittle. I had no appetite. I wanted out of this nightmare. In that experience, I suddenly empathized with divorcees… This break-up felt like two pieces of paper had been glued together and then with no warning, ripped apart. We weren’t married, but we were a few months away from the wedding. Our lives had merged and we were merely waiting to sign the marriage certificates. Yes, wedding invitations had been designed, my dress was in the closet, our families and friends were all aware, oh and let’s not fail to mention that we built a home together from the ground up. I can’t accurately describe the pain of that experience, but it was enough that ending my life seemed like the better option.
Other than the friends who listened to me cry myself to sleep, and my family that treaded the topic so lightly, or almost not at all…It was the ‘hope’ of something good coming out of the pain that helped keep my sanity. None of this felt the least bit good, but the pain taught me a thing or two about myself.
The pain exposed me.
It exposed the pride of my heart. I was proud that my relationship looked perfect. Our pretty little Facebook posts and ‘congratulations’ comments fueled it. I was proud that I had given my life to the mission fields of Africa and God was now rewarding me with a husband<let’s not even go there>. I was proud that my life looked the way I thought it should. Getting married before 25–check! I was proud that this guy had chosen me over that other girl. *clears throat: the irony of life*
It exposed my raging anger. The last time I could remember being so angry, was in college…when I thought my boyfriend was cheating. *Insert ‘Baby Boy’ soundtrack here and pan camera in birds eye view slowly over the white Chevy Impala and into the apartment with loud screaming*…and there I was standing with half of a grey goose bottle in my hand waving the sharp edges in his face. Fast forward to my fiancé shouting at me, “It’s over! The wedding is off!”<insert Scooby Doo’s confused look here> my eyes must have turned bloodshot red and fire blew out of my ears! This was the ultimate hurt releasing the height of my anger. I didn’t even know I could get so upset. In 7 years, I hadn’t allowed anyone close enough to trigger anything that might evoke such a reaction in me. All this time, I thought this issue had ‘gone away’. Right. It should have evaporated into thin air during one of the plethora of times I went to weep at the altar. Disclaimer: I am not saying that God can not take some things from us, but for me, this was something I needed to be intentional with working through.
It exposed years of rejection. Rejection that started in childhood with the absence of my father. Rejection from my step-father. Rejection from all the childhood crushes that didn’t like me back.Rejection from friendships that didn’t give back the way I poured in…and the list could go on. It was the resounding echo of, “I don’t want you.”
Did my fiancé need to dump me so that I could begin to walk through refinement in these areas of my character? Probably not. I think God saw an opportunity and He used it. I spent months crying, “God, why did you let this happen to me?” But He didn’t. He leaves the choice to us. My fiancé made a choice to leave and his choice caused me pain.
In His faithfulness, God used the pain to expose and then refine me.
As a furnace is to gold, removing all impurities, so was God to these issues of my heart. Are these “all” of my issues? Of course not. Am I “done” being refined in these areas? There’s always room for improvement. It’s kind of like my periodic iPhone updates— problems are reported and a better version is produced. As I like to say, I’m a “better version” of myself because of this experience. What’s going to happen when Apple produces the iPhone99? They’re going to produce the iPhone99s…lol. The same with me, there will always be opportunities for a “better version” of the better version.
Did my fiancé play a part in our failed relationship? Of course, but that isn’t my story to tell. I think he had a lot of guts to dump me a few months before the wedding. I see it this way, he wanted the purple tie instead of the blue tie. I was the blue tie. It doesn’t make me a bad choice, it makes me a different choice. He chose what he thought would compliment his ‘suit of life’ a little better. Yes, it hurt me in the process— but I can’t blame him for doing what he deemed best for his life. Don’t we all pick up the colors that compliment our complexion best? Yes, we do…and so do others.
PS. To my fellow ladies, and gentleman, who have ever been dumped or rejected… accept it, cry, scream, yell, grieve the loss… and when you’re done, come out an iPhone99s… a better version.
The Naked Writer
I look forward to hearing from you about your own iPhone99s experiences. Let the comments roll in 😉