I’m Gonna Find Another You

It’s been a month now. Exactly a month, to the day, today. I’ve survived 4 Friday nights, 4 Sundays, and countless tiny moments that he was supposed to exist in. My heart was closing the door but it just couldn’t shut it. Until last week.

Last week it closed, locked, bolted, and entered a new home.

You are not the best woman I will ever know was enough for my heart to sit up straight, dust itself off, and walk away. For good. I’ve hit a new stage of this process, some of the anger. It’s the kind of anger that plays angry breakup songs, shouts on the phone to girlfriends, but is only surface level. The kind that realizes it isn’t even worth it to bring up. The kind that has to happen to die.

The kind that sings along with John Mayer when he says

if I’m forced to find another
i hope he looks like you
yeah and he’s nicer too

i’m gonna find another you

My brain tells me I’m not ready, that I couldn’t be ready, that it would be foolish to think I’m ready but my heart tells me another story. My heart tells me that you don’t hang on to counterfeit love. You don’t stop your life because you loved wrong. You rejoice in the fact that you got it wrong with the wrong one and you didn’t get it wrong with the right one. My heart tells me its time to wake.

Now hear me out, I think dating is the worst. Going on dates and casual hangouts makes me groan. And I want to roll my eyes and resist until I fall over dead.

But love, love is worth it. Love is worth the risk even when you get it wrong. Love is work the risk even when it doesn’t work out. Love is worth the risk when its a mess and you’re a disaster and it breaks your heart.

Love is worth the risk.

Appropriately so, my heart and head began to shut down the possibility of another when I belonged to someone. There were no options, no “what if’s”, no “I wonder’s” that existed in my life. I stopped looking and admiring and feeling and thinking. I turned towards one and recklessly fell in deep.

I think my heart has opened up quickly enough. My head is taking a little bit longer. My head still reels at the idea of doing it all over again. My head is cautious. My head still thinks it needs to be his.

My head thinks love isn’t possible again, that this counterfeit was my only shot. “Look how long it took you to find him! It will never happen again. You really messed this one up.” How my head relishes the hopelessness.

So I force my head to meet my heart.

Because my heart believes there is still love. My heart knows there is Hope. My heart knows who is Hope. My heart believes what my head can’t understand.

This wasn’t my one shot at love, and if you’re going through something similar or have, it wasn’t your one shot. It isn’t over, unless you decide love isn’t worth the risk.

 

Besides, maybe I’m not the best woman he’ll ever know. But someday, I’ll be somebody’s.

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The Risk of Loving and Losing in Front of the World.

It was a brutal five hours as we came to the understanding that this thing we had invested in was coming to a close. Neither one of us thought the conversation would take this turn. There was no fighting, no harsh words, no dramatic accusations, no “well you never” or “I always” or “there is someone else.” It was not the way I had always envisioned a break-up would happen. When we started to talk about the future and the desires we had for it, we saw differences but nothing to sink the ship.

We had spent a fun day together, brunch and a movie and cuddling on my bed. He had traced my thumb with his and kissed my forehead. He knew he was going to tell me something that was going to be a big deal to me but he didn’t know it was going to start the end that night. The further we got into the conversation, the more I tried to fight for us and the more he said goodbye. I laid in his arms and stared into his face. I whispered a desperate attempt to convince him we were fixable. We were enough, I was enough. His red-rimmed eyes told me everything I didn’t want to hear but everything I could sense was coming.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” His broken words rumbled in my ears.

“No. I’m not ready for this. I’m not ready to live in a world that you aren’t with me. I’m not ready.” I protested. I was clinging for anything that might buy me more time, give us a chance to figure out if it was really over.

As I knew his heart had left me, I rolled over and started to sob. He clung tighter. Everything within me was at war. I wanted to push him away but I knew that when I told him to leave, I was shutting the door on forever. I was shutting out my love, my best friend, my hopes and dreams. How do you make the decision to do that? When feels like the “right time” to tell someone to go?

He wrapped me in his arms and let me kiss him one last time. I gave him his t-shirt, a book, and a cookbook he had given me. Telling him it would hurt me too much to see it. He nodded and walked out the door, head down, eyes swollen. He left.

I pulled out my phone and called my mom, knowing the late hour would worry her.

“I need you to come here. I need you.” She got in the car and started driving the twenty minutes to my house.

Numb and in shock I grabbed my bag and walked out the door. I sat on the curb with shaking hands and frantically opened my phone.

I launched Facebook and quickly changed my relationship status. I changed my picture. I deleted posts about him. Satisfied that I had eliminated most of it, I deleted the instagram pictures of him and us and things that reminded me of him. I went through my phone and deleted his number, his text messages, his calendar. And then I had to open my pictures and delete the ones of us. The memories of being in love for the first time and the happiest months I ever had experienced.

All I wanted to do was erase every trace of him. Because if I took those things away maybe it would make me not hurt as much.

The problem was not only did I have to erase him from my real life, I had to erase him from my digital life. And those footprints are much bigger. There are alot of benefits to living the majority of my story openly. You are able to celebrate with me, laugh with me, joke with me, enjoy my awkward moments and quirky thoughts. You’ve been there with me through death and loss and moving and hard transition. You rejoiced with me when he came into my life.

But there is a con — I wrote our story into other chapters of my life. I gave him a face and a name and a relationship status. I wore my heart on the outside. So when everything changed, I desperately wanted to cross his name out of the other places it was written. Because it hurt. But it wasn’t just my sadness and my brokenness. It was yours too.

You have given me your precious stories, your words of encouragement, your love, your support, your hope. You have given me yourself.

There are times I regret letting my heart be open. Times I wish I kept things to myself. But all I need to do is scroll through the hundreds of messages to see that our stories are meant to be lived with each other, together. I took a risk for love. Risking to love a man and risking to live it in front of you. I knew it might end this way and truthfully, I don’t think I would have known how to walk forward if it hadn’t been for you. So that’s why risking it all for love in the digital age is worth it — because you live joy and sorrow, hope and disappointment, love and pain, in ways that bring life with a community of people who desperately love you. The power in that, the power of healing and transformation, is something the enemy doesn’t want to see. So he holds our hearts captive in shame and embarrassment.

But not this time.

How to survive your worst nightmare

I tried to sabotage it from the very beginning.

I’m too much.

I’m crazy.

I’m too emotional.

Don’t I sound like a winner?

I don’t know why I’m telling you this, I shouldn’t be telling you this.

Over and over I tried to convince him I wasn’t worth loving, that he should walk away now before my heart got involved. But he didn’t. He stayed. He ignored all of my silly reasons and insecurities and told me he was hard to push away. The first two months I wanted to let myself fall but I was still cautious. Terrified of losing this budding relationship. Terrified that he’d see who I really was and be out.

Counselor Kevin told me it was control issues. No surprise there, right?

I thought if I could be better, not as much, a little less, calmer, less sparkly, more controlled, he’d be willing to stay. After all, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when you’re dating?

Unfortunately I’ve never been much good at that.

The enormity of who I am is something I can’t hide very well. I wear my heart on my sleeve and my emotions on my face. I’m not saying it’s always right, I’m just saying it’s what I’ve done. But the more I got to know him, the safer I felt and the more I let my guard down. Until inevitably some fight or silence or weird comment would send me into a tizzy and I’d analyze and process and work through these things, trying not to lose him.

I was starting to fall in love and I thought, finally. I can’t lose this.

I made myself believe I was the one determining our fate.

My biggest fear was to lose this thing I had waited so long for. My biggest fear was losing him.

So when he walked away that night, when he shut the door to my room and my heart, when he said goodbye for the last time, the panic was overwhelming. I had lost the thing I had been so afraid to lose.

The days that followed were dark and fuzzy and lonely and full of tears. I honestly didn’t know I could cry that hard for that long. But as the world got a little bit clearer and my heart found its way to the sunshine, I tried to remember to be grateful to have known love and to have loved. It became my mantra: thank you for letting me know love, I don’t know what I need in this season but You do. Over and over I’d cry this simple prayer to my Papa.

And then I realized, I survived the thing I dreaded the most. I survived finding love, having love, and losing love.

I survived.

I think once you know you can face one of your deepest darkest fears and come out alive, it makes you less afraid of it next time. It makes me less afraid to walk forward into something new because I know what to expect, I know what may come, I know that it’s better to be fully loved and fully known than to try to shelter someone from the parts of me I’m afraid to expose.

It makes me hope that next time, fear won’t have me ticking like a time bomb, waiting to say “I told you so.”

Next time, I hope I can offer a whole heart.

A straw wrapper made me hyperventilate.

I was driving in my car, three days post break-up. I had casually put a drink in my cup holder to head over to a friend’s house. A few minutes later I glanced down and noticed the cup wasn’t all the way situated. I picked it up to investigate the cause of the unbalance and I saw a crumpled up wrapper.

And the world came crashing down again.

Without realizing what I was doing, I opened the window and threw the crumpled up wrapper as hard as I could to the world outside. I figured I’d pick up a few pieces of trash the next time I went running to balance my destruction of planet earth. You see, the day my world shattered we went to Starbucks for the first and last time together. And seeing that wrapper made me realize I am no longer half of a whole.

It is exhausting to constantly be reminded of what you’ve lost, of who you’ve lost. To keep a guard up and steel myself against every memory. Because I can barely go five minutes where I don’t see something or think something or say something that reminds me of him. I’ve stopped trying to fight the memories, the tidal wave of grief.

When you allow someone into your life they leave little tiny marks all over. My front seat was still in the position he left it in. The sign to drive the 45 miles South to where he is. The restaurant he looked me in the eyes for the first time. The evening we sat across from friends and laughed and shared life and margaritas and chips and salsa. The curb outside my house where he kissed me for the first time.

These are the moments that tied me to him without my permission.

I saw a woman last week who has walked through healing seasons with several different people in my community. After I poured out my story to her, she looked me in the eyes and said the most intense truth I’ve heard throughout this process. It was raw. It was strong. It did not feel good. But it was necessary.

She took me through about ten minutes of loosing, releasing, and repenting the things in my relationship. The ways I had failed, the ways I had been hurt, the emotion I was feeling. She helped me break the control the breakup had on me. It’s almost like when someone is about to go into shock or in hysterics and you have to almost shake them to stop them.

That’s what she did to my heart and spirit. She stared into it and said the hard words to call it back to life.

When I walked out of her office I felt stunned but calm. I felt peace and rest for the first time in many days. I took a deep long breath and exhaled. The control was gone. The hold it had on my life was broken. The chains had been commanded to release.

Papa whispered sweet things in my ear and in my heart that day. He whispered His extravagant love. Because my friends, His love has been poured on me extravagantly. In ways I can’t even tell you. But I can tell you that it is SO good! I want to shout from the rooftops the amazing things He is doing in my heart and the thousand of tiny little ways I see Him loving me every day.

So in the middle of all of this, there are still plenty of moments where I run into memories and pockets of sadness. I still have those recollections that the last time I did something was with him or revolved around him. I knew I needed to start facing those things and experiencing them so the last time I did something wasn’t with him. Because there can always be a new last time.

And you know what I realized in the middle of all of it?

The enemy is trying to hold me captive by holding on to those memories. What he’s telling me is that it’s too painful to go to this restaurant or I won’t ever experience this again without hurting or I can’t imagine doing this alone. The longer he tries to keep those things captive, the more likely I am to let this breakup find its control on my life. I refuse to let what God has intended for my good and His glory to be taken and held captive. We were never meant to be slaves to lies.

Slowly I am taking back the things the enemy is trying to keep. I’m wearing first date clothes, eating at restaurants, folding up memories, moving the seat in my car, changing my nail polish, and facing the memories that get to be made new.

I’m walking into Starbucks and ordering the same drink, with the same straw wrapper, and I smile instead of hyperventilate.

Because we were made for freedom. We were made for hope. We were made for glory.

The tides are turning, His children are claiming back the land.

 

And I plan to stage a midnight raid to get my heart back.