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.


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