1. I need to be married again to be happy again. Nope. I am happy because I have life and purpose. I want to be married again someday, yes!, but if not, I have my Jesus, my kids, my books, my writing, my friends, my church, and my family that all add immeasurable joy to my life.
2. To get love I have to seek it out. False. To be loved I only have to be me. I am made in God’s image and am lovely, lovable, and loving by design. Ever tried to chase a butterfly in a field or a dog who’d escaped out the garage when you weren’t looking? I’ve learned it’s best to be still (for the butterfly) or go back inside with the back door ajar (for the dog) and they will come to me.
3. Men don’t stay. Well, some men haven’t stayed. It’s true. But my precious dad who loves me enough to adopt me stayed. My brother stayed. Some long time friends have stayed. Two things happened on this journey to drive this point home. 1. I got a call from a guy friend that my heart was afraid I’d never hear from again. When he called it was a brotherly “let’s pray together” kind of moment that I wasn’t expecting nor did I feel like I was worthy of. When this call happened I realized this was a deep lie I’d swallowed whole. When we got off the phone I recognized it as such, thanked God for revealing the truth, and have never felt unworthy day since. 2. Another guy called whom I hadn’t talked with in a while and apologized for hurting me and repented and asked forgiveness. We left the call as friends. Not every man leaves. I am learning.
4. I only find men who are emotionally unavailable. (Well, now this is true, but the reason why is because I was believing a lie.) I learned in the last 40 days that in my twisted thinking if I could get the attention of a man who was emotionally unavailable and love him well enough to make him stay, it would redeem the moment my bio-dad left and the moment my ex-husband left. In so doing I set men up to fail. Though they weren’t emotionally available (either separated aka: still married, long-distance, or just getting over an ex), I would get them to care, get them to a point that I was attached, ask them to commit (something I already knew wasn’t possible either now or ever, but wouldn’t let myself believe), then get crushed when they “broke my heart.” What a crock! I was breaking my own heart. I knew! I just didn’t want to believe it. From here on out, living in this cycle has changed. I do not chase men. I will not date anyone who is separated, long-distance, or who is emotionally unavailable. In fact, I’m okay with never dating again unless God holds up a sign pointing him out. (Whoo…the vulnerability I’m showing right now…)
5. All people are friends and I should be an open book. No! Just NO. I had a crash course in this just a week or so ago. I was open with someone about a situation I’ve been walking through, but didn’t realize I was being used to get access to a friend they wanted to be close to until it was too late. My being too open opened a door to hurt for myself, for my good friend they wanted access to, and for this “trusted” person whom I unknowingly enabled to continue her cycle of whatever it is that makes her feel good. Now I pass everyone through a “level of intimacy scale” that my counselor showed me and I don’t trust so easily anymore. Life feels safer.
6. I will always be chosen last, if at all. My Bible reading shows me in Jeremiah 1, Psalm 139, and Ephesians 1 that I am chosen, created for a purpose, and adopted by God himself. If that weren’t clear enough, I was chosen, given a purpose, and adopted in real life just so God could drive this point home to me.
So there are some of the deep-seated lies I believed. Most of these I had no idea I was living in til I slowed down and began asking God why I’m hurting so badly and how I can stop hurting and really start living again.
I realize some of my posts may seem too vulnerable or even make you feel you’re intruding on my life. Believe me, as deep as all this is, my heart is about 70 levels deeper and this is just the surface. I don’t show many people the true depths of my heart.
I was called to be vulnerable and to write from a vulnerable place and will continue to do so until God directs me otherwise.