The last man I loved was incapable of believing that he could change. He thought he was too complicated and shut me out throughout our three year friendship. I fell in love with the man I knew he was and the way he made me feel incredibly safe, heard, and loved – all without saying a word. We had intense friend love – we saw the best and worst in each other, spent so much time together that I never imagined a life without him in it. The truth is, I became so incredibly dependent on him that I didn’t need anyone else – especially not God. He was enough, and the person I crawled to to find my identity. In so many ways, He was my first response in every good, bad, and in-between.
At the end of our friendship, he sent me the most hateful message I have ever received in my life. He wanted nothing anything to do with me and that fundamentally changed who I was. I will never be the same because of it.
It took me until this year to forgive him. Not for all the heartbreak – but for being the first person in my life who I was 100% myself with, who my life revolved around, and walking away without even a damn explanation.
He and I reconciled a few years ago. We sat in Red Robin and he told me that throughout our relationship – there were moments when I wronged him and he just didn’t tell me. It seemed impossible to me that someone could hold something inside of themselves and not give me the chance to respond, to improve, to do better. I am, by nature, a person who deeply desires to honor her partners – in love, family, and friendship. I seldom go to bed angry and I try my absolute best to make amends. I am not afraid to say sorry when I am wrong. People are too important. Forgiveness is too important.
The end of that relationship started me on a tumultuous journey of coming back home. Coming back home to the woman God had called me to be. It meant that I looked back on his memory and spent a lot of time stepping into bad habits – wanting attention, doing about anything to get it, finding myself in attention’s emptiness – rinse, repeat.
I think about him from time to time. I remember how it felt to be the person I was when I was with him – and I don’t even know how to be that person anymore.
The thing about this relationship was I was often times trying to solve for his purpose, instead of remembering who I was in my own. In that relationship, I was left always trying to be the person he needed me to be, instead of being the woman I actually am.
I think the thing about heartbreak is that it shakes you to your core. It makes you reevaluate who you are and what you want to be known for. It changes you, it unsettles you, it makes you feel empty and disregarded and deeply, deeply sad. I wasn’t the fullest version of myself when I was with that man.
I now am. And there’s a lot more room for me to grow, especially without him in many ways, holding me back, standing in my way, in his own way. I don’t know if you ever completely heal from heartbreak. I don’t know if you ever forget that person or you really ever move on. But I do know now that you get to move on when you make it a choice.
My friend’s dad once said, “Hi Sue, do you know that time will fix almost everything on earth?”
That’s all you really need – time. Time, and a whole lot of grace for the process… because trust me, it’s a long, long road to come home to the woman you are.