Who do I have to be? That’s exactly what I thought as I sobbed into my pillow uncontrollably.“Oh, I don’t like where I’m at in life. I don’t like the fact that I live with my mom and drive this beat up car,” is all I ever heard. If he wasn’t interested in me then he should have just said so. I could not get him to take me out if my life depended on it, but he shows up in the middle of downtown Fort Lauderdale with this girl by his side. Why Lord? How many times must I go through this?
As I drifted asleep so many thoughts crossed my mind. I thought about how it was perfectly orchestrated for me to see them together. I had just gotten off from work in the area and was waiting around for a friend when I turned around and saw them walking together. It happened so quickly. As a matter of fact, I only got a glimpse of the back of Michael’s head, but I knew it was him. That scene played repeatedly in my head as I fell asleep questioning my worth. I cried so hard that I could barely breathe. I was so weak that I could barely lift my head off the pillow. I was tired, tired of not being good enough.
When I arrived at church the following Sunday morning, I tried not to allow her presence to hinder my worship. Oh, the young lady that Michael was with that night attends my church. Apparently, she was moving back to Atlanta and she had a going away dinner. I guess that was good news for me because I wouldn’t have to see her again. Nothing against her, but seeing her was a weekly reminder that there was something about her that peaked Michael’s interest that I obviously didn’t have. But the good thing was that she was moving away to Atlanta so I wouldn’t have to see her much longer. I know the girl had never done anything to me personally, but that didn’t change the emotions I felt when I saw her. If you’ve never had someone’s presence hinder you from worship then I commend you because it’s not fun. It’s not fun trying to lift your hands in worship and lift your voice in praise yet all the while think about how you’ve been hurt or offended. It’s not fun walking out of church without knowing what the sermon was about because all you could think about was that night. It’s not fun going into the house of God when you have unforgiveness or bitterness in your heart. Because when it’s all said in done, your worship was in vain.
I have gone through my share of trying relationships and I’m tired of being tried. I walked around like I was ‘all that’, but then allowed guys like Michael to get off treating me less. I know I’m not the only one. We have all been there at some point, but I just feel like I have been there more often than others. I kept attracting the same type of men. Do not be mistaken, I did not allow them to step all over me. It’s more so that I accepted hanging out at their homes instead of demanding they take me out if they wanted to see me. I tolerated being ignored for a week and then acted like everything was cool when they finally did call. I allowed the chemistry and the fun we had together be sufficient. Then I justified it all by telling myself that I was only in it for entertainment. Indeed, it was fun for a while, but then like the emotional creature that I am, I wanted more. How many of us have been there?
In fact, I have a girlfriend who walked around like she was the queen of casual relationships. She claimed to be in control of her emotions and not want anything more. Oh she was a queen alright…the queen of getting her feelings hurt. We knew her casual relationships were not by choice. She always wanted more and thought that in time they would eventually want the same. Well of course that’s where many of us go wrong. If he said he doesn’t want a relationship, then he doesn’t want a relationship. I pitied my friend without recognizing that my relationships were just as similar. We were both simply devaluing ourselves and settling for less. And that is the plan of the enemy. He doesn’t want us to know our worth in Christ Jesus. So even though I had a close and personal relationship with my Savior, the relationships that I claimed were for ‘entertainment’ turned into entertaining the spirit of insecurities, doubt, and loneliness. But we all know that the devil is a liar!
God said that if I seek then I shall find. So does that mean that I have been seeking these types of men all my life? As much as I don’t want to, I must admit that I have. My requirement in a man has always been physical. Of course, he had to love God, and I’d also throw in some nice characteristics here and there. But for the most part, I wanted my men to be FINE, despite the fact that Mr. Fine would overlook me while he had me. Yet it never failed, Mr. Fine would realize what he had and want me after I was gone.
Let’s take Michael for example. About six months after that dreadful night, he called as I was going to bed. I looked at the phone in amazement. He must’ve dialed my number by accident and probably wasn’t even aware that his phone had made an outgoing call. What could he possibly want? When I finally answered, we did the usual greeting. At some point during our conversation, I inquired about his plans for the New Year, as well as how he spent the previous one. Apparently he attended church last year, my church as a matter of fact. Once that was said, I knew with whom. So I reminded him that I invited him countless times but it took an invitation from ‘her’ for him to attend. Wow, she must be special! I inquired about their relationship and like a typical guy, he denied, then admitted, and then down played their relationship. I decided to tell him about the night that I saw him with her. He was surprised. He explained that he didn’t plan on attending her going away party, but she begged him. I boldly told him how I felt and left no stone unturned. I allowed myself to be vulnerable and angry because I was over him. I told him that I didn’t understand because I thought we had a friendship. I didn’t understand why there was always an excuse with me. He would always tell me that I deserved better than him, but then I saw him in the middle of downtown with another woman. What a slap in the face! [expand title=”Read More…“]
He went on and on about how he really didn’t want to be there, but had no choice after she called him crying over the phone because he had not shown up to what would possibly be their last night together. Can you imagine?! He didn’t plan on attending the going away party for a woman that he was dating. He probably thought that would make me feel better, but it didn’t. It just made him look even more like a jerk. And what broke my heart is that she was my sister in Christ. She also should have known her self-worth and that she didn’t need to beg any man to be by her side. That’s if what he said was true. And since I knew him, and I do mean “knew” him, then I believed him because I’m sure she also saw the potential that he had of being a great man.
As I said, I let it all out! I admitted to Michael that it hurt and it hurt like hell. I even told him that I went home trying to figure out what is it that she had that I didn’t have. He reassured me that “it wasn’t like that” and went on to tell me that I’m good peeps. Again, he told me that he didn’t deserve me, that I’m beautiful and that I would be an attorney soon. However, she just gave him space and that was it. And as he continued to speak, I thought to myself…So I didn’t? Are you saying I was all over you? NOT! I gave you your space. I allowed you to come in and out of my life when it was convenient for you even though we were supposed to be friends. I allowed you to call me at 2 o’clock in the morning when you sat in your parking lot needing someone to talk to because insomnia would not leave your side. I allowed you to interrupt my sleep at 4 o’clock in the morning to pray with you and quote scriptures to chase out whatever demon that needed to be rebuked at that time. I gave you your space buddy! When you went on your sabbaticals I didn’t call you even though I was programmed to fall asleep only after hearing your voice. So, I know that you’re not saying that I didn’t give you space, because I gave you more than enough.
As our conversation was ending, he claimed that their relationship was not the same since she moved back from Atlanta. Oh, apparently she moved back from Atlanta within a year. Did I have a problem with her presence back in church? No, not at all. I was beyond over Michael. Instead, my heart went out to her because the man that she cared for was never by her side to worship with her on Sunday mornings. My heart went out to her because after it was all said and done that night, he wanted us to remain “in contact”. I stared at the phone for a while after we hung up. I was a little confused about the entire ordeal, so I prayed.
Lord, I don’t understand. I loved when the guys who would overlook me in the past would come back for a chance to be with me. But I’m tired of being overlooked. When are you going to send me a man who knows and appreciates my worth? Lord, I thank you for allowing me to release the unforgiveness and bitterness that I had in my heart for Michael, which I did not even realize I had until I literally felt the burden lifted from my body. I thank you Lord for allowing me to release the bitterness and jealousy that I had in my heart for Tammy. I know she has not done anything to me and as a matter of fact I pray that you protect her in her relationship with Michael. And Lord as much as I act out, I thank you for protecting me by closing doors that I shouldn’t go through. And that was one of them.
I had to keep it real with the Lord. I think many times we fail to realize how the Lord has protected us by closing doors of opportunity. Instead of being confused as to which path to take, sometimes He makes it so that we don’t have a choice. And I’m not mad at Him for that. There have been plenty of times in my life where I would be heading in a certain direction and would stop in my tracks as though someone literally slammed the door right in front of my face. Picture it: You are going along your merry way and someone rudely slams the door and locks it as though they did not see you coming. How rude! Well, as rude as it may be, now you are forced to take the long way, the scenic route. I refer to it as the scenic route because the path that we are usually denied just so happens to be short and easy. I don’t think we were called to take the short and easy route. As a matter of fact, we are going to go through some valleys, more than we think we can bear and more than we wish to experience. The bible says that we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God. However, it also says that what happens to us will turn out for our deliverance. Thank God for deliverance. I don’t know about you, but after every trial and tribulation that I have conquered, I truly feel closer to God. So since it is my desire to draw nearer to Him, be closer to Him, and to be at a level of intimacy with Him that I’ve never experienced, then I’m prepared to come up on the rough side of the mountain a thousand times over.
Sometimes what’s on the other side of the door isn’t necessarily short or easy either. There are times we are denied access because God knows what’s on the other side will destroy us. Remember, He will not give us more than we can bear. You’re probably tired of hearing it, but it’s true. You’re probably going through something right now and you feel as though any minute now you’re going to die. But you won’t. And if you’re honest, sometimes you question why you became a Christian because it was easier living life as a sinner. Believe me when I say you are not alone. Also, believe that He will not give us more than we can bear because He called us. He continues to close those doors because He came to give us life. We are to take up our cross and follow him because through Christ we have the victory and anything short of that is not worth it. It’s like back in grade school when they were picking teams for kickball. All the cool kids we picked first and depending on your status, you were either one of them or your name was the last to be called. And that goes the same for relationships. Sometimes, you are wondering if you’re pretty enough and waiting on a man to validate you. Well thankfully, God is doing the picking in this game of life and He has called your name. So no matter what you are going through, remember that you have been chosen. Lesson Two…