In June 2011, my marriage ended in divorce. After 10 years of marriage, I was alone. Broken. Angry. Hurt. Anxious and afraid as I began to face the world as a single parent of two teenage girls. As I sit and reflect on that time in my life, my eyes fill with tears and I grimace when I think of the decisions I made in my relentless pursuit of love.
When I left the courthouse in June, I declared to my parents that I was going to spend time alone to heal. Well…things didn’t exactly go that way! I wanted so desperately to fill the hole in my soul that all I could think about was getting back out there and finding NEW love! By the time October arrived, I was smitten with a handsome brown-eyed soldier.
He was fun and exciting! He spoke my love language! He spent time with me and cared about my interests. We talked for hours at a time. He was well-educated and had a successful career. Who needs to spend time alone healing when you encounter a package like this?? Not this girl! After being divorced for only three months, I jumped into another relationship. And I mean I jumped!
Not only did I jump, but I jumped into an unhealthy relationship. He was a great guy with great qualities but he was also an alcoholic. He was involved with other women. He was a compulsive gambler. I was so desperate to be loved and to be in a “relationship” that I was trying to convince myself that none of the bad habits mattered. In a sense, I believed that I could love his bad habits away and we would live happily ever after.
The reality is that I endured pain…disrespect…and infidelity for months. Why? I was in a broken state and didn’t take the time to properly heal before I jumped into another relationship. Here’s what I learned after jumping into that relationship:
- Time alone is crucial to the healing process. – Let’s admit it! It’s easier to jump from one relationship to another than it is to spend time doing the work necessary to be healthy standing alone. Society has convinced us that the new love will fill the hole in our souls…NOT!! The truth is that my failure to spend time alone caused me more heartache and pain. Taking the time to go through the healing process would have saved me countless nights of tears. I’m so glad that weeping endures for a night and joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5)!
- You must love yourself first. – John 8:32 says “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The truth is that I didn’t love myself. I shared that handsome soldier with other women and endured his disrespect and infidelity because I didn’t love and respect myself. Facing that truth was painful but was necessary to move forward and walk in freedom.
- You must know your worth. – In the process of searching for love, I forgot who I was. I forgot that I belong to a God who loves me so much that He sent His only son to die on the cross for me. I forgot that I am God’s masterpiece, that I was created anew in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10). I forgot that I was fearfully and wonderfully made in His image (Psalm139:14). This painful experience was necessary to help me realize my worth in Jesus Christ. Today, I can declare that I am a woman of worth because God loves me. Point. Blank. Period.
Jumping from one relationship to another may seem easier but the reality is that you’re just carrying baggage from one person to the next. If I have learned nothing else, I have learned that spending adequate time alone in between relationships is crucial to our growth and well-being. If we don’t take the time to deal with our stuff, the baggage doesn’t go away…it accumulates! Slow down and take the time to heal.
~ The Warrior Princess