I can’t tell you how long I’ve stared at a blinking cursor on my screen trying to find the words for this post.
How do I write the words that you need to hear… the words that maybe a loved one of yours needs to hear?
The words that I’ve needed to hear for the majority of my life.
Besides my current relationship, every other relationship I have been in has been what I would consider toxic. I won’t go into the nitty-gritty details, but I will say this… words and actions (from both people–myself included) were said or done that can never be taken back. They can’t be “un-heard.” They can’t be “un-done.”
The wounds may heal, but the scars from hurtful words and hurtful actions will always remain.
Sounds negative, right? Hang in there with me.
Those words and actions have shaped me into the woman that I am today. They’ve chiseled my finer, more beautiful attributes and have made them even greater.
I love harder and deeper. I love with abandon. I love with my words, but more so, I love with my actions.
Yet, at the same time, I know that if I had been a Christian who was also following God’s will, I would have never entered into those relationships. So, while the experiences grew me as an individual (Romans 8:28)…
I’ve realized that the heartache was never one that God wanted me to bear. It was a heartache of my own choosing.
You see, God had my fiancé, Mitchell, waiting for me. Mitchell was there the entire time and was always in God’s will and plan for my life the entire time.
But in my foolishness, I sought love in other places instead of waiting for God’s perfect plan to unfold in my life. Part of this was because I wasn’t a Christian for some of the time that I was seeking dating relationships. Part of this was because I thought I deserved the treatment that I received. I thought I deserved degrading comments, unfaithfulness, degrading actions, lack of respect… the list goes on.
So, I want to give you the advice that I wish that I had received (or that I probably received and just ignored at the time).
There will be warning signs.
If you’re in a toxic relationship, there will be warning signs. They are specific to the person and the relationship, but they will be there. They will be the words and actions that make you feel like less of a person. They will be the words and actions that leave you in tears… leave you feeling helpless and hopeless… leave you feeling unworthy and undeserving.
Take note of these warning signs… and do something with them.
You have permission to leave.
As odd as it sounds, I was waiting on permission to leave. I wanted to be that person that could always be counted on, that was could always be described as loyal. I felt that leaving the situation would mean that I couldn’t be counted on and I couldn’t be described as loyal.
As stupid as it sounds, I didn’t want to feel like I had wasted my time. I spent years with these people, and I felt that leaving them meant that I had wasted all of that time. So, I stayed.
What I didn’t realize is that continuing to stay was an even greater waste of my time in more ways than one. I couldn’t get the days gone by back, but I could confidently step into a new future full of freedom. I couldn’t erase the memories of hurtful words and actions, but I could choose to make those words and actions stop.
I’m giving you permission, my beautiful friend. You don’t have to waste anymore of your time.
You can leave.
Understand who you are.
The years of toxic relationships wore me down. At times, I still feel as if I am carrying hurt and defeat from years past. At times, those hurtful words still permeate my mind… filtering in and out, taunting me.
Maybe you’ve heard these statements before. I’ve definitely heard these and worse. And, in the past, I’ve internalized every single one until they became a part of my definition for myself.
Recently, I’ve been reading through the Bible with my goal being to write down what God says about me. I want to share some of what I found with you… who God says you are and how the Creator of the universe describes you.
Chosen. Royalty. Holy. Special. (1 Peter 2:9)
Chosen before He created the world. Holy. Blameless. Adopted. (Ephesians 1)
His workmanship. Created with a purpose. (Ephesians 2)
Special treasure. (Exodus 19:5)
Dearly loved. (John 3:16)
Don’t succumb to the negative thoughts that you think about yourself. Don’t internalize the negative words and names that others call you. Understand that the God of the universe is the only opinion that matters, and His opinion of you is far greater than you could ever imagine.
“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are Your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand…”
God took time to create YOU.
Not only did He create you, but He did it with awe and wonder at who YOU would become.
God thought about YOUR life before you ever came to be and planned out such a wonderful life… down to who your family and friends would be… what interests and talents you would have… every single detail, He put great delight into making.
His thoughts for YOU are precious and outnumber all of the sand that you can find on this earth.
You are gifted.
You are valuable.
You are dearly loved.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
2 Corinthians 5:17
Let the old be left in the past, friend.
Embrace the new.
You deserve so much more than you’ve settled for.