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It may soundFloralABC2_0002_Vector-Smart-Object copy a bit strange but my favorite part about heartbreak and break-ups is the growth that comes afterwards.  It’s those epiphanies that come during the months and years (in my case lol) of singleness that help you to realize your next relationship, will be your last relationship because you are now wiser and stronger.

It amazes me how God speaks to my heart at seemingly random times.  For example,  I’ll be riding down the street when an extended pause at a red traffic light reminds me that every “No” of my past has prepared me for every “Yes” of today.  Or, I’ll be standing in a long line at the supermarket and the bustling of plastic and brown paper bags prompts me to reminisce to the time I was flipping out over a situation.  It reminds that though I was ripe with uncertainty, God worked everything out, and I’ll catch myself smiling.

I’m sure you also, have your own moments of reflection and remembrance while out doing life with God.

Just a few weeks ago, I was sitting in my office on a late Friday afternoon.  It had been a rather exhausting week full of early morning court hearings and evening appointments.  On weeks like this, I’m usually sprinting for the front door by 3:58pm but not this particular Friday.  I don’t know if my body was just too fatigued to bolt for an exit, or if the workaholic in me just wasn’t ready to quit.  I slipped off my black heels beneath my desk, slumped down in my seat and allowed the chair to embrace every part of my exhausted body.  I took a long, deep exhale and found myself reflecting on life, love and relationships.  Of course, I have no idea how those topics emerged from exhaustionbut there I was reflecting, replaying, and reminiscing the love roller coasters of my past.

“I don’t know why I dated him either Jesus…”

“He wasn’t even that cute…”

“Why didn’t you stop me?”

On a Friday afternoon, I was having a real-time conversation with Jesus, my heart-maker, about the crazy twists and turns of being young and in-love.

By the end of that conversation I arrived at 8 things I’ve learned throughout the bobs and weaves of heartbreak, breakups, disappointments, love and relationships…and here they are:

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  1. Actually, I’m the prize…not him nor the awesome things he brings to the table. There was a time when I placed guys on a pedestal for being accomplished and just awesome overall; and in a way, I thought I was “lucky” to be with them.  But that was then and this is now.  It took me some time to grow and learn but, it was time much-needed because it taught me to see myself as the gem…not the other way around.

    She’s far above rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10)

  2. I never want to marry his potential.  I want to marry the man he is the day we meet each other.  Simply put, what you see is what you get.   If he’s late on the first few dates, he probably has a habit of being late in other areas of his life.  If he’s short-tempered and impatient when things don’t go his way, he’s likely has similar behavior in other areas of his life–and he’s possibly selfish.  Don’t wait or hope to be the person to change those things about him.  Be real with yourself and keep it moving.
  3. I never had to settle in order to find happiness, peace, love or acceptance.  In times past, I thought it was necessary to compromise in order to be with someone but not anymore.  In pressing to get closer to God, I learned that love is not mediocre.  Love does not accept what is mediocre because it always gives its best.
  4. I could get over the worst heartbreak by finding the best part of me–God.  Pretty self-explanatory. No love can ever compare to the love of God and no love can ever complete you except the love that comes from Him.4
  5. Finding love and marrying the man of my dreams is not a sprint to the finish line of happiness.  Society has a way of making unmarried women feel unfulfilled.  It makes us wonder if we’ll ever experience true happiness if we never get married so we rush to fall in love and land in horrible relationships.  Love fast, crash hard is a pretty wild & crazy way to live!  I’m fine living life as a marathon and experiencing God’s joy over the world’s happiness.
  6. I can truly be myself (sweet, sassy, sarcastic, goofy…etc) without watering down any part of myself.  One of my personal rules when dating is: if I can’t drool while laughing in front of him, he’s not the one.  (Yep…I really do that sometimes!
  7. I don’t have to kill myself in the gym to fit a mold of perfection because I was formed in the image of perfection (See Gen.1:26-27).  Yes! Health and diet are important but self-love and appreciation are too.  What good is a beautiful body if the person inside of it lacks self-confidence, self-esteem and self-love? Keep the temple looking good but tend to the inside equally.
  8. God truly does give beauty for every ash of sorrow and pain (Is. 61:3).  We just have to be patient until the beauty appears because all of God’s promises truly are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20).  I have no idea what the future holds for me in terms of marriage however, I do know that God has healed me from the inside out, and he has given me a joy I never thought was possible.

I think 8 just may be my new favorite number…

~ETE

 

2 Comments
  • Danielle
    June 26, 2015

    Hi Erika! My friend shared your article with me (most likely because MY favorite number is 8), and I’m so glad she did. This is a great write up––thoughtful and supported by scripture which is the best. Looking forward to reading some of your other posts. xX

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      June 26, 2015

      Wow! Really! 3 has always been my favorite but I think I’ll add 8 to that now too! Thanks so much for reading!

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