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Just as my little child brings his broken toys for me to mend, I took my broken dreams to God because He was my friend. At last I snatched them back and cried, ‘How could you be so slow?” “What could I do, my child”, he said. “You never did let go.”
Wade’s precious little broken cars: Anabel’s precious dreams — broken beyond my ability to repair. Sobbing, I show them to my Father and He gently says, “Do you want Me to work on them?” “Yes, Lord.” “Well, then — you’re going to have to let Me have them in My hands.”
“But, Lord, that means I’ll have to give up control! I’ve got to keep trying….” “The choice is yours, Anabel. You may keep them or give them to Me.” “But Lord, You — You seem to move so slowly! I’ve given them to You before and nothing happens!”
“Anabel, dear — I never had them in My hands.”
~ excerpt from Lifetime Guarantee Ministries’ Broken Cars and Broken Dreams
So, in February, I mentioned to you guys that I was letting go of my snicker bars. And I’ve been doing pretty well on that end, not just in physically letting go – but like, really really handing that snicker bar over.
But there’s always that one special case, right? And for me there was one that took a little longer, but it’s also the one that I think is making me stronger as I go along.
You see, in January, I realized that despite the fact that I’ve dated and had relationships over the past 3 years, I still hadn’t let go of Jake. Of course this didn’t come as a surprise to my closest friends, but to me – it was a shocker of all shocks, okay! You should have seen me, all indignant, fighting with God and lying to myself. “What do you mean,” I asked. “There’s no way I still have feelings for this man! No way.”
And then a quiet response would say, “But you do.”
“No. I don’t. You know how I know I don’t? I don’t hate him anymore. He doesn’t have the ability to make me sad or angry with just one call anymore. I’m good. We’re good.”
“But you’re not.”
On and on this went, for weeks, for a couple months… until finally, at the end of January, I relented.
“Do I really, though?”
Of course, all of this was occurring right in the midst of us reconnecting and working on building a legit friendship between the two of us for the first time. He was the one I was talking to about God the most. He was the one I was leaning on when it looked like a good friend of mine might not make it. He helped keep me strong so I could be a support for her. And yet… I was also coming to grips with the fact that maybe the reason none of the guys over the past 3 years had a real chance with me was because my heart hadn’t really been open to any of them.
I could no longer fight the truth. And once I acknowledged it, so much started making sense – like the fact that I’d been lamenting how no one excited me anymore, and how I’d felt that I was just going through the dating motions. Well duh, right?! If your heart is still holding onto someone else, of course you’re just going through the dating motions. So, in January I did one of the hardest things I’ve done in a while – I told him that despite the fact that I’d just agreed to us trying to start a-new, get reacquainted with each other and re-learn each other as friends, I’d changed my mind. I told him that we could no longer be in each others’ lives.
Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I’ve made similar declarations before when it concerns him. But what made it so different this time was that on the surface, we really were good. All we were really doing was catching up on our lives from the past few years, spending a couple hours just laughing and talking, checking in on each other throughout the week, and like I said earlier, discussing our relationships with God (something I really only did with my mom, dad and closest girl friends). This was nothing to write home about. We weren’t fighting. We weren’t even flirting. I wasn’t hurt. I wasn’t calling my best friend crying so hard that she thought someone was dying. There wasn’t any of the same crap that had caused those conversations before – but the result was eventually still the same.
In that initial conversation, we talked about my reasons, and I was probably the most honest I’d been with him in a very long time. I said everything. I said things I didn’t even really acknowledge until that actual conversation. And I felt that we both came away from our talk with a clear understanding. Still, I would soon realize that I was acting just like Anabel above. I’d given the snicker bar to God, but I hadn’t actually taken my hands off of it yet. I was still holding on, and I would get a wake-up call just a few weeks later when he wanted to talk again. And this time, even though the result was still the same – it hurt so much more to do it. This time, we were not good.
This time, I cried every day for almost a week. It was so strange too, because I’d be good throughout the day and then the hurt of it all would just hit me out of nowhere, and I’d start crying. And I honestly can’t even say why it hurt more this time than the last, because nothing had happened in those few weeks to change anything… but it did. And so sensing that I needed reinforcement, I called MandyPants, and it was like God was speaking through her to me.
She told me that she was proud of me, and that I should be proud of myself because we both knew that even 2 years ago, I wouldn’t have given the same answer. She told me that I should be happy, and that I shouldn’t beat myself up or feel like I was abandoning him; that I should look in the mirror and see how much I’d grown. It helped to hear those things, but I still wasn’t quite there.
Next came the dreams – these dreams that I would have almost every day of some grand gesture from him after he’d realized he was making the biggest mistake of his life, and he knew he needed me. The dreams were great, but they were also pretty horrible, and I found myself waking up in the morning pissed that I remembered them and angry that I was having them. I even found myself praying the scripture when Paul asks God to remove the thorn from him, and relating to the fact that God tells him no (several times – ugh!!), but then also says, “But my grace is sufficient.”
I tried to use that to get through the fact that my subconscious was clearly not on my side. And the fact that he was still texting me. And the fact that while I wanted him to stop texting me, I still slightly smiled when I saw his name come up on my screen.
That was weeks ago, and while the dreams haven’t completely stopped, they’re not the same as they were before. I’m not banking on him making some grand gesture for me – even my subconscious has given up on that idea. I’m not crying anymore and the hurting isn’t as strong. I don’t wake up in the morning upset with myself, and I’m not frustrated (all the time, at least) that it’s taken me this long to get through it. I’m happy. I wake up with joy. I get frustrated sometimes, but I quickly snap back, because I’m really working on putting my burdens, my hopes, my desires, my fears, etc (or rather my snicker bars, my toys, etc…) in God’s hands – not mine. And I think it’s making all the difference.
This time, it’s different.