The following blog was written by Raina Simon from her personal blog: Journey with Rai.
Call Me A Romantic
I thought I knew at least enough about love to maintain a relationship in high school.
Call me a romantic, because I had it all planned out and ideal in my mind how my romance story would go. Yet my high school boyfriend and I broke up about 2 years in and it was down hill from there.
I didn’t handle the break up well at all. I was torn. I couldn’t believe that the relationship I poured into and vice versa was over (it was mutual but it still hurt). I instantly became numb, closing off and building walls one day at a time, yet simultaneously opening my heart, mind, and body to people and thoughts that were of no value to me; things and people who only took from me, and only replaced me with more emptiness. I was through!
I’ll never forget the day my dad said “why didn’t you tell me you guys broke up? I would have been there for you.”
Those words sat heavy on me for a long time because I didn’t have to go through it alone, yet my numbness closed me out from reaching out for help I so desperately needed. Almost at the end of my senior year in high school I finally began to slowly thaw out, and the Raina that was exposed was so ugly! Scared from the pain, far removed from my morals and values, and feeling less than, I was a mess! Before taking the full time to heal I just sank deeper into that hole of negativity.
Though for three years I remained single after that, I only went deeper into a active depression and found myself attached to people who couldn’t love me the way I needed, and I filled my mind with things that couldn’t provide more than a few minutes of pleasure. I was weak, hurt and far removed from love; God!
During those three years I fought against what I knew was right, and it wasn’t until the middle of semester one of sophomore year of college did I really make efforts to make a significant change. I snatched myself worth of the ground, found my “why” for life, began the process of regaining my confidence, rekindling the idea of love, and really moving forward!
In the beginning it started by me forgiving myself, facing the hurt, and loving on myself, remembering my morals and values, and putting it into action! Starting small by facing the truth of my reality; I was single and that was okay. I didn’t need hugs, kisses, compliments or anything else for me to be validated. That propelled me to start telling guys I wasn’t about wasting my time, I wanted what was real, I wanted a love that saw me “naked” and somehow found it beautiful.
I needed to not only speak the talk, but walk the walk. I not only wanted what was real, but I wanted the respect that comes with it! I’m not dissing the men I had a pleasure of speaking, or having “situation-ships”with (not condoning this idea at all). Each has brought a unique twist, lesson, or better yet a new understanding about love, and life for me. But I knew God was calling me to hold myself to higher standards.
As I realigned, I promised myself that if a break up came my way again I would not revert to that dark place I found myself in senior year of highschool.
So my story restarts here. I began to regain that needed confidence, strength and healing over time, and I prepared myself for whatever God had in store for me.
I thought I was done having to restart, and relearn life with someone (at least I wanted it to be done).
Summer 2017, I fell in love with “waterboy” my high school admirer! Quite the sweet heart, hard worker, and much more! This guy adored me, it was refreshing to feel that finally I loved someone as much as they loved me if not more! It was beautiful! I mean I was taken care of and I couldn’t complain.
Then real life and distance set in and ran a havoc, jealousy set a blaze, mistrust, and misguided thoughts destroyed the foundation we thought we built on solid ground! Though we shared amazing days, letters, dates, and devoted time together we hadn’t gotten the true meaning of love down packed! Without that true meaning and understanding we couldn’t handle what life had to throw at us!
So before I knew it, I was single again this time before we even made a year. I nearly convinced myself that I just wasn’t good enough. You can ask anyone close to me, it broke me. I wanted nothing more than to go home; my safe haven. I couldn’t believe God let me down, or so I thought.
I thought I was done having to restart, and relearn life with someone (at least I wanted it to be done). To be honest I had a moment of reverting to my old ways. But God reminded me of the promise I made to myself; never to go back to the deep cold, numb state, and behaviors. At first I was bent all out of shape about the break up, but I needed this moment of “I have no control over my situation”. I needed to see that no matter how much effort I put in, I cannot do it for myself.
This break up left me feeling hopeless, and helpless. The one thing I did do this time around was call my dad and I cried and cried and cried and cried. I was alone, and I was hurt and I wanted nothing more than to quit everything. Like a good father he just listened, even though he wanted to catch a flight to come see me, I wouldn’t let him. I was stronger than I wanted to believe, I knew I had to continue school, I had goals to reach and I couldn’t let this break up stop me from doing just that.
With so much on my plate, I felt overwhelmed but I remembered I was determined this time around to not sink into that deep hole of depression. I was determined to depend on God. So I began right away deep reflection of myself, and my most recent relationship.
Reflections on the Heart
Having had the time to look back on this break up I have realized that we didn’t build a solid foundation.
It was weak, with micro blade cracks. So when life, the distance, jealousy, misguided thoughts, lack of forgiveness, unwarranted mistrust came in, instead of bouncing off our foundation it sank in through the cracks and settled in.
It went from solid foundation to unstable ground!
My deep reflection exposed me.
I was not patient enough with allowing him to grow.
I was not allowing love to be my first response.
I was not as willing enough to humble myself.
I was not fast to forgive or do it wholeheartedly.
I was not fighting fairly.
Man there’s so much things I WAS NOT doing.
With such exposure I now had to stop and forgive myself for not being the woman God would have me to be for him. Then I moved on to figuring out how I can be a better woman, and helpmate.
Having realized that, I began my journey of re-learning love.
I wanted then to undo what I thought I knew!
I began my search by praying God create in me a clean heart (its a prayer I pray everyday).
I then began reading Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.
These books revealed some realities about life, and how I should be living as a believer of Christ. These books highlight wisdom and its source, and how discernment and discretion work. It strongly advises one to develop discipline, and the practice of “practical righteousness before God in every aspect.”
The wisdom that I obtained from these two books helped me get my priorities right, allowed me to solidify how I want to live, and how I can achieve that life through allowing God to create in me a clean heart.
Along side reading these books, I also am reading ” Love Dare”.
Though this devotion is a book for married couples I read it by myself.
This book is about “learning and daring to live a life of love.”
It brings to light the nitty gritty of love, and what love does in every situation.
From day one it has torn me apart, and I am allowing God (love) to put me back together.
My favorite lesson from this devotional has to be “love endures all things.” Honestly we take it lightly when we repeat that verse, but in reality enduring includes “arguments, mistakes, differing growth patterns, repeated bad behaviors, and financial distress.
Through all those ugly things love still remains the same.
Love still sees the best in others.
Love remains open minded.
Love does not judge.
And love responds wisely.
It literally never gives up, love endures all those things and never changes. That is what we call unconditional, real love. We are all called to reflect this love in all relationships.
In learning these things my mind is being trained to respect differences, and make those differences a strength in my future relationship rather than a weakness. I am learning to allow God to do the changing, while I pray for my partner. I am learning to truly put my pride aside, bringing myself to take when I am wrong, as well as forgiving completely. I am learning that there is so much to learn about love, and how it requires a willing humble spirit.
God needed me to experience this break up, so that I could humble myself before Him, and re-evaluate myself up close.
It has not been an easy process to navigate, but there has been so many realizations, so many areas of growth that I would have never experienced, and I have pushed myself beyond my limits.
This break up exposed me to me, it made me realize how much house cleaning I needed to do.
If I intend on being the best version of Raina:
I needed to do away with selfishness,
I needed to do away with pride;
not willing to be wrong,
I needed to do away with jealousy,
and I needed to do away with not having confidence.
I needed to experience this heartbreak, this pain because it was the catalyst to an immediate life change that I didn’t know I needed. Now it is forming a more resilient, loving, efficient, disciplined, willing, forgiving, patient and confident woman. So that one day I could be the woman God intends for me so that I can be the best helpmate for my future husband.
I don’t have it all together, but I am learning!
1. Allow God to reveal His self and work to you; it takes time! I didn’t know that such pain would produce such fruit.
2. Stay determined regardless of hardship
3. Repeat Gods promises (Read the word)
4. Put in the work it takes to get what you want (Read, watch videos, and ask questions to others to gather knowledge about the life you want to live. More knowledge more power.)
Raina Simon is a nursing student at Southern Adventist University who enjoys music, writing and connecting with people. Follow her personal blog via the link below.