Time Does Tell

I have this story, and I know I need to tell it. It’s been growing inside for a few years now, getting bigger and better as it keeps unfolding. It’s been on my heart, and today I knew it was time to write it out, for my own benefit and for others – a testimony of God working all things for our good. So here goes…

I was 13 when my lifelong friend told me that he liked me. (Yes, this is a sad, “break-up” story, but it does get much better.) Thrilled of course, because that is every young teenager’s dream, I said that I liked him too. And I guess I did. I mean, our parents talked about us getting married since we were little (How crazy is that?!), and we were best friends, so it seemed to fit, at least to us. Another crazy thing is that his family lived in Florida, and we’d only seen each other a handful of times since they moved when we were 7. We wrote letters and called each other, then starting texting when we were around 12. And we talked a lot! Too much, every day, constantly.

He spent the next 2 summers at his grandma’s house in Lebanon, and we saw each other quite a bit (He came mostly to see me.) The second summer (2014), we had our parents’ approval to be “Facebook official”, though of course they had approved our growing friendship the whole time. We could even hold hands in public. *gasp* (And that’s one thing I have deeply regretted. How sad it is that the title of “husband” will not also belong to “first boyfriend\boy I held hands with”. At least I had the sense to not let him kiss me! But anyways. Enough about that.)

Looking back at those 2 summers\years, I realize why I wasn’t happy. It wasn’t that I was sad we couldn’t live closer to each other and see each other more often, or that goodbyes at the end of summer were awful. Though both are true, it was more that God was telling me that this relationship wasn’t right. It had filled up some of that space my relationship with Him was supposed to fill. And though we had always been “good Christian kids”, we had lost some of our focus on God by focusing too much on each other and the future we thought we would have together.

I visited Florida for 2 weeks in January of 2015, for his 16th birthday. And it was there that I was sure I had to end the relationship. We were too young, too immature, and I was too easily controlled by another’s opinions and desires that I knew were wrong. I had adapted to thinking “what would he want me to say\think\do?” instead of embracing the girl He had made me to be. I realized that this wasn’t what God had for me and I began to more actively seek God and search His Word for the wisdom and truth I needed. And I began to rebuild my identity and worth in God alone. I wondered why He had brought me to this relationship if it wasn’t meant to last, but I rested in knowing that He would work all things for my good, and that time would tell just how much He would grow and teach me through it.

After much prayer, talking, and thinking everything through, I ended our relationship, feeling sure and at peace that it was what God was telling me to do. I was hoping we could still be friends, but no, that didn’t work out. We were too hurt for that. And he was too angry; at God, himself, and me. Because I had led him on, having doubts but not telling him, because I didn’t want to hurt him. I knew he was so sure about us, that I was trying and trying to just stick with it and hope it would all work out. And I knew that God wasn’t his rock and foundation; I brought much of the meaning to his life and I did not want to be the reason he would fall. That’s the thing about mercy sometimes; you give too much of yourself because you’re trying to help someone else. You care so much that it hurts.

Though my relationship with God was growing and growing, once the boyfriend I had relied on for so long was ripped away, I struggled. I had so many questions and doubts and regrets. I listened to those whispers from satan, blamed myself for everything that had gone wrong, and was thrown into a season of depression. It took the prayers and help of loved ones, and my soaking up everything I could from God and His Word to pull me out. Even so, I came out 20 lbs lighter than before. But then I was freed. I was able to rest in knowing that I couldn’t dwell on the past and the things I wish I would’ve done differently. I couldn’t blame myself. And I certainly couldn’t let that situation steal away my joy any longer. So 2015 was I think the hardest year of my life, but also one of the best years. Because that’s when I saw and experienced God coming through for me like never before. He spoke the truth and comfort to my heart, and brought me the peace and healing I needed. It was a long process, one with many layers and depths, but a beautiful one I am so thankful for.

Looking back, I sometimes think “oh my gosh, I was so stupid” but then I remember once again that God had a plan for it all along. God took me back, and brought me fully to Himself again. I struggled and searched, and I found the truth and life that He so freely gives. Every single moment changed me into the person I am today, and though there’s always room for improvement, I am thankful. I am thankful that I finally listened to His Voice and did what I needed to do. I am thankful that I can now completely and honestly say that my worth and identity is found in Jesus Christ. I am Simply and Profoundly His.

 

Only time will tell what the future holds, so let’s trust in God, and lean not on our own understanding
Have a blessed week!
-Jenna Renae

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