The Bridge Chicago is a way to offer the resources of Mission:USA to help people do good ministry.
a few years back i dated this guy. it didn’t work out but we decided to stay friends and we became VERY close. like the call multiple times a day,go to family functions, and just love being together close. during our 3 year friendship i fell in love with him and i was told i was loved in return. that was one of the many lies i was told. i cut him out of my life over a year ago and it was the best thing i’ve ever done. over the course of that year he’s been calling and texting with little response from me. I knew he was dating someone and I was ok with that, I felt bad for her because of his history with lying and cheating but I’m glad he is happy. I’ve just learned that he’s engaged and the old hurt is returning with a vengeance. How can i get past this for good. I don’t want to hurt anymore, I don’t want to feel like I’m not good enough anymore. I’ve been praying nonstop since I found out, I’m comforted but the years of hurt just simply won’t go away.
There are a lot of things going on in this situation so the first step is to identify and isolate the main thing. It seems like the confusion is coming from the fact that intellectually, you know that this shouldn’t effect you. This guy is a cheater and a liar and you dodged a lot of misery by not being with him. Yet, you still feel the hurt of not being chosen by him, even though he is not someone you would want to be with. This happens to everyone sometimes, you know how you should feel logically, but you don’t feel that way.
Let’s look some facts that you can return to when you start feeling overcome by the negative feelings.
You cut this person out of your life for a reason. This is not a case of “oh it just wasn’t the right time and now the window is closed”. The relationship didn’t work out, then dude used friendship as an avenue to emotionally manipulate and lie to you. If you were getting married to this guy, your life would be miserable for it. We often tend to look at our past and focus on the good, which is only natural, but you have to force yourself to see the whole picture for what it really was.
The age at which you get married doesn’t mean anything, it is not a race. People, especially women, especially Christian women, often seem to see getting married as a statement about you as a person. It is some sign of arrival as an adult, or a statement that you are a person who is officially worthy of love, or something. Here is the thing no one really says: if your prime goal is to get married, you can have that hooked up anytime you want. You can find some dude who is clueless and charm him around your little finger and be at the altar before you can say “terrible idea”. Now, if your goal is to live the life Jesus wants for you, including a partner who will make that life richer, then it takes some patience. But that time doesn’t say anything about you other than the fact that you are a grown woman who knows what she deserves and knows the God who is going to provide it. That makes for a long term, happy situation.
There are people who deserve no say in how you feel about yourself. This one is tough. Most people, but again maybe girls more so, are raised to believe that it is possible and a good goal to make everyone happy. We all have that fantasy that we will be the right weight, have the right list of accomplishments, have the right quiver of witty comeback, and everyone will just declare “we are officially impressed and accept you now” and then we will be happy. The problem with that is some people are jackasses. They will always want more, always look to tear you down, always want to use your insecurity to their own ends. People who treat you poorly forfeit their right to have any impact on the way you feel about yourself. It is a very hard concept to get your head and heart around, but it is incredibly freeing once you do. On the other hand, Christ purchased you with His blood, so He has earned the right to tell you who you are and He is crazy about you.
Focus on things that do define you in Christ. Keep praying, even though it is hard, and ask the Lord to show you who you actually are in Him. A conqueror, a beloved daughter, a princess, an ambassador of Christ. I would also advise you to find a place to live that out through service. Helping someone else who is going through a tough time can give you a sense of purpose and strength that will drown out the naysaying voices. That could be as simple as helping at a soup kitchen, teaching children’s sunday school, volunteering at a women’s shelter, anything.
Unfortunately there are no magic words, no 7 step programs, that will take away the pain and make you sad-proof. There is a Jesus who loves you, who listens and speak actual truth about who you are into your heart; and there is a world of people who would love to have someone like you come alongside them. Even if you can’t see it now, you will come out of this with a sense of who you are and what you can make it through that you didn’t have before.
-Matt from The Bridge