I was brushing my teeth the other day and started thinking about my desire to want to be chosen by a man. I thought back to past relationships where it seemed like the man was with me for a while, but always chose to commit to someone else. I’m sure you can imagine how disappointed, rejected, and unworthy I felt during those times. Each time it happened my feelings of not being good enough compounded. However, those feelings didn’t originate from those relationships. The seeds of unworthy feelings were planted at a young age after growing up without my father in my life. At some point I internalized that if my own father didn’t want to be with me, there must be something wrong with me. I must not be good enough. I know now that is not the truth. My father was struggling with his own issues and his absence had nothing to do with me or my worth. Yet I’ve carried those feelings for a long time, which became the underlying theme of what I believed about myself. I’m learning now that our fathers provide the first examples of how a man should treat a woman. As a result, I chose men who were physically and emotionally unavailable, just like my father. I thought I needed to pursue men so they could see my value and worth and choose to be with me. My pursuit symbolized the little girl within me who felt abandoned by her father and was searching for his attention and love. I just wanted to know how it felt for a man to choose me above everything else. Have you ever felt that way?
But do you know what God reminded me of while brushing my teeth? He said “You are already chosen.” He chose me before I even entered this world. Jeremiah 1:5 NLT says, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” So God knew me before I was created and decided how He wanted to use me. Then 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” God said I’m chosen! All this time I’ve been waiting to be chosen by a man, when I’m already chosen by God. And guess what? He’s chosen you too!
You are so precious to God and He adores you. That truth is obvious in scriptures like Isaiah 43:1-7; Psalm 139; and Hosea 2:14-20 (this has become one of my favorites in this season of my life). The more I read these scriptures, the less power my old thoughts have over me. There was a time in my life where the simple thought I had while brushing my teeth would have sent me down a pit of despair. But I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit who quickly reminds me of the truth. I encourage you to meditate on these scriptures and find other ones that speak to you. No matter what your mind may be telling you, please believe that you are wanted and chosen by God. Being chosen by Him is more important that being chosen by anyone else.
Can I be real with you and share what God revealed to me this morning? When I got married in 2009, it was honestly a rebound relationship. Prior to getting married, I was in a relationship with someone else for five years who I thought I really wanted to marry. He was moving slow and wasn’t fully invested in making us work, so I got tired and ended things. (Later I learned that I was trying to force something that wasn’t meant to be, so when I got tired of forcing it, I finally let go.) I felt emotionally deprived in that relationship for so long that I was thirsty for a man to make me feel wanted and loved. I also didn’t want to be alone. My soon to be ex-husband and I had always been in communication with one another since meeting in college so when I became single I entertained the idea of he and I being together. We had been friends for years and felt like we knew each other. He too had recently gotten out of a relationship, so we were both available. Things moved swiftly and three months later, we were married. At the time it seemed like such a good idea to get married and I even believed he was sent by God to me. The timing seemed perfect and it just felt right. (Notice I didn’t say that we were madly in love with one another.) But when I look back on it, we both weren’t healed from our previous relationships and allowed our need to be with someone, run the show. As you can imagine, this was a recipe for disaster and four years later it all fell apart.
I share my truth with you to warn you to be careful of rebound relationships. The saying, “the best way to get over an old man is to get under a new one” is not healthy. It’s so important to allow yourself time to heal after a relationship ends. The loss of a relationship requires time to grieve, processing what happened, and learning lessons from it to help you grow. I’ll be the first to admit that being alone with yourself is difficult when you’re used to being in relationships. But it’s so worth it! In the long run you’ll save yourself from a lot of heartache if you give yourself time to heal. Otherwise, you’ll keep going from relationship to relationship with open wounds that keep getting deeper. Then you’ll end up like the woman at the well in John 4 who was in desperate need of Jesus’ healing. I was that woman, but you don’t have to be.
Take time and allow God to heal you now. As it says in John 4:14, Jesus can fill you so deeply that you won’t thirst again. You won’t thirst for a man’s attention or for him to love you. God’s love and presence will supply all that you need. Psalm 107:9 NLT says God “satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” A relationship with God will sustain you to the point of being content with you. Try Him and see.
“He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains.” (Psalms 107:14 NLT)
This morning I was reading this scripture and the words “snapped their chains” stood out to me. Imagine what that looks like. Envision the heavy, metal chain links that bind prisoners to keep them restrained. Do you know how difficult it is to snap those chains? Do you know the supernatural strength a person would have to possess to break those chains? If it were easy then all restrained prisoners would break free. Yet the bible says God holds the power to do what we can’t.
Think about the chains in your life that you haven’t been able to break free from. The low self esteem. The feelings of unworthiness. The insecurities. The doubt. The confusion. The lies. The unhealthy relationships. The lustful thoughts. The financial distress. The areas of bondage that’s been affixed to your leg, dragged along everywhere you go. It has seemed impossible to break free, yet the bible says God can snap your chains. He is just that powerful, just that strong.
When snapping the chains, I can imagine Him saying “nothing will hold my daughter back from fulfilling the plans I have for her!” I can hear Him speaking with such boldness and authority as He sets the captives free. Believe in what He can do in your life. Cry out for His help and ask Him to set you free. He did it for me, so I know He can do it for you.
Have you ever been in a relationship that didn’t work out because the person left you for someone else? In moments of sadness you find yourself still snooping on their social media pages to see what they’re doing. From first glance they look happy, which pulls you down deeper into your pit of despair. You wonder why you’re alone and suffering, while the person who dogged you looks like they’ve moved on and loving life. If you can relate to this, trust me I know how you feel because I’ve been there too.
In one of my moments of despair (I definitely had more than one) God placed these words in my spirit, “This process of wholeness takes a lot of strength and courage. It’s so easy to settle in a relationship and not deal with self, but it takes courage to break the unhealthy cycle and stand not alone, but all one.” So you see beloved, it may look like your ex is winning because he’s moved on to another relationship, but actually you’re winning because you’re choosing to focus on you and heal. The cure for a broken heart is not to find someone else to be with, it’s to spend time with you and allow God to mend your broken pieces. It takes courage to stand by yourself and choose to heal. It takes courage to wait on God to send His best choice for you.
No matter what it looks like, you’re on the right path. James 1:3-4 says “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” Continue to endure under this pain so God can continue to develop you. Continue to pursue healing and wholeness, which will result in you being perfect and complete within yourself, and not needing a man to complete you. I know it hurts. I know it’s difficult. I know it feels lonely. I know you feel rejected. But continue to press towards what’s ahead and not behind. Your past has nothing to offer you but lessons to be learned. No matter what it looks like, you’re winning. So focus on the bright future God has in store for you. God allowed your ex to leave you so He could make room for greater. Your greater is coming!