So… I have a blog. It’s currently 22:41, I’ve got the 2016 Rio Olympics on and it’s definitely past my bedtime. But I’m still awake. I’m currently struggling a little bit – I’m either so emotionally exhausted (we’ll come to that in a moment!) that I fall asleep straight away, or, I have so many questions, memories, thoughts and emotions swimming round my head that I can’t sleep. I guess tonight is one of those nights.
A little bit of background for you before I continue. I’m 26, heading towards 27, Christian and single. I’m a teacher, just finished the best year of teaching I’ve ever had, I have my own flat and until recently I was feeling very content with my life. I had my insecurities, sure, but they were being slowly forgotten as I got to know my boyfriend more and began to let my guard down and believe him when he told me he loved me and thought I was beautiful. Life was pretty good 🙂 Unfortunately, that started to change about a month ago.
4 weeks ago I got back from spending the weekend at my boyfriend’s. He’d been having a sucky time at work and some health problems and was feeling some guilt about something that had happened which meant he began to be a bit weird with me – not replying to texts for days, one word or one sentence answers, things like that, he’d say he was in a bad place but wouldn’t let me know why or what was causing it. Now, I’ve been known to struggle with insecurities including not believing that people genuinely like me. So, this business began to make me worried. What if it’s an excuse? What if he’s gone off me? What if he’s realised I’m not that great? Maybe I’ve upset him? Maybe he’s using the ‘bad place’ as an excuse to get away from me. Questions like this began to plague me and I would check my phone constantly (I mean constantly – every 5 or so minutes!) But I would also feel guilty for making it about me. Maybe he really is just in a bad place. I’m such a bad person. Why do I need to make everything about me? I need to show that I love him and support him. This is an encouraging Bible verse, let me send it to him. Maybe that’ll help. This all coincided with a holiday to Italy I had booked before I met my boyfriend. So, worried, I left for my holiday but continued to be anxious that I was losing the only person who actually thought I was beautiful, the only person who made me feel like I was worth something, that I could be loved and I was loveable.
While I was away I had fun, but I constantly had this worry nagging away at the back of mind. I’m obviously not good enough. No one really loves me. My boyfriend is annoyed with me. You’re making this about you again. He’s in a bad place. If he was upset with you he’d tell you. But would he? Maybe he just doesn’t want to ruin my holiday? During this I was praying for him, for me and for us, but at the same time not really believing that God was going to intervene. It came to the last full day of my holiday and I messaged my boyfriend letting him know that I was thinking and praying for him and that I wanted to see him before the end of the summer holiday. I could go to him or he could come to me. 2 days went by and he hadn’t replied. The day I got back (I travelled by coach – it was a long journey!) I got a message from him saying he would come to me when he could get time but we needed to talk. Uh oh. Everyone knows what that means. To cut a long story short, he broke up with me telling me that he didn’t love me, that he was in a bad place, messed up and that he felt very strongly that God was telling him that we shouldn’t be together.
This messed me up. Hugely.
As I mentioned earlier, I have some pretty big insecurities, but they had gone away while I had a boyfriend. When I had a boyfriend, I was part of a couple. That was my identity. That meant that I was good enough. Someone thought I was beautiful. Someone thought I was worth something. Someone thought I was loveable. But now that wasn’t true anymore. I obviously wasn’t thin enough, cool enough, talented enough, funny enough, smart enough, pretty enough.
This is not the case.
These are still things that I think about myself, however God has a different view. I was listening to a great song yesterday that I found by accident listening to a Spotify playlist. The song was called Here’s my Heart by Crowder (check it out here: https://youtu.be/cvl-MfqvgkE) and there’s a particular line that says “Here’s my heart, speak truth to me”. That made me think – what is God’s truth that he wants to speak to me? He reminded me of Psalm 139 – where he tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He designed us. He made us all beautiful. He loves us. He thinks we’re lovely and loveable. He knows us. He knows our thoughts before we think them. What I think God is trying to remind me is that I always have him. I’m not alone. He’s surrounded me with good good friends, a great church and there are always people around who love me. And when my identity is found in him I will really understand that he loves me and I will feel fulfilled from that, and not whether or not I’m part of a couple or not.
So, I think the point of this blog post is to work out some of the thoughts in my head and to encourage anyone else who is/has been in that place that God loves you, and that you are not defined by who you’re dating or not dating (or your job/where you live/the car you drive/your friends etc). When your identity is in him you will feel whole, restored, loved. That’s not to say that you won’t still struggle with those insecurities – I said earlier, those things I still think about myself, but the Bible tells us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5. Actively take those thoughts and give them over to Christ. He died so that we can be freed from the chains that those thoughts have clamped round us. We need to realign our self image with God’s image of us.
Right, I think I might be ready for bed now! Make sure you check out Psalm 139 and be reminded of God’s love for you.