Happy post Valentine’s Day! Or maybe not so happy? No matter how wonderfully special the big love day can be for those romantic, sappy couples we all love to hate, it can be particularly difficult and depressing for a large portion of the single or married-but-feeling-single brokenhearted population. I hope that’s not you, but if it is, this post is for you! A friend of mine encouraged me yesterday to get personal and real with you by sharing a bit about some of my recent V-Day, otherwise known as D-Day, history…so here goes.
Exactly one year ago today, I was a post V-Day recoveree. The thing about emotions, especially for someone like me who is recovering from a long history of emotional and psychological abuse, is that they can play tricks of epic proportions! Even though I was single and nursing a broken heart, I thought I was totally fine. The summer of 2015 I’d broken up with the first and only boyfriend I’d had since my divorce. We’d been dating for quite a while and I loved him, but he didn’t hold the same religious/spiritual beliefs as me, nor did he have the same goals in life and it wasn’t the healthiest of relationships for a number of reasons. It was the right decision and although it was very difficult to break it off, we were still friends. I’d also been actively pursuing my relationship with God and getting much closer to Him in my personal prayer life. I was doing my best to ignore (or try to take care of it myself) the natural cravings of my body for physical touch. Let’s face it, I’d been separated/divorced for quite a while and sometimes I just wanted to have sex! After taking a cold shower to get rid of the male equivalent of a raging hard on that morning, I convinced myself that, in general, I was feeling pretty darn good! On Valentine’s Day 2016 at 12:25pm I posted the following to my Facebook page:
This is love…God. The more God fills me with His perfect, satisfying, beautiful love, the less room there is for anything else!
Clearly, I was doing very well, right?
Guest Speakers had come to visit my church and were speaking at the V-Day couples banquet the church was hosting. I wanted to listen to what they had to say about marriage, relationships, etc. So, I offered to help serve drinks and clean up after the dinner in order to be a part of it without actually being married or engaged. It was a wonderful evening and it warmed my heart to see all the happy couples getting closer to each other and having a good time together. However, I’m not gonna lie, a part of me was a bit saddened thinking about my own failed marriage, knowing how wonderful it should have been or could have been, but had ended in complete disaster. But I was FINE! Wasn’t I? I mean, I didn’t even cry at all. Talk about progress!
The next day after work, a girlfriend of mine asked me out to have a beer. This particular friend can really drink, if you know what I mean, and was much more experienced in that art than myself. Still, what could one or two beers hurt, right? Cuz, I hadn’t been out in a while and I’d been doing SO WELL. Wrong! After the first beer, she and I started dancing, even though we were practically the only ones in the bar and it was only 5:30 pm. She and I both love to dance and since she was in a good mood, she was buying, so we kept dancing…and drinking. Well, 1 beer turned into 3 or 4 beers and a couple of mixed drinks, or it could have been 5 or 6 beers and 3 or 4 mixed drinks; I don’t really remember. And 5:30 quickly turned into 10:30…on a week night. I vaguely recall thinking that I would probably regret the hangover I would most likely be contending with in the morning when I had to work the following day. By 11:00pm my friend was flirting with some hot guy in a smoky corner of the bar and for a moment, I was slightly jealous. I wanted someone to tell me I looked beautiful, to pay attention to me, to want me, even if it was just for sex. Suddenly I realized if we didn’t get out of there, I might find myself doing something I’d truly regret, even more than a hangover.
At the beginning of the evening the plan had been for her to spend the night at my house, make a campfire and have some wine and a quiet single girls night in. I tried to drag her out of the bar with me to go get the campfire started, but she wasn’t having it. I ran home and started it by myself, took some pictures to entice her and went back to the bar. When I returned, she had a tall Rum & Coke waiting for me and a nice looking guy to introduce me to, a good guy she sort of knew from way back. It was now midnight. I said hi to him, trying to be polite, but showed my friend the campfire pics and urged her to come home with me. She had just purchased herself another drink and insisted we would go after we finished these last drinks.
I chatted with the nice looking sort-of-stranger guy while I sipped on my Rum & Coke. He said the fire pic looked warm and cozy. I assured him it was. He said I looked very pretty. My broken, bleeding, needy heart skipped a beat, even though I knew it was probably just a line he said to every girl sitting next to him late at night at the bar. I listened to myself, a little shocked, as I invited him to the campfire. He brushed against my leg and put his arm around my shoulder. It felt so wonderful to be touched, to be wanted. One thing led to another and my friend ended up going home with her flirt, and the nice looking guy ended up in my bed. I have to be honest, he gave me lots of nice compliments and seemed like he was truly enjoying himself. But I didn’t even get off. I remember thinking what an epic failure I was. If I was going to sin, it should at least be somewhat satisfying in the moment, right?
Regret hit me like a ten ton train first thing in the morning…along with the hangover and the sound of the alarm reminding me I still had to go to work. The weight of what I had done sat heavy on me. But this was like no other regret or guilt I’d ever experienced before, knowing I’d done something “bad” or “wrong” or just plain “stupid” and feeling “sorry” about it. No, this was more like that horrible, sickening realization that I had betrayed a close friend and that the relationship between us may not ever be the same again. God, my closest friend, wanted only the very best for me and had been showing me His love more and more the closer I got to Him, which was the most precious thing in my life! This thing I had done, the ugliness it revealed in my heart, rose up like an iron wall between us and I felt cold and dead inside.
Immediately, I texted my pastor:
“You keep telling me you’re proud of me. Well, I don’t think so, not anymore. Went to the bar yesterday with a girlfriend, got drunk and brought home a strange man who is now in my bed. I myself can’t even believe it. Epic FAIL!!! I want to serve God. I want to glorify Him with my life. Please pray for me. I don’t know what to do…but I confess…I have an insatiable appetite for sex and nothing is satisfying it. I don’t know what to do!”
My wise and wonderful pastor replied:
“I love you, Mycah and there’s nothing you can do about it. Thank you for telling me and cutting off the enemy’s traps. When breakthrough is on the horizon, there is an intense effort to take you out.”
I don’t know what response I had expected from him, but that certainly wasn’t it! Anger. Shock. Beratement. That would have been normal. But love? Acceptance? Encouragement? In the face of such SIN!? I didn’t know how to react, but I felt grateful and a little relieved.
The next night I felt compelled to go to the worship service at church. It was a “Soaking Session” where the lights are turned down low, there are no words on the overhead screen and the music is quiet, intimate and worshipful. I literally threw myself on the altar, overcome with the grief of the separation I felt from my Savior. I cried out to Him, saying that I was sorry and that I really did love Him. I was so ashamed.
After what seemed like a long time, many tears and much sobbing, I heard that still small voice inside whisper to me, “Mycah, will you let me be your lover?”
“Yes, I want to be your lover. I want to romance you, to teach you how I see you, not just as a Christian, a good woman or a friend, but as a sexual being with real feelings and physical urges. It may seem strange to you, but I do understand all of that. And I want to show you what real love is and how it can satisfy ALL of those things, WITHOUT reading the Bible.”
Everything in my natural mind, and all my good Christian upbringing fought against this idea, but after a very intense 2 hour conversation with God, I finally relented and agreed to let Him pursue me, to romance me, to love me in a way I had never known possible.
The first thing He told me was that He didn’t want me to call him “Lord” or “Master” any more, but to refer to Him as “Darling” or “Beloved.” He said that one of my greatest wounds is having my relationship evaluated by performance based on things like doing devotions and memorizing Bible verses. He told me He is more concerned about spending time with ME and romancing me, than He is with how many verses I’ve memorized or whether I write in my prayer journal every day. So much so, that He wanted me to set my Bible aside for a time to simply spend intimate times communing with Him alone.
It took me a while, but that is exactly what I began to do…and ladies, let me tell you…God is quite an overwhelming Lover! He totally captured my heart and truly satisfied EVERY longing in my soul and body. He is my number one “Mr. Right!”
His love and truth has truly set me free! I have realized that the most wonderful freedom a human can have, is to be be able to have choice. When a person is so bound up in lies, pain, hurt, confusion and fear, they really can’t choose to live free, even if they want to. But that, my friends is the greatest freedom of all!
To be continued…