Something odd but interesting happened to me on this fine Sunday afternoon. After church I went to my favorite “me” place, Starbucks, to take some time to get organized for my next semester of classes that starts tomorrow.
As I was sitting there minding my business I continuously kept looking at my phone. I was waiting, waiting, waiting. Specifically waiting for one person to read my messages and finally respond to me.
I knew things were over between me and the guy, and they needed to be, but we were friends before we started dating. And he had even said on the day that we broke up (not even a week ago by the way) that we could still be “best friends.” I use the quotation marks because those were his exact words.
Although despite the concept of being “best friends,” he was not treating me like a best friend should be treated. This doesn’t say much because he didn’t really treat me like a girlfriend deserved to be treated either (hence why the relationship needed to end), but that’s another story, for another time… or maybe not.
About a week ago, Monday December 31, 2018 at 7 am my Fit Bit’s vibrations shot anxiety through my veins like no other, waking me up in a panic. It was him. He was finally calling me, as he had promised he would days ago. I was nervous because I knew this was most likely the last time he would be calling me for a while… because this was it. This was the end, whether I wanted to believe it or not.
In fact, this had to be it. Because it was the last day of 2018 and I needed to make sure I could do the whole “New Year, New Me,” thing on the first day of 2019. How could I do that with an unhealthy relationship hunkering me down?
I answered my phone and just cut to the chase. We both had a mutual agreement that it needed to end, but that we could still be friends. Although, I was still pretty angry with him because I’m not sure he completely understood why I needed to break up with him. I mean, he bluntly admitted that he knew I wasn’t happy and could find someone else, but deep down, I knew he had no idea the amount of pain that he had caused me throughout most of 2018.
I hung up the phone and went back to sleep, waking up later feeling a bit anxious, but a bit lighter. The only problem was that now a huge part of my life had changed. No, not changed. This was my new normal. And whether I liked it or not, I needed to get used to it.
I powered through the week still trying to communicate with him. He blocked me once and continued to just read my messages (or delete them without reading them) and never respond. This hurt even more.
We had big dreams together to get married and live as powerful social workers. Yet somehow, someway, he was able to throw me away like an old, used pair of shoes- used and unworthy. At least this is how I felt.
Finally, I got sick of it. He told me throughout the week that he would call, but he never did. So, I tried calling him. Each time he rejected the call. By the third try, he blocked me. He told me he would too. This is where the story continues…
I was sitting in Starbucks on this Sunday afternoon chugging away at my work, and a skinny cinnamon dolce latte, when I noticed he had, yet again, ignored my messages. I can tell because like Facebook Messenger, with this app you can see when people have come online.
Fed up, but knowing what was coming to me, I tried calling him. Of course, the call was rejected, and about three seconds later I received a message, “Goodbye,” and just like that his little icon picture disappeared and I was blocked.
As tears filled up my eyes I gathered my belongings and rushed out to my car. I could not let myself break down in the middle of Starbucks. Once I got to my car, I tried calling him on his regular number, rather than the app. His phone was switched off.
I checked Instagram and messaged him, asking him to unblock me and call me. By this moment, I had completely lost it. I was upset, angry, confused and so much more.
So I went home and sobbed on my bed with the comfort of my mother and my sister’s cat. But on my way home, I saw something very unusual.
Between gasping for air, screams, and sobs, I was able to maintain my concentration
driving. And I was able to do this enough to see three school-aged boys standing at the end of a neighborhood road dancing. One kid was doing the floss.
I made eye-contact with one of them. I’m pretty sure they saw me upset and crying because when I looked in my review mirror they all ran together in complete disbelief– probably that they saw a grown woman crying while driving.
Through the midst of my pain and suffering I was able to let out a little chuckle and remember my days of young walking around town and doing similar things.
Oh the youth and the crazy things they do, am I right?
Well, here’s how their little act of fun impacted me positively today. After I spent some time sobbing and relaxing in a steaming hot shower, I grabbed my bag and headed back to Starbucks. I needed to keep myself occupied and I needed to get my work done!
I drove by the same place where I saw the kiddos getting boogey with it and I was reminded of a Bible verse.
“And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'” Matthew 18.3. Here we see Jesus stating that to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, we have to change like little children.
We have all probably heard the phrase “faith like a child,” too. I was quickly reminded of this. These children had faith.
They had faith that they would not get hit by a car.
They had faith that they would make someone laugh.
I want that. I want that faith. Not faith that God would restore this relationship, I mean yes, I hope he does unblock me so we can be friends, but in due time things will happen the way they need to for both of us to move on and heal.
Not faith that I would be miraculously healed from the pain, although that would be nice… But that is not necessarily Biblical. We can see examples of suffering throughout scripture, such as, Job, Paul, and the greatest example of all is Jesus.
Peter also tells us: “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1.6-7)
That’s kind of a beautiful scripture isn’t it? That we are being refined and have greater worth than gold. Woah man. That’s pretty neat if you ask me.
The faith that I want like these little guys dancing on the road is that God would protect my heart and keep me emotionally safe through this trial. I understand that my emotions are already somewhat bruised and on the line, but that’s nothing Jesus can’t heal.
As Lysa TerKeurst states in her novel Uninvited, I want the faith that through the mess of this there will be a miracle– it may not be healing right away, but something will come of this.
Lastly, I want the faith that will give me strength to rejoice in my suffering (James 1.2-3; 1 Peter 1.6-7). Faith that will allow me to turn my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30.11). Faith to remind me that God is in control and He still has a plan for me (Jeremiah 29.11).
Through all of this pain and messy relationship situation, I just want faith like a child.
And through that faith, I will receive healing.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5.34