I Realize Now How God Is Using Me
The following is a letter to a loved one that is currently living through some terrible experiences, similar to the ones I’ve shared in my previous stories.
When I found out why you needed to come to Georgia, I had a rush of sadness and excitement at the same time. I was filled with sadness because I would never want you to have the horrible experiences that you are living through right now, but I was excited that by hitting rock bottom, you are now faced with an opportunity. I was filled with excitement because I knew from living through the same experiences that God was giving you chance to change the direction of your life.
I find it uncanny how you are now walking in the footsteps that I felt I had left behind in the sand. You’re pregnant and confused and maybe even feeling alone. I can remember vividly when I once felt the same way. You’re changing in countless ways by the minute because you’re body is working through one of God’s most favored blessings, the ability to create another human being. You’re exhausted because you’ve been fighting for what you think is love, but you can’t ignore that most times it feels like you’re fighting alone. And I know you have to be afraid, afraid of the million and one ways that things can go wrong if you don’t make the right decision once you finally decide you are ready to move forward.
I’m writing this letter to let you know, that no matter what happens, you have to know, you have to believe that you are strong and you will survive.
I know this because after living through deceit, rejection, confusion, more rejection, and unfulfilled promises, I was able to trust that God would lead me in the right direction, especially because I was blind and confused. I still pray, now that it’s all over, for God to reveal to me why I had to even go through such a heart-wrenching experience, and it just hit me that reconnecting with you has given me the answer. I know God gave me the strength to survive, even when I didn’t want to, because he planned to use me to help other women who would be going through similar experiences.
With that being said, I want to encourage you to take the first step in protecting yourself by no longer putting your faith and hope in man.
When I say man, I don’t just mean the man that you are trying to share your love with, but also the other people around you: your family, your friends, and the other people in your life because of the connections you’ve made with them. The reality is that you can’t be confident that any man will love you the way you truly need, because you have to rely on God’s love to carry you at all times. I prayed that God would hold my hand as I started a journey toward learning how to love myself, trusting that God would be my example of what love looks and feels like.
I started my journey with the idea that I should be ashamed of the mistakes I made. I thought that I should not or would not be forgiven because God had always been there and I had kept choosing to ignore him over and over so I could do what I wanted in each moment of impulsive decision-making. I didn’t think I deserved God’s forgiveness or His example of love. If you also feel this way at the beginning of your journey, you should know that no matter what you’ve done, you’ve already been forgiven. I know this because it’s how I’ve made it this far, simply with God’s forgiveness and blessings.
When I couldn’t find consistent stability and comfort in the spiratic, and, in hindsight, what I later realized were empty declarations of love from Avery’s father, the approval of my parents, or the support of my friends, I turned to God. When I feared that Avery and I would struggle alone, believing in God’s love, approval, and support kept me from giving up. Now that I can look back to the dark and lonely place I was choosing to live in, I can see that my dependence on God is why I can say that I am successful and stable now, and have the bravery to dare to predict and believe that I will continue to grow in my success as time continues to pass.
Another hard lesson that I had to learn through my growth process was that I would continue to be involved in unhealthy and unsafe relationships because I kept forgetting to keep trusting and relying on God first and at all times. I can be honest and say that one of my biggest fears as a woman is to continue the cycle of our family: the strong single mother that no man would stay with for too long. I traced back as far as I could with the information that I could find to the many single mothers in our family’s history, and my fear grew. Then I began to feel ashamed that I had already taken the first step of following in those footsteps by having my first child without the love and stability of a marriage. I had countless family members and friends telling me how much they loved me and Avery and how they were willing to do anything to support us, and I was still silently beating myself up for yet another mistake I had made. I also began to doubt that I would ever be able to move past the single mother stigma and build a healthy relationship of love and trust with a man that would also accept Avery as my package deal.
Finally, when I grew tired of beating myself up, I turned back to God. He let me know in so many ways that Avery’s father was not the man He chose for me, and though he and I could now be connected as parents if he chooses to be a part of my daughter’s life, it was not the end of my journey, and God will still fulfill the desires of my heart. I have been “told” in different ways that God will prepare a husband for me as long as I stay focused on the direction that God is leading my life. I believe now that I had experienced so much failure in relationships because the reciprocated love I want from a man, the trust I want in a marriage, and the stability I want for my family are all blessings that come directly from God, and I could not make the decision to try to create them for myself. Those blessings will only come to fruition when the man who is destined to be mine follows God so faithfully that God leads him to me and Avery. I find comfort in knowing that there will be challenges because no marriage or family is perfect, but I know that I can break the cycle of our dysfunctional family if I allow God to guide me in that direction.
Last night before I went to bed, I thanked God that he brought you home to your family. I thanked him for giving me the strength to live through what I was once allowing to break me. I finally thanked him for bringing me to the right place at the right time to be able to share my experience with you and to be evidence for you to see that you can also do the same. You can survive. The last thing I thanked God for was using you to reveal how He is using me, and I pray that you let go of the pain from your past and allow God to use you and lead you to the comfort that you need for yourself and for your baby.