Monday, May 13, 2013

Shaking, Beating, Pressing

Today marks 1 week and one day since I found out the devastating news that caused me to end my engagement. I really thought this was it, I just knew I was in love and this was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I loved his family and they loved me. I even established an amazing relationship with his son, even though I had always told myself I would never date a guy with a kid. I thought I had finally found the REAL DEAL! When he asked me to marry him I was very excited. Granted, there were some things in the back of my mind that concerned me or that did not quite match my exact vision of what I thought I would have in a marriage or a mate but I would overlook those things because I thought, "No one gets the perfect mate or exactly what they have always hoped for in a mate". I was going to marry this man and try my best to encourage and inspire him to reach the full potential of what I knew he could be. After all, a man needs a strong woman behind him to help him be his best and vice versa. I spent two years learning how to be supportive, how to be a team player, how not to just give up on someone because I could but instead trying to work things out. Believe or not, the relationship really helped me grow as a woman.

Now, this process of healing is not as easy as I would like it to be, but I have come to realize that it is all a part of God's plan for my life. Once we realize that the beautiful thing God created in nature cannot grow without dirt and rain, we will be more willing to go through the process of growth because God is doing something beautiful and perfect.

During this process, prayer and worship have been a major part of my days. I am taking this time to really focus on God, His word and giving Him my heart to have his way. While in worship the other day, I cam across the song, "Greater is Coming" by Jekalyn Carr. This song has been very powerful for me right now. It ministers to my very soul. At the beginning of the song, Jekalyn explains the process an olive has to go through in order for it's oil to flow. The olive must be shaken, beaten, and pressed in order for it to do what God purposed it to do.

While listening to the explanation of the olive process, I realized how this applies to my life. This was not the first heartbreak I have had involving a man hurting me, it's actually the third. I prayed and prayed and asked God to not allow this to happen to me anymore after this last one because it was the worst but as I listened about the olive I realized I had to go through this last one because this is my pressing process. Each time my heart was broken, it drove me directly into the arms of God and He took me to a new level in Him but then it would be like I would coast and stay at that level until something else happened. This last incident was the biggest and I am immersing myself in the presence of God everyday. Each heartbreak was a part of my process.

The first heartbreak was my shaking. It occurred when I was about 20 years old. My first love of 3 years (age 17-20), the first guy I trusted with my heart even though he was going between me and another girl, completely ripped my heart out when I had hopes of finally being with him when he left the other girl for good. Instead, he chose a new girl! I gave him 3 years of my life, being there fore him in all crisis', whenever he needed me only to get the boot. I was so hurt. That was when God shook me and was able to get my attention. I am so grateful I had a strong foundation in Him to know where to go to find safety and comfort at that time. With that shaking, I was able to store in my  memory bank what I needed to do if I was ever at that place again.

The second heartbreak came when I was 22 years old. I was not completely over my first love but I had been seeking God and trying my best to live holy since the last heartbreak. I met a guy (right before turning 21) who was the son of a pastor. He was working to be a minister himself, involved in bible studies on his college campus, knew the word of God and he was even being invited to preach at churches in the local area! This young man was very respectful towards me, respected my purity, treated me like a princess. He was everything I thought a man should be to me, aside from him not being physically what I desired but I could overlook that. The only thing was at the time, he was a bit controlling and wanted me to submit to him right away, before he put a ring on it! If anybody knows me, they know I am a strong woman and I will do things when I feel the desire to do them but if you are trying to force me, I am going to resist you. Now this guy appealed to my superficial needs. He bought me an engagement ring from Tiffany & Co. Now it is my opinion that if a man loves a woman, he wants to bless her and if he highly values her, he will spare no expense. This guy had this trait down packed. The only thing was the timing was off. He only tried to give me the ring in order that I not have time to think about where we were in the relationship after almost failing in the area of fornication. We did not quite go there, but at that time, I was trying so hard to please God that any little slip up devastated me and I needed time to get with God and express my sincere apology for disappointing Him. I felt this guy and I needed a short break from one another for a while in order to grow stronger in that area but he did not think so. He was ready for a wife. Long story short, he strung me along during our "break" for about 2 months as if we would get back together, all the while having a girlfriend. He was married a year later. Can you say salty! I felt like I was way cooler than him and I should have been the one to play him! All the while, with each of the guys, I was completely loyal and faithful. This was my beating process. I cried out to God once again and I learned even more ways to get more intimate with Him and how to proclaim victory over my life. He brought me through, stronger than before.

Now there were some guys in between these relationships that I just "talked" to. I mean, I'm not an ugly girl, but these guys were sort of just fillers or people that gave me some companionship at the time. I would need a movie buddy or wanted some guy around for the hard holidays like Valentine's Day or Sweetest Day. I really should have just gotten a dog. LOL

Heartbreak number three, my last and final heartbreak, was at 27 years old. Now it had been 3 years since I had been in a relationship with a guy. I was actually beginning to enjoy my singlehood. I took myself on trips and did special things for myself for my birthday. One of my older brothers would tell me that the guy that I marry will have to live up to the standard of treating me as well as I treat myself and I treated myself very well. This last guy I was introduced to. I had no intention of dating anyone at this time, I wasn't even looking! I thought he was nice looking when I first saw him but there was never a thought of taking it any further from there. A friend of mine overheard and wound up introducing us. Now this guy was different. He treated me very respectfully in the initial meeting (as any guy probably would). We talked as two people getting to know each other as friends for 3 months. All the while, I told him I saw nothing past friendship with him and he continued to be okay with that. Somehow, I fell for him and he fell for me. I took a chance, even after he told me he had a kid! That was a big step for me and I don't regret it one bit. That kid has a very special place in my heart. Anyhow, I won't drag this story on. We were together two years, I attended many family functions, went on out of state trips with him, etc. Marriage was always an option and often spoken of in this relationship. We were both older and ready to be with that ONE, or I was at least. He may have thought he was but deep down he was not ready for that and that's ok. We started officially dating April 8, 2011 and proposed to me on April 4, 2013. He met my parents, talked to my Pastor and even attended premarital counseling with me. I did everything I could to be what he needed me to be and poured 110% into the relationship, so you can imagine how devastated I was to find out he had cheated on me and got another woman pregnant! I thought he was the sweetest guy to me, he had some things he could have worked on but I loved him so much. You can probably imagine that God will have to restore my trust for men at all. Especially after being with someone for 2 years and then finding out you never really knew them at all. This experience is my pressing. It's the toughest experience I have ever gone through but I am excited about what's to come. God has been dealing with a lot of things that have been in my heart from the past and during the present. I really feel as though some things are being pressed out of me! He is preparing me for greater!

Now I shared all of that to say this: The process is not easy, God never said the Christian walk would be, but He is with us every step of the way. Pay attention to your process. Figure out where you are at this very moment. I am a living witness if God brought you out before, He will do it again. (A good song to listen to while going through is Tye Tribbett: Same God). I am a transparent person and I am not ashamed of none of my past experiences. I have not shared them all but I shared that which I felt were relevant. Trust me, I have a lot more that tie in to my entire life. Am I bitter? No. Do I hate any of the people involved in any of my heartbreaks? Not at all. In fact, each one, I have prayed for and I continue to pray for. Even the woman who participated in tearing my last relationship apart. I want them all to experience the love of God, His grace and His mercy. As Christians, we are called to pray for the lost or those in darkness. My heart goes out to all who truly need an encounter with God. I pray they experience that as I have and that it enhances their relationship with Him all the more! I forgive every person that was used to hurt me and I wish nothing but good things for them. Now there are times, especially in the beginning of the heartbreak you want someone to suffer because you are but that's not the way to be. God is a God of justice and He will vindicate you.

Be strong during your time of shaking, beating and pressing because soon, your oil will flow! God is doing something great. I believe that. Place yourself in a position to receive! Don't miss out on your blessing! I hope this blog helped someone to know that they are not alone and that God really is working all things out for your good (Romans 8:28). He knows the plans for your life! (Jeremiah 29:11). Hang in there with me. GREATER IS COMING!