“Your way was through the sea; Your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.”
Two years ago today, I broke my own heart as I broke the heart of the young man I loved more than anything. He and I had been together for close to two years, and had a very special relationship. Our hearts were joined as one unlike I’ve seen even in long-established marriages. He was my identity, my strength, an extension of me. We read each others very souls. We defined each other. We planned on a life-time together.
My sister asked me at one point during the relationship if I thought he was the one God had to be my husband. I replied without batting an eye, with firm conviction in my heart, “Yes. Without a doubt, I will marry him.” I believed it with all my heart, I was confident I was where God had me for the rest of my life.
To this day I still do not understand why I was so sure of God’s will, why I had no doubts or questions to point me in a different direction. I don’t know if it’s because it was the first relationship I had been in and therefore didn’t know better, whether I was somehow just blind to God’s voice, or whether that was God’s Word to me at that time. I don’t know. Whatever it was then, I found out the truth of my future on May 13, 2009.
About a month or so prior to that time, as the promise of marriage became imminent, I’d begun to have inklings of something “not being right” in my Spirit, but I didn’t know what God was saying. I was so unpracticed. And plus, who wants to listen when God might be saying something like “break up with the man you love?” Break-ups were something that I’d never even conceived might be a part of my life - if I did what was right, my relationship story would be my dream come true. Right? Yet I felt the unrest. But I never really analyzed it or let it hinder the path I was taking, the path I still thought was God’s will.
The young man, who lived on the other side of the country, flew out to visit me, on what I knew was going to be a MOMENTOUS visit. It was momentous, although not for the reasons I’d thought. It’s a long few days to try and put into words - but seeing him face to face only deepened my anxiety.
It was the night before I knew he was planning a special outing together. I knew what was coming. And I was a mess. Not because I was excited, but because “something” was pressing into my heart, telling me “no.” I know it was God. So very God, speaking the last thing I’d ever thought I’d hear. I was nearly sick with the mental and emotional anguish going on in my soul. I finally broke down. I talked to my mom. I talked with my dad. I prayed.
And through the guidance of my earthly father and my Heavenly Father, on the very morning I was supposed to become engaged to the man I loved…instead, in obedience to the Lord, I sat next to him and through anguish of tears, told him I had to call it off. He sat there in stunned silence. I was in a state of shock myself. Neither of us had genuinely seen this coming, least of all him. Then, through his pain, he looked towards me and whispered, “We’re done?” I nodded.
The next day he flew home. And I have never seen him since. We spoke a few times, as I still wrestled myself to physical illness trying to undermine what God was saying, but what I was slowly beginning to clearly see in my heart as God’s truth for the rest of my life. I wasn’t going to marry him. I wasn’t going to raise his children. I wasn’t going to sit on the front row while he led worship. I wasn’t going to be his help meet. I could no longer be his best friend. I no longer had that special person to talk to.
Unless you’ve gone through loss like this, this may sound melodramatic or over-exaggerated. But I cannot even begin, even in these words, to describe the depths of sorrow, pain, and confusion I was in.
This was the catalyst of the darkest time my life. After several weeks and several long talks with my dad, I DID begin to see, by the enlightenment of God, that this was indeed for the best, and that he and I weren’t meant for each other. And I was able to begin to thank God for diverting me from a path that wasn’t His will. But then I began, even as I thanked God, to resent God. I was glad He’d preserved me, but why did He have to allow the pain in the first place? He could have never allowed me to meet him. He could have kept us from falling in love. So many things, God could have done. But He hadn’t. And there I was.
The next year and a half were shadow lands in my life. Parts of it I don’t remember clearly, as depression and overwhelming voids of darkness clouded out everything else in my life. I tried to run to God, because I’d always found Him so faithful all my life…but I only succeeded in running farther away. I kept up the “God-girl” exterior, but inside, I was a boiling mass of bitterness, resentment, confusion. I didn’t feel my life was worth living. I made many choices during that time that only took me farther from the Lord, all the while still living a “good” life on the outside. I slowly worked myself into a place where I questioned the very existence of God. And then, when I just couldn’t get away from KNOWING He was there, I cursed God in many ways. I knew He was there, but I wanted absolutely nothing to do with Him.
It was a long journey. It was more than dealing with a broken heart; it was God refining me through the hottest of fires I had ever faced. I can’t say I passed the test with flying colors. I have scars to this day that will last the rest of my life. But scars are not the only thing I came away with.
I’ve come away KNOWING Jesus. I've knew Him since I was 17, I’d been the girl that people looked at to emulate, the one girls’ came to for advice. But when I hit the fire, that all fell away. I was stripped to nothing, absolutely nothing. And when I was at the end of all that was of me, the Lord, blessed, blessed Jesus, began a building work that was built not on my fanciful ideals, my good works, or my emotional responses to God…but a work that was established on the TRUTH of the reality of Jesus.
The Kellie writing this today is a completely different woman than the girl-Kellie of two years ago. I don’t want to go through such anguish and darkness again, but even if I could erase the past two years, I would not, because of who it’s made me today. I am owned by the blood of Jesus Christ, because He spared my life - a life that for awhile I didn’t think was worth living.
Since that time, the Lord has moved my heart away completely from the intense love that I had for this young man, altho it took a long, long time. He is no longer the holder of my heart, altho I will always cherish thankfulness for his part in my life. When I learned of his marriage last year, I rejoiced with exceeding gladness for him. I still occasionally pray for him. Sometimes I still cry a little. Not because of losing him as a husband, that emotion is long gone, but because he HAD been a big part of my life and altho I do not “love” him anymore, my archives of my heart and mind remember him. He’s my brother in the Lord now, and I wish him the best in life.
If you’ve ever faced a break-up of a relationship or loss of a deep love, you are not alone. I have been there. I know your thoughts, your questions, your confusion. I know your pain, your anger, your dark nights of fighting God. I know your hopelessness. I know your suffering. I know that squeezing, choking, wrenching, suffocating feeling in your heart.
I know. And so does Jesus.
He never left me, even when I cursed Him.
He will never leave you either.