We’ve all experienced relationships that we thought for sure were going to last forever but didn’t and people who we thought were one way, but they weren’t, which led to starting all over again with yet ANOTHER person. When you think about all of the heartbreaks, deceit, and failed relationship attempts, it may even be hard to believe that you will ever get your happily ever after. I mean sure deep down you still desire it and a part of you is still even hanging onto a thread of hope that it will happen, but it all seems pretty far fetched and hard to fathom. I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve had my share of break-ups, disappointments and wolves in sheep's clothing,and at one point I even rationalized that I would just settle for what I could get even if that meant a piece of relationship or piece of a man- bad idea.
They say hindsight is 20/20 and that could not be more true in my case. It’s as if, being on the other side I am looking through a completely different lens. The way I view love, relationships, men and marriage has changed drastically, and I only wish I knew then what I know now. But since, I didn’t, I’m going to take the lessons I learned, package them up and present them to you in the hopes that you shave off any amount of time waiting to walk into your best.
Lesson #1 I was a fixer
And Aren’t we all? We as in women that is. Always taking on the men who are “projects” thinking we can fix them, help them, or change them. Well, that’s because we were built that way. We were designed to be HELP-meets (Genesis 2:18), but we were never designed to do renovations, and we surely were not designed to do all of this helping outside of the confines of marriage. I remember all too well how I would meet someone and see so much potential in them. I knew they were good people who just needed a little guidance, and I would be the one to help them along the way, I thought. In some cases I even began to believe that maybe God sent them to me for that reason-like they needed me in order to get to where God wanted them to be. Now, looking back I can see that is just not the case. God does not call us to remain in a relationship with someone just so that we could help get him to where he needs to be spiritually or otherwise.
Lesson # 2
I was attracting what I put out there- When I acted a certain way, dressed a certain way and carried myself a certain way I would inevitably attract a certain caliber of men. That's because the quality of the bait will determine the quality of the catch. At one point I wasn't attracting ANY men at all, and I later figured out why. Apparently men were intimidated by me because they knew they had to have certain things in order before they could even approach me. I had one guy explain to me that there are certain women who they know they want to take serious and potentially go the long haul with BUT they have to make sure they have their stuff together so that they don't mess it up. In other words, he has to come correct. Whether you want to believe it or not, you are giving off some sort of air about yourself through the things you post on social media, the way you dress, the company you keep and a whole myriad of factors. Based on those things, you will attract either your heart's desire or your worst nightmare. It's a harsh truth that I had to learn and make some adjustments along the way, but the results are worth it.
Lesson # 3
I didn't REALLY understand my worth. Sure I pranced around like I was God’s gift, but I didn't genuinely know who I was, and I didn't truly know my value like I do now. If you follow me on IG then you've heard my story about how I recently asked someone this question: “If a complete stranger were to come up to you and ask who are you?" What would you say? Normally, we would answer with our occupation or a title of some sort such as mommy or wife. I explained to her that usually whatever we lead with is how we define ourselves and it’s where we get our worth from. The issue with that is what if you were stripped of all of your titles, degrees, your occupation? What if that relationship ended? Would you still be confident in who [insert your name] is? I've seen so many people crumble and not even know who they were anymore when they lose a job or relationship because their entire IDENTITY was wrapped up in that person or thing. At one point God stripped me of everything I put my value in so that I could see that my worth is in Him and Him alone, only THEN was He able to re-build me and give me a solid foundation. Now, I know who Rita is apart from everything else, but I could not begin to even think about being anyone's wife until I got that straight.
Lesson # 4
I put up with way more than I should have for way longer than I should have- I think this is something we can all relate to, but it doesn’t really hit us until we’re out of the situation and we’re like “How and why did I ever put up with all of that foolishness?” The same foolishness that we would be quick to call another female “dumb” over. Again, hindsight is 20/20 and when you’re in it, it’s hard to see everything that’s really going on. The way you’re mistreated, undervalued, taken for granted, constantly let down and everything else that you know you don’t deserve. You do everything you can to rationalize or just cope for the time being because you’re just way too comfortable to end it. Change is hard, and many times we’d rather stay in a less than appealing situation rather than muster up the courage and build up enough patience to wait for our true heart’s desire. I realize now, however, that doing that only delays the destination. I spent many years keeping a space filled with people who didn’t belong there. It was a space reserved only for the right person, and God could not bring that right person until that space was completely empty. When I completely emptied that space, at a time when I was least expecting it, the love of my life presented himself.
My relationship status didn’t level up until I leveled up- And I didn’t begin to level up in any other area until I leveled up spiritually. As soon as I began to take my relationship with God seriously and make Him a priority, that’s when everything started changing in my life for the better. Relationships with family and friends improved, finances improved, heck even my looks began to improve lol. I mean every single place in my life that was crooked, God began to make straight. Every single area of my life that was dry, God began to pour down the rain of heaven onto it-including my love life. This didn’t happen because God was trying to reward me for some sort of good behavior; it doesn’t work like that. What began to happen is that the more I began to seek after Him and spend time with Him, the more He began to change me. The more I began to surrender my will for His and allowed Him to change me, the more His desires for me life became MY desires for me. The more His desires for my life became my desires for my life, the more I got on His path-and therein lies the key. Once you get on the path that God has for you, there is no reason for you not to run right into every single thing that God has for your life, including your God-given mate. The problem is that most of us have not even began to get close to the path because we have not yet relinquished our ways and our plans in exchange for His. The reason we haven’t relinquished our ways and plans for His is because we haven’t really been seeking Him and developing in Him as we should. The plans and promises that God has already spoken over your life are plenty and they are beautiful, but they are not automatic. If that was the case, everyone would be walking in it, but we know that’s not the case. Instead, they are contingent upon you getting into alignment with the will of God for your life. So little by little God began to upgrade me and led me straight into the path of my now husband. If you know you're already on the right path, then get excited, because as you continue to walk with the Lord His desires become your desires and He promises that as we delight ourselves in Him, He gives us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).
Any lessons you've learned along the way in your journey?
Still Hidden in Him,