If “slow obedience is no obedience” than I’ve disobedient of late! Since January, I have felt the Lord telling me to blog on this topic. I have managed to push it off with tons of excuses; “it’s too hard, I don’t want to go there, no one will read this or care about it, maybe I’ll just write it from an observers perspective, I don’t have to get personal…” 5 months later the nudges from the Lord are more poignant than ever and the unrest is growing! So it’s no longer about who reads this, or how I feel about it and my insecurities, – it’s about being obedient. I’m going to get down and dirty personal and write about everything the Lord has taught me on unrequited love and sacrifice. I don’t know the reasons, but God does, so I’m writing this – here goes!
This is a story of God’s goodness, and how it is nothing remotely like mine – it is better!! Last September, I broke up with my first and only serious boyfriend. I was devastated and had no idea how to deal with the pain, so decided to turn that pain into the power of prayer. How to pray or where to even begin was a mystery to me, so I whenever I would think of him (which was with great frequency) I started praying God would make him into the man that He created him to be. Not what I wanted him to be – but who God made him to be. It was here that I prayed two VERY stupid prayers. I used to think that there was no such thing as a stupid prayer – well there is!!!
Prayer #1 was asking the Lord to allow me to see my ex through His eyes- to see him as God sees him.
Prayer #2 was that God would take the love I had for him and change it into the love God had for him!
God is serious and answered those prayers in ways I never imagined, which emotionally, took me on the toughest journey I have ever experienced. The Lord did two things in me; the first was He gave me a love for my ex that I can’t begin to humanly explain. I loved him more AFTER we broke up, than when we were together. And secondly, the Lord allowed me to see my ex, as He saw him – not for just who he was, but for his potential, everything he could be in the Lord.
The Lord began to purify that love, until there was no part of Katie, no selfish love in it, but pure, holy, unadulterated, unconditional love.
We didn’t talk for 4 months after the break up, and during that time the Lord burdened my heart and I prayed as I have never prayed before. I thought I was praying for my ex, that God would mold, make and change him, but through it God was actually changing me! Making, molding, and changing my heart to see the unseen and grasp different aspects of God I’ve never seen before. At first, I prayed because God told me too, than I prayed cause I wanted to as God gently whood me to Himself.
During this time I learned to see and view my ex as unto and complete in himself. Appreciate him for who he was, not what he could do for me. God became my all and enough for me! I heard you should be perfectly satisfied and complete in the Lord before perusing a relationship. I thought Lord was my all until we broke up and I realized how dependent emotionally I was on him. But God is so good and faithful! I often couldn’t see it through the pain but He was working in me breaking down pride, self-sufficiency, and every conceived notion I had about relationships.
Our relationship in its entirety was centered strongly on the Lord. We did everything right and “by the book”, yet it still ended. I learned a hard lesson in humility as I realized I was the elder son in the story of the prodigal son – “But Father, bless me! I did everything right!” – So? Duh! We are supposed to have God honoring relationships. Yet I had a lot of (unrealized) righteous pride. I was trying to be justified by works here and no better than the Pharisees. Who’s getting the glory in this story anyway?
Right before Christmas we talked and I found out God was doing incredible things in my ex’s life. I was blown away! I had no idea God was doing such a great work! It took God getting me out of the way to work in him. He was becoming everything I knew he could be! I was thrilled until he told me he was seeing another girl.
I wasn’t purified enough! Here’s an excerpt from my journal:
…got really mad at God. I wrestled with things before Him for most of the Christmas week. I felt like Jonah…. Thanks for saving the City God! What about me? I prayed and prayed for him! Then God asked me, did I pray for him so that I could be with him or did I pray for him because that was the right thing and God told me too? It was the later of course. I should be praising God for the miracles in his life, even if another girl was reaping all the effects of all the payers and heartache I had on his behalf. I have since come to the conclusion, that who am I to tell God where He can & can’t use me? If I was in my ex’s life for a reason, to pray for him unceasingly and sacrificially, than thank God for that!
After 2 straight, intense weeks of wrestling with God, I came to my knees in repentance and ask God for another chance, I did want to be humble and used by Him in whatever capacity He had for me. That was stupid prayer #3.
Again, God took me seriously and gave me plenty of opportunities to practice that prayer, right down to the irony of sharing with him some of the things God taught me when we broke up, when it didn’t work out for him with this other girl.
It still hurt every time I talked to him for a while and I begged God for a release, but over and over He made it very clear to me I was to stay in contact with him. Loving someone that doesn’t love you back isn’t easy to do without becoming bitter, I found out! One time while arguing with God about it, He gave me Luke 6:32-36 :
“ If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that!….. But Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your father is merciful.”
Time and a again I would struggle, and every time He would send a reminder along to obey Him and offer my ex the unconditional love of Christ. Here is where I learned a lot of things about unrequited love!
Unrequited love just plain hurts! The Lord used Oswald Chambers to speak to me a lot through this time:
“Most of us collapse at the first grip of pain. We sit down at the door of God’s purpose and enter a slow death through self-pity….He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, as if to say, “Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine.” If God can accomplish His purposes in this world through a broken heart, then why not thank Him for breaking yours?
I am blown away by God’s gentle, tender grace and mercy to me through this time, while He nudged me along. I struggled quite a bit and questioned Him a lot! “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Cor. 5:7! And I learned in a tangible way what it meant to “…not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Cor 4:18. Being in the grip of the pierced hand of God, is painful, and I didn’t understand, but when I surrendered to it,- trusting Him for the unseen, He filled me with an unexplainable hope;
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us… for we are saved in this hope, but the hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But is we hope for what we do not see, we early wait for it with perseverance.” Romans 8:18-24
Waiting to see hope involved more than I ever would have thought! Unrequited love ties closely to sacrifice.