Kimberly N. Alleyne
The Harvest Magazine
Publisher and Editor
I had a great love once, but I let it go. I had to do it. I had no choice. I was betrayed, lied to…my heart broke in too many places, and far too many times. I spent a lot of the relationship doing emotional somersaults because I couldn’t figure out if he really loved me, or if he loved me as much as I loved him.
I probably shed five pounds in tears.
I found myself repeatedly asking God to give me the grace to forgive him over and over and over. Eventually, when I had the courage, I asked God to reveal to very clearly whether it was His will for this person to be in my life.Then, when I had the courage, I let God’s answer seep into my heart.
Then I began to accept that God’s purpose for my life simply didn’t include this person. Slowly.
The pain of the break up was equally as wrenching as the tenure of the relationship. I did not end the relationship because I stopped loving him. In fact, I longed for some type of reconciliation, some type of understanding between us that would allow us to find healing and new beginnings. I missed the wonderful part of him, of our relationship. I missed our inside jokes, our friendship, our shared disdain of cooked fruit, and our shared love of adventure. I missed him, thought of him all of the time. I missed the future we were planning together, the one I had dreamed of and prayed about for so long.
For a long time I carried anger and resentment for him. I was blinded by heartache, and by my desire for him to love me the way I loved him. For things to be perfect like they were in the beginning. Deception, doubt, suspicion, anger and unforgiveness drove us apart.
I left the relationship a very broken and confused woman.
Ultimately–and eventually–, I had to accept that he was broken and that I was just as broken as he was, although in different ways, trying to find his way, trying to recover from past hurts and failed relationships. I had to accept that he probably gave me the best he could in that season of his life. We were simply in different seasons.
I realized that I had no right to judge him or hold aught for him. None of us is perfect; that’s why we need God’s mercy and grace daily. Just as God’s mercy renews with each rising sun, so does our filth and sin and plethora shortcoming.
I knew I had to forgive him, and release Him. I knew I had to cover him with God’s love–not my own–and pray for him as though he never hurt me, or lied to me or made me cry. I knew I still had to love him albeit with an agape love, regardless of my sadness and regret. Besides that, I understand that forgiveness is a Biblical command. God instructs us to forgives our enemies, and those who’ve wounded us. On top of that, we can’t approach Him with unforgiveness in our hearts. It simply does not work.
Forgiving was not, has not been easy. It was slow…it is slow…I am getting there.
The other part is understanding what reconciliation is. What does reconciliation look like? Reconciliation does not necessarily mean that a relationship will continue, or that will continue in the same context. It only means that you are reconciled to walk in God’s love and mercy to a person. It means you can pray for him or her purely without hesitation or grudge.
The truth is I still love him; sometimes I question if I heard God correctly, and like a school girl, ask Him to bring us back together. Even if that does not happen (and it probably won’t), I can pray for him with an earnest heart. I want him to do well, to be well. I want him to prosper in everything he does.
In addition to a challenging lesson in forgiveness, this relationship–the end of it– gave me a clear picture of what happily ever after looks like, and where I can find it.
Contrary to popular pipe dreams and rose-colored perspectives, no relationship is without conflict or trial. God designed us for relationships, but our human nature is, our stuff, gets in the way. And so our stuff manifests as pride, haughtiness, greed, selfishness, deception, betrayal; the list is lengthy. Relationships will have conflict simply because we are human. We can be sure of that. The only happily ever after we’ll ever experience is in the Lord’s Kingdom.
Relationship hurt is slow to heal. Sometimes I think I am all healed up and free of the pain, and then I am reminded by an event, a memory, or an emotion of solace or sadness creeps in to remind me that my work is yet underway. That’s the other thing — deliverance is a process, and it does not always happen over night, or even over weeks or months.
The great thing about the end of this relationship, about having to say goodbye to someone deeply, is that it sent me to a level of brokenness I was unfamiliar with. My pain forced me to seek God more passionately, more purely. God actually wants our brokenness–not our pain-but our sincere brokenness.
No, it’s not that God enjoys seeing us suffer, because He does not. He desires for us to be a in a posture of complete surrender. He wants our complete surrender to Him–and that’s where we find ourselves at the end of our brokenness. I sought God for nothing other than His precious presence and perfume. Through my weeping, He answered me and picked up every single tear. He is never slack about the promises He made to His children. I was and continue to be humbled by how readily and easily God pours out His love for with abandon, and irrespective of my many shortcomings and failures.
And so even in my pain, and grief, and confusion, I found peace, and it really does surpass anything I can understand or articulate. When I feel weak, when I feel myself slipping back into anger or a dark place where unforgiveness flourishes, I give God thanks and praise for His goodness and mercy. I thank Him for a love that does not evolve, wane or change. I thank Him for repairing my heart and making my heart to be like flesh rather than like stone. I thank Him for healing and deliverance from heartache. I thank Him for giving me the will to forgive, release and walk in the love of God…
I thank Him for true, endless love.
I thank Him for a truly eternal happily ever after.
I thank Him for love, peace and brokenness.