Saturday, October 28, 2023

Tough Love is Super Hard


Sometimes, you are broken below where you thought you could go. And sometimes, you have to close a door so that God can open your window to let the sunshine back in.

It is time for me to stop waiting. I have waited for such a long time. I have felt less than and not enough over the past year. I have lowered myself to wonderings and confusions. I have been sad; I have been "depressed."

Years of being put second and not mattering enough finally broke me a few weeks ago. Sometimes, you can know you have found your life partner and love of your life and still you may not be enough for them.

Sometimes, outside circumstances are too strong for you to compete with, and you ultimately realize and come to understand that until every last outside circumstance disappears, you will always be second and never enough for your person.

When I finally broke a few weeks ago, I asked for time to think and pray. To talk to God about what I should do. I only told one person what I was doing. Before I could even return to the table, I returned home one evening to find a goodbye note, my house key, and many items gone from my home.

It was a crushing blow. I had found my person, but it was obvious that time away to think and pray had turned into a quick and cowardly exit for them. Just about proving that I was truly not enough or worth the fight. Just about proving I was not their person and all their words and promises were untruthful.

I want to thank my best girlfriends, near and far, for emphatically saying over and over again that I am enough.

I want to thank my brother for that two-hour, extremely raw conversation in which you validated my opinions and told me in very frank terms that you did not think my person was capable of making a major life change right now.

I want to thank my two boys who took time to talk to me. One helped me understand a situation and the other one called me and said, "Mom, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. That's what I have always done my whole life, and it just works out. God will take care of you. Call me if you need to talk." To have two boys that listen to their Mama is a blessing. I am so amazingly grateful to the Lord for giving them to me.

I want to thank my sweet cousin that came to visit. You just finished your own battle, but your words of wisdom and strength were just what I needed. I needed to hear you say, "He left you first. If it's meant to be, it will work out. If it's not, God has such a bigger plan for you that you cannot comprehend right now." I feel like I'm pretty in tune with God, but I needed to hear those words out loud this week.

And lastly, thank you to my wise and beautiful friend Denise. When I stood outside our church on a rainy Wednesday night, after a Worship service a few weeks ago, crying and repeating, "I am not enough," you looked me right in the eye and said, "Stop it! You are!" So characteristic of your personality, and a firmness I needed that night after feeling I didn't matter.

To my person: Tough love is SUPER hard. We all love you. We all think the world of you. But tough love is SUPER hard. You were accepted and loved unconditionally. You were given everything myself and this great big, Italian family had to offer. But, you could not keep the promises you made. I was - in the end - not enough for you. You chose to remain in place and even retreat.

Someday, you will be the man God and Scripture call you to be. You will become a great Spiritual leader, a provider, and a protector. You will overcome a foundation of insecurities childhood bullying built inside of you. I know you, and I have faith in you.

I will always love you. I will continue to pray for you in the manner I shared with my brother this morning. But for right now, the hurt of you leaving again, along with your retreat from all we have created is too deep, and I am having trouble hearing God fully. I must protect myself and be able to hear God clearly.

As my son said, "Mom, keep putting one foot in front of the other. God will take care of everything."

My family and friends will always love you as well. Everyone will miss you as part of our family with your fun and loving personality absent from family gatherings and holidays.

We will always be here, right where you left us. Living, loving, and carrying on like we always have. We can't make big life decisions for you. Only you can take the big steps. Only you can become the man God has created and called you to be.

This family only wishes the very best for you. Your time is now. I hope you see that. Never be afraid to approach any of us. We are your biggest cheerleaders.

As for me, time is marching on as the song goes. And so much time has marched by lately. I thought I'd be in a whole different situation by now - as our five-year anniversary came and went silently last week with no milestone celebration. As I walked into a movie theater last night, right past the restaurant patio where we had our first date.

Tough love is SUPER hard. Protecting your heart is super hard. But it has to be done - for everyone involved. God is good. I can't wait to see what He has in store for all our stories...

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