I was curled up in a ball–crying in the corner of my dorm room floor. The past year and a half had been an emotional roller coaster for me– and the choices I had made were now culminating in this moment.
We had been dating for a while, and the thought of marriage had been coming up in conversation. There was no ring on my finger, but we had decided that we should move forward and take the next steps. Our families were coming into town that day, and would be meeting one another for the first time. Big things were happening. We were making them happen. Yet the reality of where my life was heading gripped me in that moment.
Deep down, I had felt unrelenting fear, overwhelming doubt, and unmistakable anxiety all along the way. I felt as though my life was happening right before my eyes- and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I had given so much, invested so many things, and committed so much of myself. But something just wasn’t right.
Could I actually turn back now? Could I disappoint all these people? Just thinking about it sent me into a panic. But deep down, everything was adding up. I could no longer ignore the red flags. I knew that moving forward wasn’t God’s best story for my life.
I had to make some REALLY hard choices that day. I finally decided to take control of my life and relationships, rather than letting them take control of me. I made an active decision to end my relationship that day–and rewrite the story I was living. As hard as it was to make those choices, I learned some very important lessons that have completely changed my story along the way:
1. I learned that sometimes the greatest inhibitor of living the abundant life, is settling for the average life. Looking back at my situation from where I am today, I truly believe that sometimes the most difficult decisions in life have very little to do with moving from BAD into GOOD–but from FEAR into FAITH…and from GOOD into GOD’s BEST. It’s scary to let go of what is familiar and move into something new-but I’ve learned that part of trusting God means moving forward in faith, knowing that His perfect love obliterates fears. He’s gone ahead of us, and prepared the way. Our job is to respond to that– and trust Him for greater things.
2. I learned that I was responsible for my story. Of all the lessons I’ve learned in life, this one has been so key for me. I spent a lot of time living in passivity, letting life just happen. I waited for doors to open and shut, not realizing that God had given me the wisdom and the power to close the harmful doors–and open better ones. I learned that my story was being written right before my eyes- and I could either let others write it for me–or I could choose to write it for myself. I had the power to say yes to that which was good, and the responsibility to say no to all else. I’m thankful for that realization, because it has changed so much in the course of my relationships–and my entire life.
3. I learned that it’s never too late to start living God’s best story. It’s amazing to think how paralyzed I felt as I reflect on this time in my life. Now I realize that it’s NEVER too late to start living life well. The opportunity to enter into God’s best for our life starts the moment we take Him up on it! Whether you are making poor choices as a single, settling in a dating relationship, or struggling in a mediocre marriage–today is the day to start making changes and saying YES to God’s better plan for your life. Don’t let the enemy fool you into thinking that you’re stuck or unable- because that’s a lie straight from the pit of Hell. You can start living your best life right here, and right now.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’m really focusing my efforts on this important message. If you’re new to True Love Dates – I want you to know that the entire message of this blog and book is that finding real love is possible–but it starts with being healthy while standing alone.
It starts with understanding God’s big picture for your life and then choosing to live a better story.
For more on learning how to start taking PRACTICAL steps to “live a better story” in your relationships, check out my 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life Program.
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, and 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!