Previously – Working this out for myself in the form of blogs, reliving the story of my last relationship in how it was and how it ended, learning to understand and grow past my attraction to the unreachable, the negative self-talk (NST) monster, working through forgiving my ex (and myself), and then smiling through the list of my ex’s and what they taught me. Now, finally, the last post – the good bits!
It’s hard not to see the serendipity in how things work out. The Vegan was in my life at the time that he was for I’m sure many reasons, reasons I still have yet to find, but one thing he gave me was the buffer I needed. Long before him and I had met, I was nervous about moving for school. I had found all kinds of excuses, and had even contemplated doing my degree at Seattle University, but since SU isn’t Lutheran, I would still have to move for my “Lutheran year”. I just wasn’t ready to make the jump, I’ve never lived away from the greater Seattle area, never moved away from my family, never had that safety net built in, and luckily The Vegan was in no hurry to move away either.
But the thing was, not only was this relationship a placeholder for me not moving, once it ended, it led to a freedom I didn’t know I had. All the excuses I had fell apart. My boss (who is also my mom) said that I could continue to do my work from Minnesota (I mean I am already telecommuting anyway), my stepbrother wanted to move into the house I was renting from my parents, I needed to move somewhere, I had been semi-homeless for weeks, things began to fall into place, and there was no stopping it.
Before I knew it I was calling the school, figuring out the logistics of the move, and then suddenly I was on campus for intensives with my online classmates. Smiles, hugs, and tears from these people who met me where I was at the hardest moment of my breakup, and here they all were.
Then I was on the road, with my two best friends riding along with me, halfway across the country, in January, during the polar vortex. There were a lot more goodbye’s that I would have liked to say, but the one thing I did learn – the one brilliant thing about this heartbreak, is that it gave me the freedom and the will to say yes! Yes to this adventure, yes to this path, and yes to whatever my future may hold. Hopefully I won’t be in the state of singledom forever, but if I am, it’s not the worst place to be.
I mentioned in several different posts that I had a difficult time believing I was deserving of any love, and even then when I contended that I was in fact loved by God, I couldn’t admit that I deserved any kind of romantic love. There are some moments where I still can’t beat back the NST and these thoughts creep back in, but for the most part, these moments are becoming less and less frequent. Something about that agape love I get from God, and how that love has shined through the people in my life, allowed my broken heart to finally begin accepting love. God gave me what I needed through the break up, he gave me His love, and the absolutely humbling, tear-jerking love of my family, friends, and classmates.
That night during (and then in the months since) the breakup, there was an outpouring of love. From Dana over the phone, angry that she was going out of town and couldn’t be there for me right then. From my friend Keith, who stayed up with me until 3am while I cried and cursed. And when the tears wouldn’t stop, when my pillow was soaked and my dog wouldn’t stop licking my face (which is either sweet or creepy, I still haven’t decided), my classmates, met my reach with theirs, continuing to support me through messages, and then during January the immense amount of love in them couldn’t be stopped.
My friend Mehgan and I binge-ate junk food and watched bad TV together, and she let me talk forever. I received calls and texts from my sister in Montana, my sister here gave me the biggest hug I think she’s ever given me. When my mom hugged me, and didn’t ask me about the deposits for the church, just hugged me and let me cry in her arms. When my dad talked with me for hours about the relationship, and only pushed a little on what he thought of, and what he wanted to do to, The Vegan, but helped me with everything I needed for my new place, and gave me a place to stay in the months I was in between.
It wasn’t about The Vegan, it wasn’t about getting married, it wasn’t about anyone else, but what I needed, and I can never be thankful enough for the people in my life. Over the last few months, I realized I was more than just loved, I was cherished, I don’t know if I had ever felt that way before. I can’t help but think it was through Him, through His grace that I was led in this life, through relationships and heartbreak, to a calling, to a path, and to the most amazing love.
It’s funny, I wrote this entire series all together and then broke it into these seven parts (Was nice not to think about writing during my first full-time semester at seminary). In doing that though, this post is actually seven weeks old, and it’s amazing what can change in seven weeks, or even in seven days, and how grateful I have been to share this story with others, it was in the writing of this series that I was able to really be healed, in the conversations that spurred from sharing this story that I was able to fully be open about my hurt and healing in a very public sphere, and in the irony of timing for this final post, I can read through my thoughts from seven weeks ago, smile, and know that there is often something more going on that we only can see in hindsight.