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The Root Cause

I found myself face down on the carpet, balling my eyes out. In an extremely emotional state, wondering why I keep ending up down the same road, specifically when it comes to dating. Wondering how much longer, I would be single and if I’m the potential cause of my singleness – I’ll explain that rationale later in the blog. I needed answers to the why. Why is it that I continue to plateau at the same place? Why do I flee? Why do I have a fear of vulnerability? Is this a cycle? I had to dig deep, deep down to the core, down to the root. I cried out to God, praying and asking Him for His hand in the situation.

I received a revelation during my quiet time and through a dear sister, several days to follow. I realized the issue(s) primarily stemmed from seeds that were planted years ago in a toxic and emotionally draining relationship. Those seeds were emotionally and verbally taxing. Where I had to suppress my feelings and was led to believe that nothing, I ever did was good enough. Where I felt like I wasn’t deserving of reciprocal love – even though that was a sick version of what I thought love looked like. I was mentally and emotionally broken down, and I felt worthless. Additionally, I couldn’t freely love him without barriers, so I was forced to tread lightly. And I faced a deep depth of rejection by this person. I remember taking a trip together (which was my idea and coin btw – attempting to break barriers and profess my love) and as soon as we arrived, he said, “don’t get any ideas and all in your feelings.” In other words, enjoy the trip but don’t think this means anything regarding our relational standing. Chile, I was crushed! Again, left to suppress my feelings. Here I am - over a decade later, a whole grown woman who battles with the ability to openly express my emotions toward a man without fear of judgment or rejection. Now, that was just one of many scenarios, but the bottom line is, the damage from that relationship still lingers in certain areas of my life today.

I also realize I battle with the fear of transparency and openly sharing that I have Chronic Pain while dating. Thinking it carries too much of a burden for someone to accept. So, I wrestle with the fear of rejection and non-acceptance and thoughts like, Why would someone want to date a woman living with Chronic Pain? Why would a man want to court and marry a woman who suffers from painful sex due to endometriosis? As much as I know those thoughts are lies from the enemy, they still seem to creep up when I begin to let a man in. As a result, I have fled, created barriers, shut down, etc.

Truth is, most people are dealing with some form of past hurt, be it daddy issues, commitment issues, rejection issues, implanted words from an old teacher, etc. Which can resurface with a triggering event. For me, I function just fine, in a state of contentment, until I open that door to dating - then boom! I’m forced to deal with myself, fear, the fear of vulnerability, judgment, and potential hurt. But, God can’t heal an area we don’t admit exists and He can’t bless what we pretend to be.

Now that I’ve identified the root, I need a strategy to overcome and prevail going forward. Especially as I’m believing in God for marriage. So, the question is: How do I defeat it? I honestly don’t have the answers, but I have created the below plan of action, and I pray it will be a blessing to you, too:

1) Keep God as my center:

God is my ruler and reigns over all things. He is my source, my provider, sustainer, healer, my strength and my power. I will seek first His Kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33), operating in purpose, on purpose.

2) Affirm myself with God’s love and promises:

Spending time in God’s presence, daily, so His promises will be embedded in my heart. Also, by speaking life and positivity over myself. Reminding myself that I am a prize, a child of God! Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).

3) Identify my triggers and avoid them:

By intentionally avoiding and/or removing myself from people and/or things that have the potential to cause those feelings of fear and inadequacy to resurface (2 Corinthians 5:17).

4) Prayer:

I’m a firm believer and a living testimony that prayer changes things, so I will pray through all things as the bible tells us to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

5) Surround myself around community and accountability:

There is nothing like true covering from someone that will go alongside you and remind you of your worth. Community provides a sense of purpose and belonging and can redirect thoughts and focus. I can’t tell you the number of times I was feeling down and went to work or a ministry meeting and felt better amongst certain people. As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend (Proverbs 27:17).

6) Be gentle with myself:

Understanding that I was made in God’s likeness before I was formed in my mother’s womb. I am enough, and a {perceived} failed situation, isn’t necessarily a reflection of something I did – a closed door could be God’s protection. Also, believing that I am not defined by my bad days; we all have them. True joy and happiness come from the Lord (Nehemiah 8:10).

7) Be patient and trust God:

Believing God will send me His best that will provide a space for vulnerability where I can freely let my guards down. A good girlfriend of mine recently said “I believe the one for you, will pull those insecurities out of you (helping me to face them, with him by my side) and will not allow you to run” That truly touched my spirit. God’s timing is everything! (Ecclesiastes 3).

I used to think being whole meant I would/should no longer experience those old emotions. I now realize that isn't the marker for wholeness. A part of wholeness is knowing and accepting the flawed areas, as well as working towards healing. Although I've identified those root issues, that does not mean those old emotions won’t resurface. But they will be easier to navigate through.

The hurt and pain I endured in that past relationship were detrimental, and the stress and depression were prime contributors to my Chronic Pain. But I thank God for saving me, removing me from that situation and turning that Pain into Purpose for His glory!

Thank you for allowing me to share, ladies! I do not have it all together. But by the grace of God, I am not where I used to be. Thank You, God!

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me”
(Philippians 3:12)

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Thank you for this my beautiful sister in Christ - Kesh

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