Recently I was headed down a main road that leads to my workplace when I happened to see my almost two years ago ex-boyfriend. He was dropping off a delivery near my office building and I immediately was thinking of how to avoid him seeing me.

Then I wondered why. He was near my place of work, in fact directly across the street from my office. I broke up with him almost two years ago. I was simply headed back to the building after going to the County Clerk’s office. This was a by-chance moment that had completely caught me off guard.

But yet we find ourselves, us singles, in these moments sometimes and have to remind ourselves that this is most certainly our past and not our future. We have to forgive ourselves and the other person to in some instances, and remember the peace we have now rather than the issues that may trigger from seeing them.

For me I had to remind myself that forgiveness was given, and it still has to be given on those days when I remember what happened and what was said. It’s not about reliving the past but about learning from it, and that includes learning about myself and the relationship I chose to be an active part of for months. It’s choosing to forgive when the doubt creeps in or the loudness of unforgiveness wants to crowd out everything else.

It’s funny how those reminders find themselves weaving into our lives so unexpectedly. I used to believe it was a bit of temptation and torture. Now I view it as an opportunity to pursue grace, mercy and forgiveness again. To let it guide my heart and remind me that I am not living in a past tense, but a future present. So I can face the past, the good and bad, having learned about who I am. Thus allowing me to be a better me for the present life and continue to work on the future of who I desire to be.

Let those moments serve as a reminder for you too. That you are not your past, unless you haven’t learned from it. You are in your present and allow whatever you may harbor to be set out and forgiven. Push through the pain and allow peace to fill you now, instead of regret and bitterness. No matter what has happened to us, we have the choice of how it affects us now.

Learning in Relationships and in Singleness

There are days when I wonder what God is up to in me. Then there are ones like the one I had a few weeks back, where I get a glimpse at the top of the page of the story He is writing for me. All I can do is smile and rejoice.

I rejoice because my singleness is not in vain. It is not some struggle or war God has given me to endure. No, it is a gift. He is preparing me-He’s working in me already. He’s gifting me with time and space to grow in Him, to reveal areas at which He is at work in me that I did not know needed work. His expectations of me are to love Him and to love others. Why can’t those be enough for my own expectations of myself?

As I was driving home a few weeks ago I realized how all of the ones I have dated previously have molded me. I have learned something about who I am because of who they were. Various relationships didn’t work out but it has taken me to this point to see how they are inherently linked. Dude 1 taught me that I cherish a man who values me completely, and not just in part. Dude 2 taught me that men can be romantic, but that a man should not make me his world. Dude 3 broke my cold-heartedness to reveal that it’s okay to cry in front of a man and need him to be the rock at times. He also showed me that a man’s ego can get in the way of his heart if he allows it to do that. Dude 4 taught me that I can be open to having feelings sooner than I thought if I put down my guard. He also taught me that I do like to listen to problems, but I cannot solve them all in an instant.

I have needed this time to reflect, to see what it is that I truly desire in a partner, in the man that would be my mate. And also to see what God’s desire for me in a companion is as well. Most of all, it’s given space for me to fully believe and trust that God must come first or there can be no relationship. If He’s not at the center of my heart, how can I expect Him to be at the center of the relationship?

I have needed time for God to work in me in a way He could only do on His timing, in this time. He was at work in me all along, just as He is now…I just needed to be quiet, be still, and listen.