Look, I'm a bit nervous to talk about my ex-boyfriend box. I'm scared that the three friends that do read this are going to judge me and assume that I'm some stalker psycho that can't get over her ex's. However, I feel like this blog is going to be both cathartic and freeing. I want to be real enough just in case there is some single person who stumbles across this blog who is possibly struggling.
My hope and prayer for this blog are to be candid and bring light with my words-- please know that.
Now, many of you are asking yourself "what is an ex-boyfriend box?" After my first boyfriend and I broke up in my senior year while he was away at college, I packed all of the letters, notes, pictures, clothes, etc, into a box. I have a few of these boxes with these trinkets. Whether it be just the boy I "talked" to for 3 months and a couple of the letters or jewelry he gave me-- I put it away in boxes and out of reach so that I could not have painful daily reminders. However, I realized when I had my first real heartbreak in November of 2017,
I knew that I wanted to remember parts of it... not for me, but for my ministry and my future daughter.
INTENTION OF THE BOXES
The intention of the ex-boyfriend box was for a testimony of how God had healed in my heart and life. I let go of the tee shirts and the comfy hoodies obviously-- but the letters, pictures, jewelry, etc. I keep. However, I have a couple of these boxes but I have put them so deep away in storage that I cannot easily get to them. They're hidden away in our garage/shop.
I was getting an oil change from my stepdad and moving some things into storage from my apartment and I ended up in front of the last ex-boyfriend box. I hadn't looked in this box in nearly 7 months. For some reason, today I couldn't stop thinking of my last ex-boyfriend. Days like this don't happen anymore, my ex has moved on and has a girlfriend, and I have gone on dates and am content with where God has me. We both have moved on.
Yet, for some reason, I had this feeling that I needed to look at the box.
LOOK-- I don't want to willingly have to be reminded of painful memories-- HOWEVER, I had this feeling that I needed to... so I trusted God and I looked at the box.
A journal, some polaroids, a poem, a prayer, a letter, and a charm bracelet.
Rereading the words of someone who you thought God had brought into your life for the long run is an odd feeling. I didn't feel the same ache of anger I did the following months after our breakup. It's been a little over a year since we had that two-hour FaceTime call... long-distance breakups seem to be my specialty.
Yet, I think the words of this boy that I thought God had evidently brought into my life to be my husband, just left me a little confused. Reading the strong declarations, promises, and prayers that this person had written me, made me feel happy that I got to experience that-- even if it wasn't the real thing. The thing that truly got me a little emo was the bracelet. I had made matching charm bracelets with his special needs aunt. That one got me in the feels, I won't lie. I had forgotten about it. You see, what hurts is when you love the family of the person you date, and when you break up. It's like going through 4 breakups all at once.
After reading putting away the ex-boyfriend box, I couldn't exactly figure out my mood. I felt silly for even still having those letters-- but I remembered the healing that God brought from that season in my life. God restored my heart from the scars and bruises that were left from that relationship. Yet, I still couldn't shake the feeling in my chest.
After taking some time to sit and think and listen to Abba... I knew that I had to write this blog.
This blog is proof that you can be healed but that scars can still occasionally sting. After the past 6 months and this semester, I have struggled HARDCORE with my relationship status. I have questioned if I was meant to even be going on dates, if I should just go ahead and date the boy that has become one of my very best friends, or if I was ever going to have that soul connection that I long for.
I couldn't shake this feeling of confusion. "Why did you even bring him into my life, if he wasn't what I was meant for?"
Truly, this has been the biggest question from my breakup-- and even after a year... I still have no idea. Then, when I was deep in thought being melodramatic on my couch and a new Maverick City Music song came on. "Keep Praying."
"Every prayer today is a seed for tomorrow
Keep praying, keep praying
Oh, hold on to the faith and the blessing will follow
(Keep) Keep praying, (Keep praying) keep praying
Oh, we are living proof (Oh)
Of what holding on can do (Yeah)
(We are, we are) We are living proof
Of what holding on can do"
These lyrics reminded me again of the power of prayer. I'm not talking about praying for my ex to suddenly fall in love with me and be on a flight to Nashville-- if he wasn't in love the first time, it isn't going to happen now. No, no, no-- this song reminded me that I have to TRUST. I have to trust that God is who he says he is and that he is moving in my life. Not just in a romantic sense, but in all areas of my life.
Do I want to have a husband? Yes.
Do I want to settle for average matrimony because I can't trust that God will bring the very best for my life? Absolutely not.
You see, in all aspects of my life I don't want to look back and question: "what if I had prayed more intentionally or what if I had trusted or what if I had waited longer?"
Instead, I want to look back on my journey and know that I fought for the best of what God had for me. Not the best of what God had for my best friend or the girls in my sorority...
I want to fight for God's best FOR ME. To fight... I've got to learn to trust and know that God is listening and fighting for me.
“Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” Deut. 3:22
"One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you." Josh 23:10
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Josh. 1:9
I think what all of this season and this ex-boyfriend box has taught me... today is this:
it all comes down to identity. If I am rooted in who the Lord of the freaking universe says I am, not what the mean girls in a sorority or what the exes have said... do I believe that I am worthy of God's best?
I think that is what is hard for me-- I get trapped into this cycle of feeling unworthy or like I am just going to have the same generational chains of the women and marriages before.
I start thinking back to every mean and hurtful comment made by males or females. I get lost in the. names and labels that the world has given me instead of resting and trusting in the identity that was set in the blood of Jesus.
I am a daughter of the one true king and that cannot be taken away.
I am forgiven and set free of my past self and sins.
I am worthy of being loved and letting God love me-- even when I want to hide.
* The ex-boyfriend box reminded me today that I am worthy of God's best for me and I just have to trust that.
* The ex-boyfriend box made me smile at the good memories with that person and praise God for the healing and forgiveness he brought.
* The ex-boyfriend box reminded me that I get to press on in all aspects of my life and that I get to freely pray to the maker of all... and HE IS LISTENING.
So, sweet friends my prayer and hope for you is that if you have old memories from ex's, ex-friends, hurtful family members, etc. that you put them into a box and you put them away. I pray you ask God to redeem your thoughts and outlook on the situations, I pray you that you find clarity and revelation-- even if it is from an old charm bracelet.
And to the ex-boyfriends...
Don't worry I donated all of the clothes and I am forever grateful for each of you... even if I don't know the purpose of you in my story just yet. Know that you, your families, and your future wives are all on the prayer list on my bedroom wall-- not out of spite but out of a love for who God has made you to be and for the future men that you will become for your family and the kingdom.
Sweet friends, let us pray on and rest in who God made us to be and know that we have the maker of the universe guiding our steps and he wants the very best for us, regardless of any heartbreak, know this truth deep in your bones.
With love, introspection, a slight fear that I'm going to be labeled as a wacko or a hoarder, laughter with a snort, a heart in process, a praying soul, and a cup of coffee,