When you aren’t chosen by someone
When I first began to see a counselor, my boyfriend of nearly three years and I had just broken up. He lived out of state at the time and as I was lining up to enter my Master’s graduation ceremony, all of a sudden, I saw him out of the corner of my eye. “He came for me,” I excitedly thought. One for surprises, it wasn’t odd for him to show up at my door on birthdays and random occasions. He was a very thoughtful man. I ran to him and jumped in his arms. Beaming, I crossed the stage feeling so sought after and loved.
That night, we planned to get together. I enjoyed a celebration dinner with my family and raced back home excited to see him. Hours and minutes ticked by but the doorbell never rang. I sat on my couch waiting and wondering when he would arrive. Finally, I crawled into bed, my chest feeling empty and my heart sad.
In the morning, I realized I was wrong. He hadn’t come to see me. In the days to come, he admitted to me that there was someone else — and that there had been someone else for quite some time. I was crushed.
“Why didn’t he pick me?” I asked my counselor, crying in her office. “Why am I not good enough?” “How could people cheat?” “Why do they want to hurt people like this?” The pain was so deep. Every night I would crawl into bed and sob. I wondered if my broken heart would ever heal. One day, I was crying and I felt this voice in my head. Not an audible voice, but it was clear as day. “Lauren, I am protecting you.”
I knew it was God and I had a decision to make. Would I trust Him or continue to wallow in the rejection? Deep down in my soul, I knew the on-again-off-again relationship I had been in wasn’t healthy. But I was in love. I don’t think God told my boyfriend to cheat on me, but I do think He knew I wouldn’t leave the relationship. In some way, could God actually be protecting me?
Months passed and I cried a lot. Some days were brighter than others. Some days were pretty dark. Songs on the radio and smells would trigger memories and I would shatter to pieces again. Slowly, I began to deal with the rejection, anger, and pain. Camped out in the book of Isaiah during this time, God held my heart in sweet, gentle ways:
“Never again will you be called ‘The Forsaken City’ or ‘The Desolate Land.’ Your new name will be ‘The City of God’s Delight’ and ‘The Bride of God,’ for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as His bride.” -Isaiah 62:4
“For your Maker is your husband — the Lord Almighty is His name — the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth.” -Isaiah 54:5
“I have chosen you and not rejected you.” -Isaiah 41:9
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. -Isaiah 55:8
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” -Isaiah 40:31
“You are precious and honored in my sight and I love you.” -Isaiah 43:4
These verses brought me back to life. I read them over and over and over. They reminded me that I was chosen. I may not be chosen by people, but I am chosen by the God of the universe. He pursues my heart and loves me dearly. I can trust Him.
This morning on my social media page, an old comment from my ex-boyfriend popped up on the screen. In addition to the comment was a photo of the girl he chose instead of me. But today, it didn’t sting the way it used to. Thankful for a God who protects and guards my heart, I am beginning to see His hand even in the most painful parts of life. He is an expert in creating beauty out of ashes. And scrolling through this time, for the first time, a small smile stretched across my face.