With life, there are three things that are certain: faith, hope and love. They are the only things that will certainly last forever. Relationships won’t last forever. Friendships won’t last forever. Not even life lasts forever. The Word Of God says faith, hope and love will last forever. So if the Bible teaches us these things, why do we find it hard to let go? Why do we hold onto or cling to people?
As my 30th birthday is just days away, while I continue to write my book, one thing I’ve learned is to let things and people go. It’s hard at first, but it gets better. “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (1 Corinthians 13:11-12 NLT)
I am not perfect. None of us are. I have been hurt and mistreated by people from all walks of life. Whether they were family members, friends, lovers or haters, I’ve been hurt by them all. I used to give so much of myself to people until there was nothing left to give. I was always the sole person trying to have a relationship with people. I’d invite friends, family members, lovers to events and to hang out with me, yet I never received a phone call, text, email nor written letter inviting me anywhere. I used to go out of my way to please others and ensure they had a smile on their face but I was never given that back in return. I would bend over backwards and forwards, trying to impress people hoping they’d love me back, yet I never got it in return. People have been mean, rude to me, ignored my feelings / phone calls / text messages, they’d leave me out of things hanging out with everyone else but me and they would always forget my birthday even though I never forgotten theirs. I was always giving and those people were always extending a happy hand to receive.
Finally, after years of being mistreated, overlooked, taken for granted, taken advantage of and my love abused, I finally started to look up and look within myself. I started reading the Word of God and I prayed about everything. I asked God what was wrong with me and why didn’t any of those people want to be my friend / lover? After praying about it, I heard The Holy Spirit say, “Stop trying and watch what happens.” So I stopped trying and immediately everyone began to fall off. It became so clear to me that these weren’t the right people for me. It became clear to me that I was giving love and accepting what I thought was love because I didn’t truly understand the real meaning of love.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT)
When I read this, I cried. Unfortunately, I was giving to the wrong people. ““Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” (Matthew 7:6 NLT) “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8 NLT) Even though I read all these scriptures and saw all of these signs, I still questioned whether or not I was making the right decision by letting people go. I didn’t want to feel like I was giving up on anybody. So I prayed again about it asking God to make it so clear to me that I could no longer deny it. Then I went back to writing my book.
As I was writing, looking back over the last few years of my life with all of the darkness that I was in, I started to receive the answers from God. They came to me in a form of questions. Who was there for you during those dark times? Who was there for you when you didn’t have a dime to give in return? Who tried to cheer you up, pray for you, or comfort you? Jesus Christ became my best friend; however, I also had three other people who were there for me. The rest, including men who claimed to love me and friends who claimed they’d always have my back, fell off! They disappeared, were too busy to be bothered with my depression and grief, were too busy to bother returning my calls or to check up on me, or were suddenly unavailable now that I didn’t have any money nor energy to give to them. Just as I prayed, God showed me the answer: they weren’t there for me at all. With that revelation, I let go of the people I was holding onto with ease.
Now, I no longer cry over fake friends saying goodbye. The lack of close knit family dynamics doesn’t bother me the way it once did. Men saying they love me doesn’t phase me anymore. I gladly escorted them out of my life, shutting the door and blocking their access to me. God is positioning me and fortunately everyone can’t go with me. Some people have to be left behind. It doesn’t mean that I hate them or dislike them for I’ve forgiven them for how they treated me. I still ask God to bless them despite their actions towards me. However, I can forgive and move forward knowing that where God is taking and guiding me, not everyone can go.
So my advice to you who’s reading this is that it’s okay to let people go. It’s okay to choose yourself, your heart, your sanity and your peace of mind. It’s okay to follow wherever God is trying to take you. Those people, you know the ones that easily come to mind, they weren’t for you anyways. They only stuck around to get what you can do for them. Once your giving stops, their existence in your life will stop! Once real life happens to you and you go through some things, that’s when they’ll suddenly disappear. They’ll distance themselves from you because they don’t have the strength or stamina to endure the storms with you. That’s because they don’t have a root in Jesus. They’re not rooted in God’s love. They are anchors dragging you down. So step away from them, cut them lose and allow them to float away to their own raft. They can’t go with you to your next level.
As you row along your designated path, beware and stay alert for once they see that you don’t need them anymore, that God is taking you somewhere and that He’s doing something in your life, they’ll try to reach out and get back into your boat. They’ll try to extend an arm or paddle hoping you’ll let them back in on your ship. Don’t let them back in. You keep rowing, plowing through the rivers to the large ocean of blessings that God has for you. Don’t be too upset that your friends, lovers or family members showed their true colors. A real relationship (friend/lover/ family/ etc.) takes equal parts love, work, support and dedication of time. Keep the faith and stay focused on where you’re trying to go. It sucks for them that they chose to abandon your ship just as the waters were about to get good. So keep on stroking forward and let God’s sunshine guide you along your path.
In Jesus name, I pray your strength, drive and will to get through the tough waters of life. One by one, may each individual who is not for you, fall off. May God continue to guide you along the path He’s chosen for you. May you always know in your heart that you have a friend in Jesus and that’s all you need. May you learn to trust in the Lord and where He’s taking you. In Jesus name, I pray Amen.
Sincerely with love,
Travel photography by IG user: @ilhan1077