Lately, I’ve spent quite a bit of time reflecting on my past in order to embrace my future. Now, I’m not dwelling on the past, (by nature I tend to over analyze things) I’m just reflecting on it, making mental notes and moving on. Recently my mind went back to a particularly difficult time in my life when I was unknowingly wrapped up in a really toxic relationship with this guy, we will call him *Sam (not his real name). When I was with Sam, I felt like I had to walk on eggshells all the time. I felt like I had to play by his rules and my opinion only mattered when it lined up with his thoughts or his beliefs. (Now I’m not usually a person who lets others handle me any old kind of way. I have a mouthpiece and standing up for myself wasn’t the issue). I would often pray, “Lord, if he isn’t for me please reveal it” then a situation would arise that I would try to address but Sam was a master manipulator and no matter what I said, he could twist it in such a way that my arguments would become null and void. He was able to flip the script so well, that after arguments I would be the one apologizing for something when it was really his fault. When we talked, (I talked he pretended to listen) I would share these epiphanies and super personal things with him because I felt like he could be trusted. He was someone who at the time I thought I was building something solid with. Now walking away from people or things that weren’t lining up to what/where I thought they should be, had never been an issue for me before, but with Sam, things were different. The emotional stronghold that Sam had on me was something I had never experienced before and I pray I will never experience again. He was the greatest and the worst, all wrapped into a very handsome package.
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26 (New International Version)
During my relationship with Sam, I had allowed him to build on my fears and insecurities, which he, in turn, used to manipulate me. At the time, I believed that was the only way he knew how to love. In retrospect I realized that wasn’t love, it was control. After a particularly dramatic situation, I decided I’d had enough and chose to walk away. I realized I was pouring so much into him and giving so much of myself to a toxic situation, that I was unknowingly destroying myself in the process. “Soul laid bare and eyes were swollen full of unshed tears, I shut the door. Not just to my heart but to my life as I knew it.” In the end, I had to choose, hold on to the chaos of what was or let go and walk peacefully into what could be.
I remember years before I knew Sam getting up during a testimony service at church and speaking about being obedient to God. I used the example of a child whose parent was telling them “Don’t touch that or you will get burned, don’t get close to that or it’s going to hurt you”, but the child, hearing the warning and feeling the heat touches it anyway. Like my relationship with Sam, how many other toxic relationships, situations or things do we allow to wreak havoc in our lives when God has told us to let it go or to not touch it? If something is wreaking havoc in your life, let it go! God is waiting for you to let go so that he can bless you in ways that you can not even imagine. ~ Tashauna
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”
Ephesians 3:20 (New International Version)