A Letter to My Past Boyfriend

“You know I don’t know how this happened. One minute I was crying for you, the next minute I was smiling. I look at the shrine next to my bed and can’t believe that it used to be full of you, full of us. As I put everything in my box, I know I’m letting go of a past that I wanted so bad to keep but at the same time knew I had to let go of. And as much as I would like to have known sooner, I am still thankful I know now rather than later. Maybe you would say that we would still be together if I never got drawn into my faith. I used to say the same thing, but then I realized what kind of person it helped me become and I have no regrets. I’ll admit I didn’t handle the transition the best I could, but like you I was overwhelmed, in a different way of course. I felt a feeling of joy consuming me that I had never felt and I didn’t know how to contain it, manage it, or understand it. For that I apologize. But I do not apologize for the person I’ve become or for my choice in  lifestyle. My faith is something I can’t compromise, it completes me. It is the unseen part of me that I love and the part I know someone will grow to love too. It’s upsetting that it wasn’t you. But I’m not discouraged, it just means God has another plan for me.” 

I thought I would start off with a short excerpt from my blog, written during one of the biggest turning points in my life. My relationship lasted about 6 years before we broke up. A little after hitting our five year anniversary, I grew unhappy with where my life was heading. I was done school, was unemployed, and had a minimal income. I was more lost than I had ever been…then I found God.

I started going to Mass every day, Monday to Sunday. I prayed in the chapel of my parish and continued to pray every night at home. I bought my first Bible and did daily devotions, which lead me to putting up my own religious corner in my room where I would sing my praise and worship. I joined the youth ministry and participated in prayer group and Bible study at my church. I volunteered for Catholic events and attended talks and seminars on living out your faith. I am naturally a happy person, but even now no words can explain the amount of joy I felt being  deeply immersed in the Church and feeling such a strong desire and want for a relationship with God.

Feeling passionately about my faith, I continued to share my experiences with my boyfriend, who unfortunately did not welcome the idea with open arms. Every positive encounter of mine was shot down with something negative to counteract. The arguments continued for months and gradually got worse. Instead of that drive I once had, I was starting to get discouraged by trying to fight the negative, hurtful comments he threw at me alone.But I found myself agreeing with him the more we fought. “Maybe he is right, I am not worthy.” It took many sleepless nights and constant prayer to shake off what had been drilled into my head and realize that we are God’s children. God loves us and He always will. God forgives and we are always worthy of His love- we do not earn His love, His love is always constant and perfect when we are not constant and perfect.

At this point, my boyfriend was convinced that my faith was just a phase. We still tried working on our relationship. I assured him that my choice to choose my faith is something that will stay a part of me for the rest of my life. To him this became evident when the way I spent my weekends changed. They used to consist of me clubbing with my friends, drinking the night away, and blacking out at the end of the night. I gave into peer pressure and committed acts I knew were wrong but did it regardless to please everyone else. But God took the temptations and starvation away and brought out that part of me that was truly myself. I spent my weekends at the church, I stopped drinking and partying and enjoyed the company of a small group of people. I allowed God to rule me instead.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

My boyfriend and I kept growing further apart as our religious differences became clearer. When you are with someone for so long you tend to ignore how big of an issue some things are and compromise to make the relationship work. I realized though, faith is not something to compromise, to limit yourself in and give half-heartedly to. The further I grew in my faith, the less I was able to understand the negativity my boyfriend had towards it. I could not grasp why what I was doing was so wrong. I was genuinely happy for once and it killed me that I could not get an ounce of support, that he could not accept this new me and just be happy. I cried out to God everyday for answers, even questioned His existence when the suffering became unbearable. It did not make sense to me why God would make me feel such a powerful feeling of joy, only to have me feel such incredible pain right after. I resented God for ruining my relationship. If I had never went to Church, my relationship would be fine. Instead the relationship I built for almost 6 years was reaching its lowest as I argued everyday with my boyfriend about God, religion, and my faith. As I was choosing my journey in faith and growing closer to God, I was losing the one person in my life that I had ever known. But I wanted to know Him, I wanted to know God.

After a break up, I was the type of person to jump into another relationship to avoid feeling hurt. But this time it was different. I felt destroyed, losing the one person that became such a big part of me. But I did not feel alone because I had God and that was enough for me. I spent my years scared of ever being alone, constantly looking for someone to be accepting of me, to make me feel wanted, loved, and cared for, that I threw myself at any man that gave me the slightest bit of attention. But my search was over because I had the greatest love of all. God, you are truly the lover of my life, my Saviour, and my shelter. I am not going to sit here and tell you all that it was easy for me to get this point in my life, choosing to trust God, but I am here now. For the longest time I questioned why God would put me through so much pain, but I know now my relationship was not going to help me grow closer to God. It was not going to help me get to heaven and fulfill His will. I prayed every night to keep close to God and for Him to take away anything that would hinder my journey in faith.

“Ask. And it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7

I asked and God delivered. I know now that something greater was waiting for me. That I had to lose everything I had in order to receive much more in return. I had to surrender it all to Him, to truly allow God to enter into my heart and trust Him. Now, I can proudly say that I am pleased with the person I chose to be, the life that I chose to live, and the people I chose to let go of. Choose to be happy with yourself and be proud of the person you are before letting someone else into your life. If you are not happy single, you will not be content in a relationship. Do not rely on someone to make you fulfilled, be able to find happiness on your own first, and then discern future relationships with God’s help. Last year I made a choice to know true love and and my joy comes from a life lead by God.

Sometimes we dictate our relationships based on how we feel but love is a choice. Similarly, faith is also not just about happiness and feelings- it takes discipline and self-reflection. Look into your heart: what do you see? Take a look at what you are.