No Wedding, No Love: Life After Heartbreak

no loveWednesday night, I cried myself to sleep. Out of nowhere, it hit me that my dreams of marriage had been shattered once again. I started replaying the moments of excitement looking at rings, searching for a venue, and trying on dresses. I started to think about how I finally had someone who loved me and wanted me as his wife. This marriage was meant to be the validation I needed to prove that I am desirable. The abrupt departure of my father at age five had left me wondering will I ever be wanted and loved. I had come to see marriage as a form of redeeming that piece of me. However on December 31, 2016 we had the breakup of all breakups, and my dream was shattered. All my hopes for us were robbed and ” hope deferred makes the heart sick…” became my reality.(Proverbs 13:12)

I believe one of the greatest pains of our human experience is a broken heart. Its pain is piercing and relentless. With all the strength you possess you try quickly to move past it, but broken things often heal slowly. You are simply forced to endure its pain. Some try to sedate it with sex, liquor, and drugs, but it refuses to leave. Some try to work it away, but the moment you take a break, it’s there. Some try to reason it away, but heartache supersedes knowledge; and you will never truly understand why your heart hurts so bad.

One of my greatest fears was to be where I am now, and that’s on the back side of a failed engagement. I read stories and met women who had gone through it; but I never wanted to be acquainted with its grief.  Now three months removed from it today, I can testify there is life after it. The first 30 days consisted of bitter tears. I wept because I felt like I had wasted my time. I mourned because I loved him. I sobbed because I made the decision to call the relationship off.  I lamented the death of the relationship because I had never been completely committed to a relationship the way I was with him (mind, body, and soul).  I cried because I no longer saw myself part of his dreams.

I would be lying if I said this experience did not rip the fabric of the way I view love. It was almost successful in making me give up on it. I was almost convinced not to love wholeheartedly ever again, but shutting myself off to loving someone keeps me from fulfilling my purpose. We were created to love. Choosing not to do so makes one defective because you are not fulfilling the Great Manufacturer’s purpose for creating you.

During the first 30 days, all I could remember was the broken promises. I had forgotten about all the joy and life our love had given me. Although the flaws of our humanity brought on the demise of our relationship, the love we shared was pure, healing, and refreshing. I learned so much about me, and I appreciate every lesson his love came to teach me. I assumed it was for forever, but I am grateful I was able to experience it in this lifetime.

I am not sure what the future holds for me, and I am quite alright with its uncertainty. I no longer see marriage as the validation I needed to prove I am worthy of love. I rest in the fact that I was created to love, and at the appointed time that love will be received and reciprocated by the man it was created to serve. I am no longer bitter about the outcome, and I am hopeful that I will love again.-Charity Israel

Photo Credit: http://hammerandgem.com/wedding-rings-101-dos-donts-wedding-ring-ownership/

Nuggets from Noah: The Perks of Living in an Ark

This reflection was written July 8, 2016 in one of my journals. Today I was reminded of it. I was encouraged all over again. I pray it encourages you:

Today I felt led to read the story of Noah (Genesis 7:9-17). While reading, I tried to rush through it assuming I knew everything there was about Noah. The Holy Spirit, said “slow down and read all of it.”  As I started to take my time to read, I recognized the time it took for Noah’s world to return to its regularly scheduled programming (i.e. no animals, no living in an ark, and etc.). It took well over a year for things to return to “normal.” It took 40 days to flood the earth and over a year to restore the land.

As I read this story, I started to see my life. I too have been in an ark, a place of protection during the flood of life.  It is as if all that was good, honest, and true were permitted to remain while every lie, deception, past mistake, and negative mindset were left out of my ark. The world as I knew it was being destroyed around me; and I was forced to be by myself as things from my past were being drowned by the torrential rains of God’s love, truth, forgiveness, and grace. It was cold and dark, but I was never alone. Being in similar situations, I assumed it would not take as long to get out the ark. However almost 7 ½ months later, I am still in the ark. Things are slowly returning to normal, and the sun is starting to shine again. It is not quite time to come out, but I have more hope that the doors will be opening soon.

I must retract my statement about Noah’s life returning to normal. Nothing was normal about Noah’s life after leaving the ark. In the beginning of the story, he had just a piece of land to call his own. Now, he had the world as his possession. He already had authority as the patriarch of his family; but he obtained dominion over the earth upon leaving the ark. His family had been entrusted with replenishing the earth for the glory of God. He went into the ark as a servant, and he left it as a Ruler. He went into the ark following commands, but he left it free to do what his heart desired.  Noah was a completely different man a year or so later after being in the ark. He had become wiser; skilled at taming animals; and a great strategist dealing with the issues that arouse on the ark. Noah’s patience was perfected while waiting to be released from the ark. He became a master at caring for creation. He developed a deeper understanding of God while enduring the flood. Building the ark proved God to be a provider. Living in the ark proved God to be a protector and sustainer of His creation.

 Today you may be in what appears to be the greatest storm of your life. Having gone through a few storms, you assumed God would have responded by now. However, you do not know what is being prepared beyond your limited view of the situation. God is developing a place where you can thrive, have dominion, and enjoy His creation. Take a lesson from Noah and wait on God. Allow God to handle what is outside of your power, and you tend to what you can fix. Allow this time to perfect your love and skills. Let the truth of God’s love for you assure you that this time will not last forever.

Noah received new instructions upon leaving the ark, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth.” (Genesis 9:2) Initially, he was restricted by what could go into the ark. Once Noah was released, he was given permission to produce as much as he could for as long as he could. Authority is given to those who submit themselves to God’s will during the time of a storm. I pray you will be found submitting yourself to God’s will while in your storm. There is something God is working inside of you and outside of the ark. Yield to the process and watch God keep his promise of protection and provision. You’ll be released from the ark at the perfect time. Thanks for reading!-Charity Israel

 

 

 

 

Single Men, Can We Talk???

Happy couple holding handsI come in peace!!! This blog is not an attempt to rip you a new one. It is me offering you insight into finding and keeping  a virtuous woman. Let me be clear, I am NOT trying to help you “smash and pass,” but I am trying to help you secure something solid. If you are not interested in a woman of substance and have an obsession with the ratchet, STOP READING! If you are a man who enjoys living the lies you have created, I CANNOT HELP YOU! If you are good man looking for your female counterpart, this may help in the process of dating quality women:

  1. Choose the right bait. When I talk to good single guys, they often complain about ending up with the same kind of woman. I ask a few questions, only to discover they are using the same methods to pick and keep a woman.  I am no fisherman; but I know the same bait used to catch a Catfish will NOT help you succeed in catching a Swordfish. You must learn what appeals to the kind of woman you truly desire. Then you have to wait until she takes the bait. The bait is that thing that let her knows you were listening. In other words, what you used on most women will NOT work on a virtuous woman. She knows the game, and she will shut it and you down QUICKLY!!!
  2. Be yourself. If a good woman has given you access to her life, give her the gift of authenticity. The best thing you can give her is yourself. The size of your wallet is nice, but a woman of substance is more concerned about your character. She is able to take care of herself. Allow her to meet the real you.
  3. Have goals. A good woman takes pride in encouraging her mate to greatness. If you do not have anything for her to assist you in achieving, she will NOT entertain you long. She is an encourager, and you must supply her with something that feeds that part of her.
  4. Be honest. A Virtuous woman is gracious, but she despises a liar. Your honesty tells her that you trust her. You do not have to fear sharing your past with her. She keeps your secrets to herself because she values loyalty. She wants to know you; and she understands who you were helped shape who you are. Once you recognize she is different from anyone you have encountered, TREAT HER THAT WAY. Loving her is easy because you know she means you no harm.
  5. Be a confident leader. A good woman loathes an indecisive, incompetent man. She is a leader, and she only follows those she trust. You must prove she can let her guard down and follow your guidance. If your words are followed up by your actions, the guard comes down quickly. If you say more than you actually do, there will be an Early Dismissal. She does not have the time to entertain inconsistency in a leader. If you do not know what to do, ASK FOR HELP. This speaks volumes of your humility and leadership ability. She prefers you to ask for help rather than allow your pride to keep both of you lost or ignorant. Keeping your word and asking for help when it is needed will assure her that you are one worth following.

It is my hope that you find one or more of these things useful to your journey. I am aware that some of you desire something real, and I am praying that you find it. Good women do exist, but they are not the easiest to find. Enjoy the process of finding her! In the meantime, continue to improve who you are and what you have to offer.- Charity Israel

P.S. Ladies are not fish. 😜

 

 

 

Photo Credit: http://archcapeinn.com/blog/2012/08/16/romantic-getaways-at-our-cannon-beach-inn/couple-holding-hands-sunset150685331pc/