Hey guys, I’ve been kind of crazy lately with a ton of life events (I promise to catch you all up soon, I promise!). In the meantime, my Internet friend Chelsea wrote a post in one of our mutual Facebook groups, and I asked her to turn it into a blog post.
What you need to know about Chelsea: She is dating the love of her life, Quinn, and she blogs over at simpleadulting.com. Check it out and give her some encouragement over there!
On with Chelsea’s story…
I’m writing this at 1:45 am because that’s what time I finally made it to my house after my flight got delayed today. I will probably regret this tomorrow even though I’m posting it well after I’ve written it.
Y’all this is me being so raw and honest with you. I hope you have your snuggie and your hot cocoa ready. Tonight I found out that my most recent ex and his wife just had their first baby. Mind you, it’s been 3 years since we dated, but this relationship was one that I thought for sure would be “the one.” We knew when we were going to get engaged, and we even had a date in mind for the wedding. We literally had made it to that level of our relationship.
So seeing where he was now, and what he was saying about his life really stung. It hit a chord in me that I didn’t even realize still existed. I looked at that baby and for a few seconds imagined that it could’ve been my baby. That I could’ve been the one married to that man, giving birth to his child, living a completely different life than I was now.
In those few seconds (maybe minutes) of imagining, I felt a deep sense of jealousy. A sinful, spiteful, ugly sort of jealousy. My singleness has never been so glaringly obvious to me until that exact moment. Then those seconds and feelings passed, and the Holy Spirit (because heck my flesh wanted to dwell on that bitterness and regret) guided me back to Christ. He pointed me to the one who has fulfilled every need before I even knew I had it.
I didn’t need a man to fulfill me, or a baby to make me feel needed or a marriage to make me feel loved and valued. I had all of that in Christ – his love has given me hope, his death and resurrection has given me value, his bride has given me needs to serve, and his righteousness has clothed me in a new identity that has blessed and fulfilled me.
Yes, I hope for those things, those beautiful blessings that may or may not come, but my heart isn’t set on earthly things to satisfy me and give me meaning; my heart is set on Christ who has already satisfied my deepest need and given me purpose to glorify him and enjoy him forever.
So even after learning that my ex had fully moved on, had a new life with a family and a woman he hopefully cherishes, I still have joy. But it doesn’t end there. The Lord could’ve just let me dwell in His goodness and grace, but instead my mind wandered to a blessing that is second only to my salvation.
I became overwhelmed just thinking about the blessing that Quinn is to me. I know the comparison game is frowned upon, but I will compare Quinn all day every day to the men I have previously dated because he far outshines them all.
And as I sat there overwhelmed with all of these feelings from seeing where my ex is at now, I realized I had absolutely no regrets with it not working out between us. You couldn’t pay me enough money to be with him again. Why? Because he didn’t treat me as his sister in Christ. He didn’t love me as Christ loved the church. He didn’t value me as a human being made in the image of God; he only saw me as an object that was expendable and worth only as much as was able to make him look better or feel better.
He lied, manipulated, controlled and abused without batting an eye. But as I look back on how poorly I was treated, I rejoice in knowing the Lord was so gracious and so faithful to keep me from being the one that he would marry and have children with. What a good God, who not only protects His children from what they don’t need, but gives them what they do! He truly is a perfect and loving Father.
God knew if I ended up in a relationship again that I would need a man who was open, honest, and real with me. Who wouldn’t hide his sins and struggles, but would admit his weaknesses in hopes that Christ might be glorified through them. He knew I would need a man who would patiently wait for me to relearn how to trust and who would consistently say and show me the gospel. One way that Quinn does this is when I open up to him about something, he immediately covers me in grace and love and reminds me that his love is not conditional. Why would I ever be jealous of anything that anyone else has when the Lord has blessed me with such a beautiful picture of His own love for me? (Man, I’m really turning into a sap.)
I am daily walking with a man who points me to Christ, and is intentional about learning and listening well in this season so that he can better love and serve me in the next. I do look back on my past with regret—not regret of what I went through and learned, but regret of not trusting the Lord more, while submitting to His Word and ways rather than my own.
I’m sure there will be more moments of jealousy in the future, given I am a human who will probably never stop looking to earthly things to satisfy me. But finding rest in the one who has fulfilled my every need, and seeing the blessings that the Lord has given me, will make those moments more abhorrent and much less frequent.
I think we’d all be lying if we said we don’t get jealous of what others have or the season someone else is in that we wish we could be in. But dwelling on that jealousy is dangerous because it breeds bitterness and resentment towards God and others. So I am learning to find my rest and contentment in Christ, especially as I navigate a relationship and am currently unmarried. The more I dwell on my blessings, the more I find beauty and meaning in my own life. The more I dwell on the gospel, the more desire I have to humbly love this man and others in the same way Christ loves me. And the more I see Christ in Quinn, the more grateful I become of who God has given me, and the more I trust His will for seeking my good.
God doesn’t keep us from things or hold back blessings because He’s upset with us or trying to harm and hurt us. He withholds things from us for our good – to grow us, to mature us, to protect us, to find our satisfaction in Him, and for us to appreciate the blessings that He HAS given us for His glory. To those of you who struggle with jealousy, especially when it comes to relationships, marriage, and having a family, it’s okay. Don’t be afraid to have those good desires, but don’t stop finding your ultimate satisfaction in Christ. Keep trusting the Lord, resting in the fact that He knows what is best for you and what you need, even when you don’t.