The restaurant was crowded and noisy. It was late night and most of the patrons were obviously party goers. It was taking my boyfriend a while to return from the restroom. Although there were others in our party, I was getting restless. I waited a while longer before heading to the single stall restroom marked, “Men”.
As I approached, my stomach knotted. I could hear two voices coming from behind the door. In a passive tone, he whispered, “Stop”, and she giggled. The voices were that of my boyfriend and a female that I’d been introduced to earlier that evening by a mutual acquaintance.
Before I could knock, the door opened. When he saw me standing there, he began to nervously explain that he was genuinely trying to stop the escapade. I’d known him for years and I knew what he sounded like when he meant stop. This was a much more playful tone. But no matter what he said, the damage had been done.
He was my first love and the first to break my heart. After that relationship, I vowed to always be the heart-breaker and to never be vulnerable in a relationship again. In the years that followed, I played many games and broke many hearts. I became like the person that hurt me, maybe even worse.
Although the betrayal definitely cut deep, that wasn’t what changed me. It was what I believed about myself as a result of the betrayal that did the most damage. I believed I wasn’t good enough. I felt that I would never be enough in a relationship so why take the risk?
I carried that mindset for years until one day when a seemingly random question crossed my mind, What if I am good enough? The question puzzled me. Had I for years believed a lie?
I thought about the countless games I’d played and the ways I had betrayed others. It was always due to my fears and insecurities. It was never because they weren’t good enough. Likewise, my ex-boyfriend’s decision to betray me did not mean I was not good enough. It only meant that he wanted someone that wasn’t me, but that rejection did not mean I was less than or that something was wrong with me.
Years later when I began to read about what my Creator thinks of me, it was confirmed that I am good enough. I learned that my value can never be determined by a person or their actions. I renounced the vow I had made out of hurt and fear, and I accepted responsibility for the hurt I caused others.
Then, it was on to the hard part— learning to be vulnerable again. Though I have made a lot of progress, sometimes this still is a challenge for me. But with God’s help and instruction, when the time is right, I will be vulnerable with a man that will handle my heart with care.