Last month, I did something that I had never done before. I cut someone out of my life. There have been people with whom I’ve lost contact, people who I’ve taken a break from, people who have cut me out of their lives (two off the top of my head). But I had never before been the one to say, “It’s not good for you to be a part of my life anymore.”
In the weeks since, it’s been an….interesting experience. I can be thankful, at least, for that person’s respect of my wishes. I haven’t been badgered with attempts at contact. A friend of mine who recently got out a six-year relationship shared with me her confusion over whether she should be relieved or offended that her ex hasn’t made a show of trying to repair what they lost. I told her to count her blessings.
Meanwhile, I’m glad that I took the precautions I did to keep myself from breaking the silence. It’s hard for me to hurt people. I try to be very intentional about what I do and don’t do in order to avoid causing other people pain, even if I feel like I would be justified in hurting them. So breaking the connection with the person I did was strentuous. It was something I had to contemplate for a long time before doing. I even still question it sometimes. I’m an eternal optimist. Can’t things be better? Isn’t there a way to still be acquaintances at least?
Not too long ago, a friend came to me with a deep regret over a line they had crossed. Something they didn’t protect themselves from. Life has a way of catching up to us sometimes, and it was a reminder to me that even with God’s protection and favor, I’m not immune to mistakes or regret. There are things we can’t undo, words we can’t unspeak, experiences we can’t unlive.
So what do we do in the aftermath? Do we continue to return to the things–or even the people–that we know God is trying to remove from our lives? Do we obey halfway and walk away from them in reality while still letting our minds linger on what used to be? Do we mourn and move on, or do we live in limbo, letting ourselves drift in and out of our immediate lives? Do we trust God for something better, watching some people go straight from heartache to bliss while we wait…and wait…and wait……?
I guess the answer to all of these is another question: Where’s my hope? Is my hope in man, in the things of this world, in the temporal? Or is my hope in Christ? Is my relationship with Him paramount in my life, or am I just waiting for Him to show up like Santa Claus with a perfectly-wrapped life partner, no assembly required?
Do I sit around regretting getting myself into the mess I made, wallowing in it like Pliable in the Pit of Despair?
Or do I work my way out of it by fixing my eyes on the Eternal City and remembering that I am still a Pilgrim as long as I keep moving?