Have you ever been broken up with? Many of us have I’m sure. Do you remember one of the first times someone broke up with you? I do.
I was standing at the pencil sharpener when the small folded paper appeared out of the corner of my eye. He quickly handed it to me and sat back down before the teacher noticed he was out of his seat. I watched as some of the girls in the class snickered to themselves. I knew what it said before I even opened it.
I just want to be friends.
That’s all it said. We lasted a whole three days before it was over. Sixth grade love grows and fades quickly like that. I was more embarrassed than anything. I put my head down and went back to my seat. I folded up the letter and slide it into the front pocket of my book bag.
That wouldn’t be the last time I was broken up with. But it was one of the first times I remember feeling the fear that I might be unlovable. He didn’t mean to cause any harm. I mean we were only kids. If we saw each other now we would probably laugh about it.
But that fear stayed there in my heart. Then it manifested itself into my fear of unworthiness, then a fear of rejection. Fear of anything I couldn’t control. Fear can be a nasty enemy if we don’t channel it in the right ways and it’s taken me some odd years to finally realize that fear and I, well, we don’t exactly have the best track record.
I will admit, fear is comfortable to me. Fear has always been there. Fear has seen my highs and lows. At times, I even think fear knows me better than I know myself. But the time has come. I want to break up with fear. So I decided to write my very own breakup note.
This has been a long time coming. I would like to be honest and say it’s not you it’s me, but that would be a lie. It’s always been you. I’ve let you creep into the darkest places of my heart. I’ve allowed you to run my life for far too long. I’ve even let you make choices for me. Remember all those years ago when I was in high school and wanted to try out for the dance team? Your lies screamed at me over and over that I wasn’t good enough. That I was too fat. That the other girls would laugh at me. That I would never make it. I listened to you for three years until finally my last chance arrived. I was a senior and it was now or never. Do you remember that day as well as I do?
I walked out to my place on the floor, claimed my spot, lowered my hands to position and waited for the music to start. My heart was beating out of my chest. Your lies were ringing in my ears. I wanted nothing more than to leave my heart on that dance floor, to give it everything I had. And that’s just what I did.
Do you remember the day the coach called me to tell me I had made the team? You probably don’t, but I do. That was the day I realized what an ugly liar you are. That was the day I decided that you weren’t worth the fight. You were nothing but a hindrance. I wish I could say our relationship ended that day but you know all too well it didn’t.
For years, you’ve kept me chained. Kept me hidden. I’ve disguised myself under words like “I’m okay” and “I’m doing great,” when you and I both know I was far from it. You held me captive in cycles of unhealthy relationships. Caught up in the perception of those around me. You even crossed over into my relationship with Jesus. When I wanted desperately to be free of you, you came back time and time again. Each time I thought I had gotten rid of you, those same lies came back.
You’re not good enough. You’re not worthy. Why even try?
You’re pretty crafty, you know that? You masquerade yourself as my “best interests” and even as me not wanting to step outside of God’s will. But I’m on to you now and as much as I hate to break it to you in this way, I’ve moved on to someone else.
He’s wonderful really. He’s more of a comfort to me than you will ever be. He’s more powerful. More loving. More accepting. More forgiving. More…everything. And He tells me all the time that I’m beautiful. That I’m worthy. That I am enough. (Psalm 139)
He’s already taken my fears and burdens and claimed victory over them because He took all my shame and guilt when He died for me. Yes, you read that correctly. He died for me. (1 Peter 3:18)
His name is Jesus and you are no match for Him.
He takes every lie you’ve ever told me and proclaims His truth over me. He calls me out on the waters, to trust Him more each day and yes, it’s scary. But because He calls me His own, His beloved, I don’t have to be afraid of where He will lead me. He goes before me. I know it’s okay. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
So fear, as much as I like the comfort of you, you have to go. We’ve had some good years together. But enough is enough. I’m done. You need to let me go. You need to let me be free. Really free.
Today is the day I claim victory in the precious name of my forever love…Jesus.
If you wrote a break up letter to fear, what would you say? Maybe it’s not fear you need to break up with, maybe it’s shame. Guilt. Worry. What if you wrote it all out and then handed it over to The One who we claim victory through?
Our forever love, Jesus.