The Day I Gave Up On Love
The odds have been in my favor for more than two decades now. What I want, most of the time I get. I do not just refer to material things though sometimes I get them; but more often, I get to achieve the goals I have set. I have fallen in love with planning and setting goals since I was a child. And nothing could be more rewarding than seeing my goals met and plans kept! I would always find myself down on my knees thanking God for always showering me His favor. It has been a smooth-sailing journey for me until I experienced a break up.
The seemingly strong relationship I had, came to an end. ‘Seemingly’, a word I find very frightening now. ‘Seemingly okay, seemingly healthy, seemingly perfect, seemingly intact, seemingly promising, seemingly strong’- how great this word sounds until the truth surfaced and struck me. I am not writing about the break up, for my heart knows that everything works for good. Rather, I would like to share with you how this painful experience became a catalyst that led me to making one of the best decisions in life.
After my failed relationship came regrets, sadness, self-evaluations, realizations and decisions. Regrets like,“what if I have done this, what if I have not behaved like that, what if I have been more of this and less of that” and more what ifs. Sadness echoes the plans, goals, dreams that are far from happening now. Self-evaluations recount what, which, when, why, how the relationship had gone brittle and wrong. It also caused me to ask, ‘Was it my fault?’ Realizations spring like little buds of flowers - ‘Ah, Oh, Yeah I see, That’s why, I understand now.’ Then the most crucial one -- decisions. Oh sure I could and should not live in a time warp and linger on what is no longer here. I have to move forward and sail again.
I was on the plane heading to Netherlands when I remembered the father and child who caught my attention at the airport for a while. The little girl with braided blonde hair was struggling with pulling her Minnie Mouse printed traveling bag while following her dad. Pulling a luggage that was relatively heavier than her weight while holding a water bottle and a bag of chips was enough to slow her down in walking, making it difficult for her to keep up with her dad’s pace. Eventually, the dad noticed that his daughter was distantly walking behind him. With a grin on his face, he called out to his daughter and said, “Give up now, give me your luggage.” While the father was approaching his daughter to take her bag, the look of hesitation was all over her daughter’s face. Then the words she let go were priceless. My favorite part of this swift scene.
“Here Daddy, it’s yours now,” were the words echoing in my head while I was on a 21-hour flight going to Europe. The little girl gave up her dearly loved Minnie Mouse bag and gave it to her dad who was able to carry it effortlessly. I thought, should the girl have refused to give up her bag to her dad, what could have happened? Surely, she would still have managed to carry it but with extreme difficulty.
Many times on my journey, I have carried with me heavy, loaded bags. I would handle things as if I am always in control. All this time I thought I am dependent to God and I seek His will, but neither of these was true. The failed relationship I just had was a reminder that my palms are too narrow to hold everything and juggle all the areas of my life with my own strength. I have thought all this time that because I am thanking God for every good thing that has happened to me, I am depending on Him. Thanking Him is solely recognizing that He is All-powerful. Depending on Him is another story.
I could not recall any instance that I have given up on something until I made a decision on the plane. Like the girl I saw at the airport, I said to myself that it’s over. With two hands thrown in the air, I give up! I give up worrying about love as if it would skip my turn. I give up on thinking that I should please men so I could be noticed. I give up on taking the weight and the duty of finding the right one. I give up hurrying on love as if it would never come back. I give up on believing that being in a relationship can make me whole and not having a special someone will make me incomplete. These are over. I am giving up on love.
While giving up on something sounds so coward and feeble, it actually shows the opposite - depending on why we are giving up, and to whom we have decided to depend on.
The modal verb ‘give up’ has carried a stigma all this time since because of it’s popular definition. Most often than not, the context of its usage is constrained to somebody who has made the decisions to stop what he’s doing because he could no longer move forward - either out of hopelessness or he’s left with no choice. The whole idea of giving up carries with it a negative connotation, while it’s other meaning which is ‘to devote’ is left unnoticed.
I am giving up on love not because I am hopeless or left without options. I am giving up on love not because I am coward or weak, or I am hurt or unforgiving. I am neither daunted nor trapped in the past.
Let me set things straight: I am giving up on love because I have learned that I could entrust this aspect of my life to Someone who knows best.
I have fully grasped now the truth that love comes when it should and grows when it must, so there is no need to hurry or even chase it. I am giving up on love and I am giving it up to the One who created it, to the One who inspired it, to the One who knows His plans, to the One who thinks of giving hope and good future, to the One who died on the cross to ransom humanity and set a pattern of love that is above every condition and circumstance. I do not mind giving up love to God because He said in His word that He is concerned with whatever concerns me. This promise is more than enough for me to yield and to surrender.
The little girl at the airport told her dad, “Here Daddy, it’s Yours now.” And now it is my turn. “Here God, it’s all Yours now. Keep me and all the love I have in my heart for that moment. I would meet the person You have meant for me.”
Sadeka Mesalucha, TLW Volunteer