People always leave.
. . . Or at least that is what time and experience had convinced me.
The feeling of abandonment has been a struggle that I have been face-to-face with multiple times throughout my life. From my parents’ divorce when I was in elementary school, to failed relationships, I slowly began to build a wall around myself. If I didn’t let people in, then it wouldn’t hurt as much when they finally decided to leave.
When I was 24 I began to let my walls down. There he was; down on one knee, ring in hand, asking me to be with him forever. I was ready. I was ready to allow someone to love me. I was ready to let someone in. I was ready to let someone see me for who I was. I was ready for someone to stand by my side through sickness and health. Someone who would never leave.
And then he left.
A year after our engagement, months before the day we were to say, “I do,” he left. I found out later that there was someone else. I slipped into one of the darkest times in my life. My head began to be filled with lies. I convinced myself that I was unlovable. I convinced myself that I could never be worth someone’s time. That once people found out who I really was, they would leave me. I must be the problem. I was the common denominator in all of these scenarios after all.
I also questioned if God was even around. “Did you abandon me too, God?” I mean, no one else stuck around so why should God?
He didn’t leave. Deep down I knew that. Deep down I knew there must be a reason behind all of this. To be honest, I had abandoned God. I had gone off on my own merry way, leaving him in the backseat (possibly even on the side of the road) while I was determined to drive the entire journey by myself.
Someone I had not spoken to in years reached out and asked if I had a community of people to help support me through all of this. Of course I didn’t. Did you miss the part where I said that I didn’t let people in? Sure, I had people I worked with but not people like he was talking about. So I started looking for a church.
It didn’t take long until I found City Life. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had found a home and a family. I found people who saw me for who I was and they didn’t run away.
It’s been a little over 3 years since those dark times. I’m not saying I haven’t loved and lost since. I definitely have. I’ve caught myself looking at my watch, counting down the moments until the person I was with realized I wasn’t worth fighting for, that I wasn’t worth their time. It has definitely been a process to restore my faith in love. I still struggle but I don’t drown in the darkness anymore. I have a God who loves me and has a wonderful plan for me. Sure, it’s not the plan I had for myself and I have no idea what is next for me, but I’m okay with that. I know God isn’t going to abandon me and that is truly a victory in and of itself.
Tika Siburt (@tikasiburt) is City Life’s Communication Director. When she’s not updating social media and taking snapshots of Sunday morning’s sermons, she is working in a hospital as an ophthalmic and surgical photographer. She has 3 adorable cats at home (yes, we said 3) and loves to travel and curl up with a good book.