It’s a story we all know well. Girl meets boy. Boy treats girl like trash. Girl teaches boy about life. Relationship ends. Boy becomes a man. Man meets another girl. Man marries the other girl.
With the release of Jay-Z’s 4:44, this scenario has been a topic of discussion on the internet. Specifically, there was an article entitled 4:43 in which a woman spoke of the pain in “doing the emotional labor of birthing men we’ll never get to have and hold.” It’s a tribute of sorts to the girls who didn’t make it to the mature man at 4:44.
All across my timeline, women are identifying with this story. People are sharing their stories of hurt, brokenness, and pain–and I understand what they’re feeling.
I once dated a guy who messed up. Badly. I think (and genuinely hope) he is a better person now. I, personally, didn’t stick around to groom him and feed him because I have an incredibly low tolerance level for nonsense. But I know many women do the work in hopes of seeing a better man spring forth.
So here are a few things to remember after you’ve put in work for a man who…yea. Just yea.
1) We hurt Christ all the time.
I don’t say this to minimize your pain because your pain is valid. Instead, this is about perspective. Think about your relationship with Christ and the way you’ve hurt Him. He is perfect. You are not. And yet, He still loves you and comforts you in spite of your mess. It’s the most one-sided relationship in the world, so trust me, He can sympathize with the pain you feel right now. In the midst of your hurt, rest in the unending love God has for you despite the way we treat Him (Hebrews 4:15; Hosea 11:1-4).
2) Jesus’ friends were a mess.
Remember that Jesus was betrayed by His friends. His closest disciples never truly understood who He was, constantly asked Him basic questions about his divinity, and ultimately left Him when He needed them the most. Yes, ol’ dude may have hurt you, but even a perfect man was hurt by His friends. Misery loves company and in a weird way, it’s comforting to know that the Savior of the world was hurt too (Matthew 26:40).
3) What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
It’s an old cliché and a Kelly Clarkson song, but it’s oh so true. You probably grew from this experience as well. Your guy wasn’t the only one who got something from the relationship. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the lesson in the midst of the pain, but if you look deeper you’ll see it. You are now a stronger, better, and wiser version of yourself. Ultimately, you grew. Yes, grew (2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Isaiah 40:29; Isaiah 40:31).
4) You are probably going to benefit from someone else’s work too.
Especially if you’re in your late 20s or older, you are more than likely going to benefit from the work another woman put in. You think your Mr. Right was just frolicking in the fields, feeding the homeless, and leading worship before he met you? Nah. More than likely, he was with someone else, making mistakes, and growing as a result of them.
5) An old boyfriend may have made you better too.
You, yes, you, may be better from the work a man put in. It’s easy to point the finger and make a man-hating club, but sometimes we girls aren’t the greatest either. There are some men who have put in the work with a woman, yet will never see the fruit from it either.
6) Girl, you don’t want him.
Do you really want him? Even with the growth and what not…do you really want him? I know the answer may be yes for some people, but know that God sometimes takes things away that we can’t leave on our own. Bullet. Dodged.
I am in no way condoning the bad behavior of individuals. No one should be subjected to abuse, mistreatment, or willful negligence by anyone—especially someone who claims to love them. In a perfect world, no one would get hurt and no one would groom someone for another person. Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. We don’t get to control how people behave towards us, but we have 100% control of how we respond to the situation.
It’s hard to be the person who hurts because of another person’s behavior. But know that God can use everything—including this pain for His glory. He said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). He knows how to make beauty from ashes. I can say from experience that in due time, you will be on the other side of this.
Scars will heal
You’ll love again
And it won’t hurt you after while.
*This post has been written by a contributor who has chosen to remain anonymous. If you would like to be considered for BecomeLess.net’s Anonymous Diaries series, please send your post or personal testimony to the creator of BecomeLess.net, Alisha, at firstname.lastname@example.org*
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