To My Ex Who Left Me: Thank You

woman sitting on desert at daytime
Sonnie Hiles / Unsplash

Today, I learned that my ex-husband is engaged. While this discovery could have hurt me, it didn’t. I saw his family and engagement portraits and smiled. I looked at a picture of him holding his son and my eyes filled with tears. Not because I’m sad, but because I’m proud. So proud.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned about love — it’s not black and white. We all have this preconceived notion of what we believe love is or what it’s supposed to be but the truth is, we can only love others to the capacity at which we love ourselves. Therefore, love is different for everyone.

I spent months going back and forth, replaying situations in my head and recounting for the part that I played in the downfall of my marriage to wind up here, in understanding. Not everyone who comes into your life is meant to stay. And as painful as that truth is, what a beautiful epiphany it is to realize that the love that hurts us can also be the love that heals us.

As easy as it would be for me to harbor resentment and ill feelings, I just can’t. You see, if it wasn’t for him leaving, I would have never found me. I would have never felt just how deep Jesus’ love for me is. I would have never known that the greatest act of love is forgiveness. I would have never realized that sometimes, no matter how hard it is, loving someone means letting them go.

Someone else’s happiness should not diminish your own. If anything, it should flourish it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting the best for someone, regardless of what they may have done to you. Oftentimes, those who hurt us are the ones who need love the most.

So yes, seeing him happy and smiling despite everything made ME happy. It made me grateful. Grateful for the time we shared together and what it taught me. Grateful because in place of what is gone, I’ve been given a love that surpasses any amount of pain.

Whatever circumstance brought you here today – whether you’re dealing with a breakup, divorce, or a loss of any kind; or even if you just stumbled upon this article accidentally – I assure you, it will get better. There is purpose in your pain.

Practice kindness. Learn the art of forgiveness. Live with grace. Love with truth. Be thankful for the wound that pushes you towards God. TC mark

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