[young love part 6] aka: longest, most vulnerable post ever.

if you're new to this series, start here: 
part 1  |  part 2  |  part 3  |  part 4  |  part 5

so, by now you know that he told me he loved me twice within a few months' span
and i didn't say it back either time.
well, a few weeks after the "second time" occurred,
we were sitting in my room and he was making me laugh as always.
[remember, he was funny?]
in the midst of laughter, i just blurted it out:

haahaha, i love you, haha...

and we both paused.
and panicked.
i didn't even intend to say it, it just came out of my mouth and now i can't take it back!?!

and i'll never forget the look of disbelief, coupled with relief, in his eyes.
i can see it right now in my mind and it still makes me melt.
like i had just made his entire year. his entire life. by loving him back.

i'm pretty sure it was very quickly after that i knew i was going to marry him.
crazy, right? fifteen years old and i already know who i'm going to marry?
yeah, call me crazy. i was.
i think i just felt like, if i'm going to invest all my time and all my heart to love him,
i might as well just do it for the rest of my life.
and i still feel that way today
[good thing, huh, since we're married and all]

fast forward to the next year. junior for me and sophomore for him.
he was going to be the starting varsity quarterback. mmm hmmm.
and i was going to be the supportive amazing girlfriend.
whose popularity just increased tenfold because she's dating the quarterback. 

for our one year anniversary, i wrote him out 100 reasons why i love him.
you can read some of them here in this post.
one year. that's a long time!?! 
and we were only sixteen.

you can imagine my utter shock when my mom sat us down 
and suggested that we break up and date other people!?! 
she must have been crazy.
 did she not know i was in love and going to marry him?
why in the world would we ever break up. 
who, in their right mind, would let this guy go?
did she forget he was the quarterback?
but more importantly, my reason for living?
we were made for each other!
that was a ludicrous suggestion.

that is...

...until he broke up with me.
yes, you read that right.
he broke up with me.
okay,  he called it "taking a break" but he basically broke up with me.
and to say i was devastated is quite an understatement.
it rocked my entire world.
remember how my identity was wrapped up in him?

as if to add insult to injury, he started "hanging out" with another girl.
and she was my friend.
it was rough, i will admit. 
like, i can still remember how it felt to see them together.

but that's all i'll say about that,
because the rest of the story today really isn't about her and it's not even really about him...

[caution: it's about to get real serious up in here. don't say i didn't warn you]

you know how most people laugh about these silly high school breakups, 
how they seemed so catastrophic a the time, 
but really were no big deal in the scheme of life?

not me. this was a turning point.
it was the beginning of a life-long stronghold in which i would continually
and repeatedly look to him for my value,
base my mood and my confidence and my self-worth on him alone.
how he treated me, how he "felt" about me, what he'd said [either good or bad]...
that's what defined me.

this time in my life started an unhealthy cycle that only Jesus Himself could set me free from.
[and that was only about 2 years ago, and i still crawl back into it on occasion]
Joel never asked to be in this position, he didn't demand it or decide it. i gave it to him. 
and that has been a huge source of undefinable issues throughout our entire relationship.

he really became an idol for me,
which is just a fancy word for "anything that takes God's rightful place in your life", right?
a lot of pressure for any man, no matter how perfect or Godly or amazing he may seem?
in the end we're all just human. flawed and imperfect and human.

the insecurity that i developed [and nurtured] after this break up followed me and nagged at me 
and whispered lies in my ear every silent moment. 
it mocked me and taunted me. it brought out this underlying self-doubt that told me 
i wasn't good enough for him. or anyone else.
if another girl came along, he'd jump at the chance.

now please hear me again: 
this is not about "the other girl" and of course it's not her fault [or his either]. 
that is not what i'm suggesting. hear me loud and clear on that. 
this is my own issue that began manifesting itself during and after this "break up".

when he broke up with me, the raw emotion and lack of maturity in my faith,
the lack of knowledge of Truth
led me to a habit of forming beliefs based on my emotion.
i was a prime target for the enemy and i basically let lies rule in my mind.
he took full advantage of the environment i created in my head.
practically anything he wanted to tell me, i would believe it.
i used to call it "letting my imagination run wild". and that's exactly what i did,
though now i'm certain it wasn't all my own imagination. i was being "helped" along.
it took many years for me to recognize that for what it was, and call satan out on it,
saying enough was enough. i was not going to be his captive anymore.

once i could see what was happening, i began the hard work
of replacing those deep-rooted, time-tested lies 
with the Eternal, life-giving, stronghold-demolishing, Truth of the gospel.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5

i still have to practice it to this day, taking captive every thought. believing Truth over lies.
i mean, we all have to do that, but i guess what i'm trying to explain is that
i'm so acutely conscious of the battle raging, all the time.
i'm thankful for that though; it has shaped how i see people 
and given me compassion and an understanding of human nature and spiritual warfare.
i'm thankful that i am aware of it, which is the first step to demolishing it, right?

so while i can look back at this break up and see it as a huge turning point down a negative path,
it also meant that someday Jesus would break those strongholds through His Word
and heal the deepest parts of my heart
some that i never knew were broken.
it meant that i would come to know Him in this intimate and real way,
something that i'm convinced wouldn't have been possible otherwise.
how can i not be grateful for it in that sense?

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me [Jesus] to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them 

a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

Isaiah 61:1-4

anyway, i know this seems heavy for a "young love" post, but i just had to get it out there.
our enemy is real. he seeks to kill and destroy and he will use anything,
even a simple, short break up with a high school boyfriend,
to convince that you are worthless and powerless and not good enough for anyone.
don't believe it my friends. it's not true. not even one bit.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

in fact? while i'm on the subject of not good enough...
let me just borrow from this post, and tell you what He has to say about that:
Each line has a link to the verse that supports it, just click on it

My Beloved, I gave myself up for you so that you might be the holy, blameless and radiant bride that you are. You are all that I hoped you would be.
  I demonstrated my love for you by dying for you while you were still a sinner. I never doubted you were worth it.   
I am yours and you are mine. 
No one will ever be able to take you from my hand.
I will never leave you or forsake you.
My love for you will endure forever.
My lovingkindness toward you will be new every morning.
I will give you the strength you need to do all that I ask of you
I will be your confidence and wil keep your foot from slipping.
I will be your refuge and your shield.
I will give you peace as you set your mind on me.
I will renew you inwardly day by day and even as you age, I will make your life fruitful.
I will lead you in all truth.
I will always tell you the truth.
When you draw near to me, I will draw near to you.
Even when you have no faith, I will be faithful.
By my Spirit, your life will shine with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 
I will take care of you, because you love me.
I will meet all of your needs.
I will fill your heart with joy, because you've trusted me. 
I will feed you and gather you in my arms and carry you close to my heart.
I will comfort you when you are hurting.
I will dry all of your tears.
When you die, I will raise you to eternal life to live with me forever.
I, your maker, am your husband, the Lord Almighty is My name - 
The Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer ; I am called the God of all the earth

now that i read through all of those, i realize it actually isn't even about me.
it's mostly just completely and totally all about Him.
thank you Jesus.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  to be continued . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

** and because a lot of you have asked: i haven't written part 7 yet.
this post actually took a lot out of me, so i stopped. then i got busy and never finished,
and just haven't decided if i'll finish it sometime in the future... we'll see! [sorry to leave you hanging!]


  1. aly, i'm so glad you wrote this... i took that path for too many years, and just in the last few weeks found myself on it again. it took me a few days before i realized what was going on, but i'm thankful it's over. these are words every girl needs to read and thank you for sharing them!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been truly enjoying your Young Love posts, and this is a truly vulnerable one, but so filled with God's truths! I can't wait to see what part 7 holds! :)

  3. oh my goodness oh my goodness! really, you are truly so in your stride in expressing your heart here. your words and these truths you've described are clear, strong, and very powerful. this is the kind of post where you probably won't get a lot of comments because by the end of reading it, there is so much to think about that the reader is left a little speechless. and that's a good thing :) the Spirit is MOVING in you, lady. and it is so beautiful. {and wow that photo is really funny and cute.}

  4. I cannot wait to read more!! you brought me to tears with your honesty !!

  5. I cannot wait to read more!! you brought me to tears with your honesty !!

  6. i am new to your blog.

    it is awesome. i am certain i was brought here because i needed to read your words. they are encouraging and i can relate.

    thank you for sharing your story.

  7. Love the way you share, Girl.

    Have you read "Grace for the Good Girl" by Emily Freeman? I think you might love it.

  8. So I just read your entire "Young Love" series... and is this where it ends?!? Haha. I know you've probably just forgotten about it... but WHEW, I was into it girl!! I totally feel you on this post. I was there myself in high school with a boy. He took the place of God. I am so thankful the Lord freed me from that! And I married a student pastor and get to warn other young girls of the enemies ploy to destroy their heart. Love all the verses you quoted! Your story is great!

    (oh, and you can finish it... you know, anytime...;) )

  9. So I just read your entire "Young Love" series... and is this where it ends?!? Haha. I know you've probably just forgotten about it... but WHEW, I was into it girl!! I totally feel you on this post. I was there myself in high school with a boy. He took the place of God. I am so thankful the Lord freed me from that! And I married a student pastor and get to warn other young girls of the enemies ploy to destroy their heart. Love all the verses you quoted! Your story is great!

    (oh, and you can finish it... you know, anytime...;) )