Relationship with God Relationships Romance Wisdom

Never Settle

Honest Girl Chronicles

I never wanted to be great I only wanted to be good.

According to God’s standards for me, I aimed too low. As my instructional specialist also advised me, I pray for the “bare minimum.”

It is my hope, Beloved, you are to learn from my transgressions, be encouraged by my words of grit and passion, and most importantly embrace the philosophy to never settle, until you’ve received the best the Lord God has to offer. 

Five years ago, I was aiming for a life of normalcy, suburbia livelihood, a young black woman, married straight out of college, having three kids and a steady career. I did not know there was an alternatively approved lifestyle.

In my young stages of adult infancy these images disturbed me, and in my heart, I denied myself the right to admit it. It was softly killing something inside of me, promptly marrying a man, yet I questioned explicitly and inwardly if he truly loved the Lord, the way he professed he did. I was willing to settle at the risk of killing adventurous dreams, lifelong goals of being successful, a shining beacon in the community, and finding true romance.

No all this was going downhill and fast–I couldn’t stop it–I felt like I was dying.

Marcus. Marcus was someone I grew to love over time because he was the only one I believed who wanted to listen to me and get to know me. I didn’t love Marcus when I first met him. I didn’t want to get to know him to be honest. I wasn’t attracted to him at all. He was a guy I met at camp. He was funny and sweet. I adored the way he treated his sisters, but that was it. A difficult and discomfiting admission is I fell for Marcus during a low point of my self-esteem.

I attended a fast-paced, academically challenging high school. My high school had over a thousand high schoolers; many attributing my high school maintained a caste system or social hierarchy. Looking back, I was reserved and quiet. Often, I compared my value and self-worth to the lack of attention I received. I didn’t put myself out there as many other girls did, and I distinctly remember for prom, no one asking me.

Thus I falsely thought God did not have a significant other placed in the world. There was someone out there, yearning and waiting for someone like me. So isn’t it amazing? The Lord God knows what lessons we need to learn at coordinated seasons. God led me to Marcus to teach Marcus and me a lesson.

Our meeting, our four-year romance was no accident, and we knew it, but we did not understand why. Before I met Marcus, I wondered was I someone worth falling in love with. My hopes to be with my crush dashed. I was too shy and prideful to ask my parents for advice, so alone I sulked away in my head coaxing depression. Marcus at that time was also discouraged, he was hurt too. He told me the next girl he was with, he was planning on losing his virginity too.

I was his remainder not too. By us being together, we were reminded rare things truly indeed did exist; we were reminded it was okay to be ourselves; to not give up hope; we were reminded God did care about us: the hopelessly romantic, the sappy, brokenhearted teens, the sheltered Christians, the dull, black ghetto families of America. I’m glad we found together. I am grateful for the experiences Marcus and I had together, but we were on borrowed time. God wanted it to end. I had a growing concern, a seed of doubt lurking in the back of my heart, no matter what I did I could not shake it junior year at Michigan State.

As much as I loved Marcus and adored him, it was time for me to let us go, it was time for me to cut him loose. One is because I wanted more, a part of me hungered for freedom and adventure. It wanted someone I can be effortlessly attracted to. Born of out this experience, I was living a lie, and I grew to understand the lack of attention never equates to worth. Neither does continual validation add to your worth. My value is permanent, fixed. I was wrong to believe anything less about myself.

More so what caused our relationship to become dangerously sour and lustful was when I disobeyed God and got back together with Marcus at a Christian camp we worked. What such a spiritually lethal and terrible mistake I made. This was the quintessential mistake that marked a ripple effect for everyone. It was my jealousy, the pain, and fear of possibly entering a future alone that prompted me to get back with Marcus–knowing I didn’t love him or see him the same anymore. Knowing I was not supposed to be with him but an acquaintance was. I feel bad for causing her pain, Marcus was supposed to give her hope about men, and I got in the way of it.

But I was selfish. So selfish I held unto Marcus so tightly, and we started destroying each other. Inconsiderate comments and selfish actions, finally led to him breaking up with me for another girl. Now standing, a stronger and smarter state of mind, I learned we both hurt each other.

He put me as the second best in our relationship, yet I, too am responsible. My disobedience caused my pain and suffering. I was not obedient, and this is the price for it. A woman once told me when God commands you to break something off or end a relationship you do it, because if you concede when God does it, then you will hurt. I was mad at myself for getting angry at God before we broke up. I had the audacity to get an attitude when God was trying to save my soul, and my arrogance blinded me.

I am exceedingly grateful; God delivered me from a poisonous relationship that was killing my spirit slowly yet surely. I admit while I was with Marcus I felt incomplete and scattered. Marcus was so comfortable with everything. His complacency irritated my soul it irked my spirit. But my love fogged my discernment clouding my vision, and I felt paralyzed by guilt, fear, and shame. I broke up with Marcus once before–I believed and knew it was the will of God for us to separate.

Something in my spirit told me it was time to break our union and Marcus did not agree or understand. I expected him not to understand what I did not expect was how spiritually immature this break up revealed he was. Bitterness and irritation overtook him–I couldn’t fathom why. Yes, I knew our separation came out the blue, but you have to trust and recognize God to believe I made the right decision. I was hurt as well. I felt like the bad guy in this situation; the only person who seemed to have an inkling of comprehension was my father, my dad. He agreed. He never saw Marcus as my husband, and in his heart, he knew I made the right decision.

I didn’t like the life we were building, and He thought this–this life was okay. I felt as if he did not desire more for himself, he was content working, not finishing his school or growing his relationship with God. Evenings on the game, of course, he spat his spiel as guys often do about their dreams where they see themselves, their hopes, how much they loved their girlfriend or fiancee’. And I sat there, night after night, morning after morning, in the living room, in his car, in my bedroom listening to the same speech. The insipid reiteration was brainwashing my spiritual instincts, making me believe settling was okay. Regardless, we, women are more emotionally inclined than our male counterparts. The Lord God’s design towards women is entirely different from men, regardless of what society says. We feel and comprehend life and experiences differently.

It takes a considerable amount of time for our hearts to accept the truth, even after our spirits have known for some time. We stop believing in our boyfriends’ and husbands’ dreams. No longer is the man trying to convince us; they’re trying to live a lie.

How amazing it is to look back and praise God for taking me out of that rut! Thank you, God! He kept me pure. Taught me virginity is more than abstaining from sex, it is peace and joy maintenance. Sex is more than the body; it is a spiritual activity. And I do not need any other spirit, besides the Holy Spirit.

The relationship ended in 2015. This is the four-year mark, and I do not regret living solely for God. As I chart and pinpoint the Lord God’s presence in my life, I express His love and actions are compelling to verify as the perfect, righteous, Holy Father. So many times I thought God was an overbearing and controlling parent. Little did my immature mind, fathom God, Himself was protecting me from multiple heartbreaks and little boys masquerading as men. I also learned I was more than a church girl and bible scholar, and any person who quickly labeled me as such only was meant to understand and know me on the surface level.

I cannot stress to you enough, Beloved, God, knows what is best.

Follow Him. Do as He requests. Trust Him more than your heart, for a person’s heart is filled with wickedness and sinful desires.

The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9

Be careful Beloved. Do not live your life based upon your broken morality, yet yield to the law of God, which is holy and pure. One of my commitments this year, is to “be what I am” and show people the pure joy and authenticity of a Christian. A Christian a continually reminds the world God has laws, He has standards. His expectations are what we need, for He too, does not settle for mediocrity, not in Himself or His children. Does the continual striving and reaching for the standard hurt? Yes very much. But I know the only way I’ll experience abundant living and freedom is through the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of Jesus Christ. It is these standards, His Word which holds my freedom and no man can ever give me that!

Nevertheless, Beloved never settle for a mediocre life, a mediocre relationship with God, and a mediocre version of yourself.

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Copyright © 2019 by A Meeting at the Well

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2 Comments

  1. Tory! This was such a good read, it read like a story. I saw myself in a lot of what you were saying. I too distinctly remember prom and remember having to search high and low for a date. For a long time I felt second best too, or like I wasn’t worth it. I’m glad you followed God and listened. Obedience is always worth it!

    1. ameetingatthewell says:

      Thank you Leah! I’m happy it was easy to read. I always try to find the right words and yes, the struggle to walk in obedience is real, especially when settling feels easiest.

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