What to do when you get dumped

Recently, I was having a chat with a friend and of course we took the inevitable trip down dusty memory lanes to scenes in our history we are grateful are well tucked away in the past. In the aftermath of that conversation, I was left thinking about an article I read a few years ago by Paul Maxwell on Desiring God ‘What Getting Dumped Says About You.’

I’ll never forget a section of that article where Maxwell addresses the terrifying myth of ‘the one that got away.’ You know, that tormenting feeling deep down in your gut where you think you really missed your chance, you let your golden ticket go.

I guess this feeling is particularly exacerbated in Christian circles where people are wrongly told there’s only one person God intended for them to marry and therefore spend the first 30 years of their lives fidgeting at the edge of their seats to not miss that ONE train that’ll apparently only come round ONCE. Happy for you to punctuate this bit with a nice big *eye roll*

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However, as Maxwell graciously said in that article, the truth is that “the reality of God’s sovereignty always trumps the terrifying myth of “the one that got away.” With God, there’s never one who gets away. Unrequited love is God’s protection, his plan, his care.”

So, there you have it – there’s really never one who gets away. The trajectory of your life doesn’t necessarily have to become skewed because of the person/friend/job/group/church/parent that ‘dumped’ you. You didn’t miss the bus to fulfilment just because that relationship or job didn’t work out. Every day is another ticket to get on yet another bus and make your way down to ‘Happyville.’

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If there’s one thing you can do to help yourself today, it is to take the power out of the hands of those who thought they left you at the dumpsite to rot. They didn’t get away. Rather, they left because they didn’t fit the beautiful and intricate fabric God is weaving with and through your life.

I know on paper that job looked like the perfect fit but there’s a reason that despite your hard work and diligence, they didn’t choose you for the role. There’s a reason why that relationship you hoped for with the ‘perfect guy/girl’ didn’t end with a trip down the aisle. When you’ve done all that’s within your power to hold on to a perceived good but it still slips away, maybe you’re better off without it.

This is not being defeatist but developing enough faith to believe that God is good and has a bigger and better plan for your life. The God you serve is able orchestrate events in your favour and cause another bus to come round ahead of schedule and out of nowhere to take you to your desired destination.

With God, you can’t be stranded. You’re dealing with a being who created a motorway in the midst of a sea.

With God, you can’t be stranded. You’re dealing with a being who created a motorway in the midst of a sea. He is Sovereign.

Let them go, God Himself promised to take you up as His own project.

“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.”

Psalm 27:10

I encourage you to re-write the narrative about those instances in your life where you were dumped, discarded and rejected. Stop internalising faulty assumptions about yourself. Quit editing yourself just to fit into people’s narrow requirements and expectations.

From my experience and with the benefit of hindsight, I now see that what I thought would be an oasis would have actually left me parched and miserable.

They didn’t get away; they just weren’t the right fit.

By the time God is done with you, you’ll be grateful you missed those other buses.

If you’re still struggling to believe me, maybe Elsa can help you 🙂

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