This past week, my entire life took a 360. My boyfriend proposed on Mother’s day and of course I said yes. I find myself staring at my engagement ring in awe of its beauty and the aroma of love, excitement, and future plans have engulfed the deepest crevices of my mind. To be quite honest, I had given up on love. I became satisfied with being single and content being a hard working independent woman. At one point in time, marriage became a story I read numerous times but I never realized it would be my story.
Beyond this moment of magic I am floating on, I cannot begin to thank God enough for this. As I look outside of my box and into the world, I see so many women yearning for a man. They go out of their way to be noticed. I mean granted, who doesn’t want attention? Who doesn’t want to feel loved? Who doesn’t want to be wanted? But over the past few years, I’ve learned that, love is not produced on our time. Love is a gift that is granted when God says “yes.”
Before I continue, I will say that yes I am a Christian and a firm believer in God. I do not wish to force my beliefs on anyone, I hope to encourage and shed some positive light to those wondering when it’s their turn. This story is targeting all women who are waiting for their Boaz (google him if you don’t know who I’m referring to). I am a testimony that if you wait, God will send you the right man.
OK, now back to what I was saying. My life hasn’t always been sunshine and clear skies. I released myself from an extremely unhealthy 5 year long relationship. There were numerous moments when God was telling me to leave, yet being the stubborn woman I am, I stayed. Both my ex and I played roles in hurting one another and not making the best decisions.
My ex and I decided to move in together, though we were supposed to be on a break. I had mentally checked out of the relationship ages ago, yet I was forcing myself to stay. Once moved into the new place, I became even more detached. Finally, we both agreed to end things. He requested that he stay with me and pay half the rent for a few months before he moved out of state. I agreed, with one rule that he not disrespect my home. As time went on, I found myself uncomfortable. And the icing on the cake came when he entered my home, in the middle of the night, unannounced with a friend, intoxicated. The next morning, I politely asked him to leave and he refused. My friends, family, and even the police got involved, but unfortunately due to Maryland laws, the only way to make him leave would be to request a restraining order. He was leaving in a few days so I opted to allow him to stay. The days seemed to go by so slowly. On the day he left, I woke up feeling different. I wasn’t mad, not sad, not angry. I wasn’t even happy or excited. I was nervous. I found myself embracing him, with tears in my eyes, informing him that no matter what happens, I pray God continues to keep him. That was the moment I knew my entire life was changing. I was going to be alone.
I left for work, I remember it being a beautiful sunny day. Once I returned home, I entered my apartment. It was extremely quiet. I threw all of my stuff on the ground, stretched out my hands, and exhaled. That moment was the beginning of my journey to self love. For 5 years, I wasn’t Janell. I was Janell and my ex. I only knew who I was with him attached. From that moment on, I isolated myself from the normalities of my life. My mother told me this was my time. She said, remain faithful and prayerful and let God work, and everything else will fall in line. I didn’t talk to a lot of people. I had to relearn who I was. I became solely focused on work and my personal growth. I fell in love with coming home and doing for myself. Even simple things like cooking and cleaning, running errands, stupid things were such a joy. This entire process was preparing me for my engagement this past Sunday.
You are allowed to take time to work on yourself.
Self love is NOT selfish. When is the last time you looked in the mirror and got cute for yourself? Not because you might bump into some guy and go home with him.When is the last time you took yourself on a date? To this day, I enjoy going to eat alone. You do not NEED a man for anything. A man is not needed to wake up in the morning. A man is not needed to grow. A man is not needed to thrive. A relationship is a gift, not an essential. You are your greatest cheer leader. You are your greatest motivator. And I’m sure you’re thinking, “you have a man, you wouldn’t understand.” I promise you, my relationship would not be blessed the way it is, had I not said to God “whatever You have for me is for me. If I am meant to be single, let me be single and successful. If I am meant to be in a relationship, make it on your time.” From there, God sent me Trevor. Who is beyond what I could’ve ever imagined. There is nothing like staring into the eyes of the man God prepared for you and no one else. But there is nothing like knowing that I am so in love with myself that if Trevor were to leave, I know I would be OK.
I’ve never openly spoken about my past and my process to true self love and self worth. I’m honored to share this story with whoever comes across this blog. I hope it pulls a chord and opens your mind to the greatness of the self finding journey. It truly is a beautiful thing. Celebrate yourself!!
I leave you with this thought:
“And then I learned the spiritual journey had nothing to do with being nice. It was about being real, authentic. Having boundaries. Honoring my space first, and others second. And in this space of self- care being nice just happened, it flowed not motivated by fear but by love.”
I want you to look in the mirror and know that you are worth more than a million moons. You are as beautiful as the the brightest star. You are as powerful as the strongest storm.
And always remember Be(YOU)tiful.