As I sat in my car one night, fed up with a burden, I prayed the hardest I’ve ever prayed before.
Frustrated with tears streaming down my face I began to give God every, single, emotion that I was feeling. I was fed-up, hurt, disappointed, ashamed, and insecure, just to name a few. But above all, I was UNHAPPY.
I. WAS. DONE.
How could someone who appeared to have it all be unhappy? I just got engaged, I have the most amazing man in the world, my family is the best, and I had my dream job of traveling the world. With all of these things, I still felt empty. It wasn’t until I gave up on everything and told God to take control of my life, that He started to show me my heart.
Growing up, I was a daddy’s girl. My dad was my hero, he could do no wrong in my eyes. He was my protector, the adventurous parent, and I was his twin. But then in my early teenage years, my world was shaken. My parents announced they were getting divorced.
Although my parents were splitting, my father was still my favorite. So much so that I moved out to live with him – doing things that I knew my mother wouldn’t allow.
I don’t recall when my viewpoint switched. It was probably the prayers of a hurting mother, crying out to God for her daughter’s love back. However, I do know what shattered me – being lied to by my father.
I had watched him do for others, and leave me with broken promises. So, I ran back into my mothers’ arms not understanding why. As years went on, and we adapted to the new norm of a fatherless home, I saw my mother hurt, depressed, and abandoned. I witnessed a strong black woman, work daily to do everything she could to provide for her girls. My father? He would pull up in a new car to see us every so often. We would receive a text for our birthdays – when he got the day right. His physical love disappeared right when I needed it the most. Abandonment, insecurities, and emptiness set in. And here, is where my past caught up with me.
I’ve been with my fiancé for almost three and a half years. While dating, like any couple, we have had our share of ups and downs. I had “daddy issues”, and came with baggage. Through it all, he loved me. He showed me unconditional love, but it still wasn’t enough. We would go on dates and talk about our future. I knew that I longed to be married, with children, and to build a home with the man of my dreams. And with that man seated across from me, I didn’t believe he would give me my hearts desire. I knew he loved me, but I didn’t believe he would marry me. I was used to disappointment and I looked at him as another hero who would one day leave me broken.
And then he proposed. But, I was still empty.
That night in the car when I poured out my heart to God, He spoke to me. “You will never love yourself or another person until you love Me. And you will never be a bride until you marry Me”. My eyes shot open as I sat there breathing heavy. The voice was so clear, it was scary. At that moment, I fully committed the rest of my life to love God, learn Him, and build a relationship with Him.
It didn’t take long for the healing and mending to take place. It didn’t take long for my relationship with the love of my life and my father to be restored. In learning God, I learned myself. I saw myself the way He sees me. I got the okay from God to become a wife.
If we don’t deal with the baggage and heartbreaks, we will never make room for God to come in and fix the broken pieces. If we don’t make room for God, the enemy will pry on our weaknesses, preventing us from becoming our best selves, and ruining our future.
I had to learn that you can only start to live your best life once you’ve freed yourself of the baggage that’s holding you back.
Tatyanna Goodwin (@tatyanna.__) is a lover of Christ, globetrotting, all things fashion, and words.