I walk down a different street.

You know what I rarely talk about?

My sin. The things I’ve done in my past.

I think it’s because I’m scared of being judged.

Here’s go nothing.

I’m a homewrecker.

No, I’ve never tried to steal a woman’s husband but I have absolutely tried to steal a girl’s boyfriend.

I’ve done this exactly twice and even as I write this, I’m sick to my stomach.

I don’t miss the girl I used to be.

What would usually happen would be that the guy was on the cusp of dating someone else when I would explode my feelings for him everywhere. And when he would inevitably reject me, I would push. Hard. And I’d keep pushing, even as his relationship with the girl would grow.

I had a reputation and it was not a good one.

I’ll be honest – when I was finally diagnosed with schizophrenia, I thought that was why I did what I did. I refused to believe that I was the problem.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:23-24

So I prayed this Psalm. Because I wanted to be sure that it was my illness and not me.

This guy walked into my life who, after a few months I started to like. I found him interesting and smart. Not long after we met, he started dating someone else. I felt no urge to do any of my old tricks. I was right! It was my illness, not me.

The relationship ended and by that point, I had already moved on. And then, we started talking more. I started to notice how comfortable I was with him, how much I opened up. I noticed how easy it was to listen to his advice. Probably for the first time since the last time I was in love, I wanted to follow his leading. My heart opened up to him.

There was this girl. She liked him too. I couldn’t get past the threat I felt when I was around her. I felt old Emily come forward, vile, manipulative, evil. I wanted to shut her down, push her aside.

But this time was different. This time I was convicted. This time I fought hard. I fought the urge to hurt her.

And when I won victory over this sin, I celebrated! My thoughts and emotions towards this girl changed. I moved forward.

As this guy and I got closer, I started to feel as if I was throwing my pearls to pigs. I was giving my heart away to a guy who wasn’t actively pursuing me. I made the tough decision to tell him how I felt.

He didn’t reciprocate.

I knew how old Emily would have reacted. I would have been a brute, pushing him. But I didn’t. I told him thank you and let it go. Once again, I had victory over my sin.

Do I still like this guy? Yeah. In fact, my affection for him has only grown. I’m not sure what to do with that.

I don’t know how he would feel about this but I pray for his wife weekly. He deserves someone amazing because he’s a genuinely good guy. Besides, I think it’s good for my heart to pray for his wife. It helps me surrender how I feel about him to God.

I was crying in my car yesterday, thinking about all of this. I thought about my husband. I’ve spent the last year thinking that I could be single for the rest of my life. I started to question whether marriage would or should be a part of my life.

A friend pushed me to ask God why, why would He want marriage for my life. What was so important about my story that God would desire marriage for me instead of singleness?

It hit me yesterday. Marriage for my life is about redeeming my heart. I destroyed relationships, manipulated men, was an all-together awful person. God-honoring marriage is about redeeming the girl who did those things. In a puddle of tears, when I saw a brief taste of God’s design in my life, I just said thank you. Thank you for loving me enough to provide redemption.

I wanted to close this chapter in my life in true Emily fashion: with a tattoo. There’s this great poem by Portia Nelson called Autobiography in Five Short Chapters. In the poem, the girl keeps walking down the same street and falling into the same hole until she finally learns her lesson and walks down a different street. 

tattoo

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