6/30 Things: Hardest

{To know what I’m talking about and to see past 30 Things posts, start here…}

6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced? 


There are many ways I could describe this experience, with all it’s intricacies and sub-plots.  In fact, I’m not even sure what the hardest part of this hardest experience would be.  I could just start writing about it and see where it leads me, but to be honest, I’d rather not rehash all that.  I hesitate to get too into it, too,  for fear that I won’t be able to describe it accurately and end up misleading you all into thinking I really am the crazy person these people made me out to be.  And I’m also afraid I won’t be able to describe just how difficult it really was for me to experience, and lead others to think it wasn’t as big a deal as I’m making it {casting my pearls before swine, if you will…}.  For our purposes here today, though, here are the not-so-detailed details of the hardest thing I have ever experienced:

There was this boy.  I thought he was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.  Little did I know how not great he’d end up being for me, though.  I was too insecure to even recognize unhealthy aspects of our relationship, or to even consider deserving better.  So I plugged along with him, feeling happy, not knowing how suppressed I was letting myself become, all the while shrinking and shriveling a little more each day.

But that wasn’t so bad.  After all, I thought I was happy.  I was in love with this ambitious, funny, spiritual guy, who sometimes acted like he loved me too.  Until people he trusted decided to demonize me because they realized I was slowly leading their loved one straight to hell with my genuine love and compassion for him.  So the boy kicked me to the curb, leaving my heart in little pieces all over the road.

But that wasn’t the hardest part, either.  I mean, sure, I’d never really thought I was that bad of a person.  Actually, I thought I was a pretty great person.  And yes, it was extremely difficult to come to grips with anyone thinking I wasn’t that great, let alone EVIL, and it was extremely difficult realizing this fella didn’t love me enough to stand up for me, and it was extremely difficult worrying about how many other people his trusted loved ones convinced that I was this terrible person they made me out to be, and it was extremely difficult finding myself alone again when that wasn’t in my plans.  But those still weren’t the hardest parts.

The hardest part of it all, I think, was the way it changed how I saw the world–how I saw people.  Before this experience I believed in people so much.  I was everyone’s biggest fan and biggest cheer leader, and sincerely thought others were all pure in heart and wanted the best for those around them.  I never thought of saying anything degrading or damaging to anyone, because I could see who they really were as a Child of God.  I felt it was my calling in life to love others, and to make sure they KNEW and FELT they were loved.  But for such a long time after this experience, I assumed the worst of people and lost all my faith in their intentions.  And because I had already been shrinking and shriveling down for the duration of my relationship with this boy, I wasn’t strong enough to fight these discouraging feelings, and this all changed how I saw myself.  I became so disappointed with who I’d become–this judgmental, bitter person–that I started believing all the terrible things that woman and her family said about me.  And I started thinking the whole situation was my fault.  And I just kept spiraling downward, deeper and deeper into a very dark, over-analytical place.  For a very long time.

But obviously things are different now.  I’ve rebuilt my self-esteem and faith in others {that’s a loaded statement that could be the theme of an entirely separate post by itself} and am by far stronger than I ever could have been without this experience.  And I’m sincerely at a place where I wish the very best for this boy and everyone involved in that experience.  I hope they all have wonderful and beautiful and joy-filled lives.  And I don’t know if I could have recognized how incredible John was if I hadn’t had this experience to help me see him and his heart more clearly.  And John is the most amazing person I’ve ever met, and the most amazing person a LOT of people have ever met, so I KNOW I’m not that terrible person.  John wouldn’t have married her.  But he married me.  And he raises me higher than I ever thought possible.  And I’m loving the view from up here!

The Sacred Valley, Peru 2009

Tune in tomorrow: What is your dream job, and why?


  1. CKE says:

    Oh Jess, that’s so hard. I’m so sorry you ever felt those horrible things about yourself. I love what you had to say about the experience though! You are amazing and I love you. 🙂

  2. Jessica says:

    Thanks for sharing. Often I read your blog and I feel so relieved to know someone else has experienced similar struggles that I have. And you are someone who’s really impressive, so it helps me feel not so bad. I hope that doesn’t offend you. You are amazing and I’m sorry anyone ever led you to believe otherwise.

  3. M.E. says:

    Thanks for this post. I know how you feel, because I have been in a similar situation. Thanks for your strength and insight. 🙂

  4. Rheanna Shiflet says:

    This let me take a deep breath! I too have been through something Similar. I actually turned to drugs for a long time due to my self degradation, believing all the lies my ex fed me. It was a long hard road to recover from not only the relationship but addiction. It’s something I work on daily. Thanks for your honesty.

  5. Amber says:

    I just want to give you a big hug! I want to tell you one thing (which you probably already know) – your husband is blessed to have you too. I’m sure this experience made you a much stronger woman, & I know that God loves you very very much. It sounds like that family handled the relationship and situation in the worst way. I’m sure you wouldn’t have been happy with them and the Lord knew best to save you for John.

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