It’s 1am and Bethany is driving to her boyfriend Joe’s college. It’s an impromptu trip.
During a heated fight the night before, Bethany called things off. Joe easily conceded. Too easily. In fact, he even expressed agreement when she tried to hit him with the “maybe we should see other people” karate-chop.
Something was off, and she was on her way to sniff him out.
Was he eyeballing another girl?
Was he looking for a “weekend off” to get wild with his friends?
Bethany didn’t have much of a plan, but she had worn his favorite perfume, and was out to get things back under control.
Hi. I’m Audry, and this pathetic snippet comes straight out of my life.
I'm sorry for lying about my name. Growing up I had always wanted it to be Bethany. Audry just didn’t fit with the eccentric 90’s-flash I was aspiring to be. I figured this was my only chance. (And Joe? Um, favorite New Kid, duh).
But back to my boyfriend drama...
Any sensible person could tell you that there are about a dozen relationship “red-flags” in just this one short snippet:
Overly-emotional decision making
Need for control
…just to name a few.
But for some reason, none of that matters when you are in it with a guy.
Are you in it with a guy?
Maybe for you he is a “friend with benefits” who you have fallen head-over-heals for, and he just doesn’t want to commit. Or maybe he is an ex-boyfriend who you just can’t seem to let go of. Or maybe for you, like Betha-me, it is a current boyfriend who you just go up and down with, through breakups and makeups, just trying to get things back to how they use to be.
It is the guy who you just find yourself with a draw to and a need for that nobody else quite understands.
Whoever that guy is for you, we are going code name him #9. So whenever you see #9, just mentally insert your guy’s name. Ok? Ok.
So, you and #9. Oh boy.
I know that there is so much that is special between the two of you, and things about your relationship that only you and him will ever understand, and blah blah blah blah blah.
No, but all joking aside, I really do get it.
I get all of the thinking and wondering and obsessing that goes into this guy. I get the desperation and heartache when it feels like your whole world is falling apart and there’s nothing you can do about it. I also get the feeling of wanting to be someone who does the right things, and makes healthy choices, but maybe feeling like this whole relationship has just taken you so far away from that.
I get it.
And as someone who was more up to my ears in this stuff than anyone else I know, I just need to tell you that there is such hope for you. Such hope.
It doesn’t matter how far in the wrong direction you’ve gone. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve compromised everything you believe in. How much you feel like you’ll never be whole again. There is hope for you. Hope of better things that you ever thought you were even capable of becoming.
You cling to that, and I’ll help you through the steps of making it a reality. That’s what this journey is about.
The Hard Stuff
There are two things that I need to be upfront about because they might be hard for some people to swallow.
The first is that I’m going to be talking a lot about God.
Letting go of my #9 was really the catalyst for my faith and relationship with God, and I truly believe that He is the only reason for all of the wisdom, growth and change that came out of it. So I’m going to talk a lot about prayer, drawing close to God, and things like that.
Now that doesn’t mean that I expect you to believe the same things I believe, or that this journey is not for you if we don’t see eye to eye on these matters. No matter where you stand or what you believe, you can still get so much out of this journey. Because really the common thread that’s tying us together is the pain of just knowing that we can’t keep doing things the same old way anymore. It’s not working!
Which brings me to the second matter I need to be upfront about, which is that I’m really going to be encouraging you to let go of this guy.
This is not about one-upping him, or playing immature jealousy games. I’m talking about throwing in the towel on those old, dragged-out fights, in order to fight a bigger, more important fight.
The fight for yourself.
To learn to be happy and whole again without that having to come from your relationship. To work at rebuilding yourself in the ways that this relationship (and just life in general) has torn you down. To find clarity, direction and purpose, so that you are THEN ready to start a healthy, amazing relationship with the guy you’re meant to be with.
Now maybe #9 is the guy you’re meant to be with.
If that is the case, it will come full circle. It did for me (and you’ll get to hear more about my story soon). But if we’re going to be with anybody, let’s get it right so that it can be good and healthy and incredible, rather than a big ol’ mess.
It’s time to let go.
So that’s what this 40-day journey is about. It’s a challenge to step out of something old and into something completely new. To be “detoxed” from your old habits and beliefs about relationships and self-image and restored into becoming that whole, unique and beautiful woman that you were created to be, and that you know it’s in you to be!
Each day of this journey is going to have: a quote, a song,
a message, and a dare. And occasionally there will be a little time out blurb.
Time Out: Nowhere in this journey am I actually going to dare you to break up with #9 if you are still together. Our situations are each so unique, and the choice whether or not to end a relationship is one that each of us must make for ourself. I do, however, have a segment in the back of the book titled “Breaking Up The Classy Way”, if you are looking for some pointers.
This journey will not be easy because nothing worthwhile ever is. Life’s not easy. Being a woman in life is especially not easy.
But you can do it, well. You can. You have what it takes.
But you need to be willing to recognize a turning point when it’s time for a turning point in your life.
I love the way Lisa Bevere puts it in her book ‘Nurture’. She says:
“We have all lived long enough to see those who began well and ended up really stupid. Who wants that?”1
Not me and I know not you either. So let’s be willing to recognize it when it’s time for a turning point!
Girl, I am here to tackle this thing one day at a time with you. We’ll have a lot of laughs and a lot of tears. We’ll talk about girl stuff, about being misunderstood, and about the butthead things that guys do.
And we’ll really get down to the heart of this thing so that you can get on to becoming the woman you were created to be.
“Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.” – Proverbs 9:5-6