I moved into my home about 7 or 8 years ago. Apparently the previous owners were smokers. In the house. With the windows closed. Even in the shower. That’s the only way to explain the overwhelming smokers hand that grabbed you from behind and suffocated you, pressing against your nose.
I was young and broke and so happy to be in such a great neighborhood, I overlooked it. I walked in that house with a bucket of bleach and rubber gloves and went to work on those wallpapered walls. And ceilings. In every room. Even the bathroom. Wallpaper. The more I scrubbed, the louder the smell became…only now scented with bleach. Imagine. Cigarettes and bleach. EW! I started opening windows, encouraging the stink to float outdoors…and because the bleach was making me feel a little woozy. Didn’t help. The cigarette smell took a seat right next to me. And followed me.
As the years passed, it became less and less…however the faint smell of cigarettes slaps me upside my head at the oddest times. Like springtime, when I open the house up. Or if I let the shower get super duper hot. Or a Tuesday. Or a Wednesday. Like today. As I stepped into the shower this morning, I could barely pray…my usual time to talk to Jesus…because of the smell. And that, sis, is where this post comes from.
I’ve watched more than one sis’ relationship/marriage crumble. And I myself have had some experience. LOL! I have watched how we all have handled it. Some, I’m in the corner like “YEW GO GUROL!!”. Others I’m whispering “Uh….no, sis….stop”.
So let’s break my analogy down, and how it pertains to our hearts after a break up.
Cigarette smoke is the break up. The dude. EW! Guess what the bleach is? The bleach is anything that is not “you running to Jesus for healing”. Usually it’s sex with randoms (that turn into long term mistakes, that keep you stuck and bound. Sometimes babies are the innocent result). It’s anger and bitterness…you know, how your heart gets hard and all men are dogs and you will never get married again. It’s foolish decisions…like taking him back repeatedly (without God telling you to do so) because he promised you he wouldn’t do it again…even as he was doing “it” again. It’s dogging him so hard, repeatedly, 20 years later, to the point where YOU look crazy and he looks innocent. (I was also gonna go with this: when someone BLOWS up the bathroom and then sprays rose scents. It doesn’t help the funk. It just makes it sweet funk. Which a lot of times is worse than the funk!). Same thing here. It’s the smell of bleach over cigarettes. EW! And as the years pass, the remnants of that relationship may be less and less, but it still comes back to haunt you. At the most inopportune times. And it will hinder you from true communication with Jesus Christ (like how I couldn’t really pray this morning in the shower).
What I didn’t realize, when I first moved in, was that I was supposed to tear down the wallpaper. As I think of that job now, I am overwhelmed. It’s a lot of wallpaper. Ugly. And a lot. I don’t really have the time, or energy. Which tempts me to say “it’s not that bad”. When really it is in fact, that bad. I’m sure there are professionals for this fete. I just need to seek them out.
My point is this: when you face the break up (I’m sorry that this happened to you. Been there. If you want to grab coffee later and maybe a box of chocolate and a good movie, I’m there. I’ll even let you look at my Idris Elba pics. Or like a quick Bible study? We can do that. Or….ok if you need to cry into a bottle of wine I won’t judge. I’ll pray. But I will not help you slash that man’s tires…3 not 4 so the insurance won’t cover it. I won’t do it. We too grown for that), there are things you need to do to heal. Stalking his social media pages, through someone else’s page cuz you’ve blocked him on yours, is cigarette smoke. EW! Drunk dialing/texting him and going SLAP off…cigarette smoke. EW!
Do the work. Tear the wall paper down. You won’t be alone. Jesus is there to help. He’s the professional. And I’m praying you have some good friends to hold your hand along the way. Go get counseling if you need to. Don’t let shame talk you out of help. Learn to deal with the after-effects (if you share children, you need to learn how to deal with him as a co-parent. And whatever new babies (and momma’s) he introduces into the picture.) (If baby momma was around while you were still Mrs then you get a pass on her. She trifling. And she probably ugly too). (But Jesus died for her too……did you swing on me?….I bit my tongue when I said it so….I get it). (How many parenthetical phrases am I gonna USE?!).
Do the work. That way when your new mista comes, he won’t smell, or see….cigarette smoke. EW! Just a clean heart, cleaned and freshly painted by Jesus, with His love and grace. It’s possible. It’s possible to heal. It’s possible to not ever smell that cigarette smoke. EW! You can be the beauty God made…not the monster that sin and a broken heart tried to manipulate you into.