There was a moment in my life where I felt like I was getting a fresh start and everything was falling into place.
I was very active in church and fully trusted God with my love-life.
Because of that, I had found the love of my life and we were engaged to get married later that year.
In that season I was also venturing out to start my business so things were very exciting and new.
And yet, in spite of all this, I still have this itch that would not go away.
It had to do with my Ex.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I was stuck on him or anything. I had completely moved on… or so I thought.
My fiancé was everything I could have ever prayed for in a man. Surely there was no one better out there for me, and definitely not my Ex.
But the more the Lord would knit our hearts together to become one, the more I felt that there were some things I wasn’t letting go of.
The last real relationship I was in before the one I was developing with my husband ended badly. Like, really bad. It was probably one of my biggest breakups ever.
And because of how awful it was, my life had drastically changed as a result.
First I got over my breakup by making poor choices. I drank excessively, met and dated no-good guys, and I was throwing my self-worth away because I felt broken.
Then I found Jesus as the filler of my void and things began to turn around. I learned to love myself using the example of love that God had given me. I began to see the love in others. And I learned how to use that love for myself and for my future.
And so flash-forward to me being engaged and still pondering my Ex.
I used to pray a lot for him. I know, I know. If you’re still bitter about your own situation you’re probably thinking that all Ex’s should rot in hell. Yeah, I used to feel that way too.
And praying for someone who hurt you bigtime is really, really hard. But I knew that it was the right thing to do.
I knew that by praying for my Ex and our breakup it would bring healing to the both of us. And that is ultimately what I needed if I was ever going to become someone else’s wife.
So in the middle of praying alone one day in my room, I had this urge to talk to him. Not directly. But there were some words on my heart (and who knows how long they’ve been harbored there) that I really needed to get off my chest.
Now granted, I had kept no contact with this guy. After we broke up, I made a LOT of mistakes that one should never do during a breakup. I think that because of those mistakes, I was cast as a “crazy-Ex” so we sort of lost all contact with each other, respectively.
But I did still have his email saved in my Gmail account.
Now, I didn’t want to overstep a boundary with my fiancé and just flat-out connect with my Ex. That would be silly of me. Especially since I knew that I would feel some kind of way if he had ever done that to me.
So I decided to write in my journal and allow all those outdated words just spill out.
What I ended up writing was an apology letter.
I know, right?
This guy basically wrecked me from the inside out. Just days before Christmas, he dumped me. He completely ghosted me after living together and planning a future with me.
He caused me to feel rejected, unloved, ugly and damaged. I actually believed that I was not worth being loved. That something was seriously messed up with me and that was why he could not love me the way that I had loved him.
It was bad, Y’all!
How could I possibly come around and apologize to him after all that he’s done to me?!
I apologized for not respecting him in the manner that I should have.
For not loving him the way that I now knew how.
And for basically wasting our time because I was so dependent on him and that relationship instead of trusting God and depending on myself.
I had placed him in an unfair position to become my “savior” when he could’ve never measured up to that role and title.
There I was pouring all of this out into my journal, but it wasn’t enough. I had to send it. He had to know how I felt.
Why I did it
Did I necessarily need to reach out to him in order to move on? Well, technically no.
Was my Ex even worth me sharing all that with him in spite of what he did? Heck no.
Did his response of “you good” even matter after all that was said and done. Nope.
So why on earth would I do it? And why would you be thinking of doing it yourself?
Again, it all goes back to prayer.
By sending my Ex that letter of apology it allowed me to get rid of all of the last words I had ever wanted to say.
It cleared my heart and my conscious knowing that I was also a part of that break up just as much as he was. And rather than to go down in life never owning that truth, I would have regretted it for years to come.
Without even realizing it, I was holding onto that confession deep in my heart, and it was slowly becoming a sense of guilt. Little did I know, that guilt was forming into this bondage that was keeping me from fully embracing my fresh start with my husband-to-be.
I had to reconcile. The Word encourages it.
How on earth could I possibly offer my heart and love-life in order to receive my blessing of a wedding, marriage, and husband from God if I still carried unforgiveness in my heart?
Leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First, be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer your gift.
-Matthew 5:24 (NKJV)
Moreso, how I could move knowing that I was just as responsible for some of the very reasons why I was so bitter and hurt in the first place?
I know for some this may be too extreme, especially considering all that it took in you to finally forget that guy. But this was something that was placed in my heart and would not go away.
I believe it was something that God wanted me to do in order to fully receive a fresh start.
It was an urge that was coming directly from my heart. And it was not until I had sent that email that I was given the peace to move on with a clean slate. Knowing that I never had to say another word to my Ex, nor feel pain over what happened between us, ever again.
What about my Fiancé?
As for my fiancé… I held nothing back.
I told my fiancé everything and explained that I had to apologize in order to move on fully and receive a completely fresh start.
From the beginning of our relationship, we had allowed God into the center. We formed a foundation that would allow us to be open, honest, and trustworthy.
So sharing my action, the feelings behind it, and the reason why I did what I did, my fiancé was in full support of it.
If you’re looking to set up your next relationship with a strong foundation the way we did, then check out my latest handout, “The Love Trust Test“. It will get you moving in the right direction so that you hold nothing back, give it all you got, and allow God to lead you both every step of the way!
You see, my husband knew at the time where my thoughts and feelings stood, both for him and for my Ex. He knew how bad I was hurt from that relationship. And he knew that if this was something that would help bring healing, then it would help strengthen our relationship in the end.
And it did. We have been married for going on five years now and together we look ahead to our future; never back on our past.
Should you apologize to your Ex?
While I cannot suggest that you do anything I did, I can encourage you to check your own heart if you are in need of a fresh start.
Maybe you’ve gone through something similar and you are just looking for that peace to move on once and for all.
But there might be things to your story that were not a part of mine.
You might have been in a situation where reconnecting with your Ex is the very thing you should NOT do (for your safety, for your sanity, etc.)
Make sure your intentions are pure. Be sure that if you do decide to reach out (if you absolutely must) then it’s for the reasons that God has placed on your heart.
Make sure that your apology is about you, God, and your future. Not about you, your Ex and your past together.
If you are dating someone, then talk to them about it. Trust me, if they’re your potential Mr. Right and all signs are pointing to him being a keeper, then be completely open and honest about the situation. The LAST thing you wanna do is hide something like this behind their back!!
Sometimes gaining a fresh start can come just from prayer with God.
Sometimes it has everything to do with you and your release over certain emotions and has nothing to do with your Ex.
So sending him something may not even necessary.
But if you believe after all this that doing so is the right thing to do, then be smart about how you choose to do it.
How do you do it?
My suggestion for reconnection is to make it quick, simple, and one-sided.
His response should not matter. If it does, then go back to your reasons for doing this in the first place (are you seriously looking for a fresh start or just wanna revisit old times?)
Sending something via email or messenger might be the way to go because it doesn’t connect the actual reader to your reach out. So, by not seeing them, or hearing them, it makes it easy for a quick getaway, without having to look back.
A few months after sending that email, I ultimately deleted that Gmail account. It was my last form of contact with my Ex and I was totally ready to cut the ties. So if you can walk away completely by deleting yourself as a contact of his for good.
I got a new life when I finally decided to focus on God and all that He had for me and my love life. But I received my fresh start when I decided to break free of the guilt I carried from my past breakup.
Every story has two sides, including the ones where you get burned. As you continue to heal and look back, you’ll begin to recognize that there were breadcrumbs all along. Those crumbs lead you to spot red flags, easy-outs, and things that God was telling us to do instead of what we did.
If you’re looking for a fresh start of your own, start by looking in yourself. Take note of your healing process. And act in according to the love that God is pouring into you.