Why God WILL Give You More Than You Can Handle

Written by Phylicia, on October 2, 2015

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There’s this rumor that God won’t give us more than we can handle.

We use the line as a comfort when our friends encounter hard times. We console ourselves with it when life becomes overwhelming. But the scary thing about this rumor is that it’s quite simply untrue.

Readers who’ve followed my story the last two months are acquainted with the huge life transition Mr. M and I just underwent: new city, new job for Mr. M, new church, and a new baby born only five days after we moved. Leading up to these changes we were in a place of complete uncertainty; a holding pattern, if you will. For weeks we didn’t know where we would live, what our new annual income would be, or where the baby would be born.

Now, I’m not a “seat of the pants” kind of person. I schedule my life two weeks at a time. I plan my meals down to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I clean the house every evening so it looks nice for the next day. Uncertainty is not my friend.

But uncertainty is what God gave me. Six weeks ago I was calling birth centers, being told by one after another that I was too late in pregnancy to be accepted. Five weeks ago we were down to the wire to find housing. Four weeks ago I was packing boxes with swollen feet, trying to finish my full-time job before going on maternity leave. And almost two weeks ago I went into labor and gave birth to little Adeline Sophia at home – eleven days early.

God gave me way more than I could handle. He tested every part of my personality and preference, and in doing so brought me to the deepest level of trust I have ever known.

God gives us more than we can handle because what we can’t handle drives us to dependence on Him.

Why would God want us dependent on Him? Isn’t that like an overbearing father trying to control every choice his children make? Actually, no. Leaning on God through uncertainty requires relationship. From the very beginning of time, relationship is all God has ever asked of us. Every standard He sets, every commandment He gives, is designed to draw us into holiness so we can freely commune with His holy Self.

So when God gave my Type-A self an uncertain six weeks, He forced me into dependence on Him. He brought me to my knees. He drew me to the point of choice: a choice between the Rock and a hard place. I could choose to lean fully into Christ, believing what He promised – or I could take the harder road alone.

God uses the hard things to make us slow down and choose trust. He uses our weaknesses and our besetting sins. He calls us through difficult people and situations. He reaches us through joblessness, through health struggles, through stress and break ups and everything the world pitches over our plate. And in those situations we have a choice: fully trust the One who saved us, or attempt to handle it on our own.

And trust, dear girls – it’s not a one-time decision. It’s daily, hour-by-hour, saying, “I choose to believe my God, not my fears.” It’s rejecting the Enemy’s lie that God doesn’t care or that we’ll be overwhelmed and standing on the truth that we – the children of God – are overcomers because our Christ has overcome.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say God won’t give us more than we can handle. Throughout the Old and New Testaments we see fellow saints facing the exact opposite: Abraham, commanded to kill his only son; Elijah, running from a wicked queen set on taking his life; Ezekiel, preaching to a people who didn’t believe; Paul, shipwrecked, beaten, imprisoned, and martyred; and Jesus, facing a cross He didn’t deserve. It was more than they could manage… until the Spirit of God enabled them to accomplish what God called them to do.

During my pregnancy I attended a natural birthing seminar led by Christian women. One of the women said something I will never forget: “There are many secular people who say birth is a spiritual experience – Buddhists, yogis, and the like. But we as Christians serve the Living God. We have all the power of the Holy Spirit available to us in the labor room. But many Christian women fail to see birth as a spiritual experience and thus never ask the Holy Spirit to equip them for what they have to do. You have Christ, and that is the greatest power in the entire world.”

You have Christ.

The knowledge that God was present in my difficulty buoyed me through my labor, but even more, it equipped me for every other part of our journey these last six weeks. It was uncertain. It was scary. But I had peace because I have Christ.

God will give you more than you can handle. The good news is He is right there with you. He has promised never to leave (Matthew 28:20). Our hope rests in the Living God, and our hope comes from Him (Psalm 62:5).

“But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. “For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” (Isaiah 43:1-3)

Adeline’s Birth Story: Natural Birth for the Pain-Intolerant

Written by Phylicia, on September 23, 2015


Though my blog rarely, if ever, deals with pregnancy and birth and my readership is largely made up of single girls, I still encourage you to read through this story! If you are new to my blog and came over specifically to read this post, welcome! I approached my birth from the perspective of my Christian faith, so you will see that as a pivotal part of the birth story. However, there are some tips at the end that may be useful to any woman looking to attempt an unmedicated birth. 

Five years ago, if you had told me I’d deliver my first child at home in a natural, unmedicated birth, I would have said, “You’re crazy.” Simply put, pain is not something for which I had any patience. I’m a regular pill-popping machine when it comes to headaches, bruises and any other bodily injury. Though I grew up around women who regularly delivered their babies naturally (though rarely at home, as it wasn’t such a thing back then) I had no desire to put myself through such a state of affairs when there seemed to be other options available.

Somewhere in those next five years I heard a rumor (and it truly is a rumor, because it isn’t always true) that natural birthing moms didn’t tear as much when they gave birth because they could sense how hard to push, whereas women who got epidurals often tore more; thus women who had epidurals might escape the discomfort of labor, but their recovery can be longer, harder, and more miserable. The very word “tear” in association with that area was enough to send me running to the hills. I was ready to do anything to avoid such a fate.

Enter natural birth.

It started simply as curiosity, but as time went on, I found more and more information touting the benefits of an unmedicated birth: quicker recovery, greater comfort, more presence of mind, awake baby, and many more. This is all great, I thought. But I still have to do it MYSELF.  Natural-birthing women were, to me, Greek goddesses of pain tolerance – seated in a sphere high above my own. How could pill-popping Phylicia ever achieve what these women were able to do? How was someone with no pain tolerance going to endure what I had heard was the “worst pain of your life”?

The Pregnancy

My husband and I found out we were pregnant on our one year wedding anniversary. I was just beginning my travel season as a college recruiter and spent the first seven months of the pregnancy working full time either in the office, on a plane, or speaking at conventions across the Eastern seaboard. I didn’t have time to  bask in my pregnancy; I had never been more busy. But I did make sure to enroll my husband and myself in a Bradley class (husband-coached childbirth) and in lieu of regular office visits at my practice, I joined Centering, a small group of women due in October like I was. We met with a midwife and nurse once a month for the first two trimesters.

I could not afford to have a difficult pregnancy, to be quite blunt. I had to find ways to tough out the difficult periods. To make this post a little shorter, below is a list of items used and things I did that were pivotal to the ease of my pregnancy, enabling me to work full time up to 36 weeks pregnant and maintain both my health and quality of life:

  • Working Out: I worked out until the 36th week (9th month) of pregnancy, and would have continued had we not been moving out of state. Working out during pregnancy was hands down the best decision I made. I continued running until the 5th or 6th month, after which I started using the elliptical and walking outdoors. I combined this cardio with strength training, including deadlifts, squats, bicep curls, tricep extensions, planks, and pilates. This combination kept my back from aching through the entire gestation (and enabled me to wear heels until 37 weeks, when my feet swelled too much even for my biggest pair of shoes!).
  • Ginger: In the first trimester and on my flights for work, ginger was like magic. In the first tri I ate ginger cereal (found at Trader Joe’s) and drank ginger peach tea. I also chopped up raw ginger, lemons, and limes for my water. My mom sent me ginger candies that I sucked on during take off and landing for my flights.
  • Coconut Oil: Some women do all natural make up and hair products during pregnancy; I didn’t – it’s just not my thing. The baby is perfectly healthy despite my Estee Lauder addiction. But I did find that coconut oil worked best to offset break outs, and it is completely natural. I washed my face with it every night. It can also be used to soothe itching, which started up in the ninth month once my belly started to really stretch.
  • Reading: And not on the internet. Yes, I realize, this post is on the internet. But I hope you take what you see here and go buy some awesome books that educate you about your body, pregnancy, and the baby you are going to have. My favorites were Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Dr. Bradley’s Husband-Coached Childbirth, and Childbirth Without Fear. I also bought What to Expect When Expecting and What to Expect in the First Year, but found BabyWise most helpful with my questions concerning care for a newborn.
  • Relaxing: As someone who finds relaxation annoying rather than enjoyable, natural birth should have been my last option. Relaxation is ESSENTIAL to an unmedicated birth, because tension causes the woman to resist her body, extend labor and intensify her own pain. We practiced relaxation in our Bradley class, but I also made a point to do my reading (of the above books) each night in the tub. I lit candles, closed the door, and played spa music. Not only did it help my body recover from the day, it also taught me how to relax, breathe, and prepare for labor.
  • Prayer: My chiropractor (another essential to pregnancy) happened to share my Christian faith. His wife had had five children, all naturally and with the same practice I was using. He suggested a book called Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize. It sounded kind of whacky, but I bought it – and am so glad I did. I learned to pray specifically for what I hoped for in Adeline’s birth. I prayed over my pregnancy. I asked for God’s protection against the things I dreaded: a long labor, tearing, complications, induction, and medical intervention. Every time I felt fear rising up in my heart, I wrote out my prayers and requests again. This was by far the most important aspect of my pregnancy and the birth I will describe below.

So Much For Stress-Free

As I was getting ready to go on maternity leave – around the 36th week of my pregnancy – my husband (Mr. M) received a job offer in Pennsylvania. We were living in Virginia at the time. They wanted him to start as soon as possible. We decided that it would be wiser to move BEFORE the birth of the baby rather than after, with all the adjustments that come with a newborn. So at 37.4 weeks pregnant, I moved with Mr. M to central Pennsylvania.

Moving in general is stressful. Moving when you could technically go into labor any day – it’s a whole other level!

I called all the midwives, birthing centers, and birthing centers in hospitals within an hour’s radius of our new home. None of them would take me. I sat at my computer and cried. Where on earth am I going to have this baby? Stress and tension are the enemies of a good natural birth; how could I be stress-free and relaxed when I didn’t even know where my baby would be born, who would be delivering her, or where I should go?

I Googled “midwives near Lancaster” and that’s when I found Shirley. A home birth midwife (CPM) in Pennsylvania, Shirley shared my Christian faith and just reading her biography gave me a sense of peace – despite the fact I had never planned on a home birth, and my previous midwife worked out of a local hospital. But I emailed her anyway and heard back that same day (after hearing five successive “nope, no room for you”s from other practices and practitioners) – she was willing to meet with us when we came to PA looking for housing (a week from our move, we had nowhere to live).

The day we were to meet with Shirley, Mr. M wanted to go look at one more rental in the area. Because a home birth was now on the table, we had to find something that would be conducive to that plan. I thought we had already decided on a location, but went along with Josh’s instincts to look at the one last rental. When we arrived, the landlord asked me where I planned to have the baby. Before I could answer, she said, “Are you doing a home birth?” I hadn’t been wanting to admit that but since she brought it up… “Yes, we are, since no other practices would accept me. Is that okay with you?”

“Sure, if that’s what you want to do!”

I was dumbfounded. Not only was the landlord also a Christian and a wonderful woman herself, she had opened the door for us to have a home birth – without us having to do it on the lowdown. We signed the lease on the house the next day and returned to Virginia to pack.

Fast forward a week: I am unpacking boxes in our new home. It’s 84 degrees, my feet look like bricks, and I’m pretty sure I can’t stretch any larger – even though I’m still two weeks out from my due date. Other than a few cramps here and there, however, I had no signs of early labor.

The Saturday after we moved in, we went garage saling with some friends. Josh found a large exercise ball we thought could be helpful for labor, so we bought it  on a whim.

The Birth Story


That Sunday night at 2:30 A.M I went to the bathroom for the upteenth time. I noticed a small spot of blood, and since I’d never bled before during the pregnancy I decided to see what was going on. It appeared to be the mucus plug dislodging, a sign of labor beginning soon. Well nice, should be soon! I thought, standing up. That’s when my water broke.  Well nice, sooner than I thought!

The night before I had planned to make some freezer meals and pack up the items for the home birth, but I got distracted and never did it. So at 2:30 AM I bustled around the house, collecting the chux pads, towels, and bowls for the birth, laying out Adeline’s newborn clothes “just in case”. I knew of women whose contractions were irregular for days  following the water breaking. I was so unconcerned, I didn’t tell my husband what happened until 4 AM.

“What?! Your water broke?!”

“It’s no big deal – no contractions yet, I just set everything out in case.”

Ten minutes later it wasn’t “in case” anymore. The contractions started immediately at 6 minutes apart, then dropped to two minutes apart, and back to 5-6 minutes. They felt like longer, gradual period cramps. I practiced relaxing, just laying on my side in bed with Josh. My plan was to stay out of the tub as long as possible, because the tub can slow labor down if you get in too early. For about 45 minutes I laid in bed on my side until the contractions got strong enough Josh filled up the bath. At 5 AM we called Shirley. She advised us to call again when the contractions became too hard to bear.

What does that mean?! I wondered.

The one thing I HAD finished prior to pregnancy was a flipbook of verses and affirmations to read to myself in preparation for and during labor. I had written out verses about God’s might and strength, His faithfulness, His love, and how to deal with fear or trouble. In between verses I had written affirmations about relaxing – things like “Each contraction brings your baby closer!”  I also wrote out some of the prayers from my Supernatural Childbirth book.  I had Josh read some of the verses to me while I sat in the bath.

By 6:30 AM Josh said, “After two more contractions like that one, I’m calling Shirley.” They were closer together and more intense: tighter, heavier, and more pressure in my pelvis. The pressure was more uncomfortable than the tightness. With each surge I told myself: This is good. You can do this. You were made for this. Each contraction is pushing her further down. You are making progress. These affirmations helped me relax through each contraction, rather than tense up in fear and fight my body.

Shirley arrived around 7 AM. At this point I was nearing transition – the period between first and second stage labor. This is where the Bradley class came in so handy: because I was completely “present” I knew exactly what my body was going through, and because I had been educated (in the class and through Centering, along with the books and birth stories I read) I knew I was in transition. Signs of transition are throwing up, shaking, and suddenly not wishing to be touched by anyone – including your husband. I had all three of these happening at once. Though it was uncomfortable, I was hot, my legs were shaking and I abhor throwing up, I knew this meant I was nearing the end.

The birthing ball we had bought on the garage sale turned out to be a stellar investment. I rotated sitting on it with sitting in the bath.

After a short stint in the tub again, I went back to the bedroom with Shirley, Josh and Danielle, the second midwife. I had read that squatting during the pushing stage would open the pelvis by 15% more, and since Lord knows I didn’t want to tear, that’s what I did. At about 9 AM I started to push. The contractions were further apart now and I got to really rest between them, then bear down during them. This stage was much more “fun” than the last, because I could actually DO something!

After what felt like 15 minutes, Shirley said, “I can see the baby’s head, Phylicia. Now do short little pushes so you don’t tear!” I followed her instructions, along with another thing I’d learned in Bradley – that arching your back out shortens the birth canal. I wanted that thing as short as possible. Shirley applied counter pressure and also rubbed oil on me while I pushed. At 9:32 her head appeared and at 9:37 Adeline Sophia was born into the world.

My labor was 7 hours beginning to end: very uncommon for a first time mother. Some women labor longer but with more lead up; I had very little lead up and few breaks from 4 AM to when Adeline was born. It was intense and at times difficult, definitely uncomfortable, and there were moments when I felt I couldn’t do anymore. So below are some of my takeaways and the things that gave this “no pain tolerance” girl the ability to do something I thought was impossible:

  • Education: Ignorance leads to fear. Fear leads to tension. Tension leads to pain. Pain leads to greater fear, and so the cycle continues. By educating yourself and knowing what your body CAN do, you can recognize telltale signs in your own pregnancy and labor (much like how I knew I was in transition, and it helped propel me forward without losing heart). YOU become the expert on your own body, pregnancy and birth! And remember –  you can always buy a stroller. You can’t always be prepared for the birth you want. I still don’t have a high chair; newborns don’t need them. But I needed a good understanding of my body and what it could do in time for her delivery!
    • Bradley Childbirth Class – we loved this and highly recommend it. It ran about $300 but was completely worth it.
    • Centering – if your hospital offers this, look into it! I loved my group and my midwife.
    • Books – read books about childbirth and most of all, read POSITIVE birth stories from women who are realistic about what to expect. Ina May’s book begins with a whole section of birth stories – her book was by far my favorite.
  • Affirmations: In the first stage of labor, through each contraction I repeated to myself: “You are moving her down. You are moving her down.” The image of the baby moving DOWN with each contraction made me feel as if I was actually accomplishing something. I also told myself, “You can do this. You are strong. You are strong enough for this.” Reminding myself that I had the capability of birthing this child helped me press on when I wanted to give up.
  • Recognition of What the Pain Is:  Labor is the body’s way of birthing a child! It’s truly amazing, but we have to actually recognize what the body is doing – not just focus on the pain. When I have a headache, I take a pill because I don’t see the headache as beneficial, but distracting. Labor pain is beneficial. And it’s not like a headache: it’s like a muscle workout, the same muscle, over and over again. As someone who loves to work out, this image helped me see that the contraction was simply accomplishing something my body couldn’t do on its own.
  • Midwife: Some OBs are fantastic, holistic, and very supportive of natural birth. But this is not always the case. Doctors across the board are very helpful in the event of an emergency or medical intervention (I would have used a local hospital had something like this come up). Midwives, on the other hand, specialize in healthy, normal births and keeping low-risk moms low-risk. I loved both my midwives – Julia, in Virginia, and Shirley here in PA. Having a professional yet motherly figure in the room with me made a huge difference in my relaxation and labor.
  • Prayer: One of the things people said to me when I 1) said I was using a midwife and 2) said I was having a home birth was, “But what if something goes wrong?” First of all, this is a silly question to ask because no pregnant woman would intentionally put herself in a position to harm her baby. That aside, I was not worried about anything going wrong because I had complete peace through prayer. Every time I had a fear, I brought it to God and committed it to Him. And truthfully, I knew in my heart that nothing WOULD go wrong. In the event that it did, I had a hospital as a back up. I had a specific prayer list, and I am delighted to say that every single one of these prayers was answered:
    • A shorter, rather than longer labor
    • That my labor would progress quickly and regularly
    • That the baby would not be in distress
    • That the baby would not have her hands by her face (makes you more likely to tear)
    • That I would dilate at the appropriate intervals
    • That I would not tear at all or, if I did, only a little (I had three very tiny tears)
    • That I would have the energy to complete the task at hand
    • That the baby would not be posterior (facing front)
  • Tools: The birthing ball was a fantastic $8 investment. I loved using this during labor. We used our own bathtub, which was good for a time but was not satisfying at the end (we chose not to get a kiddie pool and have a water birth, though that was an option). I was given a peri bottle for postpartum that was helpful when using the bathroom for the first few times.
  • Dealing with the Pain: Below are some ways I dealt with the pain that made it manageable for a low-tolerance gal like myself:
    • Kissing: Sounds ridiculous, right? But in early labor, this actually helped me a lot. Kissing (like, the real deal, not a peck) releases a hormone that helps lessen the intensity of the contraction. When Josh was helping me in the first few hours, this was a great pain reliever and relaxer. (Somewhat related, sex can induce labor, and the more sexually active a couple is while pregnant the more likely a woman is to have her baby near her due date. The prostaglandins in semen soften the cervix.)
    • Massage: Throughout labor Josh would massage my arms, back and shoulders. At one point, I had him pinch my shoulder muscle tightly – it offset the muscle contractions in my uterus and helped for at least 3-4 contractions.
    • Speaking/Praying Over Labor: As previously stated, hearing myself state what I was doing, or praying my verses aloud, helped me refocus my mind throughout labor. One of the verses that stood out the most was one in Proverbs: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.” I repeated that to myself over and over. Josh reminded me that God was present in the very room. He was giving me strength for what I was called to do in that moment. 
    • Moment by Moment: Shirley, my midwife, had 13 children. At some point between contractions I remember asking her, “How did you do this 13 times?!” She replied: “Moment by moment Phylicia, just like you.” It’s the “eat an elephant one bite at a time” concept. You don’t have to deal with the whole labor – just each contraction. And as one woman told me and I remembered, “You can do anything for sixty seconds.”
    • Breaks: The best thing about labor “pain” is that it gives you a break! You get to rest in between, at least till the very end. At  the pushing stage, I had even more time to rest in between. It is not a constant pain (though there is discomfort/pressure) but the kind that comes in waves. You just deal with each wave individually.
    • Prevent Tearing: Since this was very important to me, a few things really helped. Shirley provided counter pressure as the baby crowned. I was also in the squat position that opened my pelvis more (another option is the asymmetrical squat, one leg up, one down). Shirley also rubbed oil on me as the baby descended. And rather than bear down as the head appeared, I did small, short pushes to ease her out.

God is Present with the Pain Intolerant


If you are a first time mom like me wondering if you can do a natural birth, I hope my story encourages you! I did not think I could do it. I was the most unlikely candidate for the job! But I truly believe that God was present in that room during the birth, not only because He is Lord of Life but because Josh and I invited Him in. We prayed for His presence and depended upon it. And because He was so present in power, we were brought closer as a couple and as a new family. I had peace and joy and health that I credit directly to Jesus Christ.

Though a home birth was not on the table until the ninth month in my pregnancy, I would do it all over again. Being in the comfort of our new home, able to immediately rest in my own bed, shower, get dressed, and walk about the house four hours after the birth – it was phenomenal! Something foreign, new, and even frightening became so much more relaxing with a simple change of environment (if you aren’t sure about home birth, go with a birthing center! They are usually decorated to appear like a home).

Adeline is now three days old and as wide awake as can be. We are enjoying every moment with her and are so grateful to God and to the people who made our move, her birth, and our adjustment into family life a little easier!

If you have questions, feel free to post them below.



How the Romance in Your Head is Hurting Your Heart

Written by Phylicia, on September 2, 2015


This post is part of the blog series “Why Am I Still Single? {And Other Pressing Questions}”. To follow the series and meet other likeminded readers, like Phylicia Delta Blog on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or join me on Instagram!

Summers in northern Michigan are the closest thing to heaven: beautiful sunsets, lapping waves, Kilwin’s ice cream and perfect weather.  Sixteen years old, I attended a concert in the park in downtown Petoskey, Michigan, where I grew up. It was a beautiful summer evening, I was dressed in one of my favorite outfits – I even had my Sheltie, Lassie, tied to the bench on which I was sitting. It was all quite quaint. The concert was a choir of college students, and while I wasn’t super interested in what they were singing, I attended just to enjoy the nice night. Just as the concert started, rain began to sprinkle down.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we will be moving the concert to the Presbyterian church up the street.” The director announced. I outran the rain to my car, put Lassie inside and walked to the church to finish watching the concert. As I walked in, one of the singers – a tall, handsome young man dressed to the nines – opened the door for me.

“Doesn’t look like you got too soaked! That’s good.”

I looked up with stars in my eyes. This is just like I imagined!

“No, I didn’t.” I squeaked. I took a seat in one of the pews and the young man followed me, and, gesturing to the seat beside me, asked: “May I?”

I can’t even.

We chatted for a while before he got up to sing. After the concert I lingered a little, but thinking that looked too desperate, left the church to walk back to my car. As I turned the corner, I glanced back at the church and saw the young man standing on the steps, looking furiously right and left. Looking for ME! I had warm fuzzies as I waltzed down the sidewalk, but the fuzzies nearly jumped out my throat when I heard running steps behind me.

“Phylicia! Wait!”

I turned around. Am I Anne of Green Gables right now?

“I was wondering when I would see you again?” You could have pushed me over with a feather. I stared at the ground intently… intently enough to notice this young man was wearing orange and yellow striped socks. Orange and yellow. No one wears orange and yellow, except maybe the Donut Man. Suddenly I was snapped out of this dream I was living. I laughed.

“I don’t know!”


VIDEO: Singleness Series Wrap-Up

Written by Phylicia, on August 25, 2015

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, so as I begin to wrap up this series I felt a video would aid in summarizing what we’ve discussed thus far. For new readers, I always feel hearing someone’s voice helps put a face to the name on the page – it humanizes the writer. If you don’t already, you can follow my YouTube channel or join me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Break Ups & Broken Hearts: Ending a Relationship With Grace

Written by Phylicia, on August 21, 2015


This post is part of the blog series “Why Am I Still Single? {And Other Pressing Questions}”. To follow the series and meet other likeminded readers, like Phylicia Delta Blog on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or join me on Instagram!

With all this talk of singleness, we have to deal with one issue no one wants to talk about: break ups. They’re awful. They end in tears, chocolate, and Netflix marathons (which doesn’t sound so awful to my pregnant self, at the moment) and can take months to get over. They can be soul-crushing, dream-dashing, and altogether miserable.

To be perfectly frank, I’ll be writing this post from the perspective of what not to do. When it came to relationships, I was very good at getting into them quickly, only to realize – quickly – that I wanted out. I was the royal break-up queen, and to some of the guys I dated, I was a royal jerk. I didn’t know how to end a relationship gracefully, a fact usually rooted in the reality that I’d pursued the relationship too soon in the first place. What begins in urgency often ends in misery – which means you’re usually pursuing an urgent end to the situation, just like in the beginning.

But break ups, as painful as they can be, are not our enemy. In fact, break ups can strengthen us for future relationships, teaching us crucial things about our natures as women and what we need to be seeking in a mate. No one said you would marry the first person you date. While some people do – and good for them! – not everyone has this destiny, and if you lived a holy life in that relationship, a break up does not “tarnish” you for the future. And if you did sin in the relationship – especially physically – there is redemption for the repentant.