About a year and a half ago, I had to confront my feelings and intentions for this guy I started to like. It all started over a conversation about books and a blog…
Over the years, I’ve met different people from all walks of life. Some young, some old, some just starting their life, and others who have a long resume worth of wisdom. This story is rather personal. I guess we can call this, “The One That Got Away”.
Was I broken hearted? Maybe a little. Did I cry? Kinda. But it wasn’t a heartbreak that changed my life for the worse, actually this one was for the better. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked him and by any means if God brought us back together (however that looks), I’m cool with trying again – I’m still thankful we didn’t work out then.
Our journey started out with a conversation about books and a blog. He had just finished school and I was working on my ACL recovery. He shared a good list of books he was currently reading and I told him about the story behind LifeisaBeaut. What’s amazing is that we didn’t know that that conversation would lead to many more in the following months.
One week later, I messaged him to ask about one particular book he was reading at the timeI wanted to read. He responded. I thanked him – and that was that.
Some days later, our messaging continued with his inquiry about my blog. I’ll admit, I was inspired to know someone I didn’t really know had an interest in reading my posts. This caught my attention – how often do you have new friends want to read about your blog, or follow up after a brief conversation about it? Real talk – that meant a lot!
As the weeks and months progressed, I didn’t believe someone who was so invested in ministry and simply honest, caring, and fun to be around would be such an important person in my journey.
Eventually we had to “DTR” aka “define the relationship”. It was through that vulnerable conversation I realized how transparent two honest people could be with one another, and how great of step it would be to start there. As hard as it was to muster the words, “I like you” and “I like you too”, I’m glad we were able to be honest and intentional about where we were coming from. We prayed that evening and dedicated our relationship to God. After all, He was the reason we were drawn together in the first place.
Months passed by, we set boundaries, consulted an accountability couple, while continuing to exchange encouraging messages, devotionals and music. Everything was great, life was happening, and by happening – I mean really happening.
I noticed we were both holding back and keeping our guards up about 6 months later and I started questioning myself – am I missing something? You see, when you start off on an open and honest foot when getting to know someone, you’ll just keep peeling more layers off that person (like Shrek’s onion visual). We were playing it safe and respecting each other’s boundaries, but it’s hard to not want to keep peeling layers back when that’s the natural progression of getting to know someone.
I was in my final semester of university and he was well into his new job. While thought I was ready for a relationship, and thought maybe he might be too – there came a point where we really weren’t sure anymore. We backed off and told each other that we needed to grow and that now just wasn’t the time to pursue a romantic relationship. Surprisingly, we were both completely okay with that.
You see, going through life alone isn’t and shouldn’t even be a thing. In Genesis 2:18 God said,
“It is not good for man to be alone.”
People need people – we need friends, brothers, sisters, parents, relatives, mentors, even strangers, to do life with.
Through those days of uncertainty with what to do with my relationship with this guy, I sought out advice from important people.
For a short time, I asked him to stop messaging me and I would do the same, to allow ourselves to have space and time to pray and think apart from ourselves. We firmly believed that what we had was all because God wanted us to grow and now, I see that we needed each other for that season.
Looking back, there are several lessons I’ve learned during and before – that have truly effected me today:
We were at a transitional phase of life (coming out of school and starting a new job) – a time where “doing life” and “adulting” are at its peak. So much happens in this transition that adding another person into the picture would just add more things to attend to that the transition itself. Understand me when I say we had a good thing – it was the timing of everything that just wouldn’t work. When you’re leaping out of your undergrad and stepping into a new job – a lot happens; moving home, reconnecting with friends, adjusting to home church life, reassessing your overall life decisions (career, relationships, interests, and more), and that’s just to name a few!
Jeremiah 6:16, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk ye in it, and you’ll find rest for your souls.”
Being apart has done the best for me (I hope for him too) – Waiting to commit to someone during a big life change was the best decision to make. At first, when he told me that he thought we shouldn’t move forward romantically, I was slightly crushed. Who wouldn’t want to step into a relationship with someone who seemed to be a good fit for you?
I am forever thankful for the “heartbreak” – Nonetheless, life after him presented ample opportunities to make adult decisions like: which job to take, what car to get, what to do next. I’ve grown to know what I like and what I don’t like, developed hobbies I hadn’t really paid attention to much while I was in school, and he still inspires me to pursue God more every day.
We are always in need of God’s compass – next steps in any situation need time for consideration. Never make a decision that feels rushed; you’ll know if a decision isn’t meant to be a “yes” if something in any aspect feels off or if anything, even the smallest thing, doesn’t sit well and causes your stomach to churn even the slightest bit. Just don’t rush the process!
Be patient and wait for God’s perfect plan and His perfect timing. You will know God’s will because your mind won’t be in turmoil thinking you made a mistake, but rather you will feel a peace come over you, knowing you made the right decision. If after making a decision and you are awake all night, tossing and turning – chances are, it was a wrong decision! Pray and ask God not only to “know His will,” but for the strength and courage to carry it out.
(James 1:5, Proverbs 2:1-5, 1 Kings 4:29-31)
It’s been over a year now and I can confidently testify that God was and continues to be the centre of our lives. I mean, we may not talk as often as we used to, but I know God is doing great things in his life just by seeing the people he surrounds himself with, those he chooses to influence, and through his creativity.
For a relationship that started off with books and blogs, music and Starbucks – it was almost perfect. If you’re reading this, I hope you acknowledge that you didn’t break my heart, but that you made it more whole because of your selfless attitude and overall pleasant character.
So what can my Beauts take away from this?
You Are Promised – GROWTH.
For the first time in my life, I’m accepting that where I’ve been is everywhere I had to be. Every person I’ve met were the people I needed to meet. The struggles that I faced were the hurdles I had to learn to overcome. And the success I’ve achieved – were already planned before I even knew it.
Yes I’m single. And that’s totally okay. Sure I want a relationship one day, somehow – and I have confidence that God is working in the heart of that young man He called out to take care of me and I of him. A man to co-labour with and bring friends, families, and strangers to Christ because He’s done so much in our lives.
You Are Promised – WISDOM.
You’ve heard it said – “You live and you learn.” Every experience in everyone’s life is counted as a lesson – at least to me anyway. If you’re not growing, are you even alive? You can get as many degrees, honours, recognitions and job titles – but nothing beats the priceless wisdom you gain when you choose to learn from the life story God is writing with you. One page at a time, the chapters He’s drafted have already been published, but the wisdom that comes from each chapter being finalized brings forth prime mentoring content that can help those God has placed in your life.
You Are Promised – TRUTH.
By God’s grace, I’ve made peace with my past, realized that nursing is not for me, and learned to accept that not everything will work out as I expect it. Who am I to get upset about what God intended in the first place?
Yeah I’ve experienced heartbreak, yes I’ve felt lonely time and time again. Oftentimes I hold the fear of rejection because I lose sight of God’s value on me and only see the minuscule labels I tag myself with; ugliness, incompetence, incapable or hopeless – labels that can easily be ripped off and renamed of higher worth.
Beauts, life happens and that’s a promise.