In November, I shared part of my journey as a teenager in the post titled ‘That Boy’. The story of ‘that boy’ who occupied my heart as a young girl and how I walked through that season. A comment made by a reader prompted me to reflect on another of my ‘buried treasures’ and the lessons learned. This is the other side of the coin – I was now ‘that girl’.
Somewhere around 18 years old I met a boy who fell very hard for me. I became his -‘ that girl’. That girl who totally captured his heart for a number of years. Recently while going through some of ‘my buried treasures’, I found a small journal he gave me in 1987. On the pages he had poured out his heart. Of course I still had this little piece of history as part of my ‘buried treasures collection! Don’t ask!
I’ll share some of what he wrote:
‘I use to dream about my special lady, but I could never dream about you. Because you would still be more than any dream I could ever dream
I have lost my whole self in your love….the joy of real love exists in loving someone like you
Today I write not of you, but I write asking you never to take your love away from me.’
Let me interject – I did take my love away. We became separated by time and space, among other things. I walked away – I’ll talk about that later. This young man always found a way to pen his innermost thoughts so beautifully:
‘I sign this page with tears in my eyes…maybe because I’m missing you so much now. Maybe because I need you so much….or simply… because you mean the whole world to me.‘
‘ I write today because this booklet will forever bear witness of the love I gave you. I often wonder if you understand how much you mean to me… I pray you would understand the things which make us and those that can potentially break us..’ [7.30.87]
This dude goes deep, doesn’t he? Do they write like this anymore? Maybe in a text, right? Send me one if you have one- it’s been a while 😊. A few years ago in passing, I asked him if he still writes. He said no – that desire left him when I left. The reality so many face when love leaves. A piece of us leave also.
I wanted to speak to those of us who have loved and may have ‘lost’. Maybe it didn’t turn out to be that ‘long and lasting love’ we thought it would be. For some ‘that love’ transitioned – the story of millions especially since 2020. Death can leave us feeling lost, numb, and almost hollow. A pain I never experienced but can only imagine. Others of us live with the reality that we messed up and lost – leaving a vacuum, an emptiness longing to be filled. Some of us continue to love from a distance – possibly rejected or even dealing with what we call unrequited love. Whatever the reason, the pain is real. I think God knew we would have these moments in time so he left us this reminder – ” The lord is near to those who have a broken heart…” [Psalm 34: 18a].
Affairs of the heart are sometimes so challenging to unpack. Aren’t they? They leave such imprints on our hearts – they can be difficult to forget. Sometimes they leave wounds and scars that can define us for years. None of this is news to Our Father. Neither did He promise that we would be exempted from this piece of reality. He however left this for us- “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”[Psalm 147:3]. The psalmist continues in that same passage to redirect our attention to greatness of God in the midst of these unpleasant moments in life. I’ll do the same- it requires a shift in thinking, maybe a renewed mind as the scripture suggests in Romans 12:2. Like me, you may have discovered that life’s experiences are filled with teachable moments – embrace them. May we be given a glimpse of what is called ‘His upper story’ – the greater plan and purpose.
If you have ever loved or experience being loved – consider it a gift. What an amazing gift from God! Even if it was but for a moment, treasure the lessons learned and the experiences gained. Many of us are for the better today because of those roads we have traveled. We now understand what love is [and what it is not]. We have discovered the amazing capacity of our hearts to love even when we should hate.
Forgive (and forget) when and where necessary. Begin with forgiving yourself. Smile at the good memories and embrace the wiser you. Let the scars remind you that you are an overcomer. You dared to love rather than to live and never having loved at all. Allow yourself to heal in a healthy way. Breathe again! Love again!
I mentioned earlier that I had walked away. There came a time when we found ourselves in an unhealthy place for more reasons than one. I decided this was not where I wanted to go. I left in a real ‘heartless’ way. Needless to say he was devastated – I was just numb. I refused to feel. Later after allowing me to heal, I apologized. Apologized for the way I left. I forgave him. I forgave me. We have no regrets – just grateful for the good days and the lessons learned. While thinking about writing this post, I sent him a message asking him whether he regretted ‘us’. This was his response:
” I have never regretted a minute of it. I have used me, you, and God as a benchmark over the years. [Many] others rarely got to that mark.. [rarely experience what we had]”
In a previous post, I mentioned the importance of understanding the seasons and the punctuations in life. It’s important to not put a question mark where God puts a period. Discern the difference between a comma and a period (.) in your life. Never try to resurrect what God has declared dead! Just as a side note here – I am not encouraging anyone to leave their spouses 😊! Be careful that you are not trying to put to death something that God is prompting you to water and restore back to life. Do not be foolish/unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is [Ephesians 4:17].
As we celebrate this season, wherever you find your self- your story is being written by a Master Author. Don’t try to control the pen! Give God your heart and allow Him to lead it accordingly! Our Lord experienced it all – rejection, abandonment, loss, betrayal, and unimaginable pain. Yet, no one loves like He does! What a love! I want love like that. How about you?