Have you ever looked back on parts of your life and wondered who the [bleep} that person was? Why you made the choices you made? Stayed stuck for so long? Like, what in the world was all that about?
Yeahhh, I ran into one of those walls the other day.
Soooo, there was this guy…
Well, wait, let’s start here. I have a friend on Facebook who was a good friend of mine in college. In my feed, I saw some pictures he liked. I wouldn’t have noticed except that her last name caught my eye. It was the wife of his college roommate.
Gosh, it’s been a long time since I’ve thought about the roommate. It sure took me a long time to get to the not thinking about him part though. I absolutely loved him. I believe that he loved me on some level. I believe that I have to believe he loved me on some level.
I met him at a party on the third floor of a dorm up on the quad. He was so cute. Dark hair, blue eyes, tall and muscular. The second I saw him, I swooned. No, not really, but he was attractive. And funny. And charming. We talked and joked that night, then ran all over campus before we said good night and went to our separate rooms—Scout’s honor.
The part I don’t understand about the whole relationship that eventually evolved with him is that I knew from early on that we were never going to work out. Not a big deal at first, but as I became more attached, it became a problem. I had hopes, but I knew.
Yet, I couldn’t walk away. He told me he loved me. I believed him. He told me how he didn’t want to lose me and always wanted me to be a part of his life. He didn’t want to be without me. He would never abandon me. He loved me. I think even he believed that at some point.
The problem was, I knew that he was never going to choose me. Yet I stuck around. I hoped. But I knew…
Because he never decided to commit, I lost confidence. I became someone who put up with not being a priority until he saw me drifting away or until he needed me to lean on. Someone who didn’t say anything about anything that was on my mind. I didn’t feel comfortable being me, joking around, saying random stuff. I had to be good. I couldn’t make mistakes. Maybe, just maybe…
What was that?!
It was partially in response to him, but something deep within me was happening. There was so much at play during that time that I may never figure out the why.
One big factor in the mix was I had just gotten a kidney transplant. Kind of a big deal. Then, about a month after my release from the hospital, my father got orders to go to Hawaii. My brother lived in Europe. Suddenly, I was the only one in my immediate family on Mainland, USA. Each direction, there was a six hour time difference, give or take an hour depending on the time of year. If there was an emergency, if I needed someone, nobody in my family could have gotten to me quickly. I felt very alone.
So very alone.
Anyway, after college, he took a job that eventually put him about two hours away from where I was living. Somewhere along the way after graduation, I started going back to church regularly. I knew I couldn’t stay with him, but also knew I couldn’t walk away. So I finally prayed, “God, you have to make this decision for me.” Very soon after, whatever that relationship was, was over.
We kept in sporadic touch after that. Then one day he called to get my address so he could send me a wedding invitation. Really bud? My mouth started giving the address even as my brain was screaming to stop. I did tell him that I wouldn’t be going to his wedding. He understood but still wanted me there. He cherished our friendship. I told him no wife is going to put up with me. Then before the wedding, I dropped off a gift at his parents house to say good-bye to them, when his stepmom said that he had recently told them that he would always love me.
Perhaps, but he will never choose me. Never.
He told me he wouldn’t, because he would hurt me and lose me if he did. Because he didn’t know what he would ever do without me.
Even now, as I remember, I shake my head at my old self, wondering why I stayed for so long.
Do you know who has chosen me though? None other than God Himself. As I saw the future I had hoped for myself finally dissolve into nothing, He was there. As I grieved that loss, He held me. As I stood up to move on, He pulled me up and walked with me. As I looked to Him, He gave me a new future. As I’ve walked through the painful difficulties in this new future, He has kept me standing and walking forward. He has brought healing. He keeps telling me not only does He love me, He has chosen me. And will forever choose me. I am not alone and I never will be again.
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ… Eph. 4:1 (NLT)