Yes, I realize that I stole that title from a cheesy Garth Brooks song 😉 (okay, I actually really like that song, even though I am not a huge country music fan).
Right after my boyfriend of 10 years who had finally proposed betrayed me and totally obliterated my heart, I drew close to God again and started going to a new church. Since college, I had only been going to church when holidays or family obligations called for it. But when I became so broken, I knew I needed Him.
At this church, I joined a life group (a small group bible study). It was at the house of the man who was the leader of the group. He was short, had acne-scarred skin, not-great teeth and a pot belly. He was basically opposite of everything I was usually attracted to, plus he was 9 years older than me, but I eventually found myself having a huge crush on him. It was weird, but it just was. I think it was partly HIs devotion to God and how safe he seemed that drew me, plus he was funny. He made me feel special. I became somewhat obsessed with when I would get to see him, what I would wear, what he might say…
After maybe 9 months or so of flirting, hanging out in groups and alone, going to concerts together, sending cutesy emails and texts, sitting together at church, and wondering what the heck he was thinking the whole time, we finally had a conversation about feelings. He expressed that he had been feeling things too. He said he was attracted to me, although his dad had influenced him to like skinny girls who looked like Barbie (not me and that piece still hurts a little) and said he had even had some inappropriate thoughts, but that he was not sure about us. He finally suggested that we pray together about whether or not we were supposed to date. I thought that was so cool. I’d never prayed with a guy like that before. What could be a better start? We did so for a period of time. I hoped for God to give us a yes. I never felt like God told me no, even though I prayed for Him to steer my heart as if it had a rudder implanted in it. The guy did. He said he felt sad about it and that he told God, “I’ve been waiting for a wife for so long and here is this girl right in front of me who likes me”, but that God said I was not for him. He said he knew one day he’d be seeing me across the church with my husband and kids and think “there’s another one that got away”, while he was still alone.
I was crushed and confused, but I had to accept that we were not going to happen.
I have later thought that the purpose of this relationship and why God never told me no was that God placed him in my life as a diversion to keep me safe. I was SO heartbroken and very vulnerable. I was going out to bars with girlfriends a lot and I was desperate for male attention to assuage my broken ego and heart. I wanted desperately to fill the gaping hole in my life with a new love. I had only been single maybe a year and a half of my life since age 14 (I was 29 at this time) and was used to always having a boyfriend. I felt like I had lost a limb. I wanted badly to get married and have kids. If I had not had such a huge crush on this guy from church, I likely could have fallen into some dangerous situations or very unhealthy relationships. I figured that God used this man to occupy me while I healed and got on a firmer footing. Not many men would have so diligently sought God’s will instead of just asserting their own desires. He was a safe person for me to have been focused on.
Yesterday, I learned that there may be more to this “unanswered” prayer from God. This man (who is now my Facebook friend and who I occasionally hear from) told me that he has been separated from his wife for 6 months and that it “wasn’t working out”. I was shocked and sad for him. When we met, he had been married once, many years before, for about 9 months. That was before he was a christian and I just figured it was an earthly mistake. By the time I knew him, he was a devoted christian and had been praying for a wife for years. I was happy for him (and maybe just a teensy bit jealous) when he found a wife and got married about a year ago. I thought it was finally all working out for him.
Possibly, he has just had rotten luck twice. But also possibly, there is something that I don’t know about him that is causing abrupt ends to his romantic relationships. Or perhaps he is just not capable of being a husband at this point in his life. Whatever the reason, I think that God didn’t let me have my desire of that relationship for some very good reasons that continue to unfold. I pray that God will draw him close and help repair whatever needs to be repaired so that He can give him the desires of his heart.
It is not the same thing, but I think that there must be something like this in all things that God doesn’t allow us to have, and in the hurts He permits to touch us. I don’t see how losing Luke could have any clear upside in this earthly life, but I do think there will be some revelation like this about why I had to be without him when I get to heaven. My personal daydream is that I will learn that when you lose a baby on earth, you get to have them as your baby/child forever in heaven. Like that maybe they don’t grow up and they get to enjoy childhood forever and I get to enjoy this blissful time of having a beautiful infant forever. That’s about the greatest, most heavenly thing I can imagine. Maybe that’s crazy, but it makes me happy to consider anyways. Whatever it is, I know God has a perfect design and does not make mistakes. Nothing is wasted. Especially not a horrible heartbreak like losing your precious baby.