This is the last time I will ever write about you. I’ve given you pages, chapters, BOOKS of my life…but now it’s time for me to write a new story now. One without you in it.
I’m ready to do that now. But to start a new chapter, you must first close the old one.
For years I asked God to bring closure to this relationship with you…or if not closure, at least a little clarity about what it all meant. This on again, off again, never quite together, never quite apart, yes and no, back and forth relationship. What was your greater purpose in my life, if not to be my forever love? It just didn’t make sense to me. But then again, I guess that’s what faith is all about: Trusting God and moving forward anyway, even when it doesn’t make sense. And that’s what I did. For seven long years. I thought I knew the ending. I thought I knew God’s plan.
But I was wrong.
Instead of walking down an aisle to you, I walked down a long, often heartbreaking path with you…one that tested me, challenged me, tried me, and always, always pushed me closer to God. I spent years trying to get closer to you, but God in His infinite wisdom knew that what I really needed was more of Him. And that’s what this relationship represents to me. It’s what it will always represent to me: A giant question mark in my life that pushed me ever closer to the One who is the answer…the One who is the beginning and the end…the One who loves me enough to heal any wounds left by someone who could never quite love me enough. It wasn’t until I was willing to finally surrender you 100% to God that He was able to show me the reason for you. The bigger picture. The purpose of every tear, every disappointment, every one of the seven long years I spent waiting for you to love me back.
You see, my almost, not quite, love…the number seven in the Bible represents “completion.” And God showed me early on in that seventh year of you and I that it would be the year of our completion, one way or the other. And over the course of that seventh year, the meaning of our relationship came completely into focus: You weren’t the one I was meant to share my life with. You never were. You were the one who was there to teach me how to share my life, my whole life, my whole heart and soul, with God. Completely and unequivocally, holding nothing back.
“Pursue Me the way you want a man to pursue you, Mandy…” God had whispered into my heart during one of our many quiet times.
You see, my almost, not quite, love…there came a day when my eyes were opened to the fact that the way you had been with me for all those years -- wishy-washy, lukewarm, undecided, half in, half out – was the way I had been with God. Never fully committed. On fire one day and ice cold the next. Unwilling to invest my full self into the relationship. How it must have broken His heart.
The same way you broke mine, over and over again.
And one final time, on a summer day of that seventh year, when you looked me in the eyes, and finally told me once and for all: I don’t love you.
You could have told me that at any point during those seven long ears…but you didn’t.
And you know what? I’m glad you didn’t. Because the further away you pulled from me…the closer you pushed me to God. Oh, the conversations I had with God that started off about you but turned into intimate, precious, communion with Him about every topic under the sun! I spoke, He listened. He spoke, I listened. So many heartfelt, transparent, real, raw, candid moments I shared with my precious Jesus…all because I was driven to my knees in prayer about you and for you.
So you see, my almost, not quite love: I don’t regret you. How could I? We had some beautiful moments over the years, yes…but the moments I had with God as a result of our not-so-beautiful moments are ones I will cherish forever. No, I don’t regret you. You taught me how to embrace the Beautiful Uncertainty of my life and to trust that nothing, absolutely nothing bad can happen to me that God can’t find a way to turn for good.
You taught me that giving one’s heart away is always brave, regardless of whether or not the other person chooses to accept it.
You taught me how to love myself better. You taught me how to love other people better. And most of all, you taught me how to love GOD better.
Without you, I might not be the woman I am today.