There are some types of love that you just don’t mess with.
When I was ready to date during college (at a small Christian university), I was met with disappointment. Every boy I was interested in seemed only to be looking for a wife. I just wanted to date. I discovered that I am not preacher’s wife material, as they made obvious when I showed any sign of interest in them.
At the time, I was hurt by this. They were telling me that I wasn’t good enough for them. I thought we were on the same playing field. Instead, I was on the bench feeling lonely and left out.
I was always magnetized to the guy who was already magnetized to his future preacher’s wife. And she was nothing like me.
In one instance, I had a crush on this genuinely good guy. One day in the cafeteria, I was sitting with a group that included him and his girlfriend. I watched the way they interacted and how they looked at each other. I could feel the electricity between them. It was not shallow, lustful electricity, but something true and strong (albeit subtle).
Later, I told my roommate that I knew they were going to get married. She said, “You don’t know that.” But I insisted that I did and that if she would just wait, she would see that I was right.
They are married today. *Insert smug grin.*
Anyway, my point of that story is that I saw and felt their love. This was the type of love that you don’t mess with. Even if you tried, you couldn’t easily break their bond. He had chosen his lady and even then, I knew she was the right one for him. I stepped down and distanced myself from my feelings until they withered away. My feelings for him were so shallow in comparison to hers.
It was a foreshadow. Just like an author drops hints to what is coming, God was nudging me. At the time, it didn’t feel like a nudge. It really felt like a kick in the gut.
Yet another foreshadow was when two friends of mine married. I watched them grow from friends to newlyweds. At the start of their relationship, they loudly denied that they were dating before finally and slowly reaching a point where they could deny no more.
I had never shed a tear at a wedding until theirs. In fact, I always thought it was ridiculous when I heard sniffles from other wedding guests. But when the bride came into the church, I was overcome with emotion. Truly, this was a match made by God. I knew it because I had seen it grow. They were made for each other. Their relationship planted a seed of hope in me that I’ve only just begun to recognize.
My husband and I started as friends, but it was not until we were alone together that we saw the potential that hadn’t come to the surface before. More than common interests, we have similar worldviews.
It was uncanny how his comments would echo my exact thoughts. It was like realizing you’re lost at the same time someone finds you. I didn’t know how much I longed to be understood like that. Perhaps this is what my friends above went through before they tied the knot. Perhaps they had shown me the possibility.
As our relationship grew into something more, we reached a point where we could no longer deny it either. We were in love. By accident really. And so here we are today: married and grateful to have found each other.
All along, those stings of love and the relationships around me were not God’s cruel trick on an aching heart. They were hints of what was to come. I just misread His intentions.
I wonder how often I do that with other elements of my life. When I spit complaints and anger at God, He could be in the process of doing something to make my future life that much better. How dare I think otherwise.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)