So I got my heart broken. And rolled over with a clunky 18 wheeler. Before you roll your eyes, this isn’t a sappy story about drowning my sorrows into a tub of ice cream and wine, I promise. It’s more so about what I learned from it.
I fell in love for the first time when I was fourteen. I know, I was so young, but it was real. Not in the “we’re going to be together forever” way like we initially thought, but for that period of time when we said I love you, we meant it. Truthfully, I don’t believe real love ever fades. I believe it can change into a different kind, but not fade. We broke up and haven’t seen each other in years. But to this day, we still never miss a year wishing each other Happy Birthday.
Throughout the rest of high school and college, I wasn’t very serious with anyone. Honestly, it’s because I don’t really open up with anyone. I’ve gotten better about it now, but back then, no guy could have ever really gotten to know me because I wouldn’t let them.
I’m a dreamer. I crave creativity. But I keep most of my thoughts to myself. Most people would tell you I’m weird or crazy, but that’s okay. I’ve never longed for the type of normalcy in the way everyone in my hometown did. I had dreams in my head that most people would think were just plain stupid or unattainable, so I didn’t talk about them. I just let my brain run wild and played a part on the outside. I just tried to blend in.
Well, after a while, trying to be someone you’re not just doesn’t work. It makes life feel pointless, you get depressed, and it doesn’t go away until you’re honest with yourself. That’s how it was for me anyway.
When I let my fear of regret grow bigger than my fear of embarrassment or failure, I started feeling a little more alive. Little by little, I stopped caring what other people thought. I brushed off negative comments. It didn’t matter anymore because for the first time, I was completely taking control of my life.
Alright, here comes the 18 wheeler.
Around this same time I was seeing the light on life and all that, I fell in love. But this was different than the first time. This one is hard to even explain. I was completely drawn to him from the moment I met him. My heart would beat fast every time he’d talk. Or smile. Or laugh. He had these brown eyes, and every time they would lock on me, I’d get nervous. I couldn’t even think straight. I just lost myself in him. I didn’t even know this person, but the thought of ever telling him goodbye hurt like hell.
As time went on, I just loved him more. We were friends first and I was content with that. And even though I tried, I couldn’t resist wanting more of him. There was a red flag on every corner, but I didn’t care. I was the moth, he was the flame.
There was so much I didn’t know about him. The truth is though, I knew deep down he was never really mine. No matter what he said. I was so scared of losing him completely that I settled for a piece of him. I guess I thought I could love enough for the both of us. But that’s not how it works. That’s like pouring water into a cup that you know has a leak. You’re eventually going to get tired and thirsty, and have nothing to drink.
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
Love isn’t based on fear. Hanging on just because you’re scared of losing someone doesn’t make it grow deeper. That’s where I made my mistake.
I didn’t talk about this with many people. It’s uncomfortable. I did what comes naturally to me – put on a smile, make a joke about it, play a part on the outside, and then cry when no one’s looking.
One person I did talk to about it was my mom. Her response is one I think about all the time now. She was sad for me, but she always gave it to me straight. She said, “When you find someone that gives you peace of mind, that’s love. It’s not a game. It’s not hard. It’s not something you’ll have to question. When you find that, it will all make sense.”
Mama and Jesus haven’t let me down yet, so I’m not about to stop trusting them. I still love him and probably always will. Like I said, I don’t think when you really care about someone it ever goes away completely. And that’s okay; I don’t regret it. Love is a gift. And I think with all gifts, they shouldn’t be given with the intention of receiving.
So love as much as you can. That’s what we’re here for. But know that when you do find someone that you are made perfect in love with, God will be present and it will work. There will be no fear, no hesitation. It will be comfortable and easy.
[Cue “Easy Like Sunday Morning”]