Saturday, August 18, 2012

High Fives & Break-Ups

A few years ago I went on a bullet trip to a wedding 6 hours away. It was one of those 'too many people smushed in a small car without air-conditioning on a hot summer day' type of trips. Memorable. 

It was a random group of people and so, while we rode, I read Elisabeth Eliot's Passion & Purity  out loud to them. Why not, right? Why not, on the way to a wedding, read a classic Christian book about trusting the Lord with your relationships? So I read, we discussed, and I read some more. 

We freshened up just in time for the wedding (complete with a little Bahama Bucks), and enjoyed our evening reconnecting with old friends and watching two of them commit their lives to each other. The thing that stuck out to me most about this wedding had nothing to do with the wedding, though. It had to do with one of the guys I was riding with. 

He was currently in a relationship, although his girlfriend had actually stayed behind. At this particular wedding, his ex-girlfriend happened to be a bridesmaid. The second he saw her come down the aisle was the second his heart almost stopped beating. I didn't see that or hear that...but I vividly remember the conversations we had that night as we journeyed back 6 more hours in a car. 

He still loved her; his ex-girlfriend, that is. So now he was in this funny predicament (and by funny, I mean awful) where he was dating a girl that he was coming back to, but very aware that he only wanted his ex-girlfriend. He was alert for that whole drive back, carrying us safely through the wee hours of the morning back to our homes...not saying much, but the turmoil within him was evident. 

The next day his girlfriend came running up to me, more joyful and excited than I'd ever seen her. 'Debbie! Debbie!!!  We broke up!!!'


Now, I had pictured that conversation going a couple different ways, but no part of me was prepared for the jubilance that I encountered that morning. She was giddy...and it was good. It was genuine joy that consumed her. 

I didn't exactly understand it then. It was even weirder when, a few hours later, I saw the two of them walk by each other and smile widely and give each other a high five. It's not exactly the way I envision two very recent ex's interacting. 

But, I get it now. 
I get that there's a freedom that comes when you get out a relationship with the wrong person.
I get that there's this even greater trust in the Lord that can arise in the midst of heartache...and that somehow, the Lord's faithfulness in this area of life far surmounts the pain of the loss. 

I wish I knew how to convey that to others in the midst of heartache or loneliness. I wish I knew how to completely infuse them with the truth that He truly is faithful and there's no need to worry about finding that special someone. 

I wish we could all be at a place where we high five our ex's because we just know that the Lord has our back and not only are we excited about what that means for our own lives, but we're excited for the person that we claim to deeply care about because we truly want what's best for them, even if it's not us. I wish we could humbly accept that and be willing to move on, and be willing to push deeper into something better. 

Be willing to really trust the Lord with this area of your life, even if you feel like things are never working out. Even if you feel old and you're still single. Even if you've never dated anyone in your entire life. Even if you're in the middle of a relationship that you're unsure about. Even if you're heartbroken and lonely. 

He is faithful. 
Let go of all you're holding onto regarding relationships and trust Him. 

You might just be surprised. Your ex from long ago might see you again at a wedding and not be able to stop thinking about you. But, since no story typically happens the same way twice, don't get all giddy and excited and read into something, or take it as a 'sign' from the Lord that I wrote about this and you just saw your ex at a wedding. 

Be chill. 
Be patient. 
Enjoy the ride. 
'Cause anything you try to fabricate on your own isn't going to be half as good as what the Lord has for you. 

So... trust. 
Sometimes I think it can really just be as simple as that. 

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