I had this boyfriend in high school. Not the good kind. The kind that every parent, on the planet of Earth, dread their daughter ever dating. I remember him being an idol in my life… in every sense. He was the first thing I thought about in the morning, and the last thing I thought of when I closed my eyes. He controlled my heart… and he knew that he did. He was a manipulative liar, and I honestly think he enjoyed seeing me suffer. I cringe at high school dating to this day… for that reason. The majority of my high school memories, are all linked to him. Mostly, in a bad way.
He broke up with me for another girl ( for the ten millionth time), right before I walked the line of my high school graduation. His timing was always ON POINT. I was devastated. I don’t think I came out of my bedroom for three weeks. He took so much from me, and hurt me so deeply. He was out celebrating with his new lady, while my face was buried in a pillow for days.
I remember being so angry at my parents for their joy over the fact that this relationship was over. I remember being angry at God for allowing something so horrible and heart-wrenching to happen to me. I remember being so angry at the new girl for “stealing” my man. Unfortunately, my torment didn’t end there. He strung me around like a puppet for the following year…until I finally had enough and changed my digits. Bye Felicia.
Anyway, I remember those intense, first-love emotions when that relationship ended. Although, looking back now, I realize it was NEVER love. It was lust. It was an addiction. I think he was addicted to the chaos of different ladies, and pulling me around on a string… and I think I was addicted to him. It was like the definition of an unhealthy relationship. In fact, a lot of my insecurities I still struggle with today, stem from that relationship. This is obviously why the bible talks about sexual purity, and protecting our hearts. If I would’ve loved Jesus the way I loved that silly boy, I would have never dated him.
In the midst of all of that mess, God continued saying a big fat NO to me dating him… a no to a future with the only guy I wanted a relationship with. It was a crush to my soul. I thought I would NEVER get over him. I really did, ya’ll. This guy, that treated me like a trash can, that verbally and emotionally abused me, was my everything. For what? For why?
I thank God often… OFTEN… for saying No to my pleading, broken heart. I thank God I was raised by a mother who literally got on her face before the Lord, praying for protection for her children… a mother who prayed Every. Single. Day. for that relationship to end. A mother that loved me enough, that she still prayed that prayer, knowing how devastating it would be to my youthful heart. She saw where that destructive path would lead. She knew God could redeem that situation, but most importantly… redeem me. Prayer is our greatest tool as Christians, and I am a walking testimony to God’s redemption…. And living proof that he hears our prayers, and answers them. Just ask my Mom.
The thing is, my rebellion against the Lord during that time, and honestly, for several years after… that was a choice. I chose to make some really dumb decisions… even if guided by a wounded heart, I still chose it. I deserved that stupid boy. I deserved nothing better. I put him before my relationship with everyone else… and of course before God. But, here’s what is so amazing about the gospel. Mercy. It saved me. I deserved a life of destitute. I deserved to be stuck in what would’ve been an awful, to say the least, relationship with someone who would’ve never loved me… who would’ve never held down a job… who would’ve never protected or provided for me. But God didn’t give me what I deserved. He showed me mercy… which I will forever be grateful for.
My unwillingness to follow him at the time, my desire for things that were far from Godly… that didn’t change God’s love for me. His grace and mercy covered that. And continues to today. He saw this dark-headed, bearded man in my future… who was designed to be mine. He saw that guy in my future… and chose to still give me him… when I deserved that stupid ex-boyfriend. He saw a relationship with my Mom that would be restored, and an amazing bond with my family, that I went years running from… and he still chose to bless my life with siblings and parents who live in a five mile radius… did I mention nieces and nephews galore?!?
I think about our life where it stands now. I’m not in a place of rebellion anymore (Thank you JESUS!)… I still struggle. I’m imperfect in so many ways… but instead of running from the Lord when I’m broken and hurting, I run to him. When I think about our current situation, and our desire to grow our family, I think… Man, God is saying no right this moment to me. He’s saying no to babies… for now. Sometimes, I look at that no, and I think it’s God being mean, or that he’s punishing me… somedays I think he’s just forgotten about me. But, when my sinful heart goes to that place, or I struggle with trusting God’s true love for me, I’m reminded of that ex-boyfriend. I’m reminded that his NO right now…means he’s only got my best interest in mind. He is only going to ever do what is best for me. And one day, I will get on the other side of infertility, and I will praise my God for saying no to babies for now… for saying no to IVF. In some ways, I praise him now. On the other side of this heartbreak and loneliness, He’s saying, YES. He’s graciously pouring his abundant gifts on me and my husband, and I don’t even know what they are yet. How amazing is that?!? And, in the questioning, the waiting… the unknown in my heart… God’s saying, Wait, sweet child. I got somethin’ for ya around the corner.
It would be so neat to see how it all turns out… right now. But, where we grow… where we change… where we learn another little word called TRUST… well, that’s not found at the end of the tunnel. That’s found in the darkness. But, what’s so amazing is… in the darkness, when we don’t know what’s around the corner, we can turn to Jesus… because that’s where he is. HE is the light that carries us through the dark days… and takes us to the other side. Where we can then praise him for his faithfulness.
And one day, when I hold my sweet babies… I will look into their eyes, and praise God for saying no to IVF twice. I will praise God for the babies he had already planned for this family… when all I thought he was doing, was breaking my heart. And, when that day comes, I will rejoice with my husband, our precious babies, an old boom box, and some Garth Brooks. And we will dance. Because, truly, my friends… Some of God’s greatest gifts, are unanswered prayers.