When I was 17 years old, I fell in love. I met a boy who loved movies as much as I do, who made me laugh until I couldn’t breathe or see, and who made me feel like I was something special.
I found my best friend, a person I could not imagine myself ever being without. I knew this was the feeling that all the movies and books had been trying to describe, the one what I am currently trying to describe. I felt whole. I felt like I found a purpose in the world, to wake up everyday and try to make him as happy as he made me.
I went to bed every night with a smile on my face. Even though I realized how stupid it seemed because we were so young, I thought this could be it. This could be what my life could always be like.
Before I realized it, 2 years had passed and I was in the exact same place. A fool in love. We were, in my mind, meant to be.
In the movies, there is always a defining moment, a scene where you can plainly see on the characters face that something has changed. It’s a moment that the audience can’t miss; they realize the plot is suddenly about to change. I wish I could have seen this one coming.
There had been more fights than I remembered there being in the beginning. They usually consisted of me begging him to at least act as invested in me as he used to; to care, to make the effort that had gotten lost somewhere along the way. I found myself in a place where I stopped going to bed happy and began going to bed terrified of losing him, and being alone.
I did the most logical thing, pretend there was nothing wrong. I knew I shouldn’t have to beg him to be interested in my life, to want to call, that this was not how things were supposed to be. But I was still so hopelessly in love all I could do was think about the way it was in the beginning and to tell myself that this was just a phase.
I don’t know how to describe the feeling of your life falling apart. The world around you starts to slow and it blurs until you can’t recognize it’s beauty and purpose. When he told me he didn’t love me anymore, I was sitting outside the Ecology building waiting to go in for class when I got a call. 2 years together was ended in 48 minutes.
He broke up with me two days before Valentines Day, one day before I was set to go visit him for a romantic weekend. I repeated it over and over to him. “You don’t love me.”
It wasn’t a question, I just couldn’t seem to wrap my mind around it. I cried, I pleaded, I told him this was a mistake and all we could do was cry because we knew nothing I said would change his mind. I felt like a piece of my soul had died, like the light of the world had been turned off and I was left completely alone. I realized that I didn’t even know who I was; I had been so concerned with his happiness and his life for the past two years that I didn’t know who I was without him.
Over the course of our relationship, I let myself drift from God; the only prayers I said during those couple years were for my ex’s benefit; I would pray that he would have a good day, that he would do well on his test, that he would start being nicer to me. I was angry at myself for allowing my life to be consumed by someone else, but all the while wishing with every fiber of my heart, soul, mind, and body that he would realize he did love me, after all.
The next four days were the lowest point in my life. I felt like half of me had died, like my world had been ripped apart and my heart was stolen from my body. I wasn’t even a person during those days, I was completely defeated. I couldn’t eat or sleep. I couldn’t laugh or smile. I was a ghost.
I knew I screwed up. I hated myself for letting myself love someone that much. I hated myself for allowing someone else to become my entire world. I hated myself for putting a boy above God and my family. Nothing in the world could make me feel better. I couldn’t even ask my best friend to come over and console me, because he was it. I did the only thing I could think to do. I prayed. I prayed. I prayed.
A week went by and I did eventually make it out of bed. I was able to eat again, and even smile every once in awhile. I missed my ex boyfriend every single second, but I also knew that I deserved someone better, even though I still sometimes wanted to settle for less if it meant I could have him.
He was intertwined into every fiber of myself and my life. Every minute I thought of something new about him and us, and I was terrified because I knew one day I would forget all of the little reasons why I loved him. And I did love him, and still do love him. But now I know that it wasn’t right. No matter how much I wanted it to be, and honestly, still want it to be.
In the deepest point of my sorrow I found love. I found more love than I ever could have imagined existed. A kind of love that I used to dream about. I found it in a bible verse. It’s the verse everyone memorized when they were a little kid in Vacation Bible School or at Sunday School before snack time.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son. That whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). I’ve been able to recite this for over 10 years, without ever really giving it much thought. But while I was crying myself to sleep one night and wishing things were different I did something I hadn’t done in years.
I read my bible. I read for hours, the complete books of Matthew and John, two accounts of Jesus’ entire life. I laughed for the first time in a week at something Jesus said in the scriptures (he really is a funny guy). I felt better.
My whole life I’ve wanted the love story, to find someone who will accept me and never let me down. It took my heart getting broken and my world falling apart to understand that I’ve had the love all along. Even when I was pushing God away and putting him last in my life, all he wanted me was for me to come home. He never turned his back on me like I did to him. He wanted to be my friend and my father.
I still miss my ex every day. I still cry sometimes and wish things were different, but I’m working on it. I learned who I was again. I’m a romantic, I’m an optimist, a painter, and a friend. I love animals and to make people smile. I feel so blessed for everyone in my life, and that God pulled me out of a bad situation, even while I begged him every night to bring my ex back to me.
God’s plans are greater than all of the desires in this world, and He only wants the best for all of us because he loves us even though we don’t deserve for him to. I’m hopeful for my future. I really am.