Not a Hallmark Ending...
Beautiful Younger Soul,
It feels like you’re living in a Hallmark® movie. You are the girl that goes back home after being away for several years and sees her high school sweetheart, only to realize that she is still in love with him and he is in love with her! The two lovebirds look at each other with loving and yearning eyes and as in every Hallmark movie, the distance and “a problem” make it difficult for the couple to be together. But alas, they manage; the couple finally kiss and they live happily ever after. WRONG.
I thought I would get my Hallmark ending just like you, but I was wrong. Young soul, let me tell you my story…
I loved him since the first day I saw him when I was just 13 years old. He came to church with his mom and I thought he was dreamy. He had the bad boy look and reputation, and I couldn’t help but think he was cute. I watched him from afar at school and at church. I thought he had a crush on my older sister because he would talk to her all the time so I always kept my distance. For reasons that have nothing to do with my story, I stopped seeing him at school or at church, he vanished. I had just started my junior year in high school, when he came back to church. Unfortunately, he wasn’t alone; he had a partner and baby boy. I didn’t care because I was interested in someone else. During that time, he left his partner, but I was still not interested. Time went by and at the beginning of my senior year in high school, he began courting me and I was thrilled. After nine months of courtship, I said YES! He was my first boyfriend. He gave me my first kiss. I was head-over-heels for him. What happened next, most people would think only happens in the movies, but it happened to me.
My family and I went back to our country to renew our visas. But due to some bureaucratic problems (which I will tell you all about in another letter), we were denied entry back into the country. I was devastated. Not only did I lose my home and my dream to go to university, but I lost the love of my life. I was leaving him behind. I moved to another country and we tried long distance for a year, but it was horrible and hard so after a year, we parted ways. Even though we promised not to talk to each other, he always kept reaching out and I always gave in because deep down, I loved him. We spent years like that until I finally put a stop to it. He later found someone else and moved on. When I found out that he was dating someone, I was heartbroken, but I knew I had to let him go and move on. I tried dating, but it never worked out and after every first date, I ended it. Years went by and I stayed single.
Seven years later, I got the chance to go back and visit my sisters for Christmas. We didn’t get to see each other, but he heard that I had come for Christmas so he reached out. We started talking again. I’m not going to lie, I was happy and excited to talk to him again. I decided to go back and visit my sisters (and him) for my birthday. Honestly, I was nervous, but when I saw him, I knew right then and there that even after eight years of not seeing him, I still loved him just like I did so many years ago. We kept talking on a daily basis and even through the distance, he would send me flowers, and even food, to work. He was wonderful. We decided that we loved each other and we couldn’t throw our love away so we tried the long-distance relationship in the hopes of being together again.
After a few months of dating again, he convinced me and paid for me to come for Thanksgiving. We spent Thanksgiving morning going to our favorite place, a pedestrian bridge in another town and walking around the small and intimate city. We talked, we laughed, we were in love and I was the happiest girl on Earth. On our way back to my sister’s house, he blindfolded me and told me he had a surprise for me. He told me all the reasons he loved me and how, after so many years, he still loved me even more than the first time he met me when we were just kids. He helped me out of the car and took me by the hand, and that’s when I heard it. It was Bruno Mars’ song “Marry You” playing in the background. He took the blindfold off and I was surrounded by family and friends. My sisters had decorated the backyard with candles and rose petals. There were flowers, a lantern and a table with a sign that said “God gave me YOU”. I was standing inside a heart shape lit with candles and he was on one knee asking me to marry him. I was so happy and whole-heartedly said “YES”! This was my Hallmark movie! I couldn’t have asked for more.
After celebrating, hugging and all, we all went inside for the engagement/Thanksgiving dinner. I couldn’t eat so I took a few minutes for myself and went to the backyard. I was happy, but deep inside of me I thought “God, it shouldn’t be like this, this can’t be it.” Tears rolled down my cheeks. He eventually found me and asked me what was wrong. I told him I didn’t want to leave him behind again and we should be together. He hugged me tight against his chest. The sound of his heartbeat soothed and comforted me. A few days later, I had to leave and my heart ached again. Why did we have to be so far away? We couldn’t just move. Because we lived in two different countries, moving would involve more than just a moving truck, it involved immigration. We didn’t let that stop us from planning our wedding and our future together though.
By New Years, we decided he was moving to my country. It was easier for him to move. At the beginning of the year, my church had a corporate fast and we began to fast together asking the Lord for guidance in our plans and for Him to open the doors for my fiancé to move here. To be honest, I had made my fast all about my fiancé. He was in my every prayer and every thought. I woke up and went to bed thinking of him. He was my everything. I even put my family aside for him. Halfway through the fasting, the Lord asked me to fast “him”, my fiancé. I panicked, asked “Why?” and decided not to listen. You might want to know, “how did you know it was God?” I don’t know how to answer that, but the best way to explain it is by a gentle nudge in the heart. It’s a thought that is constantly there and although it might sound scary and overwhelming, it is peaceful. I couldn’t ignore this nudge in my heart so I told my fiancé that we had to stop talking and that I needed time to be alone and pray. It was hard to stop talking to him and some days, it felt like I wasn’t going to make it. A week before my fasting ended, God whispered something new into my heart, something that changed the course of my Hallmark story. He asked me to give up my fiancé. When I got that prompting, I broke down and kept saying “NO”. I couldn’t do that. God was literally asking me to break my own heart by giving up the love of my life. Why would He do that? Why would God be so mean? Why would He want me to break my own heart? Hadn’t we had enough with the long distance? Hadn’t we survived years of being far away? Why? Why? Why?
Now, you find yourself at this painful crossroad. The pain that you’re feeling at this moment feels like a stab in the heart. It feels like the knife cuts deep inside of you and someone is twisting it inside until your heart rips into pieces. There is actual pain in your chest and there are not enough tears to cry. You end up curled up on the floor asking and begging God not to make you do it. To keep the love of your life, you make all kinds of promises to God, but every time you hear “give him up”. You tried convincing yourself that it’s the devil telling you to give him up, but you know it’s not the devil. You finally tell God that you will give up your love only if He will show you an “undeniable sign”, because you can’t do it. You can’t break your own heart.
You know the phrase, “be careful what you wish for”? Well, be careful because you might just get exactly that. The next day, after my defeated heart asked for the “undeniable sign”, it happened in a way that broke my heart even more. I won’t go into details, but the “undeniable sign” was too much to ignore. Now, it’s time to make that choice, the time for you to step out in faith and trust that God has your best interest in His heart and mind. Proverbs 3: 5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths”. Trusting God is hard and at times, you will doubt that it was the right choice. You will eventually realize that it was a good choice and all that pain and suffering was worth it.
Your story might not have a Hallmark ending, but it will have a better ending. The greatest Writer is writing and crafting a beautiful story for your future. Maybe in the future God will let you know why you had to break your heart. In my case, He told me I loved my fiancé more than I loved Him. God is a jealous God and He didn’t want me to forget Him. The process of learning is painful, but it’s worth it. Trust God and He will make your path straight. This is not the end of your story, God is still writing it. His love stories are better than all the Hallmark movies put together. Don’t give up. Hang in there, you can do it.
Older & Much Wiser You
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths”.
Proverbs 3: 5-6