When God Tells You He’s the One, but He Tells You He’s Not

Falling for you felt like slow motion and warped speed all at once.

It actually reminded me of the time when I was seventeen and a firetruck crashed into the side of my little white Honda. The crunch of metal around me felt slow, yet my body was flung just fast enough for me to experience my life flashing before my eyes.

I remembered all the beauty and sadness and regret and joy I had ever experienced in just a single flash of a second. An indescribable sensation, quickly replaced with shooting pain through my ribs.

You must have been some kind of upside down car crash,

Because when I met you the exact opposite occurred.

You crashed into me, 

and I saw the future.

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I saw all the love and quiet moments of joy my life would contain in the flash of a second.

Our eyes met, I slowly blinked. The inside of my eyelids became a canvas.

Flash.

It was my wedding day. My hair was dark, my body strong, my smile was infectious. With a confidence that I knew I had yet to experience, and a feeling of God I had yet to comprehend. I knelt to kiss a small child who played with the hem of my white dress. 

Flash.

I saw my own family. Story time. Baseball games. A rainstorm in North Carolina.

Flash.

I opened my eyes.

And there you were smiling back at me. Your dark hair was beautiful and messy like your heart.

And the strongest sense of peace filled mine.

I was immediately awkward and inappropriate, I was immediately myself with you.

That day we drove to Malibu with the windows down and our wounds on full display. Up the canyon with the wind making our hair wild, like our plans to pack our bags and catch a plane and never look back. I showed my scars and you showed yours, and for the first time in my life I saw a man of God who understood the pain I knew when God had let my father break my heart and I wondered if God loved me at all. The perfect combination of faith and understanding, when before I had always known one or the other.

That night we fell asleep in each other’s arms, kissing the way I had always wanted to be kissed. With respect and gentleness and the hidden suggestion of fire.

In the morning, you left with plans to see the world, and I stayed with my plans to build my own.

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A few weeks later, I spent Christmas Eve wrapped in your arms next to a singing Christmas Tree. Your house smelled like family, a distinct scent I knew I recognized but had forgotten. The lights cast this warm pink glow upon your living room and you touched my face so gently I thought I might break in half.

Flash.

I saw an infinite Christmas. Years of warm lights and uncomfortable family get-togethers and children sleeping soundly as they awaited the promise of a morning filled with love and food and presents. Falling asleep next to the Christmas tree, with my husband’s arms wrapped around me and his nose grazing the back of my neck.

Flash.

“Close your eyes,” I said to you.

I closed my eyes like the shutter of a camera, capturing the perfection that was you.

I closed my eyes like the shutter of a camera, capturing the perfection that was you.

Why?” You asked.

“Because we don’t often realize we are in a perfect moment until it is over. And I don’t want you to miss it.”

You closed your eyes and I closed mine. Like the shutter of a camera, I captured the perfection that was you.

And then you walked me to your door and kissed me goodbye.

Looking back, I saw you pull away from me as my car pulled away from you.

But I was too high on an infinite Christmas to notice.

I saw you pull away, as I pulled away from you.

I saw you pull away, as I pulled away from you.

Your calls became more distant.

And I became a slave to my phone.

For as you slipped away, the peace within me did too.

 

Falling into old insecurities and questions on love.

But trying so desperately to show you mine was sincere.

This awkward dance between giving you love the way you wanted through

Space. Time. Patience. Restraint.

And giving you love the way you deserved through

Honesty. Intimacy. Vulnerability.

An unconditional wave crashed over me, and I swear I never once felt just my own love for you,

But I felt God’s love for you, mixed with my own.

Waiting for you felt infinite.

Waiting for you felt infinite.

Our paths crossed once more when you came to town and took me to the cliffs of Palos Verdes.

Waiting for you to pick me felt like an infinite Christmas.

Only this time I was a small child, hoping Santa wouldn’t forget.

Not again.

Not again.

Not again.

The hours spent with you that day moved in slow motion in my mind. The boy with the beautiful smile and the messy heart felt like a foggy memory, even with you standing there in front of me.

Your walls were as high as the cliffs we kissed upon.

And as I took a step towards you to close the distance between us, I realized that was the farthest apart we would ever be.

You could travel the whole world, and no path would take you farther from me. The Great Wall of China couldn’t compare to the wall you had around your heart.

And yet still I was so sure.

So sure that when you drove away from me, I gave you my heart wrapped in brown paper with gentle words to remind you that when you were ready, the love that you were, awaited you.

And then you were gone.

And then you were gone.

And then you were gone.

In the weeks following, I asked God how this could be.

How could that much tenderness live within me, and not live within you?

How could God show me my future, only to watch it drive away that night?

How could someone feel so familiar and divine, only to become a stranger?

There were so many signs and feelings that I could have chosen you forever.

But in the end I learned, that God is a God of ideas.

And that each person who crosses our path that isn’t "The One," is the idea of the one.

For there are no accidents. Only ideas trying to find us.

And you were the most beautiful idea I had ever seen.  Perhaps the idea of you was one possible reality, had your path aligned with mine. For a moment in time, I was your mirror and you were mine. For you reflected to me a faith I had forgotten, and I reflected back a love you had lost faith in.

For a moment, we were soulmates.

But the moment you decided that you didn’t want me, you no longer were my soulmate. The universe shifted in the way it does every time we decide. The universe respects our agency as much as it respects God’s. For our ability to decide is what makes love really love. Love is not a feeling, it’s a daily decision. Love is choosing.  Love is two people choosing.  And to keep you trapped in an idea that you didn’t choose, would not be love.

My reality of love is not my own.

Love is a divine co-creation of choice.

A co-creation between two people, and a co-creation with God.

All three of us share the divine calling to co-create that love.

I set you free.

I set you free.

And so, I set the idea of you free, but kept the love you sparked within me.

Taking tender care of that love each day,

For the idea of you, that will One day choose me.

For “The One” is a name you gift in retrospect to “The One” you choose,

and the one who chooses you too.

Love is a choice.

Love is a choice.

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