Wanting to be more than a friend
This past week I've finally gotten around to updating this journal with observations and bible-study notes going all the way back to 2003 (the "latest entry" on the site at the moment is from April 2003). Ack. i have to say that one thing that I find interesting and somewhat distressing are the number of issues that I was dealing with in '03 that I'm still dealing with two years later. Actually, having read my journals going all the way back to 1987 it's downright frightful the number of issues that seem to consistently reach the point where I need to write about them. Ugh. I know that the experiences of the past two years have changed me and I'm not necessarily the same person that I was then and most definitely am operating under different assumptions and beliefs than I did back in '87. That may not necessarily be a good thing in that the journey is not always one that takes us in an "upward" positive direction.
Case in point, though it's been a very long time in coming, as of last Wednesday (8/3/05) I am no longer seeing the woman whose love originally inspired me to bridge the various parts of my life together such that I renewed my relationship with God. Needless to say, this "break-up" has caused a lot of soul searching. By way of explanation, because of the amount of time it's taking for her divorce and the pressures she's enduring she's chosen to treat our relationship as essentially a friendship and has, for the most part, been emotionally unavailable to me for quite some time. In that our relationship began as a friendship and because I understand how much she's needs a friend to talk to, I had endeavored to be that friend for her.
Funny thing is that when I'd hit that wall where I was just not getting back anything from her, when there was no sense that she loved me the same way that I loved her, I got all tangled up with the thought about how much Jesus loved me regardless of whether I even acknowledge His existence. I mean, for all those long years when I lived my life with no thought about God, He still loved me. And so I tried to dig a little deeper and find a way to quiet my own heart that wanted to be touched by her love so that I could be the friend that she wanted me to be. Time after time, insult after insult, I never lost sight of the rationale behind her behavior and held onto the belief that this would eventually pass and she would get to the place where she could openly acknowledge our love and let it flow the way it seemed to in the beginning.
Eventually, however, I had to face the facts that even though God waited over 15-years for me, I'm not God and my heart cannot go unacknowledged forever and had already borne this burden for far too long. So, last week we confessed what we already knew about the relationship/friendship and we decided to end it. It was a long time coming, and having been without her real love for some time it almost felt anti-climactic. When it was clear that I couldn't be just her friend and she did not feel like she was in a position to be more than a friend to me, she reached over and gently kissed me on the cheek, then stepped into her car and said without looking at me, "I'm okay." Then she drove away.
I have never known a love that has so changed my life but has in turn left me so empty for so long. It'll be a while, but hopefully not too long, before my heart recovers from it's starvation. I used to get mad at God when my love life would go down in flames. I couldn't understand why He'd let something like this happen. I remember feeling like I'd done everything "right" and still found myself on the outside looking in and getting so angry because I wanted so badly to have that love in my life. I don't know if I'm just numb from it ending, or in denial that it's really over. But I do know that I can't blame God for the way things happened or why I still feel so empty when all I wanted to do was give my love to her. I know why it turned out this way, but it doesn't take away the emptiness or hurt. And as it is going to take me some time before I can imagine trusting another with my heart, it's also going to take some time before I'm going to feel entirely free to just let myself go with my relationship with the Author of Love. I am wounded right now, and it's going to take me some time before .... well, I can't imagine loving again as I have over the past few years, but I have to hold on to some hope that I will have love again in my life. JBB