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Home: From Hallelujah To Heartache… And Back Again
Sometimes, with the life I live, people who aren’t around me often ask me if I want to get married.
Well, to be clear… I do. (Pun sort of accidental)
So when I created/started a job that would have me traveling around the world visiting college-aged participants, it wasn’t likely the path for a 32 year old guy to find his wife.
But, surprisingly, in the midst of my travel, I got the opportunity to pursue something with a woman from back home harder and longer than I’ve been able to in a decade.
So when I flew home on June 2, I was excited (not just because I LOVE ‘Merica), but largely to discover where this pursuit would go from the same state.
On the day I landed, I got my answer, and it wasn’t what I wanted.
It hurt… a bunch.
…So much effort put into something and so much build up, ending at a peak of excitement and hope for me, was not how I drew up my return.
Thankfully though, true to her character, she communicated in a kind, considerate, and timely way; giving me more time to process and begin figuring out what moving forward would mean entering my busy summer.
This was the most clearly and healthily communicated back and forth I’ve probably ever had with a woman over any significant period of romantic pursuit, which was so incredibly helpful.
I’d known all along that I was playing with emotional fire perhaps. And I did get burned, but certainly not blindsided.
I counted the cost of things not going “my way” before most of my grand/kind gestures.
From my biased perspective, I “crushed it.” Certainly exceeding my previous pursuits, and I’d venture to say it could be favorably stacked up against just about any I’ve ever seen actually work out for others.
Sometimes though… it just doesn’t work out.
Sometimes you run into an emotional juggernaut.
That’s what happened here. And that’s okay.
The Way Back Again
I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to be a manifest piece of His kindness to a special person for short season.
I’m grateful to have felt more evidence to back up my belief that I can be a gift to and am worthy of a woman of the highest caliber.
I’m grateful to have been trusted to steward and be the co-guardian of my own heart along with the Lord and that worry of “leading me on” fed by good-intention wasn’t the voice she listened to most.
I’m grateful to have been able to further hone and exercise the patience, resilience, hope, and vulnerability that I hope to make me a better friend, son, and… (Lord willin) husband, father, grandfather, etc for the rest of my days.
Gratitude has become a theme in my mourning for a while now.
It’s important to mourn, because as Matthew 5 tells us, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
But beyond that, when we infuse our mourning with gratitude, we maintain a pathway to interacting with the Lord’s kindness even in the midst of our deepest valleys… and in doing so, we do what I like to call “removing the stinger out of pain.”
Yeah… it still hurts, but it loses its power to hold us back from obeying the Lord in hard things or taking big risks that could soar or crash.
The trust I’ve fortified in the Lord by infusing gratitude into my mourning has been the birthplace of any of the healthy and well-stewarded courage, resilience, hope, and patience I’ve walked in for the last several years.
Sometimes you give your best, and you lose.
There’s no way around it. That’s what happened here.
In this pursuit… I lost. But I am no victim.
(No matter what my flesh would like me to believe)
I lost, but two great people won.
I lost a woman, but I won more of the One that first pursued me.
I lost a story of what could have been, but I gained a still undefined future that I’m hopeful for.
And pain? …
It lost a little more power to hold me back from risk and obedience.
I would say… “I will rise from these ashes.” But I already have.
For as these days have passed… thanks to His loving-kindness I’ve lost the crushing weight of heartache and He’s won my way back to a deeper and deeper Hallelujah all over again!
What heartaches in your life do you need to mourn and thereby unseat with a Hallelujah? Do you believe that you’re worthy of the hard stuff you might have to process to get there?
PS… As a disclaimer… a wise man once asked me essentially… “Are there any women who might not date you because they think they might end up in a blog?” Well to be clear… I’ve let every woman I’ve ever written about give final approval over these relationship blogs. So don’t be scared… I’m not the T-Swift of the blogging world.