I flung myself onto my bed, defeated. It was midnight. He said he would be here at 10. I had been excited to see him all day, but he had disappointed me…again. Why did I care about him so much when all he did was hurt and confuse me? He finally texted back with some excuse. In my mind, there was no excuse for standing up a friend without so much as an “I’m not going to make it” text.
I always dreamed I would never be hurt by a guy, and I would never fall for one who was insensitive and hurtful. But my fleshly side longs for attention and acceptance more than it longs to be patient. I kept going back to him, pretending that the little happiness I got from our friendship outweighed the frustration. At this point, I wasn’t living for my Savior, Jesus. I was living for others to think I was beautiful, talented, godly, intelligent, fun, and popular—especially him. What I failed to realize is that living for other people leads to bondage, fear, and disappointment.
When that guy met another girl and discontinued our “friendship,” it did hurt. My fleshly side begged to ask, “Why does he like her more than me?” “Am I not good enough?” “Why am I hurting when he is fine?” Here I had been waiting for 19 years to meet a decent guy just when I think I did I’m suddenly left in the dust. In situations like that, it’s hard not to harbor anger and regrets.
BUT GOD in His infinite beauty and love and redemption didn’t desert me throughout all of this whole process. In fact, the morning before I got that text, he very directly spoke to my heart, “You need to let go, he is going to hurt you.” My mental response was probably something along the lines of “Oh yeah, God, I know he will probably hurt me eventually, but I want to hold on for a little while longer.” Even in the midst of my stupidity and selfishness, God wanted to prepare me and draw me back to His heart. He wanted to restore my heart and my identity in Him for His glory and my good. He is all the good that is within me. Even though there was (and still is) a battle of the flesh and the Spirit going on in my heart and mind, I can rest knowing that He is victorious forever and always. He has declared me whole and new. He continually speaks, “Trust me, beloved.” He knows what He is doing even when I don’t, and I have to rest in His Sovereignty.
While society pursues worldly acceptance and attention, I have found it “meaningless…a pursuit of the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1). Is it still hard to be rejected? Yes. Is it still hard when others get what you want? Yes. Is it still hard to be patient? Definitely! But God never called us to a life of ease. It is in the moments of emotional exhaustion that we desire His healing most, and He is ready and willing to give it. We just need to ask.
Looking back on life, we all have regrets and missteps. Sometimes we don’t understand why things are the way they are. But as David Crowder’s song declares, “I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves.” He DOES love you! No matter what you’ve been through or what you’re going through, He can bring restoration. His blood was poured out on the cross so you can be right with God again. He was raised again on the third day proving He has power over sin and death. He now offers you salvation—what a gift! His gift is the ULTIMATE love story. I can now rest in the gracious arms of my Savior knowing that He will eternally be my First Love.