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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Lens Through Which I See

I love to take photos!  The image I can capture through the camera lens is controlled and focused to create the mood and tone that I want.  In real life, I'm not always aware of how my history, experiences and expectations filter events to skew what is actually happening.  So when Mr. Wonderful brought up valid concerns and fears about our relationship, I heard it through the lens of my own history.  I heard, "This is too hard and you're not worth the effort."  After he shared his thoughts, I genuinely thought he must be so relieved and that I would never see him again.  And it hurt. so. badly.

Let me be clear, this is not what Mr. Wonderful was saying.  This is what I heard through the lens of my own past wounds and experience. When he contacted me the very next morning, I was just shocked.  Going more than a week without seeing him was downright painful.  Even worse than the physical separation was the emotional distance and realizing that I may have lost my very best friend.  He gets me in a way few have before.  The void was real and almost tangible.  Oh, I managed to function - even to laugh and smile after the first couple of days.  I even stepped out of my comfort zone and went out with some friends to place I don't normally frequent and earned several amusing stories and a pick-up line I will forever use in jest.  I stayed busy, but my heart was broken.

Realizing that I had to let him go was a challenge and drove me to once again release every aspect of my life to God's plan.  Oh how I hate that I have to keep re-learning how not-in-control I am.  My mind had a hard time concentrating and not dwelling on what I loved about Mr. Wonderful.  I made a conscious effort to pray each time I longed for him or ached over a memory.  I prayed that God would help me to trust Him, because I was not.  I wanted Mr. Wonderful, I wanted my plan.  I prayed that God would give Mr. Wonderful wisdom, clarity and confidence as he considered what he wanted and what God may have for his own future.  I may have prayed that Mr. Wonderful missed me as much I missed him and didn't want to spend another day without me ... that his children would feel strangely and sweetly compassionate toward my own.  It's true that I pouted a bit and felt angry that God would dangle someone that I could love so truly before me only to snatch him away.  Eventually, accepted that Mr. Wonderful is a free man and gets to make his own choices about the kind of life he wants. 

Mr. Wonderful and I only went one actual day without contact.  I have learned to appreciate his honesty and willingness to be vulnerable with his fears/concerns - even when they negatively affect me.  I discovered that more than my own desires, I want him to be happy.  I don't want to complicate or cause trouble in his life.  In a weird, 'That's how it works way," we're closer.  I do not want to be without him in my life, but I've reset myself to know that God will take care of me either way.  Another things I've learned is that I can love again.  I want to be in relationship with someone who shares my values and goals.  In a strange way, I don't believe God would give me heart and desire to love this way without fulfilling it at some point in my future.
With Mr. Wonderful, there are still no promises of forever.  I hold him and our relationship much more loosely.  I know he would never intentionally hurt me, but the possibility is ever present.  It's part of being close to someone.  This reality causes me to check myself often to make sure I'm depending on the Lord for my future and my esteem. 

Today, I'm so very thankful that Mr. Wonderful and I remain close.  He still calls me his girlfriend and is making intentional efforts to know my children and bring our families together.  Yes, it opens me up to more potential heartache.  Yes, I'm willing to take the risk.  He is so worth it.

What makes risk worth it to you?  Has your past affected the way you view your present?