I have had many people ask, "What do you call dating when you are doing it the second time around?" I really never had an answer. You don't say, "I have a boyfriend." That just sounds too juvenile. I finally decided that the best way to put it is that I am seeing someone.
For the last six weeks I have been seeing someone. One of the greatest gifts that he gave me is laughter. I have experienced tremendous suffering this year. There is a great line in the song "Held." It says, "We're asking why this happened to us who have died to live." Back in January I felt as if I had died, but yet I was still alive. I did not laugh. I could not laugh. Finally, over time, God began to restore that which I thought was broken beyond repair. This summer I found myself laughing again, and it felt really good. Then, in late September, I met David. He was the "icing on the cake." I found that not only could I laugh with my friends; I could also laugh with a special man.
Along with giving me the gift of laughter, he made me feel beautiful. When I walked into the room, he would light up. For someone who has experienced rejection, I cannot tell you what that means. I have so many friends who have loved me deeply through my divorce. One night when I had hit absolute rock bottom, the husband of one of my best friends looked at me dead in the eyes and said, "You are a beautiful woman. Don't you ever forget that." It is nice to hear it from family and friends or even my precious students. But here is the thing. As wonderful as it is to hear it from these people, you still feel as if they are supposed to say it. It was a completely different feeling hearing it from David. Not only did I hear it, but I saw it in his eyes as well.
The greatest gift that David gave me was hope in future relationships. I thought that I would never feel romantically for another man again. Through dating David I learned that I could hold hands with another man and feel completely comfortable. I could cuddle up on the couch and watch a tear jerker movie and cry my eyes out while he held me and feel totally at ease. I honestly thought that I could never be in another relationship. David showed me that it is possible; and not only is it possible, it can be great and fun.
I am sure that you don't have to be an English teacher to pick up on the fact that I have been using past tense. David and I are no longer seeing each other. We are still friends. I am sitting here smiling as I think about him. I have said from the very beginning of this blog that everyone's journey is different. I have come to believe that ever so strongly. While there may be pieces and parts that others traveling their journey can identify with, no one is going to take the exact same journey that I take. I realized a couple of weeks ago that we seemed to be on different pages with the feelings that we had for one another. Let me stop here and say that I think this is completely normal in relationships. I absolutely believe with all my heart that sometimes feelings in relationships develop at different speeds. There is nothing wrong with that. However, for my journey, that is not a place where I can be and feel safe. This year I was faced with the fact that someone whom I loved with my whole heart, soul and being did not feel the same way about me. In my unplanned journey, I just cannot be in a relationship where we are not at the same place. I know that loving again is about taking chances; however, I cannot take the chance that six months down the road, I will be head over heels about someone whose feelings just never made it to that point. I have to protect myself from that unnecessary pain.
I would be lying now if I said that I don't feel any pain. My heart is sad, but I am okay. You see, my heart is resting in the hands of God. He is holding me ever so safely and securely in the palm of His hand. I am more assured than ever that He has a perfect plan for my life. While I am sad, I trust God with all my heart, soul, and mind. I know that what He has for me is perfect. It would be very easy for me just to stay in the relationship because it feels good to have someone fill that void. But, while that would be easy, it would not be best for me. For a few weeks, I trusted my heart to a very good man. He took very good care of it, and for that I will forever be grateful. I will always believe that God sent David to me to show me that there can be life after divorce and that life can be really good. He will always hold a special place in my heart for that. But now I must place my heart safely in God's hands.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (New Living Translation)
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."