Love Changes, God Doesn’t.

So I’ve been reflecting on the Will of God… okay, that’s a crappy way to start a post, huh? Let me be real…

I spent two hours on the phone with a really dear friend of mine the other night, and I’m always astounded when we talk. God has been so intentional about using this relationship to bless me.

He really knows how to bring the perfect people into our lives at the perfect times.

As we talked she encouraged me, celebrated with me, cheered me on, challenged me, and even ended the conversation by praying  for me. We talked about what was new, how God had been moving in both of our lives, the changes happening in and around us, what the future was bringing, how our families have been, how old friends were, our struggles, our victories, and how God has been meeting every need in the midst of everything. We both expressed quite a bit of joy at having been able to talk to each other after not having an opportunity recently, and it was obviously motivating for both of us. I love her, and I’m convinced that even as things continue to change, we’re gonna be close friends throughout our lifetimes.

Did I mention that she’s my ex-girlfriend?

Not only is she my most recent ex, but she’s engaged to a good friend of mine and is going to be getting married within the next year. This isn’t just another girl I dated either, I thought I’d be marrying her in another year, seriously. I’d saved up a good bit of money to do so too (I’m just glad that I didn’t get the chance to buy a ring, that would’ve sucked lol). I don’t have a bunch of time to go into that story, but here’s the point:

I think that I love her more now than I did when we were together, but it’s in a very different way, and I think it’s amazing.

Earlier last week (before this conversation happened!) I asked a simple question that has become an extended conversation on Facebook. I had noticed that a couple of female friends of mine who had been in serious relationships and for whatever reason had moved on seemed to still retain some of the affection they had for the guy they were with. (People’s eyes never lie…) I didn’t want to be presumptuous though, so I asked for the opinions of my Facebook friends there were a lot of interesting answers, but I want to focus on a couple that really stood out to me:

Ryan Echols Nobody does…

I kind of secretly thought this in my head, but I wasn’t ready to put that on paper yet, because my research data was too personal (lol). I can say that there are girls I dated years ago that I still have some sort of special affection for. Let me say very intentionally that LOVE IS MUCH MORE THAN A FEELING. Ask anyone who has been married for at least 20 years if they always feel like they love their partner. You might be shocked at the answer.

Love is a commitment to consistently exercise grace and mercy towards someone else and to constantly seek whatever is best for them.

With that being said, those lingering feelings I have aren’t necessarily an action love that would commit me to loving them within a marriage covenant for a lifetime, but more of a fondness of the heart that makes me treasure them a little more than I might if I had never committed myself to them before. Consequently, that favor and tenderness does make me want to serve them and commit myself to protecting and providing for them, it’s just a little different now. That’s where the second comment that really struck me came in:

Quinceya Donel No.. I think that if you ever truly gave your heart to a person… your love for them never goes away…but I do believe that the love changes…

Okay, I could seriously preach 10 sermons from this conversation, but I’m trying so hard to refrain from even doing one here! The words ‘love changes’ grabbed me as soon as I laid eyes on them (so much so that when I went to find this comment, I thought it only consisted of those two words!) forcing me to really spend some time thinking on them. Personally, I have to strongly agree. That’s exactly how my conversation Friday night was. I love her, and there’s no doubt about it, but I didn’t feel the same draw to make her my wife (which is no less than God’s grace by the way!) I was sincerely happy for the advancements she was making though, and I wanted to lift her up and let her fly, I loved the stories, and valued seeing all of her growth. You can bet that if she ever calls me in need, I’ll still bend over backwards for her, and that even when she’s hurt me or made me angry, that I’ll still want what’s best for her, and work towards it to some degree. For a while, I thought that I’d lost what should’ve been a lifetime friend, but I haven’t. I’ve gained a stronger friendship, and I know now, better than I’ve ever known in my entire life what real love is.

Even as I’ve teetered on the tightrope between love and hate for the last few months, finding myself at the far reaches of both sides, I’ve always valued her. In fact, that’s why it hurt so much, I thought we had a special relationship, and for a while, I felt like I had invested so much of myself into something that hadn’t even mattered. I’m learning now that it did matter. And not just that it did, but that it does. We do have a special relationship, and though it didn’t turn out the way that either of us thought it would, God brought us together on purpose and is going to continue to use what He built for as long as He sees fit. I thought that I knew what God was doing *ahem*arrogance*ahem* and tried to cut him off at the pass only to end up hurtling off of a cliff! His plan and understanding of every situation is always so much bigger than ours! We are fools to try to anticipate what He’s doing!

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Will of God lately and truthfully, I’m glad I was wrong and that God’s the one that’s in control of all of this, not me. I’ve learned unimaginably more this way. All glory goes to God for her, her fiance, me, and my singleness! May opportunity continue to abound! :D

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