And then there was nothing….
Wait hold on, lemme give you a little more details on how we got to nothing.
So, moral of this story will be, in part, that Bennu coffee shop is not a safe place for me. Joking. Sorta. Not really though.
So August 17, (i just did some facebook message verification) Q asks me to go to coffee so we can talk. I tell him that we can talk, if he has something to say, and we start with me saying that EVERYTHING he tells me I expect him to tell his discipler, the man he’s church planting under, and as much as his family as is appropriate. I refuse at this point to have ANYTHING to do with him that I think is going to be kept secret. Because I’m holy? Nope. Just ’cause I’m tired of looking like the crazy girl. People need to know, he needs accountability. Okay maybe there was a LITTLE holiness there. But it was more than met with self-preservation.
He graciously accepts my terms.
Somewhere near the end of the conversation I ask, “Are you sure you love me? Are you sure you’re not just afraid of admitting you’ve made that big of a mistake?”
He answers by shaking his head, saying only what I’ve already known: that his feelings, as strong as they may be, are not sure. That he’s been praying for the easy way out, that I’ll fall in love with someone else (yes he actually prayed for that…and told me) so that he’d be off the hook for making promises he desperately wanted to, but simply couldn’t keep.
I cannot imagine many things more difficult for a man (a caring man who loves Jesus) to accept than that he took a heart into his hands, promised to protect it, and failed. I get why this was hard for him. I get why he wouldn’t want to be wrong. I get why it would be easier for him, maybe for everyone, if I just moved on to someone else. But that wasn’t what God had planned.
In that moment, that amazing, difficult, beautiful moment, I realized and communicated a few things:
- That “because i thought I loved you, and don’t want to go back on my word” is NOT a good reason to hang on to someone.
- That he was never truly in a position to fail me. I gave him a position where it felt that way, but he was never my protector or provider, he was just a man who hoped to someday be.
- and That he needed to let himself off the hook. I will be loved out of freedom and joy. I will NOT be loved out of obligation.
And that was it. Once it was out there, out loud, admitted, I was okay. I thought it would be horrible, to finally hear him say that it wasn’t that he couldn’t live without me, it was that he couldn’t live with the guilt, that kept him attached to me. But it wasn’t. It was as though once he said it, I could finally have compassion, finally start the kind of forgiving that would take.
And, coupled with the decision to keep from ALL contact (no phone, no blog, no facebook, no twitter, no nothin’) until December, it did take.
But all of that is just the story… and if you’re anything like me, you’re wondering what kind of parameters that meant….