…dawn was streaming in my window
I felt like I hadn’t even slept as I hit rewind on the hours that just passed. My mind was trying to start the rationalizing and debates of what direction might this be headed while my heart said hush, just enjoy the time. A good morning text chimed in to interrupt my trail of thinking. “Had a great time, was just thinking of you. Off to breakfast with my daughter now.” (heart~1, head~0)
By that afternoon my body begged me to rest. I decided a nap would replenish me. It was early evening when I unexpectedly, heard from him again. “Just woke from a much-needed nap. What are you up to?” I revealed to him I had as well. We LOL’d one another and made a plan for dinner. “My place?”, he asked. My mind was reeling. The answer was of course yes. Vegetarian pizza and some old episodes of Frasier was on the menu. A perfect night in the making.
Not knowing what to think or rather trying not to think too much, an hour later, I arrived at his place. Both of us a little nervous at first, within the next hour we were eating and sharing memories of silly things. I can’t necessarily remember the content of it, but does it matter? The night soon turned to dark and we were both dozing on his oversized, sectional couch. Here we go again, it was after midnight and neither of us wanting the night to end.
“Let’s go to bed.” A phrase I commonly heard at this point in my few relationships of the past. That was what “normal” was to me. Why should this time be any different? However, I was about to find out, it was. My jeans trickled off by my own hands, while my panties remained on. He offered me a t-shirt of his, which I graciously accepted. I felt my chest pounding wondering and assuming what was coming next.
Into his oversized cal~king bed we climbed. We met in the middle, clothes intact, an arm wrapped around me, a second warm, soft kiss and a whisper, “good night.” I laid there awhile in awe of this man. So gentle and kind, am I dreaming? I told myself, this is not how this goes, is it? The battle began, I tallied it up, (heart~1, head~1) as I drifted off to sleep.
There we were, awoken my the daylight we were not ready to greet. To my amazement, our clothes were still on, as his arm found me again. “Mornin’ ” were the only words he uttered. A groan escaped my lips, “mmm hmm.” Back at it, right on cue, the challenge of my body’s nemesis was on. They were merely quiet long enough for me to sleep. (oh just shut up, my inner voice told the both of them)
At this time of my life, I had come to believe in God, but had not yet been saved. This man had been six years ago and was a faithful member to a church as well as the recovery rooms. Up until that day, I had never been involved with anyone on such a spiritual plane. He asked me early on if I was ever interested in attending a church. His back door way of inviting me. To my discomfort, I quietly declined, not knowing that had a deep effect on him. Frankly, I am certain he hadn’t realized it yet either.
After our first night, there were many more of the same. Soon we were up to three or four nights a week where I found myself pretzeled up with his body. As we explored without crossing over to a place I felt ready for, he held strong to his beliefs. At last a conversation came. This was a man who stood by his convictions about sex. He went on to share how in his life, sex hadn’t been sacred to him, but when he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, he changed his ways. His restraint was impressive to me and I wanted to know more of how he arrived there.
In getting to know him better, he divulged that he and his brother were raised by his single mom. His earthly father lived in the city, specifically in the Haight/Ashbury district back in the day. Living a life of multiple addictions. A man with no scruples in his son’s eyes, had fathered multiple children.
Devastated by this, his mom also turned to substance abuse, but by God’s mercy and grace, she found sobriety. He went on the explain how different his role became within this family of three. I learned from this man, that a son’s relationship with his mom becomes that of a protector in the absence of a father.
I was beginning to see that as truth in my own three sons. Another attractive quality of his was the utmost respect for how my sons viewed our blossoming relationship and the effects on us four. He once encouraged me to ask my youngest son, who was really the only one remaining at home, how he felt about my being gone and where I was. To my surprise, his reply was, “I just want you to be happy mom”. ((sigh and a tear or many))
Our time together remained the same yet growing with intensity while loving and tender, gentle and kind. There were hours of laughter, sharing and caring, fellowshipping and support. He quickly came to learn of my, back then, new choices of eating habits. This man was a model of fitness, playing on a men’s softball team for six years already and working out at the local MMA where he had his first competition during our time together. He was dedicated to his body; physically, mentally and spiritually. All the things I was striving for as well, a somewhat balanced triangle.
A memory sparked my heart the other day, reminding me that I am such a girl and love every bit of being one. We stood in line at the grocery store one evening, purchasing an array of healthy treats and dinner fixin’s, when I looked up to find his back to the cashier, he was just staring at me. I felt the blood rush to my cheeks as barely a sound left my lips, “what?” A grin formed on his as he leaned over to whisper in my ear, “You are so beautiful.” With a brush of a kiss upon my warm, red cheeks. I let out a sigh, still in wonder what was happening then a quick check on the scoreboard. (heart~2, head~1)
We were seemingly a good fit. Compatible, spiritually connected to a degree, both working on the broken parts of the partitions of our hearts, enjoyed each other’s company, respected the others boundaries, difficult at times lying so close on those special nights, practicing new behavior, and oh yes, fun! So what happened?
Over the somewhat brief period of time we had together, he came to the conclusion that in fact, my lack of Christianity, or at least being a strong believer, was creating a hindrance in our growing together. There was no blame involved on one or the other, but something was lacking now. This would be my first introduction to partners who are unevenly yoked. Only that time it was I who lacked the faith needed for strengthening on my end. Final tally time (heart~2, head~2)…
It was a graceful parting of ways although not what either of us really wanted, yet it felt necessary at the time. Likely more for him, story of my life, but I carried on. As most endings, time was needed to heal the emptiness that now existed and when it did, we were able to salvage our friendship. Though we didn’t spend time together anymore, our paths continued to cross in the hallway once again. He no longer warmed a seat in my room, but remained faithful in his own.
Then one day we saw each other in a new light. Both of us had moved on. I was at the beginning of something that was new to me, unsure of what was happening really so I felt fine about conversing with him. He had attempted to rekindle his prior relationship. Just as before, he realized she was still not the girl for him.
I had gone to a concert at a local vineyard one night with a girlfriend and had received two texts from these two men, each asking for some time later that evening. Choices! Oh my, what a predicament. My friend was in both disbelief and awe of it all. Excitedly she asked me, “what are you going to do?!” “I am going to dinner with you first and then I will ask God what to do!” She giggled, “I wish I had this problem!” This was a first for me. A little unsettling, but at the same time, power retrieval for all those old times I had endured in my life. These two men, unbeknownst to them were a deep part of my healing that night.
As promised, I asked God for His guidance and when I felt the peace wash over me, I knew. I made a choice to see if a reconnection was there. It was as if no time had passed, though plenty had. I was not the same girl I had been the last time we spent time together. Though his house was different, the routine we had established was the same. Immediately upon arriving on his front porch, I felt comfortable. After about an hour of catching up, to my surprise, he revealed that he was moving six hours away. Is this why the Lord had guided me here? To go back and leave again under new circumstances?
Once more I found myself in his t-shirt, my panties and his big comfy bed with all the cozy pillows and those arms that held me so safely. As we drifted off to sleep, it was clear to me that this was our final goodbye. I had no regrets or even sadness around this, I was in complete acceptance that we were exactly where we belonged.
It was summertime and he was moving ocean side where he had gone for his annual softball tournament for the last seven years by that time. I was genuinely happy for him. That Christmas he tried to coordinate time with my schedule for me to come visit for four days, but no matter how hard we tried to move things around, there was no solution. We decided to quit forcing it, then came to understand when and if the time is right, it will work out smoothly and easily. That was a few Christmases ago and now we only check in with each other once in a blue moon, or in our case during a full moon.
There were multiple lessons and growth that flourished from that relationship. He was indeed a special friend and teacher that crossed my path on this wonderful journey called life. I took every opportunity to tell him how special he was and still is to me. The amazing thing to me is, he voices the same blessings back because that is the man he has become.
How grateful I am to have found the Lord and continue to seek in Him as my number one relationship in my life for without Him, I am nothing. He is the One who has softened my heart and smoothed my edges. Through Him I have learned tolerance and contentment. He has taught me about forgiveness and love and that at the end of His day they are all that should ever matter.