At some point during the dreaded seventh grade year, I broke up with my very first “beau” via a post it note, vibrantly taped on the front of his locker for all the world to see. Since then, I’ve learned a few things on love, relationships, boys, and most importantly, a million other ways to break up with someone, all which would have been infinitely better than my tragic 13-year-old mistake.
I am wiser now, past the stage of post it notes, braces, and ill-fitting clothes on an awkward, lanky body. This below happened just the other day.
We talked just briefly.
I read his body language, and instantly began judging the length of our conversation and comparing it to countless other conversations with countless other ones who triggered all the same feelings that he did. How full of lazy, meaningless, painful small talk it was. When did small talk become this way? Wasn’t it originally at some point or another meant to mean something? Didn’t all talk, all words, used to have purpose and meaning and passion behind them? Aren’t words designed to stir something up in your soul that makes you think? All I hear is empty, empty, empty. All I feel is empty, empty, empty. I walk home alone, empty, empty, empty because no footsteps echo next to mine. My hands clutch my books or swing anxiously open from my sides, empty, empty, empty. I come back to a room, empty, empty, empty. No one to curl up next to, to erase the hard things in life, the sad things in life, my bed is empty, empty, empty. My heart follows as if to the hum drum beat emp-ty, emp-ty, emp-ty. There is no other presence but my own it seems, it often feels so empty. A constant void that started as a tiny hole after the post-it note incident and grew and grew and grew, heartache to heartbreak and back again. A gaping crater in the old t-shirt of life and loves past.
Meanwhile, I have perfected the art of turning the corner. It stems from a love affair with romantic stories and books and films but starts with a hope. A hope so embedded in and derived from the love displayed so beautifully in these films, novels, passed down stories. It stems from replaying the simplistically beautiful story of how my parents met to the innocent start of the love between George Bailey and Mary Hatch. These things have instilled a vision of love that seems quintessential, a vision unique to every person. How desperately we all want our own, poetically exquisite love story, one that we can’t help but beam when we repeat it over and over in our heads and endlessly tell our friends, our children, our grandchildren, our neighbors, every rooftop, the tops of mountains.
With this predisposition anchored deeply in our minds, in our hearts, in our souls, we turn the corner. We turn the corner and replay every iconic scene of boy meets girl in our head. We desperately yearn for this to be the corner, this to be the moment, this next pair of eyes to be the one’s. If you’re a hopeful romantic such as myself, you dream of wedding dresses and imagine breathtaking dates and picking out children’s names all starry-eyed, all in the 4.7 seconds it takes to round that corner. And then, you are crushed. There is no one there or worse, there is someone that you’ve seen around the bend before that you know has not rounded that corner in search of you.
Do you ever feel like you’re different from everyone else? Like others don’t think the same way you do or feel the way you do and even if your closest friends sometimes feel the way you do and sometimes think the same way you do, that there still isn’t one single specific person who feels everything the way you do, and thinks about things the same way you do? Not thinking about the same things or feeling the same things in some sort of telekinetic sync, no thinking in the same way about all kinds of different things, and connecting, connecting in a way where all of the things you are talking about and all of the things he is talking about make sense. It could be “what goes on in the mind of an inventor?” to “what do you think Mary loved most about Jesus?” and you would still connect and just “get” each other.
This. This is what we strive to find, what we ultimately desire, what is deep in our hearts, crying out to every decent-looking man we see around every corner. The more corners we turn, the closer we are, yet the farther we feel once that corner is turned. Does he exist? we begin to question. Does he know where I am? Am I a part of his thoughts? How soon til we meet? How will I know? What will I do if he is not in the cards? If he is not in my plan?
He, Name above all names, knows. He has conquered death, there is no fear He cannot vanquish. He is writing your love story and mine, take heart! Take heart for He is yours and you, His and He will lead you.
He will lead you around every corner. Even if you feel that for the love of all things good you can’t bear to turn another corner, to let another false hope come sweeping over you, to muster up the courage to talk to one more stranger that you so desperately desire to be “the one”… let Him lead you. Keep turning corners, and with His help, he will be waiting around the corner thinking in the same way about you that you have been thinking about him. And he will be feeling all of that hope and heartbreak and desire towards finding you, that same hope and heartbreak and desire you have had trying to find him. And only through the grace of God can we find him, because God knows exactly which corner he is waiting around.