I’ve had my experience with waiting. The dreaded word in this instant gratification culture. Waiting seems like a foreign thing when there seems to be an “app” for everything. The wait is the long line before the anticipated “roller coaster ride.” Although sometimes the line, the wait, seems to be a roller coaster in and of itself. Even though it may not seem like it at the time.
I’ve really come to dread the word. It’s not a fun word. It usually means moments of loneliness and discontentment at times. It means not getting what you deeply desire when you feel like you need it, or more selfishly think you deserve it.
I’ve waited for a relationship for a long time. Twenty-two years to be exact. I was never a casual dater and I never dated through high school and college. I had friends and I had a few interests, but never anything serious. I had been asked on dates from a few guys, but always turned them down, gently I hope. I didn’t feel ready. I didn’t feel like I had a connection beyond friendship with the few who did ask me out. If I’m honest, the majority of my time through high school and college I was simply ignored by the opposite sex.
While my closest friends were in and out of relationships and their calendars were filled with date nights, mine was sadly blank. Yes, it bothered me at times. There were many lonely nights, journaling nights while tears gathered and I wondered if anyone would ever be interested in me – or moreover if I would ever be interested in anyone romantically – and the ever growing dream that the person I would hopefully one day love would love me back in return.
And then, ironically, when I least expected it, there was this guy.
It wasn’t an immediate attraction. He was the brother of one of my guy friends. Not someone that I would figure for my “type.” But, then something changed. I changed. I became open to the idea, after shutting up my heart after getting just close enough to the fire of rejection. The barriers slowly peeled back during that summer.
The summer that I ever so fondly refer to as “the beginning.”
We did things as friends. A close knit group, we were. We had many adventures: Disney trips, beach trips, pool parties, game days, lunch and dinner gatherings, movie marathons, midnight showings…and slowly, ever so slowly, I started to see this once quiet guy in a whole new way.
So, began, a new season of waiting. I am a firm believer that the man is the leader and initiator in a relationship, that it is his God-given right. While I was aware of my heart’s shifting desires from friendship to something more, I was at a loss to his feelings. He was extremely friendly, but my over analyzing brain couldn’t figure if it was an “I really like you” friendliness or just a simple friendly gesture. It was the girl’s dilemma at its finest.
And then – he asked me out. (Que girlish excitement and squeals 🙂
And it was the beginning of another wait. Because the silly boy waited to ask me out the night he was leaving for three weeks of Annual Training. Those three weeks seemed like they were never going to end. I shifted from the anxious extremes of wondering if he was going to change his mind to the excitement over which dress I was going to wear for our first date – my first real official date. As I checked every passing day off in my journal the day I had so long awaited was upon me…and I was nervous out of my mind. We were friends, yes, but I feared we were too alike and that we wouldn’t have anything to talk about.
I figured if it turned out badly, I’d be home by 9. And yet 10 passed. 11 passed. I didn’t get home until midnight. And we talked the entire time. It was by far the best date I could have ever dreamed of. It surpassed my dreams.
And I realized then, all those lonely nights, were worth it.
So, here we are. A month from my precious Hawk’s deployment and we have come so far and have gotten so close in the past six months of officially dating. I have a “promise to wait for me” ring to prove it. We have plans for each other. Plans for a life together when he returns. And it is so exciting. He was definitely worth the wait.
Yet – another wait is ever so coming near. A new wait. A long wait. A year wait. A year of separation. I would be lying if I said I didn’t selfishly sometimes think that I’ve waited enough. That I have already had my turn at this dreaded “waiting” game…that isn’t really a game at all. But then I remember, that he was worth the wait then, and he is worth the wait now.
I’ve waited practically my whole life for someone like Hawk. For a man who genuinely loves Christ and loves me. Who writes me love letters about our future together and gives me a ring with a promise of talking about getting me another ring when he gets home. I’ve waited for someone like that – for him, my entire life. So what is one more year? A year and then a life with him? That’s nothing. Nothing at all. While I’m not discrediting that I’m going to have bad days (I actually was a sobbing mess last night), I know in my heart of hearts that God has a plan for us, and evidently this plan includes this deployment. And I am trusting Him. I’m trusting that He will see us through and comfort us and encourage us and bring us to a better place, a stronger place in our relationship. Because God writes love stories that are meant to last.
I’m still not a fan of waiting. Not. At. All.