If this were a Word document (which it actually is on my laptop), we would be in the middle of page 29. Oh wait…I started the last part out like that, didn’t I? Well disregard then the first part of this part. Continue on to the start of the next paragraph.
Oh what changes a year can make! Today, I’m sitting in the middle of the Cincinnati airport (in Northern KY no less) literally in the middle of a 3 ½ hour layover on my way back to Dallas from seeing Ali over the last 11 days or so. This time last year I was in the process of starting to date someone else who had caught my attention. I think right now was in the middle of the internal debating stage. Feelings had been expressed and a decision needed to be made, and being the guy, I was the one who ultimately needed to make some sort of move. The debate lasted for a couple of weeks before Jill and I eventually went out on a date and things took off from there.
But not for long. The fact that an internal debate was necessary about even getting to a first date should have clued me in that by this point my heart was already committed elsewhere. The problem though for me last year is that I wasn’t quite consciously aware of this. Ali was a bit farther along in that respect than I was, but still, as of June 1st last year, neither of us were quite there yet. We had talked earlier in May as Ali was supposed to head up to Lynchburg for her sister’s graduation, but since Amber decided not to walk, there was little point in coming up for it. I had given her a hard time about it because I had really wanted to see her, but after talking then, it would be several weeks and a relationship later before we talked again.
The catalyst came when Ali and her mom were randomly talking about something, probably around late June or so, and her mom wanted to see a picture of me. Ali hopped on Facebook and pulled up my profile and to her bewilderment, noticed that it said “In a Relationship.” Having not talked since early May, Ali had completely missed out on the development of anything between Jill and I. The shock of seeing visual evidence of me with someone else was just what Ali needed to realize the gravity of her feelings for me. However, this now put her in the tough spot of having been oblivious to romantic inclinations when I was more than available, and now being painfully aware of them now that I was not. You know how the story ends, but here’s how we got there.
After gathering advice from close friends, Ali decided to pray that I would fall in love with her. Realizing thanks to her friend Dennis that this would only be selfish if she rejected the answer God gave her, she started praying somewhere around the 11/12th of July. 1200 miles away in Dallas, literally the next day, I started developing a growing anxiety about my current relational status. It was disconcerting to say the least, especially with the incredible birthday party Jill was planning for me. However, for the reason that you know now, but that I was oblivious to at the time, my heart completely changed direction inside me (not necessarily to Ali at this point, but away from Jill), and I was in quite the predicament. I had seen a lot of things I liked in Jill and was serious about pursuing her further, but due to no change on her part, I just almost immediately lost interest in pushing forward. Yet I was still committed to her and the relationship we had started. This of course produced quite a bit of internal anxiety that eventually led me to just trust that maybe it was God working in my heart to break things off and seek Him more.
And so barely a month after starting to date Jill and then pushing full steam ahead, I had to make an awkward about face and break things off. I say “had to” in the sense that the only way to have a peace in my heart was to break it off, for once the pain of the breakup subsided, there was the peace that temporarily left during the relationship with her. It makes sense now, but at the time it was quite confusing, and I’m sure I didn’t handle things the best way that I could have. It would have been nice to realize that I was already emotionally committed to someone else, but it seemed very much like it took dating someone else for me as well to realize that my heart was really already pointed elsewhere. I just didn’t know it.
The day after the break-up, Ali called me and to her surprise (and joy) she found out I had broken things off with Jill. Not only that, I was going to be headed down for a visit to Florida in a couple of weeks. She knew it was an answer to prayer. I was still trying to sort things out with the break-up and try to figure out what had happened, as well as piece my heart back together in a more God-centered way. So heading down to Florida, that was going to be my goal, getting to see Ali was just an added bonus. Or so I thought, but that’s another story entirely…