I woke up this morning after a dream that was so real my heart ached. I was aching for the love of my life. It took me a couple of minutes to gather my thoughts and process my surroundings. Those were probably the longest two minutes of my life. To explain this dream to you I need to do a quick rewind of life prior to waking up this morning.
I was married at 18. Divorced by 24. I was young, naive, in denial, definitely in some sort of rebellion, and I married the wrong person. It’s as simple as that. I knew it then, knew it when I gladly got divorced, and I know it now. I neglected to involve God in my decision to marry, and had I involved him, He would have told me no. The marriage was unhappy, involved infidelity, a lot of drugs on his part, and shortly after being married, I really couldn’t stand to be around him.
While I was married, I fell in love. You can roll your eyes when I say it was love at first sight, but honestly that’s how I felt. I saw him, and it was like my heart said, “Yes, there you are! I’ve been waiting for you.” This was in no way planned, nor was it convenient.
The man I fell in love with was kind, different than most (we were so young that his behavior and the way he held himself was beyond his years), and he was a gentleman. Never crude, always gentle, he had a smile that just lit up the world. Everything about him spoke to my heart, and my heart belonged to him.
We spent a little time together, by coincidence, and knowing the same people, we would sometimes be at the same gatherings. He treated me with respect, and we even kissed a little, nothing more, and though I was married, I am still to this day, absolutely not ashamed of that. Kissing him is one of my most beautiful memories, it was how a kiss was supposed to be, soft, slow and achingly tender. It was how I deserved to be kissed and how I wanted to be kissed. My heart was sealed to his with a touch of the lips, but I was scared.
I was scared because I was barely more than a girl, scared because I felt trapped, scared because I was truly in love with someone who might not love me back, who might not want the complications that loving me would bring into his life. So, instead of telling him how I felt, I did what any rational, mature, straight thinking, young lady would do (please note the extreme sarcasm). I ran away from it all.
I ran fast. I was always good at running. I ran from my horrible mistake of a marriage, I ran from the man I fell in love with, and I ran away from the city I called home. In a fit of panic, I jumped in my junker of a car, in the middle of the night, and drove back roads all the way from the Midwest to Pensacola, Florida. I had only two thoughts, the ocean and my grandfather, the two things I felt were the most comforting to my terrified heart.
My car broke down on me halfway there, in the middle of nowhere, and I was scared and broke, I barely had enough for gas, definitely not enough for car repairs. My grandfather had no idea I was on my way, and I had no cell phone to call for help.
A man just happened to wander up, and though I was young, I was wary of being a stranded female and dealing with a stranger. This guy though, was kind-faced and had a sweet, mentally impaired son of about 15 with him. Somehow I trusted them both immediately. He fixed my car with a piece of cardboard (I’m not kidding), he wouldn’t take the few dollars I had to offer, and told me, “It’ll get you where you’re going, but not any further.” He was exactly right. It got me to the beach before it sputtered out for good. This man in his overalls simply just wandered back out of sight, and to this day, I swear he was an angel. One day I will write about him, and the two other times I know I’ve met angels, but that’s a story for another day.
So I made it to Florida, and to make my story a little shorter, I ended up eventually coming back home, got divorced, and spent years missing the man I fell in love with. I was happy to be home, ecstatic to be free, but absolutely miserable that I had made a mistake by being too scared to tell someone how I felt.
I wondered about him often, looked for my lost love, even asked about him whenever I happened to run into anybody who knew him, but I never got anywhere. Years went by. It was sad. I was sad. I punished myself a lot, I somehow felt that I didn’t deserve to be happy, and I’m not trying to be depressing, but I was depressed. I was somewhat self destructive, before I turned to God, who rescued me from my depression. God taught me to forgive myself and that it was possible to be happy.
In my dream I woke up feeling like I was suffocating. I was younger again, and I was not yet divorced. My ex was never in my dream, it was just something I knew. The old feelings were there, the feelings of mistakes, the feeling of not being able to stand my life, so much so that I felt physically ill.
In the dream, I walked into the kitchen, looked outside at a rainy day, and began to cry uncontrollably. I cried for my mistakes, my unhappiness, and for the man I wanted to be with, and when I finished, something came over me. I felt God all around me, I felt release, and I suddenly felt so brave and so strong. I made a decision.
I was leaving! I was getting a divorce, no matter how hard it would be! And I was going to find the man I loved and tell him the truth, that I loved him, even if he didn’t love me back! I was going to change my life, and fight for love. I finally felt happy!
I ran to my dream phone. I picked it up. My hands were shaking. I couldn’t dial his number. I suddenly didn’t know it! My heart was bursting with new hope and pounding with fear at the same time. I was not going to give up on love!
I grabbed my car keys, I had seen his house once before, and I was going to drive there. He lived in the country, and I drove up and down long, winding, gravel roads that all looked the same. I was lost and I couldn’t find him. I began to panic.
As a last ditch effort I went to the post office. It was a small, red, brick building, manned by a little, gray and wrinkled old man. Somehow in my dream world, this elderly man knew exactly where everybody lived, and I begged him to deliver a letter to my love. He refused me. He told me that if I didn’t have the address, I wasn’t meant to. I began to cry again. I was so frustrated. I had finally made my choice, to be brave, but I couldn’t get to the only person in the world I wanted to be brave for. I asked the little old man what I should do. He replied, “You will have to wait and see if it is meant to be.” Then I woke up.
When I woke, I was confused. I felt stuck in the past. I didn’t know where I was. And then I did.
I was home. My past was over. I’d been divorced for many years. I was remarried. I had made mistakes and moved on. I had beautiful memories of that beautiful young man that I had been afraid to tell I loved, but I no longer had regrets.
You see, I went on for years, wandering, wondering and wishing. Dreaming of a true love. I was so lost. So much so, that at the end of November of 2013, I prayed to God to give me true love, or just help me to be left alone. All or none.
On December 4th 2013, just days later, the Lord answered me. The man I was destined to be with popped into my life, completely out of nowhere.
Now as I lay here writing, he is sleeping next to me, the warmth of his body comforting to me. He is perfect for me, he is mine. I love this man more than my own life, and I will never be afraid to tell him that. In fact I probably tell him too much. And though life never works as we plan it, after all these years, the man who’s smile melted my heart when I was such a young girl, my real-life dream guy, the very one I wanted so desperately back then, is now my husband.
I woke up in a panic today thinking I never found him again, but I did. And I was so grateful. My dream reminded me of how hard life was without him, when I was so scared. My dream reminded me to let the past hurt go. My dream reminded me of answered prayers and second chances. I am so grateful to God for my true love, and I will never hurt him, nor take this love for granted. I will honor God, and my husband for the rest of my life.
God answers prayers in ways we never see coming. It took many, many years, but it happened, and now we pray together and we are trying to have a baby. This is taking a few years as well, and when I get frustrated, I remind myself of how good God is by looking at the answered prayer sleeping beside me, and remember how that took a little while too.
I am so happy to be loved by a God who loves me enough to answer my prayers, in His way, and on his timetable. He gave me my fairytale, my dream come true, my happily ever after, and one day, he will give me a baby too. God is so very good. So don’t you ever give up, even when the wait is hard and long, and the situation seems hopeless. Pray. God listens. It will happen.
You have to believe in love stories and prince charming and that eventually you’ll find your own happily ever after. -Taylor Swift
Happily ever after doesn’t come easy. But for love, it is always worth the fight. -M. Leighton
I have found the one my heart loves. – Song of Solomon 3:4