I can still hear your voice in my head when I read your old messages. I can still picture the lines of your face, that smile that always hinted more towards a smirk. I can still feel your touch, gentle on my chin, tilting my face to yours as if I was small and precious.
No one ever made me feel that way.
I always wanted to be bold, always wanted to be something powerful ― a woman to be reckoned with. But you saw through that tough exterior. You saw the strong, but sensitive woman who wanted to be loved.
And I did love you.
You taught me how to let go. You taught me how to trust. You taught me that letting someone in isn’t terrible, even if it doesn’t end up the way you planned.
You taught me that love is beautiful, even if you get your heart broken.
You taught me that sometimes we love and lose, but it doesn’t make it any less worth it.
Today, I thought about you. About the time that’s passed, about the hours and street signs and highways that are criss-crossed between us. I thought about your laugh, how it filled me. I thought about your kisses, so tender on my forehead. The place I loved it the most.
You were everything I wanted, for a moment. But that moment didn’t stretch into forever.
We wanted different things, led different lives.
Maybe God didn’t want you to be my forever person. And I’ve accepted it now. I understand. Sometimes people are only mean to touch our lives for a period of time.
Sometimes it aches, the fact that you’re gone.
But I still thank Him for sending you to me.
See, God always has a bigger picture in mind. He knew that our lives would be blessed by one another’s kisses. He knew that we would fall, and fall hard, and fall out.
And all the time that I was feeling so broken, He was teaching me how to heal.
I’m thankful that He gave me you. That He gave me a man I was searching for, even if that man isn’t the one I’ll marry. I’m thankful for the lessons I learned in loving you. That you can’t change people, can’t change their hearts. That sometimes timing is everything. And that sometimes you run out of second chances, and that’s okay.
Time and space will still always heal.
I’m thankful God gave me you — you imperfect, flawed, wonderfully complicated being who set my soul on fire.
Maybe we weren’t right for each other. Maybe we would have ended up burning down instead of setting the world ablaze with our light. Maybe we would have pulled each other from Him, from faith, from the beauty this world has to offer.
I don’t know the answers, but I’m trusting in God nonetheless.
We are apart now, no longer singing to the same song, no longer two hearts in rhythm. But I’ve come to understand that this is a part of life, a part of loving.
I believe that He has plans for us, for you, for me.
Even though I’m not sure what will happen now, where I will go, who I will love, or if I will ever cross paths with you again, I know that things happen for a reason. And they happen according to His plan.
And no matter how much our lives have changed, I’ll never look back on us with regret. God gave me you, gave me love, gave me our little temporary forever. And for that, I’ll always be thankful.
Get your copy of Marisa Donnelly’s book, Somewhere on a Highway, here.