The exciting life that I had expected never quite happened. I started to experience so much more than I ever thought I would – and not in a good way (see The Life I Asked For – Part 1 for details). The life that I chose with my boyfriend was very different than the romantic love story that I had pictured in my mind a thousand times.
At one point I called my lifelong best friend to come and get me from the apartment that I lived in with my boyfriend – I had to leave. He was at work and she rushed right over. She took me to her house, where I called my parents to come and get me. Just after they got there, he showed up. I’m not sure how he knew where I was, but there he was – talking me into going back to the apartment with him. I can’t imagine what that day was like for my parents. After I spent some time with him, I put all of my stuff back into his car and left with him.
A couple of times, my boyfriend would express how much he loved me and say that we should get married! He gave me an engagement ring one day – we were in the car in the bank parking lot and he told me to open the glove compartment and that the box inside was for me (so romantic – NOT!). I showed up to school the next day with an engagement ring on my finger and people noticed – especially my old friends who were keeping an eye on me from a distance. He would say that we should hop in the car and drive to Mexico or Vegas and elope. As exciting as it was to be loved to that extreme, the thought of eloping terrified me – I felt like that would be a permanent joining of our lives together. Somehow I always had good excuse not to do that – either I had a test the next day or I had to work and didn’t want to lose my job. Thank God, he bought it!
I don’t want to paint a picture that I was a saint and that my boyfriend at the time was fully responsible for the mess I was in. As you can imagine, I had a pretty bad attitude about a lot of things during this time of my life. For example, there was one morning when I was driving my boyfriend’s brother’s car to the mechanic and as I was driving over an overpass, the car started to jerk to the left. I corrected the wheel a couple of times so I wouldn’t slam into the median and then the car started to spin out of my control down the rest of the overpass, leaving me in a ditch on the side of the road. I don’t remember much of what happened after that, but my mother kindly reminded me that I called her to let her know what had happened and she wasn’t home to get my first call. When I finally got her later in the day, I was angry with her for not being home when I called earlier. Seriously!? What was I expecting? I had run out on her – and yet I still expected her to wait by the phone just in case I called several months later? Now that doesn’t make much sense, Heather…
There was another time that I actually got mad at my best friend, thinking that she was interested in my boyfriend. I don’t remember the all of the details of the events that happened, but I remember that after that, we really didn’t hang out very much anymore. I learned shortly after that she had no interest whatsoever in my boyfriend and I know that she never did. I was so wrapped up in my new little world that I couldn’t see beyond myself. I know that I did some damage to that friendship at the time – which is sad – she was the only real friend that I had. I am thankful for her and thankful that she did not hold any of that against me. Clearly, I hadn’t been making the best decisions at that time in my life!
The exciting life that I had expected on the day I left my parents’ house never came. Sure there were snippets of fun here and there, but those only happened when I was doing my best to ignore who I had become and the reality of what I had done. I didn’t even recognize myself when I looked in the mirror anymore – I went from a God following, ministry loving young woman to a suddenly immoral young woman who was regularly partaking in illegal things, unhealthy relationships, etc… I was lost, I was stuck, and I found myself struggling day by day, doing my best to survive while hating what I had done and who I had become. I had asked for this life – and I got it. How on earth was I going to continue on? Was this the life I was destined to live? I felt like I was truly on my own…
What I Learned:
- The clouded view of my reality prohibited me from seeing who I was becoming.
- The clouded view of my reality prohibited me from seeing who my boyfriend really was.
- Things are not always what they seem and things do not always happen the way that I plan them. I wanted control of my life and I took it. The decisions I made had consequences – consequences that I hadn’t planned for, but had to deal with.
- I am accountable for my actions. I cannot escape responsibility for the life that I choose to live.
- The further away from God I got, the more hopeless my life became.
- Have you ever taken control of your life in a way that resulted in consequences that you couldn’t foresee?
- Are you in that situation now? How has it been or how is it different than you planned?
- Have you tried to make it right on your own or are you making excuses? Do you blame others for your circumstances?
- Does pride prevent you from taking action? How?
- What steps can you take to correct your situation? If you already have taken steps – did they work?
- Where is God in your situation? Is He welcome in your situation? Why or why not?
I pray that if you are in a situation where you feel hopeless and helpless that you will allow our God to enter into your life. If you need prayer, please contact me privately – I will be a confidential prayer partner for you.