the story of us | part 1

It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly
until He has hurt him deeply.

~A.W. Tozer

 

“It’s pretty complicated—you’re pretty, I’m complicated.”

That statement, unrehearsed and uttered to the maddening beat of my speeding heart, opened my confession of love to Daphne almost five years ago. We were meeting over coffee because she wanted some advice about a common friend who was beginning to show interest in her. I could tell she welcomed the possibilities with this guy. After awkwardly telling her I was not the best guy to consult because of my lack of objectivity on the matter, it was inevitable for the proverbial cat to spring out of the bag. And so I ended up disclosing my romantic feelings for her. Daphne put both hands over her mouth—ala beauty pageant contestant—more in disbelief than elation. (It could have been horror, I’m not sure.)

The love triangle I had unwittingly formed was short-lived, promptly disbanded by the power of a woman’s choice. “I think I’m falling in love with him,” she gently declared one December evening. I fought back tears, hoping that the growing lump in my throat would not develop into public embarrassment of epic proportions. After a prayer, a hug, and a final “Goodbye,” we parted ways—she to nurturing a new love, I to nursing a broken heart. Weeks later I got the official text announcement of their relationship.

I couldn’t blame Daphne for her choice. How could I, I was the Johnny-come-lately; the buddy who suddenly dropped the romance bomb on her in the middle of a budding relationship with another friend; the guy without a plan who owned up to nothing but quasi-love. When I ‘fessed up, I was still trying to understand how this amazing girl with the dancing eyes had stolen my well-guarded heart. Somewhere between the endless talks about books, the after-office discussions on life, love, and God, the bantering and goofing around with friends, she with the mysterious mind, crackling laughter, and Godly heart had captivated me. But my nascent affections had been dashed before they could grow into something beautiful, never to see maturity or fulfillment.  Or so I thought.

I had resolved to neither escape nor deny the pain of unrequited love, but instead go through it with as much grace and integrity as I could muster—until God in His time would grant healing. In my grief, I wrote in my journal feverishly, churned out poems in record time, laid claim to all the heartbreak songs ever written, prayed until I ran out of words and relied only on the Spirit’s ministry of interpreting my moans and groans. “The pain is the healing,” I wrote about my heartbreak.

The three of us worked in the same office, and seeing them as a couple was heart-rending for me. Thankfully, the emotions soon became manageable; God had granted us the grace to be able to work together with little discomfort. I made sure I kept a healthy distance, intentionally avoiding any information about how their relationship was doing. It was good enough for me that Daphne was happy. But Daphne was a fierce friend; she made it clear that she did not reject my friendship, only my preludes to romance. Almost one year after they became a couple, I wrote the following in my journal:

After a year, I can say it to myself: I lost you. In foolishness I let you slip away. Fumbling hands didn’t hold you or grasp you enough to feel if you would shake me off or linger in my presence. I was afraid to uncover the truth behind the disarming smiles, the unabashed laughter, and the profound conversations. Was there any hope of romance behind them?

Have I moved on? I don’t know. If I palpate my heart now I’m sure my fingers will brush through the scars you left. But scars are good. Having them means the wounds have closed. No more real pain, only remembered pain. But who is to say that remembered pain is less searing, less affecting?

Thankfully, the pain was not the ending. It was merely the dark backdrop that would provide the contrast for the blinding light of God’s grace to shine.

(To be continued)

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25 thoughts on “the story of us | part 1

  1. ” Almost one year after they became a couple, I wrote the following in my journal:

    (To be continued)”

    Dear kuya talaga namang bitin kung bitin no! BWHAHAHAHA. —- next page please! hahaha

  2. Ahh the suspense!! 🙂 I knooow, it’s not like I don’t know what happened next, but it’s just that.. I have been lurking here and there (Ate Dap’s blog) for an elaborate documentation of the story. For some of us, the FB status messages were sneak peaks to a lengthy, super kilig blog post. And well, people like us, we need to be inspired you know. 🙂

    Needless to say, I’m a fan (of your love team hehe) and blessed by your lovestory. So stay in love because some of us need our dose of inspiration OKAY. 😛 God bless your journey together. 🙂

  3. Papa Alex!!! (naku, pwede pa ba kitang tawagin n’yan? baka sabunutan ako ng labs mo. lagot ang beauty ko! peace Daph!)

    SUPER happy ako for you both! Ikaw ha? You owe me lotsa kwento and sampung drum na kape. LoL!

    Btw, nabasa mo ba love letter ko? Promise di kita ini-stalk!!! Lol!

    Can’t wait for part 2…:)

    1. Hi, Reev! Naku, natunton mo pala ‘tong blog ko. Hehe… It was good to see you last Wednesday. And thanks again for sharing your multi-media gifts with us! Part 2 is coming! (Btw, bitin ang kwentuhan nung Wednesday with Misha. I’m eager to hear more, brother!)

  4. aleks, you are soooo in love. 🙂 this is truly inspiring.. trust me, i’m not one who easily gets kilig over a love story, but this… this had me praying for someone to see me the way you saw and still see daph… she is one blessed lady to have a man like you. congratulations to you both! and although i can’t wait to read part 2… i agree that you take your time writing it… you’re right. these things do not lend themselves easy to words.. write with all of your heart aleks. your story is worth telling. we’ll be waiting. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Ai! 🙂 Wow, I’m humbled that our story (part 1!) inspired you and had you praying. The man who wins your heart will be blessed. Truly. Will post Part 2 over the weekend.

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