The heart is a funny thing. At an almost even ratio it leads men to greatness or doom. How can one little thing hold such power? I can’t answer that question but what I do know is that when the heart knows what it wants it can make us do things we never thought, in our right minds, we would do.
This story picks up from Heart of the Matter III, read it first or continue to rebel against order…
After the heartbreaking phone call from my best friend confirming that my beloved of 4 years was in fact cheating on me, I came to the point I had dreaded for months. I had to face him.
I got back to my dorm room out of breathe from my tearful run. I cleaned up and then sat on the bed debating what my approach would be. Usually I was quite a firecracker, a hot head, if he knew that I knew what I knew he would expect me to storm in guns blazing but I felt nothing. I had no passion or love to fuel that temper. I felt hollow in a way, like the morning headlines had ripped every last tendon of my beating heart out of my chest.
I walked up the stairs and down the hallway to his suite. One of his suite mates opened the door.“Hey Nikki! How’s it going? Spence is in his room.” He said. “Thanks.” I replied. I had no desire to put on a sociable face.
I stood outside his door afraid. I felt so small, worthless, injured, and pathetic. What awaited me on the other side of this door? What was my life going to look like when I walked back out of this door? Just as I got the courage to knock Spencer opened the door. His smile dropped and then he picked it back up quickly although it looked forced and nervous now. “Hey baby! Didn’t hear you knock, come in.” He said trying to sound as normal as possible. Julie had been on and off the phone with him all morning confronting him with the news she received, that I had never been his ex-girlfriend and that she was actually “the other woman”. I could see him searching for a sign as to whether I knew about this or not.
I said, “Hey Spencer. How was your morning?”
“Oh you know, same old. How about you?” He replied.
Such an awkward and cold conversation between two people that had spent the last 4 years speaking to each other every single day, morning and night. I hated it. We were like strangers with no chemistry between us whatsoever. I sat on his bed with my back leaning against the wall and he took a seat next to me. I looked forward and not at him. I kept my focus on my shoes that hung off the edge of the bed; I concentrated on the shoelaces like if they were holding me together.
“So, I think it’s time we talked. Tell me about Julie.” I said.
He sat quietly calculating his answer. I could sense the wheels turning in his head.
“Julie? What do you want to know about her?”
He was playing it safe. I wasn’t surprised. I let him doggy paddle for a few minutes; to be honest I wanted to postpone the conversation too.
Finally I knew the time had come. I told him the story of him and Julie and asked if I got it right. He didn’t know what to say, he stumbled and stuttered and all I wanted to hear was that I got it wrong. Which is exactly the story he went with.
Spencer said with all sincerity, “You’ve got it all wrong. That girl is crazy. She likes me and yes, I should have told you about it, but I told her I had a girlfriend and that I wasn’t interested and she wouldn’t take no for an answer! She is trying to break us up. I’m so sorry. I love you. I don’t want to lose you…” Blah blah blah.
I thought I would be relieved in hearing that a potentially really bad situation was just smoke and mirrors. This should have made me feel a little bit better considering I didn’t want to lose the most important relationship in my life. But it didn’t. It didn’t even scratch the service of my cold heart. I didn’t try to challenge him I just stood up and told him I couldn’t do this anymore. As much as I wanted to believe him I was done. I was numb. I couldn’t even cry.
He stood in front of me occupying the space between the door and me. He begged and pleaded with me. “I’m sorry, please don’t leave, I only want you, I only love you! Why aren’t you saying anything? Get angry. Hit me. Do something!” I didn’t have anything to say, I just looked at him, I searched for some sign of truth, his lips were moving but I saw panic and desperation in his eyes. I didn’t see love or compassion, there was no hint of remorse, except for the remorse of getting caught. I had no words. I might as well of been made of stone. He realized what he was saying wasn’t working and as I took a step towards him, towards the door, he burst into tears.
If the events of the last 6 months didn’t break my heart the sight of Spencer crying was the tip of the iceberg. How was I supposed to walk out of that room while he fell apart? I knew he was the one that caused this moment but it felt like I did this to him. I hugged him and found myself apologizing to him. I couldn’t help it. I loved him. My heart was shattered into a million pieces. What I thought was impossible had materialized before my eyes and yet there I was trying to comfort and console him.
I finally pulled myself away and walked out the door. The next 6 weeks felt like a million years. I lost my appetite, I burst out in tears at random moments, I lay in my bed all weekend and had to drag myself to my classes. Spencer was in half of my classes and we even shared textbooks. I told him I would sit somewhere else and share a book with someone else but I didn’t really know anyone else. I only hung out with him, his friends and their girlfriends and now they all seemed so alien to me. I stuck to myself and found comfort in my best friend who attended the same university.
She would make me go to the cafeteria with her for dinner every night because she knew I wouldn’t eat if she didn’t make me. I thank Lucky Charms for helping me make it through that time of depression. They are still magically delicious!
I couldn’t see my life or future without him. I could hear the advice from friends who told me I deserved better but I didn’t care if they were right or not, I just wanted to stop the pain I was feeling of losing us. Eventually he convinced me that I was the one who threw our relationship out of the window. I let a jealous and lying girl come between what we had been growing for years. Were we so fickle that we could just snap like a twig from one person’s story? What can I say? The heart wants what it wants and when you have no other hope you cling to whatever you heart tells you is love.
The Dust Moment
Despair is defined as “A state in which all hope is lost or absent” or “to lose heart”. Losing my modern fairy tale was the equivalent of losing my life. I saw no future without him because the plans we made were all I knew. I didn’t dream for myself I dreamt for “us”. It is very dangerous to find your identity in another person, a profession, a talent or anything else outside of yourself. Everything else can fade away, be taken away, leave or abuse you. In this case it was a person.
I stayed in an obviously broken relationship because I had no hope in anything else. I don’t mean that in the sense that I was emo and only into my boyfriend, but as for my life, it was utterly intertwined with his. I was connected to him in such a way that to detach felt impossible. I thought he was the one, how could I just walk away from him now? Wasn’t love supposed to conquer all? Weren’t we supposed to fight for us? Triumph and live to tell a great story later?
The Gold Exchange
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
When we put our hope in only what our senses can comprehend we limit ourselves to borrowing a temporary joy/satisfaction. I had put my all into this one person and I found myself in a place of despair when the threat of losing him became real.
If you find yourself in a place like this, attached to something that you are losing or know you should give up take a look around. You probably don’t have many or any friends or family members around because you have isolated yourself to only the people that believe your story… you and your heart’s desire. If it feels like everyone that used to be close to you is now against everything you believe to be true; chances are you’re believing a lie.
While despair crumbles your ability to realize that change is needed in your life God steps in and says “No, this is not your portion my beloved.” I am the true vine says the Lord. When we allow God, by trusting Him with our every step, our every move, to dictate where we go, we find that hope is reborn. This happens when we agree that less of me is good and more of God is even better.
The fruit in our lives is made apparent daily through the struggle of circumstances, God steps in to cut back the branches that drain us so that we might trust Him and produce more fruit which ultimately causes us to abide in His love, His word, and His will. Once we recognize this, even if we falter sometimes, we will not be overcome by despair because our hope is in someone eternal, faithful and consistent.
You will survive this season, you will live, laugh, love again. Your love was not an accident, but maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t supposed to be the final frontier.