‘Hey’ was the message I woke up to on the 12th April, 2017 at about 6:47am. I had woken up at 5am and didn’t feel like getting out of my bed. I was just saying a prayer, and among the things I poured my heart out to God for was this girl I had proposed to about 6 months back. ‘God works fast!’ I thought to myself.
29th October, 2016 was no ordinary day for me. It started just like any other day. Few people knew how important that day was going to be, the day I was going to propose to the prettiest girl I had come to know. I couldn’t sleep the previous night I mean who does? Hehe love makes people do crazy things and it had just began.
It had taken me a whole year of studying her, praying about it, testing myself to see whether what I felt for her was lust, loneliness or as popularly said cupid had struck again. I hoped he wasn’t on vacation. During that year, I read 17 books about relationships, attended ‘romance 101’, a talk program run by my church that taught Christians the core things, practical steps and biblical view of relationships. I felt I was ready. I only had one fear, of which I know most boys have as they wait, that someone else will propose to her before I approached her. And it happened.
I felt so crushed. From the very start, I had prayed that God shows me through three signs that this relationship was not meant to be: If she was already in a relationship, if she gets into one within that year before I approached her and finally if she told me no. I had gathered that she was single at that time so I checked that off my list.
I stopped praying about her and even went as far as cursing God for letting such a thing happen. I just couldn’t trust Him anymore. I felt betrayed. It was actually the first time I had involved God in the pursuit of a girl and what did I get out of it? NOTHING!!!!!!! Funny thing happened, a while later they had a fight and decided to end things. I got that from the friends we shared who knew nothing about my feelings for her.
I felt like God had become my best friend, responding in my time of need. To me that was a direct sign from Him that this was meant to be. The last and final piece in my puzzle.
I sat on the bench fidgeting as I saw her walk towards me on that day. I didn’t know where to start. She looked even prettier than before. We talked a bit before I told her the reason I had wanted to meet her. Poured my heart out and told her everything. She listened very keenly then answered: ‘Fred I was afraid such a thing would happen. This has been something that has disturbed me for a while. I almost got into a relationship with someone last month and vowed not to be involved with anyone else until after campus. I am not going to give you hope or pray about it I just don’t feel like God is speaking to us the same way’.
I felt like the whole world was weighing down on me. I thank God for giving me composure so I told her this: ‘I understand. I had doubts when I started having these feelings for you and I had to take a year to know what I wanted was you. Lets give it time say a year and after that we will know where to start’.
Surprisingly, that gave me peace. I felt that she would not get into a relationship without first telling me where we stood and so the long wait began. We didn’t talk for a while gave each other time and space to clear things out. Early this year we began talking again and became uncomfortably close. That bothered me because its like we were behaving as if we were in a relationship without first defining it. We would text till late and stuff like that. This happened for a while till I woke up two days ago to find that text on my phone ‘HEY’….
I had just prayed and told God that I didn’t like the way this relationship was progressing. I needed an answer from her and it came faster that I had expected. ‘Whats up?’ I replied. ‘We need to talk’. My whole world stopped. I had really wanted to hear those words but at that time I didn’t know what I wanted. I felt this joy sweeping through me. I was so sure she would finally say yes and that that would be the start of a beautiful romantic relationship. Wish I had known better.
The previous Friday, I had met a few friends and we were talking about our lives, studies, relationships and just everything. I remember telling them of this girl and how I had proposed to her and that I was still waiting for her answer. We promised not to go telling other people the secrets we shared that night but of course it leaked.
At 6:43pm 12th April, 2017. ‘I ll just go straight to the point,’ she started. ‘I heard that you told your friends that you were waiting for my response. I’m really sorry if that’s how I made you think. I’m already in a relationship that has been going on for three weeks now and that should confirm to you that I’m not in a place to give you the answer you want to hear from me. Hope we ll still be friends’.
I think my heart stopped. I couldn’t hear it beat in my chest. ‘What you heard was true,’ I told her. ‘Its not you I completely understood you the first time. I just felt that I needed to give you time but I now know that we can never go beyond friendship and I appreciate that you’ve cleared that now and directly with me’.
That was just yesterday and the change in my life after that has been tremendous. I have learnt one thing about God that I wouldn’t have if anything went differently, that sometimes He overrides our free will. God had tried to speak to me through many ways telling me that this wasn’t the person He wanted me to be with, but because I was too stubborn plus she was stunningly beautiful I blocked of that channel. In the bible, Jonah was told to go preach but he chose not to. So what did God do? He could have allowed Jonah to go his separate way and maybe punish him some time later but he did none of that. He forced him to preach through the whale that swallowed him and everything that happened. Same to whats happened to me. God saw that I could make a bad decision so he made it for me and took this girl away from me. I know its for a good that I will come to understand later.
It hurts to be where I am and that’s also for anyone else reading this probably going through the same. It hurts so bad. But its okay. There’s something about going through death and loss and pain, misfortune and adversity. There is something about going through things that don’t seem fair to you need to make sense out of the whole madness in your life since you can’t change what has happened you need to at least believe that something good will come out of it.
Sometimes in life you fall down and feel like you don’t have the strength to rise up. It scares everyone and that’s okay. Every difficulty is growing us up. Every painful time, even though you don’t like it, its developing something in you that can only be developed in the tough times. The key is what we do in our times of pain. Pain will change us, heartache loss, disappointments, they don’t leave us the same.
If I had to choose then I wouldn’t have let this happen. I know God will bring someone else in my life later. I ll do my best to forget. I ll laugh it off as part of the game of love that everyone plays. I know God has forgiven me because I’ve asked Him to for not listening to Him. But I still feel the ache of having given away my heart.
What would you want on your wedding day? Nothing is quite as romantic as hearing an honest, account of a married couples love story. Though it’s hard to imagine, someday I’ll tell my children the story I’m writing with my life today. But that realization does little to save me from the puzzling maze called now. “History never looks like history when you’re living through it,” says John Gardner. “It always looks confusing and messy, and it always feels uncomfortable.” As I stand on this side of matrimony with no potential mate in sight, I’m right in the middle of the messiness and confusion. I still have so many questions.
Will I know when I’m walking through the story for the first time? Will I recognize the event that will begin the chapters of my love story with my mate? Will time stand still for one moment to tell me that this person— this one person, out of all the billions bustling on the planet— is the one? Will I realize when it happens? Or might I miss it?
Some questions are probably best left unasked. I know I should push them aside and wait for life to unfold its mysteries. Someday when I’m older and wiser I’ll sit back and tell my story to someone who will listen. And as I tell my story, will I remember the doubts and questioning prayers of today? Or will I have forgotten the silent longings; will they wash away like footprints on an ocean shore? I’ll probably tell some young fool the same things I get so tired of hearing from others. I’ll tell him to bide his time, “for it’s sure to work out in the end.”
And, of course, “you can’t rush these things.” Someday I’ll have a story to tell. So will you. How will you respond when one day you look back on your love story? Will it bring tears of joy or tears of remorse? Will it remind you of God’s goodness or your lack of faith in that goodness? Will it be a story of purity, faith, and selfless love? Or will it be a story of impatience, selfishness, and compromise? It’s your choice.
I encourage you (and continue to remind myself) to write a love story with your life that you’ll feel proud to tell.
Feel free to email me. fredrickmangula at gmail dot com