The first time I fell in love was when I was 14. I met this super cute boy at church who could sing and play guitar and he was charming as heck. I got to hang out with him a lot (thanks, Youth Group) and I got to know him pretty well. Dude, I had it bad. He was a good guy with a good heart who loved Jesus and had a velvety voice. I am an excellent judge of character. To this day, he’s a good guy with a good heart who loves Jesus and has a velvety voice (and a gorgeous wife and two adorable kids). It wasn’t one of those “oh, he’s not that great and you don’t really know him and he’ll treat you terribly and make your life miserable because he’s actually a bad guy and you’re just projecting what you want him to be instead of what he actually is.” He was legit a good guy. I never had that bad boy thing happen. (Okay, I had it once in college.)
But we never dated. He was not interested in me. He only wanted to date the girls who were hot cheerleaders. So I learned right away at 14 that it doesn’t matter if I have a good heart or not or a velvety voice or not. Just because I could see right through someone to his heart, it didn’t mean he could see right through to mine. I tried to hide the fact that I was totally crazy about him, but it was really obvious to everyone (and probably him). And he was kind to me – he didn’t make me feel like crap about it, but he never addressed it either. He was always my good friend.
So I went through major life changes and fought with my personality (because I realized pretty quickly that I could fix the hair issues I had but the personality ones were a little trickier) and felt left out and went through a terrible time with my family and we moved away. And I still thought about him every day. I figured someday he would figure out that I was the right girl for him. I pictured all of these cute little scenarios in which he’d come visit me driving through where I lived now and see how hot I’d become in my new school and at least be like “Aw, man, I should’ve given her a shot when she was around” or even the dream scenarios of the whole “it’s always been you” followed by the romantic kiss. But nothing ever happened.
Ah, the love story that could have been.
I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about it lately, but I think the point is that when you’re 14 (or any age for that matter), you might fall in love with somebody, and he might actually be a good guy. And you might never, ever, ever date him, and your love might be totally unrequited for always and ever. And then you might date 3 or 4 guys who are really good guys with good hearts (I did), but it just doesn’t work out. Actually, I didn’t date any terrible people. I’m still very fond of every person I ever dated. And you’re going to probably break up with those people and doubt yourself with those people and feel horrible pain and heartbreak and sadness. I did.
Guess what? You are awesome. And you are loved. And you are beautiful. And you may never get to date that good church boy with the velvety voice and kind heart. You are more than who you date. And you are going to be okay.
I’m married to the best guy in the entire world. He isn’t that boy I loved when I was fourteen. He is so much better, because he is who God picked for me, not just who I picked for myself (although I did pick him!). He loves Jesus, and he has a good heart, and he has a velvety voice. He loves me so, so much. He has never faltered in commenting how beautiful I am, literally every day. He thinks the annoying things about my personality are cute (for the most part). We have a beautiful home and great jobs close to our extended family. And we have the best kids in the world. We have the best life in the world. My basic requirements that I made as a 14-year-old never changed. And it took almost 10 years to find the right guy after I fell in love the first time. I didn’t even meet him until a week after I graduated college!
But the point isn’t that I got exactly what I wanted times infinity. (I did, and it’s awesome!) That doesn’t even matter. I could have lived my whole life with terrible, lonely heartbreak. That totally could have happened. Would I still be okay? Yes, because being okay can only come from One, to be honest.
Someone knows you better than anyone else. He can see exactly who you are – exactly how nasty your heart can be, exactly the most horrible thoughts that you have in those shameful moments, exactly how much time you spent on your hair and makeup that morning only to find out that it is RAINING OUTSIDE, exactly how much you wish that cute boy would just realize that you are right for him, exactly how selfish you are, exactly how much you ache with passion and love, exactly how silly those 900 selfies with puppy dog ears look. And He desperately loves you. He died for you to live. He died so that you could figure out how great He is and live for Him. He died for you to have a full life, full of love.
He sees just who you are in your absolute worst moment and still loves you no matter what. Please just know that loving Him is all that matters. You matter because He loves you. He thinks you matter. He likes you. And He loves you. Honestly, when I figured out that His love for me was enough, my life started. And interestingly, I met my husband within 3 months of it.
You’re gonna be okay. Really, you’re probably going to be great.
A recovering high school freshman girl