As much as I would like everything to have been “good” between Lindsay and me, it wouldn’t be the truth and not ALL lessons would be told…
This is a story that haunts me, but also a story that teaches a beautiful lesson. I have always said it is my “one regret” in life and to be honest if it were not for Lindsay’s beautiful heart and God’s grace that may still hold true.
I was a Freshman in college, Lindsay was a Senior in high school. We had broken up just before the New Year the prior year due to my “senioritis” and wanting to explore myself and the world a little more without any “strings”. Fun fact… that also contributed to us being High School Sweethearts that never went to Prom together.
So here we are 325 miles from each other, as I am in Lubbock and she is still in Arlington.
I start suffering from an “illness” that comes from being far away from home and Lindsay is just enjoying the beginning of her Senior Year. Me being selfish, I decide to interrupt that senior year with a simple message over AOL Instant Messenger.
Note that this is September, so I couldn’t even make it out of the first month without having this aching in my stomach to be close to her again.
We begin to talk again and based on her diary, she was as confused but open to the idea of “us” again as I was. Of course she talked about interest in other guys, but she always ended with me. I consider myself lucky.
We begin with late night chats on IM, then phone calls, then one night there was a volleyball game in Abilene, so I drove the 2 hours to see her for a short couple of hours and made my way back to Lubbock. To her that was “so sweet.” Eventually I started driving the whole way back to Arlington on the weekend to see her.
This all leads to us making a commitment to each other in November. However, we both were about 60% committed at this point.
That 60% commitment would be short lived.
My roommate in the dorms was my best friend. We grew up together from the age of 5. He was a good guy, never hurt anyone, was always there when I needed him, he was just about as good of a friend as you could find. We were like family, which makes it even harder to tell this story.
He had a girlfriend from very early on that first semester in college and she became a friend to us both while living in such close quarters.
One night in early December, my roommate had gone to a day party and showed up hours later in our dorm being carried in by another friend of ours. He was done for the night, I on the other hand was invited by his friend to go to the party that was still going. I decided this was a good idea.
We show up to the party and did the usual college thing… drink, dance, drink, dance, etc.
Insert “roommate’s girlfriend”…
We begin to dance and have fun. Things escalate and in a night filled with things right out of Sodom and Gomorrah… We. Do. The. Unthinkable.
How could I you ask? And believe me, all the “wrongs” running through your head right now are the same thoughts I had for a very long time. It took me a while to figure it out since I was in a dark place, but through the grace of God, I came around.
Let’s start with the roommate/best friend/like a brother scenario first. The next day and admittedly not by my choice, the truth was told. I am lucky I am alive to tell this story. The sad thing was I wasn’t even ready to apologize, I was in a dark place. Yes I was sorry he was hurt, but I still was thinking of myself and how I was going to be with this girl because it was “right”. Now let me give you the word you are looking for… “WOW”.
After a couple months I realized my wrong(s) and apologized, but it was too late for him and I lost one of the best friends I ever had.
Now on to Lindsay, my best friend/girlfriend/romantic interest scenario. Being 325 miles from her and being 18, I did what any one would do right? Don’t tell. Well that lasted less than a week. She kept asking “What’s wrong?” How did she know? I told her…
I promise there is good that came of this, just hang in there… Let me pull you out of this darkness…
I was forced to make new friends, find another roommate because mine had moved out, soul search, and live with what I had done.
Roommate was gone forever, but Lindsay I couldn’t give up on.
It started with apologies through email exchanges, then IM again, then phone calls, then weekend visits.
Trust was something that was important for me and Lindsay from the very beginning of our relationship. It just had not been tested like this.
I knew I had to make things right with Lindsay. It was some time in late February/early March that we began to be on “speaking” terms. I knew I loved her, so I would pursue at all costs. This was not easy when 325 miles separate us.
There were going to be no commitments though until we felt we could honor those. I was way too weak to do so and she was having too much fun her last semester in high school.
In May of 2001, I returned home from school and we made our final commitment to each other and that still holds true today.
Lindsay forgave me. She did not have to, but she did. She had so much grace. She showed me what it meant to truly forgive. It isn’t just words. It is actions that show true forgiveness. She never once mentioned my wrong doing, not even in arguments. Even when I could not forgive myself, she could. She loved all of me, not just in the good times, but in the dark ones too.
No one is perfect. No one. We as brothers and sisters need to recognize that and show each other what it means to love. Love does not hold grudges.
God showed me the meaning of so many things through Lindsay. She was not just my wife, my best friend, and the mother of my children, she was my teacher.