"It wasn't meant to be."
Intellectually, I could get with that, but emotionally, I could not. As a several-year sufferer of unrequited love for much of my young adult years, the phrase seemed cruel, a hackneyed trope offered by people who didn't have answers but were well-meaning nonetheless.
Years after getting over the love that never would be, I still couldn't really understand that. Yes, obviously it was not meant to be, because here I am and there he is, living two separate lives, probably never chancing to meet again and, because of Facebook, I know too much.
My last entry shows how I couldn't understand it.
And to be clear, part of me will still wonder. There were so many signs that I interpreted as meaning we would end up together after pointed and plaintive prayers. These signs from hearing a random string quartet practice the wedding march in my dorm to him being down the hall in my friend's dorm, hearing me as I cried. Why would God tease me with these signs if we were, in fact, never meant to be.
Because we weren't. We existed in each others' lives exactly as we should have.
Before I fell for him, I had prayed specifically that I would not do such a thing. I prayed to God not to allow me to fall for a man who was not meant for me. But I did.
Most other prayers I have prayed in my life have been answered, from small things like praying that the rain would let up so I could take pictures for a summer project in high school, to big things like medical school acceptances and residency matches. But my faith remained shaken after the man I prayed for so long would be my future husband ended up to be someone else's.
I used to wonder why, and then for a long time, I gave up. I just didn't think about it. I reasoned, there are probably people who pray for more important things, like being able to feed their child, or to save their dying spouse from the wrath of disease, or any other number of situations who are now sitting on the other side of things, wondering why their prayers weren't answered. For me, the only thing not answered for me is that some dude I had a crush on in college didn't like me back. Big deal.
But then, thinking about the turmoil my fiancé has had to go through because of his family's disapproval of me, I realize something...
...well, for one, it likely would have been several times worse with my college crush. My fiancé has a small family. My college crush had a large family that was apparently invested in him ending up with someone from their own community. And that he did, and their families get along well.
Whereas, my future in-laws will likely have little contact with me...thankfully, as the case were.
I would love to be part of a family that loved me as I feel I deserve to be loved as an excellent future-partner to their beloved son, but it looks like I'm not going to...just as I was prepared was a distinct possibility with my college crush.
I said I was ready for anything back then, now I get to eat my words. It is hard. It's harder to see your fiancé essentially disowned from his family.
But more than realizing that, rationally, it was not meant to be, I also recognize that...sometimes, even if certain traits line up, there is mutual attraction, interest, fascination...whatever...it wasn't meant to be.
Yes, so many other prayers in my life have been answered, and easily. Of course this prayer would be the hardest. Yes, I have a friend who claims she prayed to find a husband and then met her husband the next day, but a lot happened before he became her husband that did not seal that prayer as answered for her. She made it sound easy, but it wasn't.
It's easy when a prayer only involves you, or your personal protection, or something like that. It's easy when a prayer is about a career path, or a housing option, or safety on road or in the air while one travels. It's not easy when a prayer involves a whole other human being who is just as complex as you are, with their own desires, needs and prayers.
The man that you see who you decide must be the future husband of your prayer and desire may have congruent desires but perhaps incongruent needs, for example. People are not ready to order. I have yet to hear anyone say that someone came and was perfectly equipped to be their future spouse when they met them.
So as much as I may have loved my college crush, I could not pray him into being for me. As much as I felt I could "deal with everything going through [his] head," I was never in his head. We existed together in the same realm for just a little bit. His path was other, and I had to steer away. It wasn't meant to be.
Relationship prayers are the hardest to pray and the hardest with which to wait for the answer. The answer is sometimes quite unexpected. Whenever our desires and prayers are directed at a thing that necessarily involves another complete human being, so many things have to line up to make it work. And while certainly nothing is impossible with God, it will take a little bit more time than...driving under a bridge to see the rain stop instantly to allow you to do your high school summer project.
So for me, it wasn't meant to be takes on new meaning. It's no longer hackneyed and frustrating. It's a simple truth. It's not a term of resignation; it reminds me of my submission. Submission to the Truth. For all I prayed, God knew that my college crush was not actually who I thought he was or what I wanted, and if he was, he knew that I was not what he needed. It was never a prayer unanswered. It was a prayer answered, but I didn't leave space or understanding of that being possibly the answer.
And with the tincture of time and experience and the prospect of assuming a family name of a family that will have nothing to do with me, I see...I come to understand. Love can conquer much but you have to decide if it's worth it.
In terms of the signs I got after pointed prayers...I still don't understand those. Maybe it's like the movie Mr. Nobody, and I could have lived a life where I ended up with my college crush if I took precise actions earlier on, actions I was not ready to take at 19. Maybe that piece has some meaning that I'll uncover later in my life. This little epiphany about the whole situation only took 11 years, after all.