Grace on the Heels of Hell

In Healthy LoveIt’s hard to miss the fact that I’m in love these days. To the casual acquaintance, it probably seemed to come out of left field. But as the case is so often, there’s more to the story than most people know.

We’ve only been dating for a year, but my partner and I met at a coffee shop about three years ago. We were both dating other people at the time and existed as acquaintances in each other’s worlds.

Six months later, at a time when we were both single, I invited him to go surfing. Between wipeouts, I over-shared my traumatic divorce and quirky musings. He listened and matched my intensity with ease.

My partner and I started getting to know each other at a time when I was purposely holding back in my dating life. Instead of diving into whoever came my way, I had decided to create space. I wanted to see what I was attracted to rather than put so much energy into attracting a man.

We had a couple rendezvous that I would call lunch dates, but somehow we kept missing each other. My iPhone didn’t communicate well with his Android, and I wasn’t feeling the spark I had committed to noticing in myself. After a couple weeks, he told me he thought I should know sooner rather than later that his only intention towards me was friendship.

He was the first man to beat me to the punch of rejection since my divorce.

Whether I wanted romance with him or not, it stung. I wasn’t ready to feel those feelings and launched head-first into the next man who came my way. Surprise, surprise—that relationship didn’t go so well.

I needed it though. That relationship was a year of growth that threw all my toxic love patterns back in my face for one final look. It was the year that I said no to anything less than what I deserve. And it was the year that refined my vision so I could see the healthy man who had been standing in front of me all along.

My partner and I weren’t ready for each other when we first met. But by the time we found our way to being partners, we were so ready that all we had to say about it was “yes!”

I’ve been writing more in the draft of my full-length memoir about how we got to yes. In my eyes, it was nothing short of magic. It probably looks like magic on social media and even in many parts of daily life that close friends and family get to see. A more accurate way to describe it, though, is grace—grace on the heels of hell and into a reality that’s available to anyone who chooses to step into it.

It’s healthy love, and I think I’m ready to write more about that.

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