Our own, personal Gethsemane

I am going to be uniquely personal today and share something exceptionally difficult: I am deeply, eternally, in love. I have been in love with the most amazing woman for over a year and a half. She is the first woman I have ever met that is truly my peer. She is brilliant, wildly artistically talented, and the most compassionate and empathetic person I know. When she feels safe, her love is like basking in the hot sun in Arizona. Her love is gentle, sweet, and subtle. Her thirst and pursuit of knowledge, truth, and the mysteries of God excite my soul. I respect her, I yearn to serve her – and every prayer, fast, and temple attendance where I have put us to the question I get “she’s the one.”

Our relationship was difficult, we both come from very bad relationships, but we always worked it out. We always talked it out, we never tore each other down. I said and did a lot of dumb things, mostly out of confusion or good intentions, but she always forgave me and gave me the opportunity to be the man I want to be. I always forgave her when I was hurt or offended and allowed her to be herself.

I have proposed to her twice. Once she said yes and we acquired a marriage license. The last time she said no. I asked her to move with me to Arizona. She said no. Now she isn’t talking to me or interacting with me. I could be angry, but I am not, because of something that, for several months now, has baffled and frustrated me, and still does.

I still receive conformation that I should wait for her, be patient, and be committed to her; confirmation that she needs space and healing. The distance hurts. A lot. But her wellbeing is more important than how I feel about it and she is absolutely worth waiting for.

I am alone, I am isolated, and here, after I have been rejected by the woman I love, the woman I adore, I am told to wait. I am told to be patient. I am told she is my best. I want to wait for her, but I don’t want to hurt, either.

And it made me angry. But, the fruits of the spirit are supposed to be calm, peace, and joy, right?

Nope. Calm, peace, and strength. Not always joy, often not joy. I always receive calm and peace when I ask for guidance on a choice, if it is the right choice. I still ask for strength and get it. I know definitively when I”m getting a “wrong answer,” of which I have only received twice in our relationship, both when I told Heavenly Father I was choosing to quit us.

“Seriously, Heavenly Father?! She isn’t talking to me. She doesn’t interact with me. Are you even aware of what is going on?”

Peace and calm come over me. “Yes.”

I cry. It turns out I am not angry, I am discouraged and confused. I am baffled. I want to wait for her, but I also want to stop hurting. When do I get to the joy bit?

We get calm, peace, and strength. We don’t always get the answers that we think will make us feel better. Sure, I want her, but I want to not hurt too, and so my natural man me wants to do what comes naturally – cut her off, excise her from my life – be done. But I have made the choice to follow all inspiration, I follow all prompting, even to the pain; even when it hurts and doesn’t go the way I thought it would. Even more so when it just doesn’t make any sense rationally or experientially. How can I be prompted to do something that hurts and frustrates me? How can I receive confirmation that I need to do something that brings peace and calm, but not joy, something that brings pain and misery?

“When has anyone ever had to go through that? It just doesn’t make sense.” I ask God as I pray.

This is exactly what I was praying, after a temple session where I received, yet again, “wait, be patient, she is your best.” As I asked this question to the Lord, I see an image in my mind. It breaks me in half. Yes, sometimes, once in awhile, our peace and calm comes with pain and is clearly something we don’t want to suffer.

The image I see is the painting of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus Christ knew he was going to be crucified. He knew it was going to hurt. He knew He would be tortured, ridiculed, harassed and those that loved Him would experience it also. He knew that He needed to do it, because it was the will of the Father, but there was no joy in the experience. It isn’t what he would have preferred.

Mathew 26:39: “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” 

Jesus asked our Father if he had to go through with what He knew He had to do, because it was going to be awful, and the Father gave Him peace, calm, and strength even though He had to face something he didn’t want to suffer, but was willing to out of faith. How much more am I going through than He? What I am going through pales by comparison, but I understand Christ a little better and have a greater appreciation for what He has suffered for me.

So I will wait. I will let go. I stop questioning and begging God, I start having faith that there is a purpose for this. I am told she is my best, that she is to be my wife, but she has her agency, and she may not be getting the same thing. That’s fine. For some reason, Heavenly Father wants me to wait for her. That is all I need to know. Have faith. Trust the Father. Wait for this most beautiful, amazing, and best woman.

This epiphany came just this past week. I read this in Jacob 4:10 imediately after it struck:

“Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.”

Instead of crying to the Lord for our reunification, to intercede or to give us a miracle, I pray for the strength to maintain my peace; to have the strength to keep my commitment and covenants, to obey, and wait patiently. I am praying a lot.

I honestly have no idea what will happen in our future. Honestly, again, it doesn’t really matter. It is for me to have have faith, to trust, and to obey, and leave it to God to work out the details. I love her, but I love God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit first. I know that as my will aligns with His, even when it hurts, frustrates, and confuses me, the answers will come and the best will come with them. I hope she is one of those bests, though there is no guarantee just because Father in Heaven has told me to wait for her.

I was told it would be hard but worth it. If all I earn is a deeper relationship with Heavenly Father, and not this most amazing, brilliant, beautiful, loving, artistic, woman, then I am still blessed, and I will be OK.

10/27/2016 Follow-up: In a recent conversation about this post, I realized that what I am ultimately saying is that I am not really waiting on a woman, I am waiting on Heavenly Father. We are given inspiration without explanation, at times. This most amazing woman is the topic of this inspiration, but it is not the only reason for it. The reason is for the Lord to know and will be revealed when He decides it necessary. All I know is that I am asked by the Lord to wait, she is the topic of my waiting, but I am waiting for the Lord to direct me further. In a nutshell, I am waiting on God, not the woman of my heart.

1 Comment

  1. Rick, I have read and re-read this post. I am absolutely stunned by your story because it is almost exactly my story. I’m so very sorry that you are going through this difficult situation because I truly know your pain, your confusion, your heartache. But I also truly know the peace and calm you describe. Just last night I asked myself how I can feel such peace when everything seems so screwed up.

    You have given me hope by posting this. When I feel weak and hurt, I start to wonder if the answers, promptings, and assurances I’ve received for the last four years are true. Maybe I’m just a really imaginative loser. Maybe the adversary is messing with me.

    Now I can think of you getting the same answers I’ve been getting and overcome my doubts. Seriously, the Spirit tells me “be patient and don’t give up” when I struggle with the man I love not communicating with me. And I, too, receive clear “wrong!” messages from the Spirit when I decide that I’m ready to walk away from this man.

    Deep in my heart I know that Heavenly Father wants me to stay true and faithful, to “be patient and don’t give up.” And I don’t have it in me to rebel against Him. So here I am, right where you are. Hey, at least we’re not alone anymore! Right?

    I hope, Rick, that knowing I’m here, facing the same challenge, gives you hope, too.

    (And thanks for the scripture in Jacob–it helps a lot.)

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