The saying goes, “It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.” Well, as someone who has lost their person, I have worked tirelessly to focus my energy on the fact that this means I actually had someone to lose. I actually did live out my happily ever after even though it did not last nearly long enough. Not everyone gets to do even that. You don’t get to grieve if you never loved. The pain and sorrow we experience is simply a reminder that we did get to love deeply.
Taylor and I met on New Year’s Eve. We were both in the wedding party of our dear friends from Texas Christian University (TCU) and even though we had both spent the four years prior on a relatively small campus with mutual friends, in God’s perfect timing, we did not meet until that night. It did not take very long until I knew that Taylor was the one God had prepared for me. We spent the majority of the night together, dancing and celebrating our friends’ marriage. When we stood on the dance floor surrounded by all the friends and guests, we counted down to ring in the new year and Taylor, always a gentleman, asked me at midnight if he could give me a kiss.
I think a lot about how young and innocent we all were then; roommates, sorority sisters, and college classmates. For the most part, we were all in the first half of our 20’s and the biggest struggles seemed like balancing our social lives with the entry level jobs (or lack thereof) many of us were stuck in thanks to graduating following a recession. We were all enjoying life and hustling to figure out our next moves. For the most part, we had not yet faced some of life’s hardest challenges or learned the unfortunate lesson that it is certainly not fair. For the most part, we were blissfully oblivious to the harsh reality of job losses, fertility struggles, mortgage payments, and untimely death. We were all smiling back then as if we didn’t have a care in the world.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.”
Fast forward to New Year’s Eve 2020… people were never collectively more eager to welcome a clean slate and leave the old year in the past. I, however, had lots of mixed emotions saying goodbye to 2020…saying goodbye to Taylor and this first year of grief. My family was able to come out for the holidays and we spent New Year’s Eve together with Taylor’s family at his parent’s house. Their wedding anniversary was the night before and my mom’s birthday is on the 31st. This gave me even more to contemplate on the passage of time and how life has recently unfolded for me. I spent the night at his parent’s ranch so that I could easily put the girls down at a decent hour and stay up with everyone. Often when the girls and I stay, the three of us all end up sleeping together in the full size bed in Taylor’s old room and it is always strangely more comforting than my own bed.
As our families and a few close friends spent the evening playing poker and mah jongg, I took in the faces around me and thought how lucky I was. Putting myself back in the scene of the wedding where I first met Taylor, life could have gone in a completely different direction. He could have just been the guy that never called or I hadn’t even talked to in the first place. Instead, here I was sitting in his parent’s house with my family too and we all genuinely wanted to be together. Instead, OUR children were sleeping soundly upstairs in his childhood bedroom. I am so blessed!! My loss still hurts every single day, but I know I wouldn’t have the pain if I never had the love. We are all part of a love story even greater than that of a husband and wife or parent and child. We are all completely loved by our God and creator. In a fallen world, we can’t avoid pain, but God promises to guide us through every single thing we encounter in life, even a broken heart. God sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to deliver all who believe in Him from all of our troubles. If you are hoping 2021 will pan out better than the previous dumpster fire, ask Jesus into your heart so that you too will be delivered from your troubles.
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