I Would Have Loved You Anyway
*a snippet of "In God's Time" by Rebecca D. Fegan slated to release later this year (2018)
“Beck…did you hear me,” he asked.
“”Hmmm….,” I said half paying attention. Half listening. I was well known for multi-tasking.
Always in fact. It wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t running a mile a minute & in 11 different directions.
“Rebecca,” he said more loudly, “I asked you a question.”
“I heard you the first time. I’m just, well, I’m just avoiding answering it is all,” I answered back.
He let out a loud sigh behind me, and in return, I quietly took a deep breath in.
This was clearly a discussion neither of us was going to walk away from feeling satisfied.
“You don’t get to choose. That isn’t how this works. It was written for you LONG before you were ever born kiddo’. Say what you will Beck,
whatever is going to happen is going to happen. You can’t predict it, you can’t fix it, you can’t stop what is coming. You DO know it is coming right? Damnit Beckie, look at me,” he said.
I turned to face him knowing full well that tears were already starting to form in my eyes.
There was no stopping them.
“You don’t get to stand in front of me and pretend you don’t care because we BOTH know how damn hard you have struggled with ALL of this. I don’t say much, I can’t. It angers me because I can’t fix it. I don’t know how to make it better, and you won’t talk about it,” he said as he looked down at the table.
I just stood there looking at him, biting the inside of my cheek as he continued.
“If I could fix it I would, I can’t. I don’t know how, and honestly, right now I don’t want to. He NEVER deserved you, so why? WHY would I even consider,” he stopped mid-sentence as I raised my hand to get him to stop.
At some point, the tears had started streaming down my face and I didn’t even notice it until I saw them bounce off the kitchen table. I followed the next few to fall in what seemed like slow motion until they crashed into the table into small puddles.
Words weren’t something I had a hard time finding and yet at this moment I had none.
It had already been a long week.
Cleaning out the closet, the dresser, taking down pictures, packing away the past year and a half of my life AGAIN.
Knowing with every fold of a shirt or pair of pants that it was truly the final time.
That LIFE couldn’t truly move forward until I let go.
“Beck," he sighed, “I’m not trying to hurt you. I just want you to understand. We love you. We all love you. I know this isn’t easy. I know this isn’t what you want to hear. I know this doesn’t make it any easier and if I could take it ALL and carry it for you, I would. We have been friends for 20 years, and THIS is by far the hardest thing I have watched you live through. Not GO through, because I watched you go through the deployment, the baby, the divorce, I mean LIVE through.”
I looked across the table at him and said, “It is truly something else, isn’t it? I had moments, more than I am proud to share with anyone, but I’m still standing. So that counts for something right?”
He cracked a small smile and said, “Still standing? That is what you call this? Look at you. Just look at you. You are a force to be reckoned with.
Look at everything you have done. There aren’t even any words to describe how incredible it has been to watch you spread your wings.”
“In the end, it was worth letting go. I sit in that Creation Station more days than not and have a coming to Jesus moment knowing how ridiculously blessed the Littles and I have been in the past year. I count every single blessing. Every single bump. Every single moment. Even the hard ones. Yes, even him. I know where you are going with all of this. Momma’ and I talk about it more than I like to admit,” I said.
“No one is asking you to explain or to answer for him. In the end, you don’t have to make that call anyway Beck. I just worry is all,” he said.
“Well, you don’t have too. I won’t lie to you and tell you I’m fine. I’m not. I heal and process more every single day. I try to find peace with my choices and decisions as much as possible,” I answered back.
“Some days I wish I could just change it is all. Watching you go through this almost killed me. Not because I didn’t think you weren’t going to make it, but because I knew you were hurting and there was NOTHING I could do to stop it. I am your BEST FRIEND and I felt like a complete failure watching you, knowing there was NOTHING that I could say or do that was going to fix it. I was at a complete loss. Even now, hell most days I am. You’re stronger than me Beck, stronger than all of us. I hope you KNOW that. I hope you BELIEVE that because you ARE,” he said.
I took a small breath in and held it.
Biting my tongue seemed appropriate for the moment.
Mostly because all the FEELS were in the air and I wasn’t one to talk about FEELS lately, but also because he wasn’t wrong.
He rarely was when it came to things of this nature.
I won’t ever tell him to his face, but we both know this very fact to be so.
He had taken the brunt end of most of my rants, been a part of all of my biggest moments, and only once ever got mad enough in 20 + years to fight back.
I had pushed everyone out, but he wasn’t having it.
I pushed, he pushed back harder and has always been the person to put me in my place when I needed it.
Today was one of those times and even though I wasn’t ready to admit what he was saying to me, the fact of the matter was, he was right.
“There were days when I didn’t feel very strong after he left, I took a sharp breath in and a sob escaped, I shook my head to try to pull it together enough continue. “When you give to someone that way and they just decide that their only option is to leave. It truly makes you question your judgment ya’ know. Like how I could have missed the signs that were blatantly there, but the reality is I would have loved him anyway,” I said.
He just looked across the table at me and down at his hands, “I hope he knows what he had in you Beck, even if he didn’t realize it then, I’m guessing he does now. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in his shoes.”
“You know it wasn’t so bad, not all is lost. LOOK,” I said as I pointed to the Creation Station, “Look at everything I was able to create, to become, and just think of all that I have yet to accomplish,” I whispered.
As if by somehow saying it out loud would make it all disappear.
He smiled at me as he stood up and said, “The coolest part of being your best friend has been watching you grow over the years. The second coolest is watching you finally realize what the rest of us all already knew about you. Took you a minute to figure it out, but you got it.”
I half smiled and said, “Yeah….it did…but at the end of the day, at the end of it all, I would have loved him anyway ya’ know?”
He reached out to hug me, “Beck that is the beauty of it all. You could have known the storm that was coming, all that you were going to endure and you are RIGHT you would have LOVED him anyway. I wonder if he knows just how lucky he really was.”
“Doubtful,” I said as I rolled my eyes and chuckled.
Just like that there was an ease in the air and life slowly crept back to whatever was supposed to look like normal at that point.
Rewind a few moments in time.......
It wasn’t very long ago though that life had been very different for everyone…
The world that I knew in the moments before me were already shifting & even though I wasn’t aware of it then, everything would soon reveal itself in due time.
You sat before me trying to explain what you called, “Your Mess.”
You were clearly nervous.
I remember thinking, “This is it? This is all he has got?” as you continued tracing your finger across the table and explaining why “Your Small Town USA” story trumped mine.
When you were finished I remember looking across the table and saying, “That’s it? That is all you got?”
I won’t ever forget the look on your face.
It was as if a sigh of relief washed over your entire body.
Like for the very first time in all your life you didn’t feel “stuck” for telling whole truths.
It was when you cracked a smile at me that I knew you realized you were in a safe place.
There was no judgment here, I had enough of my own skeletons....I couldn't go around judging anyone else's.
The moments after would set the pace for all that would come.
I told you my story and I held NOTHING back.
Every dark truth, every BAD moment, every bit of everything that I could think of that would cause you to stand and run.
You were supposed to get up and walk out.
You did not.
In the moments that would follow you asked me with a smile on your face, “That’s it? That’s all you got?”
I can still remember what it felt like in that moment when the weight left my shoulders and I narrowed my eyes at you wondering what your end game was.
You had everything to lose and I was risking NOTHING because I had absolutely NOTHING to lose.
I didn’t vest myself into much at the time, and I believed even less in people and their motives.
Looking back now, I know that the only thing that kept me there was the Good Lord, because EVERY other time that I had been in that position and had gotten up to use the bathroom, I would just casually slip away, never to return.
I believe the proper phrase is: To Ghost One.
Which at the time I had grown quite excellent at, sad to even admit, but it is true.
So instead I stayed, and I knew in the moments to follow that our two messes, no matter how badly we tried to separate them would be intertwined forever.
It was complicated.
Complicated was actually the understatement of the year.
I don’t honestly believe complicated is a big enough word to describe what it really truly was.
I can sit here now looking back knowing that even then God knew precisely what he was doing.
The patience needed to endure all that was in front of us both.
The story that would unfold, and if I had to do it all over again, I would have loved you anyway.
I would have listened LESS to OUTSIDE influences and MORE to what God was telling me.
I would have held on a little tighter in the moments when I was scared to death, but only so you would know that whatever you might be feeling
you would know you weren’t doing so alone.
I would have bitten my tongue in the moments when the pressure became to much, so that instead of saying the wrong thing, I could have
reflected on what you needed from me when you asked what you should do or say about the things that were bothering you the most.
I would have tried harder to understand.
I would have asked more questions.
I would have seen the signs when they were happening instead of when it was too late and I was reflecting over our relationship and what went wrong.
I would have memorized your laugh, your smile, your smell, I would have hugged you a little longer, hung on a little tighter, and given in during
more arguments when it was just clearly not worth hanging on to something so silly.
I would have put down my phone more and chose to just be in the moments when you clearly needed me to be.
I would have danced one last time in the kitchen with you while Joey and Rory sang, “Old Rugged Cross” and you sang loudly off-key into my ear as I giggled and hugged you closer.
I would have said, “Yes.” when you text and wanted to watch one more Nicholas Sparks movie because it meant we got to spend time with one another even though we were miles away from one another.
I would have spent more time realizing how short life really truly is & embraced those moments you were able to be with me instead of acting like they were never enough.
I would have slipped out of bed to follow you to the door at 4 am as you were leaving for one last kiss before you left for the week instead of staying in bed as you kissed my forehead and whispered that you loved me.
There are a 100, even a thousand different things I could have done, starting with walking away from you that VERY first night.
The truth of it is God told me not to.
He told me to STAY.
He warned me in the moments before I left the bathroom to come back to the table that it wasn’t going to be easy, but to just TRUST him because it would be WORTH it.
He wasn’t wrong.
Nothing about it was easy, but in the end, it was WORTH everything that I had to endure.
I do often wonder though when he will allow the feelings to subside so that I can find peace, closure, the promise of me moving on.
Instead, he shows me signs and literally puts and places you everywhere.
Probably to remind me not to forget how things came to pass.
The end result is still the same as it was even then.
If I had it to do all over again, I WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU ANYWAY.
You gave me back my life…..there is NOTHING more amazing and NO one more selfless than you…..
It is hard to believe that almost a year has passed since the very last time that I saw your face.
Even seeing pictures of you opens a flood gate of emotions that I have NO control over.
I am reminded, that through it all, no matter what, by God’s Grace we can begin again.
So I do.
Every single morning when I wake.
I want to tell you that it isn’t lonely doing God’s work, but at the end of the day, it is worth every single step I take on my journey closer to heaven.
He still speaks openly to me just as he did the day that you departed.
He reminds me that he isn’t finished with either of us yet, to trust in his plans, and continue doing his work.
He is busy.
He is working, and when I looked to the past in moments of reflection he reminded me of this:
Pslam 119:105 - Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
I won’t ever be able to Thank You enough for placing it there.
Our journey in this life put you where you needed to be because the Lord knew that without you, well I would never looked towards the clouds.
He tells me often to trust his plan.
To work hard.
To stay on course.
I often question him and if our paths will ever cross again in this lifetime, his reply is always the same and can be found in Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
What I know is simple, trusting in him has never done me wrong.
Momma’s advice is always the same, “In God’s Time Rebecca, we know not the plans that he has for us, but we must trust in them just the same.”
Wherever you are.
Whatever you are doing, I hope life is treating you kind & I will forever wish you well.
Without you, my walk with the Lord wouldn’t be what it is, and parts of me know I owe you more than I will ever be able to repay.
That is the true test of a person, of us as humans.
To give freely to another the things you can never be repayed for, all the while asking NOTHING in return.
You are an amazing child of God, I know the blessing it was to have you in my life, even if it was only for a short time.
So at the end of it all, if you ever question any of it, I hope you know this:
You helped me become all that I am today by loving me enough to trust that I would find my way just as David did in Pslam 121:1-2 A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Without you…..my life would be so different.
None of what you see before you, or all that has transpired around me because of your place in my life would be possible.
So I would never take a single moment back.
The ones that people frown upon, shake their fingers at, or make judgement of have all been washed away by his Grace.
Grace I would have never known if I hadn’t met you on a random Thursday when I wasn’t looking for you.
So if you ever wonder and a part of me believes that you sometimes do, the answer is quite simple really; I would have loved you anyway.