…but, first comes love.

praise be to the One who placed this one back in my life. in 2016, i finally got to meet the man that was just a friend on facebook. we ran in the same circles for years, but we didn’t think we knew each other… we just knew each other. i saw that he attended the same college and immediately went on a search for him. to be completely honest, i was intrigued by how mysterious he was. he seemed like he kept his business to himself and didn’t care to be the “it” guy (the complete opposite of me) and i wanted to know more. the search was solely to figure out if i actually knew him and he knew me. the academic link at school was the meeting place. he was working and i was pretending like i needed a tutor. i couldn’t find another reason to just “pass by.” we exchanged our “hello” to one another and that was it. another day at school rolled in and he walked into my spanish class. this guy was so quiet and introverted that he had to have been there all year, but there was no reason for us to communicate. his headphones were his go to and everyone else was mine. time went by and we exchanged laughs over random things people would say in our class, and then it was over. summer came. fall came again and we were in yet another class together. as any “friend” would (and i use that term loosely), we talked a little, exchanged psn handles, and talked nothing but basketball and writing. there’s a lapse in my mind about what went on after that, but there was a day i remember.

in his spring semester of his final year of undergrad, we were in the same creative writing class and spanish class (again. i was over it) and finally got to talk deeply about the one thing we cared about most: writing. mister writer king himself was the best in the class, and i’m not just saying that. our classmates ranted and raved over his writing, as did i. he would share his close to home stories, i would write my comments, and i guess one sparked enough interest. in that same time period, i started writing poetry. i didn’t think i was any good, but my friend did. he was invested in that part of the enigma, and i was interested in his interest. we constantly exchanged our writing, and found different ways to challenge each other. i was hard on him and he was just as hard if not harder on me. i truly believe the way in which we were candid with each other through our writing is what sparked a lifelong friendship. time went on and we became the best of friends, and that was it. he was living his life, and i was living my life. we laughed a lot together. critiqued artists, and he even got me to change one of my favorites to his. all this to say, this was my favorite friendship. the one all my friends knew was different but i didn’t. the one that felt oddly comfortable from the very beginning without understanding why. the one i needed. the one i longed for…

…but where does this all fit in?

i decided to start this post with the story of our friendship because we were just that. this acceptance post is not for me, but for you. howard and i were the best of friends and that’s all we knew how to be. God connected us through pain, terrible terrible pain, and kept us there. as most know, i was in the arms of someone else. someone that i thought would be forever, but those thoughts stemmed from insecurity, guilt, and depression. i was wrong and God tried to show me that. however, as respectful as he is, Howard was a friend to me. he talked to me through some of my deepest depressive episodes and kept me accountable of not only what would came out of my mouth, but what came from my heart. no line stepped over and no boundary crossed. we didn’t see each other that way, and it was the first time i think i was completely content with a friendship. not to discredit any of my other friendships at the time or any other relationship, but i wasn’t trying to be more for him or with him. no one even knew we were friends. no one even knew how close we were.

when i was in the process of making a new life for myself, he would remind me of what kind of woman i wanted to be. he would remind me of how strong i was, how i didn’t need to stay in something because of time or out of obligation. but that there was a much bigger and better plan for me IF i had truly known and felt it in my heart. if i was sure and really sure it was time to get out of that part of my life.

i graduated from the same college. i was planning on moving out for the summer and living my absolute best life. i did not want baggage. i got rid of all of it with a blink of an eye. was it messy? yes. did i go about it the right way? probably not. i was 22 (ha, i’m almost 23 now… so old) but what 22 year old really has it together. i wish i would have tied much better knots in the loose ends. i wish i would have been clear about my intentions. i wish i would have spoken up sooner. but thank God for His grace and mercy, and thank God for Howard. i prayed. i asked God what to do. i prayed some more. i got rid of some extremely bad habits. i stopped trying to cope, and then one day, he looked at me and said we should try this, and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. so we did. my heart has known. my mind might have known too. i have loved him more than i can explain ever since then and i am more than thrilled to do life with my best friend, my absolute soulmate. i’m so in love with us, and i’m in love with our union. it hasn’t always been easy, but it’s always been worth it. it’s the Lord’s doing, and it’s marvelous in our eyes.

i believe in you.

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