So this is a very long story but mainly my point is that I thought I was a nice person, I thought I was so mature, and well, I am quite the jerk and actually very immature.
My friend Jessica has been dating her very own prince charming for about a year now. She could not be happier. When they very first got together, I thought, "Ah-ha, this is my moment. I am older, I am married, I have gone through this. I know everything. I will make this painless for my friend."
And so, the very first time Jess told me some of the "beginning" things couples do (like staring at each other for amazing lengths of time) I freaked out. Because of my own past, I whole-heartedly believed I could see into the crystal ball of Jessica and her beau's life; yes people, I seriously thought I knew exactly what their past, present, and future would look like...you know, something like, um, mine.
I laid out my heart. (I was big into communication at this time...letting it all hang out, being honest, and all those other very dangerous and not always profitable things). I told them they better watch out because sex comes out of no where and it will affect them forever...woe, woe, woe.
Which I still think is absolutely true.
But they both looked at me like I was a little off my rocker. They were, of course, just staring at each other.
From that point on it was a mess. I had this notion I was supposed to be the most amazing accountability partner ever, when what I felt like whenever Jess and I would talk was a fourteen year old trying to pass calculus. Or like me trying to pass calculus. I was confused and confused and confused. I felt like I was trying to be a saint and a friend and a sister and a mother all at once.
And poor Jessica. You should try talking to someone who is trying to be four people all at the same time. By the end of it, I was saying horrible things about her soon-to-be fiance--things like hypocrite; I was angry at both of them (they never took my advice those love birds!) and I basically thought our friendship was over every time we talked.
It never was. Jess is a little bit more rational than I am I think.
I feel like I can see myself for the first time in the way that they see me: the person I hated when I was dating. The person who I felt judged by, the person who I thought had no idea, the person I never, ever, ever, wanted to be to my friend Jessica.
So I have learned a couple of things here. Number one, shut up. I could just kick myself for things I have said over this last year concerning Jess' relationship. In all his sweetness, her boyfriend tells me something like, "it will all be used in God's providence." I could just kiss him. Number two, be nice. I never ever ever want to use the word hypocrite again unless it is referring to someone super close to myself, someone who looks and talks and breaths like me. And shares all my clothes.
Number three, those people in my life who I hated when I was dating: maybe I had them all wrong. Maybe their hearts felt for me what mine feels for Jess, and the world is just a mess and so full of sin we can't always show it the way we want. Maybe, even though our hearts feel so full of love and care for each other they could burst, when we try to show it, it comes out sounding like a very, very messed up calculus problem.