For this introduction I’ll have to take you all the way back to my high school days. The year; 1997. I had just been dumped by Katie. No big deal, it was high school and I had other things to think about, like graduating and getting out of that place! Not to mention that it wasn’t anything serious. So there I was, going on about my high school life, hanging out with friends and meeting new ones. Well apparently at some point while I was dating Katie, one of her friends noticed me; Lindsay. Lindsay and Katie were good friends, they hung out a lot and they were in color guard together. Lindsay dated my friend Scott while I was with Katie so I had seen her around, but never really paid much attention to her.
One day Lindsay gave a note to a mutual friend of ours to give to me. I don’t really remember what the note said anymore, but basically it was her telling me that I was awesome and that she would really like to hang out with me sometime. I was flattered that she would take the time to write me a note and that she wanted to hang out, but at the same time, she and my buddy Scott had dated. There is a such a thing as a “Bro Code” and even though I didn’t know it had a name back then, I was born with that code intertwined into my DNA. So I did what any reasonable bro would do, I asked Scott if he cared if Lindsay and I hung out. Scott was totally over her at that point, and gave me his blessing.
Lindsay and I went on the typical high schooler dates, dinner and movies mostly. Occasionally we would hang out at her mom’s place and watch a movie. I would “fall asleep” over there so we could hang out that much longer. You know you used to do that too, so don’t even judge me! Lindsay and I shared a lot of “firsts” together since we were so young when we started dating. We are both Aries, so when we got along, we really got along. Our arguments were few and far between because we just wanted to make each other happy all the time. Lindsay and I went to three proms together since I was a grade ahead of her. We went to several homecoming dances together. I went to watch her in her color guard competitions. Things were just a lot simpler back then. Back in the days of nothing to worry about other than school and what you were going to do with your friends on the weekends.
After Lindsay graduated high school she got a job and an apartment in Lebanon. I had a decent job too and spent a lot of my time over at Lindsay’s apartment. Her first apartment she shared with her roommate and good friend of her’s; Amanda. I honestly don’t recall a lot of the details about what happened during those years, but I do know that a lot of good times were had. There are some memories that stick out in my mind, memories that are better left in my mind and not written about here.
Anyway, Lindsay ended up moving to another apartment in Lebanon with another friend of her’s; Stacia. Wait, I think there may have been another friend/roommate before Stacia, Crystal maybe? I don’t really remember now, but that’s not what is important. I think it was at that point that I basically lived with Lindsay. It was kind of one of those things where the line is blurred because you spend so much time with someone that the boundaries aren’t really defined. But it was all good. Thinking back on it, we still didn’t really fight about much at all. We still shared a lot of the same dreams and aspirations. We still wanted a lot of the same things out of life. We were still the same crazy kids from high school; things were just a little different now.
Fast forward a few years, late 2004, Lindsay found out she was pregnant. We were going to have a baby! I’m not going to lie, I was nervous. Really nervous, scared even. I was still, what I considered, really too young to be a dad. I had no clue what I was doing with my own life, how was I going to be responsible for another little person? I know Lindsay had to be scared too. But she was amazing through everything, a lot stronger than me that’s for sure! Our relationship ended around the time our daughter was born. Looking back on it, it was one of the bigger mistakes I have ever made. I ran away from my responsibility. Plain and simple. I was scared…so I ran. I’m sorry for that, and it is a decision that would go on to haunt me for years after I made it.
I began dating Rachael shortly after running away from that life. You’ll read more about her later. Over the course of the next several years I battled with the whole “what if” thing. Wondering to myself what could have been, what should have been. But at that point it was too late. What was done had been done and it couldn’t be undone. Knowing what I know now though, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve learned that God will take any situation and make good come of it. He has a plan for all of us and regardless of our ability to make free will decisions, regardless of what trials or tribulations we go through on a personal level, He will see to it that His Will, will be done.
Though things have changed since Lindsay and I dated, I still consider her to be one of my good friends. We dated for several years, and in those years we were best of friends. We know things about each other, deep things. We’ve shared a lot of memories. Lindsay and I have since talked about things and she has forgiven me for making some of the decisions I made along the way. She sees the man that I have become and she is willing to move forward with our friendship. Through the grace of God, Lindsay and our daughter Jaedyn can still be a part of my life – for that I am thankful!
The Bible verse I would like to leave you with today is from Proverbs. Chapter 17, verse 9:
“Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” – Proverbs 17:9
To me, this verse really says it all. Basically, if you want to keep your friends, forgive them of their faults. After all, that is what friends do best, right? That’s what keeps them close. Lindsay forgave me and now we can be close friends again. You have to forgive your friends of their faults so you can learn from that experience – together. It will ultimately make you both better and stronger people. You will be stronger because you’ve forgiven your friend, and thusly, you will be forgiven by our Father. Your friend will be stronger because they can then look back and realize the mistake they made and learn not to make the same mistake again! True forgiveness is like a huge weight being lifted off of your shoulders – quite an amazing feeling!