I wish I could tell you that my boyfriend, Cody, and I met, fell in love, and we’ve lived happily ever after, but this isn’t a Disney movie. Like most couples, we’ve had to fight like hell to get where we are today. So many times I questioned if it was all worth it. I used to think that if you were really meant to be with someone that it would just work. You wouldn’t have to try very hard, everything would just fall into place, and it would all be rainbows and butterflies. However, nothing is ever all rainbows and butterflies.
Cody and I met in 8th grade when we were just wee little babies. In school we were friends but really didn’t form a real relationship until after we graduated. In May of 2013 I had just barely managed to get out of an almost five year, emotionally and mentally abusive relationship, when my sweet little Cody decided to poke me on Facebook. I had never been poked on Facebook in my life, but leave it to him to flirt that way. Inevitably we started talking and he asked if he could take me out on a date. My response was why the heck would he want to go on a date with me, and his reply was something along the lines of why wouldn’t he want to go on a date with such a pretty lady. Yeah, he thinks he’s smooth. I fell for it though and I soon found myself in a real pickle. The more we talked the more I realized Cody wasn’t really looking for a relationship, but I was falling. He was like my saving grace. My hero that came in and swooped me up out of my crappy situation. It was all so comfortable with him. We had a connection, something so strong that I know now will bond us for life, but at the time he couldn’t see it. Typical guy. I knew I wanted more than what he was giving me and so eventually I just stopped talking to him. I know, wrong way to go about things. I just wasn’t the greatest at handling confrontation.
Now fast forward 2 years and you’ll find me moved on and in a new relationship. We were in love and so happy, except not really. We had been dating for a year and a half, lived together, and everyone thought we were going to get married. Me on the other hand? Well, I was just kind of going through the motions. By November of 2015, my life had become a routine. Things had changed somewhere along the way and deep down I knew I wasn’t happy anymore. This was not what I wanted. Now before I got to an impasse in my relationship with him, we were happy. I didn’t think I could get any happier. But even though I felt that way there was always one person in the back of my mind. Cody. They were innocent thoughts for the most part. Mostly just wondering how he was and missing him as a friend. Other times, I wondered what things would be like if we had ended up together. So there I was, in a slump, just barely dealing with life and completely unhappy trying to figure out how to end my current relationship, when I got a notification on Facebook. Good ole’ Facebook. Cody had liked one of my pictures. Now normally I would have ignored it, but for some reason I decided to like one of his. We continued this for a while until he finally messaged me, and my heart stopped. I had not talked to this boy in AT LEAST a year. What the heck was I supposed to say to him? We carried on a normal conversation for a bit until things got serious. He apologized for what happened, or didn’t happen, between us two years ago and that he wished he hadn’t been so scared of commitment. Now at this point I’m in utter shock. After so long now he wants to say these things? He has a habit of surprising me. I JOKINGLY told him that he loved me even though he wouldn’t admit it to himself, and he completely blew my mind by replying that I was right. Wait, what?! Now at this point I’m totally dying inside. He went on to actually say the words, that he loved me. Now y’all my, still boyfriend at the time, was laying next to me asleep. No joke. That may make me sound like a horrible person, but things were working out how they were always meant to. Once again, Cody was my saving grace. He met me at my worst. When I was in a not so good situation. Now is he the sole reason I ended my relationship? Absolutely not. Was he that one push that I needed to follow through with it? I think so. So I ended that relationship and jumped head first into a relationship with Cody. I was pretty smitten with him and thought things couldn’t get better. At this point I still hadn’t found my identity in Christ so I was still looking for love in all the wrong places basically. I put all my hope in Cody to fulfill all the needs I had when that just wasn’t realistic.
We were five months into our relationship when I was saved by the Lord. The time leading up to this point had not been easy, but things began to worsen. At this point I was constantly having feelings of doubt. You see, Cody and I are very different. Complete opposites. The way we think, the way we handle situations, and ESPECIALLY the way we love. This is what caused the majority of the problems for us. Back to my statement about expecting Cody to fulfill all my needs, that wasn’t fair. He was only human and he tried, what he thought was his best, but for me nothing was ever good enough. While I should have gotten an attitude adjustment, I also should have been putting all that hope in God. Stemming back from my daddy issues and lack of great relationships, I was just really looking for someone to love me. And yes, Cody did love me but it’s a type of love no one can fill except God. I just didn’t know it at the time. So me and Cody fought almost daily about anything and everything and if we’re being honest here, I was not a real joy to be around. I mean would you want to stay with someone who made you feel like you weren’t enough? But through my bouts of anxiety and constant questioning, he never left me. He didn’t know what to say 99% of the time, but he still didn’t walk away. I don’t even know if I’ve ever thanked him for that but that right there, ladies and gentlemen, is love. He stood by me through the really rough, ugly times even though it couldn’t have been fun for him. So thank you babe, you’re the best.
Once I was saved and my anxiety melted away, you would think that solved everything, but no. Of course not because it can never be that simple. I tried to push Cody into believing the same things I did and it just didn’t work. And even though I lost touch with the Lord trying to be close to Cody, the damage between us had already been done. I felt like I had constantly been fighting for him and it just wasn’t ever going to work. He was never going to be able to give me what I needed. I think I even told him that at one point which is horrible, but I was convinced that he didn’t care and that his love just wasn’t enough. We probably broke up about three different times between then and now. Honestly I don’t really remember because well, it doesn’t even matter now. But by the last time we broke up I had hit rock bottom. I was completely lost and realized some pretty ugly things about myself. I was controlling, impatient, and in total denial. When I really took a second to look back on our relationship I realized that I wasn’t always the best girlfriend. In fact, I hardly ever was. Now that’s not to say that it was all my fault, because Cody can be a real pain too, but the point is that it wasn’t ALL his fault like I made it out to be. I never took responsibility for my actions and felt righteous in everything I did. And mind you I tried to pray.. tried being the key word. My prayers were something like “God, why can’t you just change Cody.” Or “God, why won’t you just help our relationship?” I spent so much time focusing on what was wrong with Cody and I never looked in the mirror. My heart was not in the right place yet. I never asked God to show me what I could change about myself, it was just always about Cody. I wanted God to perform this miracle on him and make him a totally different person. Except I realize now that I fell in love with Cody just the way he is. Even though he is stubborn and totally ridiculous, I love him. No matter what the circumstances. I spent pretty much our whole relationship, up until now, wanting to “fix” him. And trust me, I hate admitting that. I just thought that after everything he had been through that he just needed someone (me) to come in and save him like I always felt he saved me. I wanted my love to save him. But it’s not my love that was going to change him, it was God’s.
When Cody approached me a couple of days after calling it quits for good, proclaiming he wanted God to be a part of our relationship, I was very skeptical of him being able to change. Isn’t that ridiculous? I wanted so badly for him to change and when he was finally making an effort to, I didn’t believe it. A few days after that first conversation I had to have a heart to heart with God. By this point I had already asked forgiveness for the ways that I had wronged Cody, but God was constantly showing me more and more things to work on within myself. So during that heart to heart I asked God to help me, guide me, and show me the right path whether that included Cody or not. Secretly I obviously hoped it would. But I dreamed about Cody that night and that was all the affirmation from God I needed. From that point on, my main goal was to fix OUR relationship, and not just focus on all the things Cody did wrong. I see changes in that boy everyday. It seriously amazes me and I can’t praise God enough. There’s not a day that goes by that the Lord is not speaking to me or showing me something. My prayers have changed to asking God to change OUR hearts, to help us reconnect with each other, and most importantly connect with Him. Now of course there are always going to be people that still doubt and question why you keep trying. They don’t understand and quite frankly it’s not for them to understand. Our relationship is between the two of us and the big man upstairs. I don’t have to answer to anyone but Him.
I also realized that all those things I thought I needed Cody to fulfill? Yeah, I needed to let God fulfill those. He will love me more in an instant than any one person could in my whole life. You are supposed to fall in love with the Lord first. Anyone else he sends to love you is supposed to be a gift. He wants your focus to be on Him. He wants to fulfill all those things for you. Because think about it.. Everyone on this earth is temporary. But you know who is always going to be there? Our Heavenly Father. His love is unfailing. His love never changes. Now do Cody and I still argue? Yes! We are not perfect and there are days that him and I still struggle because we’re HUMAN. There are days I really want to punch him in the face, and I’m sure the feeling is mutual. I’m still impatient and moody and sassy and a hand full, and Cody is still a total butt sometimes. Some things will never change. But what has is the way I look at our relationship. I look at him sometimes and I’m just so amazed that God created that beautiful human being for me. ME! How lucky am I? I would take all his pain away in an instant. Every hurt, every tear, every burden. I would take it all for myself if I could. I would do whatever it took to keep him safe and happy. That’s my baby. I no longer look at everything he does wrong, or think about what I would change. And the truth is, there’s not one single thing I would change about him anymore. If he weren’t who he is.. well then we might not be where we are now. There are days that the devil likes to sneak in and make me feel like we can’t change and we’ll never work, but I know that all those negative thoughts are lies. The devil is a liar guys and a darn good one at that. And there are days that I don’t feel worthy of Cody’s love. Like what did I do to deserve him? But I remember that I am deserving! I am worthy. He has been so supportive and amazing through this whole process. He may not be all the way at the level I am, but Cody has tried his best to understand and know that listening to God is something that I have to do. I feel so blessed that he is the man God has given me to do life with. I really hope he knows how much I appreciate him and love him. Which he should because I tell him like twenty times a day and totally smother him with love.
So what’s the moral of this story? No relationship is perfect. We live in a sinful world where people are going to make mistakes, and you know what? That’s okay because we have a loving God who will forgive us. But I think so many people believe that you don’t have to work for a good relationship. That sometimes it just doesn’t work. Love isn’t always enough. Let me tell you something friends, love is ALWAYS enough. The whole reason any of us are even here right now is because of love! John 3:16 says, “For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son…” Yes, relationships definitely run more smoothly when God is at the center of them. But that doesn’t mean you’re still not going to have issues. You have to choose to make it work. Love is a choice. It’s not easy, but the journey is always more rewarding than the destination. So keep on fighting, loving and praying. Always.