Before I quit my job at E! and moved all of my belongings into storage, I lived in an amazing penthouse overlooking the
Pacific Ocean. It was beautiful. One evening, Roger came over to hang out and we walked across the street to take a stroll on the beach. The sun had just set and the stars were coming out to visit. We sat on the sand and looked at the sparkling diamonds and I said, “make a wish.” We both did and immediately he asked, “what did you wish for?” I wouldn’t tell. Just like the wish I made in Snow White’s wishing well at Disneyland – if you tell a wish, it won’t come true.
Now that Roger and I were officially dating, he told me, “Remember the wishes we made on the stars at the beach?” “Yes, and I’m not telling mine!,” I said. “Well, I wished that one day I’d date Raeanne Jones,” Roger said. And now his wish had come true. I smiled and inside laughed to myself, “if only he knew what I wished for!”
We had a blast spending the holidays together, exchanging gifts, getting dressed up to see Miss Saigon in
The new year brought new adventures which included little day trips to
Catalina Island and then my first Valentine’s Day having a boyfriend! I surprised him and took him up to Yosemite for the day – it was adventurous, romantic and a dream coming true. We spent late nights talking, weekends going to movies and new restaurants, and we spent countless hours on the phone. I just couldn’t be happier and imagine a better man for me. I always dreamed of marrying a big man, tall, broad shoulders, big hands… I always wanted to feel small and protected. Roger was just that! Tall, broad shoulders, muscular legs, nice hands, he was so handsome and I just couldn’t believe that he was my boyfriend!
Our relationship was easy. We were so compatible and hardly ever argued. It was so wonderful that I never expected the surprise I got on April 1st.
Our church held a Maundy Thursday service which is the day before Good Friday. In 1999, Maundy Thursday fell on April 1st. It was a beautiful, haunting service as we prepared our hearts for what would happen the next day, the crucifixion. After the service, Roger and I went down to his office to talk. It was then that I received the shock and it’s wasn’t an April Fool’s joke.
Roger told me that God was taking him on a journey and he felt that he needed to go alone. His words were cryptic, disguised, unclear and confusing. A journey? Alone? What does this mean? I replied, “I’ll wait for you. I’ll encourage you. I’ll support you.” “No,” he said. “God is calling me to go alone.” In a very strange and uncertain way, he was breaking up with me and it just didn’t make sense. Perhaps it was my inexperience with break-ups, or the complete disbelief, but there wasn’t much conversation after that and we were no longer dating.
In the months to follow, I began to process April 1st and journaled in a beautiful, wooden journal that Mr. M had given me as a gift when I graduated from Pepperdine.
October 8, 1999
It’s funny, I received this book as a gift from a dear friend over 4 years ago. Even now, the last time I’ve written in it was over a year ago. I thought it was so precious when I first got it, I didn’t want to ruin it. I thought that I could only write in it if I had something huge or profound to write. I didn’t want a worthless book, filled with trivial entries and inconsistencies. I didn’t even want to vary in colors of ink or writing styles. SO protected, so guarded, too high of standards. I feared messing up this precious gift of a book. As you can see, in my fearful efforts to maintain the purity of this book I have succeeded in only one thing – to keep it empty. So afraid of ruining my desires and intentions for this book, I’ve chosen to set it aside, buying many cheaper ones in it’s place and freely writing in them. All the while, this one has remained empty. Too special, too perfect, too important for me to perhaps ruin.
Yet this was a gift to me. I didn’t buy it, I didn’t look for it. It was given to me with the intention of having it hold testimony to God’s faithfulness in my life. I elevated those intentions so high that this book became untouchable, unapproachable. Quiet, alone, empty.
This book was intended to be written in. Good things, bad things, truth, wishes, mistakes, errors, different ink, different styles. This book was made to be written in.
The life that God has given me is much like this book. It’s precious, it’s perfect. Life was free, I didn’t go looking for it, I didn’t buy it. It was free, it was a gift. God said live! Live abundantly! Enjoy life! Enjoy relationships.
I took those intentions and elevated them so high that they became untouchable. I became untouchable. My standards for relationship exceeded the intentions God had in giving them to me. Time and again He told me that relationships were gifts. They were free! The intention is to glorify me through relationships! Fellowship and enjoy!
The idea of dating was precious. Like this book though, I thought I could only date someone if they were perfect, promised glorifying God with me and wouldn’t vary in style. As My standards for this gift were elevated it only served to bring me on thing. Fear. Fear that I’d start a relationship and mess up. Then the gift would be ruined. Like if I wrote nonsense in this book – it would lessen it’s value. With the fear of messing up and ruining the perfect pages of my life, I put the pen down, eliminating any chance for error. I never dated anyone. Not so much because my standards were too high, but truly because no one asked!!
Well, one did come along. Offering the hope of bringing glory to God, I allowed him to pick up the pen and begin to fill the pages of my life with relationship. Everything was new, everything was fun. I knew this was what I was meant for – relationship. Just as the book was meant to be written in.
But then my fears were met with reality. Mistakes were made. Spelling errors, changes in the colors of ink. The relationship didn’t meet my untouchable standards. My spotless pages had been written on with profound, yet now meaningless words. The value of me was lessened. Ruined. I couldn’t go back and recapture my pure spotless life. Now there was hurt and stain on the pages. What went wrong?
Then Jesus spoke to me. “Live by my standards, not your own. Use my gifts with the intentions that I give them, don’t create your own unattainable reality. If you experience the gift of relationship that I give you, in your humanness it won’t be perfect. BUT – I’ve given you grace to live through and I can take any error and bring glory to myself through it. Don’t be afraid to allow people to write on the pages of your life, to love you, to know you. I’ll protect you and I’ll extend grace at any needed moment.
Don’t waste life with empty pages, so afraid of making a mistake. Experiencing grace is one of the most wonderful joys in life and the sweetness of it usually comes through sorrow. Here is life. Here are relationships! Enjoy! Bring glory to me through them. Use them as I’ve intended.”
I learned so much through my dating relationship with Roger and God transformed me in great ways. Although the break up was seemingly unfounded, I had peace about it and trusted that God knew what He was doing. It was a tough pill to swallow. A broken heart. But God, in His master craftsmanship, rebuilt my broken heart and made it like new.