Life as I knew it would be over before earth had finished its rotation that day, but the sun gave away no secrets. It sat high in the sky shinning bright and warm, even in January.
I was on my lunch break and my fear from the night before had given way to an explosion of hope for what life would be like with Ethan. My heart was full, and my prayers overflowing. I had just texted Ethan and asked him how I could be praying for him. He asked me to pray for his class that day, that he would find new and creative ways to engage his students.
I was excited to pray for this. I loved that he was a film teacher. Creative, intelligent, passionate—this was my man.
Ethan often shared the lessons from his film class with me, the content, the technical strategies, the history, the stories behind the stories, all endlessly thrilling to him. Often times he would lament that his students seemed so unmotivated, so disinterested. He couldn’t understand where the disconnect was. As this new semester began, he was looking for new ways to evoke the same satisfied thrill in his student as he himself found in the medium of film.
And so, as I drove the long straight stretch home from my office that sunny Tuesday in January, I was a bursting sonnet of prayers for my man. I wanted so badly for him to see that spark of interest and intrigue in the eyes of his students that day. I wanted him to have that feeling of satisfaction when you know you have conspired with the Lord to create something you could never have come up with on your own. But even more than that, I wanted him to invest fully in now, knowing that more was coming. I wanted him to rest in the same confidence I had over his future that God was going to use his skills and passion to breathe life into new and stunning masterpieces of original film. I wanted the horizons of his hope expanded for the wonders that lay ahead for both of us, working together to make new things of beauty and deep meaning. And so I prayed through that lunch break, adamant with hope and nearly breathless with excitement. His future was going to be so rich. So full of God-infused creativity. I prayed that his class that day would mark something of his future, a spark of purpose that he would never recover from.
As my lunch break ended, and I began driving back to my office, I was still praying. The bursting hope for Ethan’s future overflowing, until I interrupted my own beseeching of the Lord to say out loud, “I just love him SO much!”
And the LORD asked me in response, “Could you live without him?”
I was a bit startled by this sudden shift in the conversation, and I wanted to shout back, “no, I could never live without him,” because too many stupid chick flicks had indicated that you know you have found “the one” when you feel you cannot live without him. But I knew, in that moment that that was not true. He was the one I wanted to make a life with, but I also knew that I could live without him. And in the beat of a moment that extend out in front of the LORD’s question, I saw my life without Ethan. I didn’t welcome the idea, but I saw God in it and I knew that HE not Ethan was the source of my life.
“Yes, LORD,” I said aloud to Him in my truck as I sat at the red light at the corner of central and Highway 18, “I could live without him. You alone, I could never live without.” And I knew too, in that statement was the promise to myself that I would never, no matter what was to come, I could never afford to abandon my God.