By Jesse Garcia | Guest Blogger
Photo credit: Jenny Haas Photography
I’ve always been a romantic. When I was little I would dream of ways to sweep a girl off her feet. I remember the first girl I ever fell in love with. It was a bright sunny day in Los Angeles, California. The cool breeze swept through the playground as she slowly turned around, her brown hair looked sleek in the sunlight. She slowly tucked her hair behind her ears as the sun radiated her shy smile. I was in love. I wanted to walk over to Karla that day and profess my love, even though I had not met her yet.
I saw how the other guys looked at her and I knew I had to move in quickly. I mustered up all the courage I had saved for that year to ask my dad for a new bike for Christmas, but this was bigger than a bike; this was love. I slowly started making my way across the elementary playground as sweat started slowly crawling down my back. My palms started feeling as if I was holding a melting popsicle. I had cleverly acted like I was checking for something in my pockets so I could wipe off the sweat. I coughed on my bicep to check how my breath was, and then quickly wished that I hadn’t. Doubts started running through my mind, “she’s not going to like me, she’s way too beautiful. Maybe I can just send her a note asking if she likes me…” As I looked up, she was right in front of me.
I mutter around my words trying to say “uhhhhhhh… hi, I’m Jesse” as I extend my hand to shake hers. She softly blushed. “Hi, I’m Karla.” We both started laughing like we were lost friends who had just run into each other after years later. “So… we should sit at lunch one day… like together…,” I said to her. Just as she looked up and started to say, “I would…” a ball came soaring right in between us. A group of guys came running after it. James quickly picked it up and looked at Karla and asked her, “why are you with him? Come play with us.” He put his arm around her and they both lived happily ever after. My heart felt as if it were a shirt that she had rung out dry for all it had and then she simply put me up on a clothesline to be forgotten.
Karla broke my heart, and on that day I didn’t want to open up my heart ever again. It hurt and it was painful, why would I ever do that again?
Twelve years later I found myself in the same place all over again. I was in love, or at least my idea of love, but I didn’t want to get hurt so I kept my heart closed. I didn’t want to be the one sending text messages first, I didn’t want to be the one asking, “we should hang out” first, I didn’t want to be the one to make the “first move,” and I didn’t even want to be the one to say, “I love you” first. My idea of what a relationship was; if they love me more, I have the upper hand. I have all the power if they like me more and I can walk away at any time when they can’t.
Relationship after relationship year after year I kept doing the same thing, leaving behind women who have full heartedly put forth effort into the relationship as I kept my distance. As I reflect back on all my mistakes I have to apologize to these women. For I have done a great disservice to you. I’ve allowed you to think that you are not enough, that you are not beautiful, and worst of all that you are not worth pursuing. But the truth is, as a man, that is my job. That is my role as a man to not just pursue you through the great valleys and mountains, but to fight for you when you are tempted by a serpent, to be a mirror and reflect the beauty that God created you in, to uphold your dignity and not defame it by watching pornography, to point you back to God instead of to my own desires and pleasures, and to treat you as a subject not an object.
We live in world that strips women of who they are and men, we don’t do anything about it but say “did you see the way she was dressed she is just looking for it.” Men, when did we submit ourselves to the passion of lust and let it cripple us into an animalistic state? When did we stop seeing women as daughters, wives, and sisters? How long will we entertain companies that diminish the true beauty of women? Men, how long will we continue to fail to protect the women around us? These are some questions we must answer in the silence of our hearts. These are some questions that I myself must answer.
Women you deserve more and I pray you believe these words. You deserve the best. You are beautiful. You are worth pursuing.
Karla taught me something very important that day that I’ve never noticed before. That love must be fought for, love must pursue, love is selfless, and love must take a leap. Is it going to hurt sometimes? Yes, but love is worth it. Love costs everything.
P.S. You are enough.