It was over two years ago that Ben and I first started dating, just nineteen and twenty years old. As excited as we were, I was in turmoil inside—how could I really know if I was supposed to be with him for life? Looking back, we were both still insecure, struggling to find who we were and what we wanted our lives to be about. And so, six months in, we broke up and I broke his heart. It hurt much more than I anticipated and launched us into a year and a half of growing up and evaluating and learning.
Our lives continued to weave together though, as we led groups, attended weddings, traveled to four countries, played music together, and ran into each other seemingly everywhere. The proximity was painful, but it became increasingly clear, as we both grew into our own skin, that we shared common passions and dreams, that we were chasing the same things, and that our strengths and weaknesses could pair together to launch us further. Also that I wasn't getting over him anytime soon.
So last summer, the day after we returned from teaching an English Camp in Slovenia with a team from our church, I sheepishly handed him a letter sharing the deepest parts of my heart. It was a risk, but I knew I couldn't live with the regret of words left unsaid.
Long story shortened a bit—a couple months later we finally became "Ben & Lauren 2.0". They say with great risk comes great reward, and we have found the deepest joy in seeing what was once broken now made new. The confusion has been replaced with peace; the wounds with love. We know what it is to have lost and to be lonely, and it has made us all the more overwhelmed at God's kindness to us.
I say all this, because more than being a story of Ben and Lauren, it is a story about a God who resurrects the dead and enters into the stories of lost causes. He sustained me in the dark hours and He leads me still through the happiest. So wherever you are in your story — not just of love, but of life — there is hope.
"You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again."