Teenaged me thought love was a fairytale. I thought of love with wimsy.  I prayed for the Cinderella story that would have me spinning on a ballroom floor, wearing a beautiful, jewel studded gown to ‘wow’ my Prince Charming. That was teenaged me; young, and hopeful. But, reality would soon change my perception of “true love”.

The first time I thought I was in love, I was barely twenty years old. His name was Darvon, and he had what the young kids today call swag. When I first saw him, he was wearing a pen-striped, black, and white, three pieced suit with a pair of black, and white wing-tipped Stacy Adams shoes. He even topped off the look with a full length fur coat, and I was stunned by him. I could feel my heart, for the first time in my life, almost leap out of my chest.

Standing 5’11, he practically commanded my attention. And, his smile magnetized me. I was hooked. When he spoke to me, I could hear honey in his voice; a smoothness of which I was unaccustomed to. But, I was so taken aback by the visual aspect of the situation, that I can’t tell you to this day what he said. And, that would prove to be the first problem. Had I been listening to him, rather than falling for all the glitz and glamour, I probably would have walked away. Instead, I put myself in a situation that would rob me of almost twelve years of my young life. Young love is truly blind.

But, my youthful mistakes taught me a lot. For instance, true love is not purposely hurtful. One time, Darvon was readying himself for what the “hood” refers to as a Millionaire’s Ball, a party thrown for a certain person who has made his first million against all the odds. Not many opportunities in the “hood” will get you a milliion bucks, so this party was a huge deal! I got so excited; scurrying about, trying to figure out what to wear.

“Baby, I’m going to go to the party with Nikki” he told me. “You don’t have enough class for this kind of party.”

I thought I would die. I thought “maybe he’s right!”.  After all, I wasn’t from the streets. I was a church girl. I didn’t know anything about any millionaire parties. Still, it hurt. And, he did not care. A Godly man never would have treated me that way. You would think that would’ve been my cue to get some self respect, and leave, but it wasn’t.

Another thing I learned was that love, true love, is not abusive. After I stood back, and watched the man that was telling me that he loved me take another young lady to the Millionaire’s Ball, it started to eat at me. I was seething on the inside, but I dare not let anyone know that. To me, that was a sign of weakness. I was messed up, I tell you. Broken, hurt, and disturbed, but I was too proud to say so.

The next day when he called, and asked me to come by, I just knew he was going to apologize. I got myself all showered, and dolled up, and jumped on the RTA bus to get to my baby. The whole way there, I imagined all the fabulous ways that he was going to say ” I’m sorry”, and rehearsed all the ways I would verbally punish him for his blatant indiscretion. Young love is so dumb.

I knocked, softly,on the green painted door, and waited patiently for someone to answer.

“Janet? What are you doing here?” His portly grandmother asked when she opened the door, surprised, and almost bewildered.

“Darvon asked me to come by.”

My reply was short. A pit of despair formed in my stomach; a lump raised in my throat. Something was definitely off.

“He’s in the kitchen with Nikki” she told me. I, and all my pride, went right in.

He was bent on one knee, sliding a pear-shaped diamond onto Nikki’s finger, and the rest of the house, the grandmother, his father, his daughter, were all celebrating the festivities. I died a second time, a third time when he threw a box of screws at me, and told me to get out of his life.

This is the kind of supposed love that comes with leading a sinful life. No one deserves to be treated so harshly, but had I been living right, I would have demanded the kind of love Paul wrote about to the Corinthians.

I’ve come to learn that if a woman wants a Godly love, patient, kind, longsuffering, she first has to find a God-fearing man. But, finding a God-fearing man will do her no good if she is not willing to lead a Godly life.

As women, we get so caught up in not wanting to be alone that we often start to feel for the first handsome man that knows how to feign kindness. But, relationships take work. Feigning interest will not do. We first have to learn what true love is. It is giving, and sacrifice. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son.” That is true love. That is doing what it takes to win a heart. This Darvon character, he wasn’t willing to sacrifice anything for me. He wasn’t willing to give anything up for me. He took what I gave. He wanted it all, and he threw it in my face, letting me know just how little I meant to him.

     But, the love of God is different. It is patient. It is kind. It is there, even when we don’t deserve it. That’s the kind of love He wants for His children.  Once we learn, and understand, that kind of love, accepting just any ole offering of supposed love could never be enough. True love is a Godly love. And, He is the definition of splendor.


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