Every once in a while, you meet someone that just seems so right. There’s mutual attraction, good chemistry, great rapport. It would have been the start to something meaningful… except circumstances get in the way. One of you has to leave, or you can’t seem to align schedules, or something altogether unexpected comes up. Whatever it was, whatever could have been – that thing just dies as abruptly as it started.
Earlier this year, I my friend told me about the acronym TOTGA – the one that got away. She used it to describe a dating relationship that I had to let go of at the time. I never thought of that person as someone who got away, to the honest. Rather, he was just someone who really wasn’t meant for me. For a time, though, I would wonder why we even met in the first place. But as God worked in my life, I came to understand why things are the way they are – and I am happy for the outcome. I don’t regret having gone through that brief period of heartache, because I saw how God loves me immeasurably more than that man ever could.
A few weeks ago, I encountered a new definition for TOTGA – the one that God allowed. It’s a much more beautiful way of expressing the sentiments of having an “almost but not quite” relationship. It focuses not on what has been, or what could have been… but what God is doing.
Every encounter with another human being – even if it doesn’t end as “happy ever after” – is never coincidence. God allows what we view as chance, temporary meetings for a reason. Our God never slumbers, and he has mapped out our days even before we were born. I take so much comfort in that. Each touchpoint is not simply serendipitous, but appointments orchestrated by God. Even the ones I seem to have engineered through my choices.
Missed connections aren’t just blips on the screen. They were allowed to happen in order to shape and mould me in ways that other relationships couldn’t have. And ironic as it may sound, they make me appreciate what was, and what could be.
In God’s appointment book, there are no such things as lost chances. Each encounter comes at a set time, for a set period, to achieve a set purpose. And I thank God for each person that has come into my life – because they all have changed me in ways only God could have foreseen.
I may miss the person, but I try not the miss the lesson. Every person and every heartache is special – for different reasons, and different seasons. Nothing we go through goes to waste.