I had to wait about three days for the shock to begin to wear off before I could write this final entry about Cowboy. It will continue to take a few more days, and then a few more weeks, and in a way, the rest of my life, but the closure has finally started.
I won’t talk about details because Cowboy’s life is private, and other than when it has directly involved me, I have and always will refrain from betraying the privacy he deserves just as much as any of us. It is enough to say that this weekend I learned he has returned to a destructive situation, filled with drama and poison, which, when we met, he had had enough sense to separate himself from months before. What has been revealed brought complete clarity to the end of our relationship and all the odd experiences at that time and since. I never, ever, would have believed this outcome was possible, but at the same time, I’d known in my gut from the day I originally learned about that part of his life that something was very not right. I was so sure he knew better (in fact, we’d talked about it plenty), but insecurities and fear and guilt can seduce any of us back into places we thought we’d never go again.
Those of us who care about him are worried about the potential consequences of his choices, but we also know that all we can really do is pray, pray, pray. He is free to do as he likes with his life, but none of us are free from the series of events that can unfold following the choices we make, and we are praying God will spare him from the worst of it and open his eyes before it’s too late. I’ve been so angry at God these last few days, while at the same time leaning into Him for comfort and support. How could He let this happen, when so many of us have been praying for him to have his best life, with or without me? Why didn’t God throw up walls at every turn preventing it? Darling Becca was wise to point that one door after another has been placed on Cowboy’s path, allowing him off the road he’s on, and he’s passed up each one, so I really can’t hold God responsible, and I know He’s just as invested in Cowboy’s story as we are. We simply have to resign ourselves to the reality that God works mysteriously, ceaselessly, and in His own time.
In light of this situation, our friendship took the bullet – our one and only fight, actually – and ended with no room for reconciliation. It is a hard truth to face, but I can say that I am both grateful that his situation won’t be part of my life, as it surely would have been if we’d stayed together, and that I no longer have to carry the ambiguity about a future with him. Both bring a deep sense of relief and gratitude.
I tried to close the door between us with grace and honesty, and quite frankly, he responded by slamming it shut with harshness and anger. The thing about grace is that it doesn’t always “work”. Meaning, it doesn’t always fix or restore. Sometimes it even fully implodes what you were trying to heal. Grace is messy and bold and beautifully tender, and those you give it to won’t always understand it. But it will always, always heal the giver.