He was pretty much my best friend. We worked together, had a mutual friend group, and hung out a lot, which progressed to a closer friendship, texting throughout the days, and late-night chats.

I hadn’t seen it, but one of our mutual friends ‘tipped me off’ that he had feelings for me, which kinda freaked me out. Because though I recognized that I had feelings for him, too, I could also see that our lives weren’t heading the same direction, and he wasn’t the one God had for me. So we agreed to keep it in the friend zone, but continued with all the talking and texting.

That February, I was lying in bed with my phone, texting him goodnight. I mentioned that I wished I had a date for Valentine’s Day.

He offered to take me out on a date. As friends, of course.

Admittedly, that’s exactly what I’d been hoping for when I said that.

So I agreed to a Valentine’s Day date, just as friends.

On the evening of February 14th, he picked me up with chocolates and flowers in hand, like a real gentleman. We went out to dinner, shared a dessert, cruised around town in his awesome little car, and went to see a movie at the dumpiest little theater in town, where only one other couple was in the whole room.

We had an amazing night, full of laughter.

After the movie, he drove me back to the house and we stood in the front yard talking for a few minutes. I was cold, and he put his arm around me to warm me up.

And oh, I wanted him to kiss me. I wanted it so badly.

But he didn’t.

Because we were just friends…. friends who really liked each other, but just friends.

After we parted ways, I talked to God and told Him how much I’d wanted my first kiss that night, how disappointed I was. The next morning during my quiet time, my head and heart still churning with these feelings, I came across Isaiah 30:13.

“This iniquity will be to you
like a breach about to fall,
like a bulge in a high wall,
whose collapse comes suddenly in an instant.”

In context, this Scripture is speaking prophecy to Israel regarding their sin and rebellion. I recommend leaving Scripture in its intended context, unless the Holy Spirit absolutely enlightens it to you in a specific way. Just saying.

Anyway, in the moment I read that, I felt God was telling me if I’d had that kiss the night before… if I had gotten what I wanted, given in to my desire, and kissed him, I would have been like that crumbling wall in the Scripture.

You see, I knew I wasn’t supposed to be with him, but I was holding my feelings for him just barely in check.

A kiss from him would have set those feelings free, I wouldn’t have been able to stop them, and I would be tumbling into a dating relationship that I wasn’t meant to be in.

And I realized something else, too. I had saved my first kiss for that long already. Twenty-something years. That’s a long time to save a first kiss, but I was committed to waiting for the right man. So why, after saving it twenty-something years, would I want to carelessly give it away on a fuzzy-feeling-filled, friend-zone Valentine’s Day date?

My first kiss was worth more than that. And I’m so thankful that I didn’t give it away that night.

Because I loved that friend dearly and I had a blast with him in that life season…

But a few years later, I stood under the Northern Lights in Alaska and shared my very first kiss with the man who I knew would be my husband. And it was beautifully magical.

Twenty-something years is a long time to save a first kiss, but every year of waiting was worth it.

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