It surprised everyone. When “The Golden Bachelor” promo ran in late summer, many wondered, “Who will watch twenty-two 60-to-75 year old women vie for the heart of a 72-year old man?” Apparently, quite a few.
Last night over 6 million people tuned into the finale to see who Golden Bachelor Gerry Turner would select as his true love. Unbeknownst to me, my wife had gotten hooked on “Golden mania,” so we watched it too.
In the first 8 episodes, Gerry had whittled the field down to two candidates, Teresa and Leslie. As the finale began, he seemed unclear about which one was the front runner. He had told both of them, “I love you.”
Before long, however, his deeper affections rose to the surface. During his final round of conversations, it became clear Leslie was not the one. He now faced the distasteful task of telling her. After all the time they spent building a relationship, breaking up would not just be hard, it would be excruciating.
Although Leslie could sense the winds had shifted, she had no time to prepare her heart. When Gerry confessed his love for Teresa and said he’s going to take that direction, Leslie reacts with anger and tears. She shoots back, “So, everything you told me the other night was a lie!”
You Chose Me
She is both dumbfounded and heartbroken. “The other night, you made it sound like you chose me,” she seethes through her tears. “You led me down a path and then you took a turn and left me there!”
And this is where, on national television, the news touched her deepest wound. After two failed marriages, what she wanted more than anything else was to be chosen. She is not alone.
Most of us know all too well the desolate feeling that comes from not being chosen – whether it came on the playground or a school team, with a position we really wanted or someone we deeply loved. Six million hearts instantly went out to Leslie as she crumpled next to Gerry in tears.
“This Is My Life”
We can all relate to her reaction (which is certainly justified), but we don’t all have to come to her conclusion. When she hears Gerry’s news, she says, “It’s typical. This is my life.” In other words, “Something like this has happened to me in the past, so naturally, it is happening to me again.”
Although that knee-jerk reaction may sound very familiar, it’s not the truth about us. It’s not the truth about Leslie either. That is shame talking. It is a lie.
The truth is the past does not equal the future. We are not doomed to live out a shattered script from years gone by. Each of us has the freedom to write a new script for our lives – one with a different ending.
Part of that script involves claiming our chosen-ness. Regardless of the times someone may have failed to chose us, our God has chosen us from the very beginning.
Jesus says to his disciples, “You did not choose me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16). Scripture says, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people…” (1 Peter 2:9). God says through the prophet Isaiah, “Even if your mother forgets you as a baby (the worst kind of unchosen-ness), I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16).
Who We Are
The truth about Leslie, you and me is that we are all chosen by the One who loves us the most in this universe and who refuses to let us go. It’s the first and deepest truth about us. It came before we ever knew our parents, siblings, friends or lovers. Deep down, that’s who we are.
If you or someone you know is going through a heartbreak right now, it’s natural to feel forgotten, left out, or unchosen. Instead, trust this truth. You are loved, treasured, and chosen by God. You always have been.
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A native of Cambridge, Illinois, Roger has served as a pastor in Texas, the British Channel Island of Guernsey, and Illinois. While in Illinois, he led teams that planted two new churches and served for 10 years as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Springfield. It was his privilege to serve as the Director of Congregational Excellence in the Missouri Conference before coming into his current role as an executive coach and specialist with Spiritual Leadership, Inc. (SLI). His passions include SCUBA diving in warm blue water, playing board games with family and friends, and teaching evangelism and church planting as an adjunct professor at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. He also has a weakness for golf. Roger is the author of three books, “Meet The Goodpeople: Wesley’s 7 Ways to Share Faith,” “Come Back: Returning to the Life You Were Made For,” and “Come Back Participant Guide,” all through Abingdon Press. Roger is married to Leanne Klein Ross, and they have two adult children, Zach and Jane (who’s married to Sam).