Five years ago today, February 4, 2007, I made a decision that changed the entire course of my life. I chose to end my engagement. I won't go into details of why I made this decision; they're not suited for a public site, nor are they necessary.
As I sat in my car that cold February evening, fearing as I watched my perfect plans evaporate in front of me, feeling pain and hurt like I had never felt, and wondering what was to come, I had an overwhelming peace that I am positive could only come from the love of Christ in my life. (Don't get me wrong, though I had peace I was still afraid of the unknown of my future as I drove out of the parking lot).
By this point in my life, that night is a memory that is hard for me to connect myself with as I feel so far from it; the life I was living then is so different from the one I live today. The one memory that sticks out with searing brilliance is that of my phone call with my brother. As always, he answered the phone with enthusiasm and excitement to my call.
"I'm..not..getting..marr-ied." (insert hysteria)
The utter shock and pain I heard in his voice stills rings vibrantly in my ears to this day.
The rest of the conversation went as expected: I told him what happened, why I had made the decision, and he stayed with me on the phone until I got home. I later found out that my sister-in-law wept into a pillow as she put together the pieces of the choppy puzzle she received from my brother's end of the call. The love that she and all of my family felt for me then has only magnified to this day and I am blessed to have them in my life; the road to today would have had more detours, I'm sure.
The point of this post is not to relive that evening, or the several difficult months after as I dealt with pains, hurts, betrayals. The point is to show that God is good, that He brought healing to me, and that no matter what, He works "all things together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).
In the last five years, because I trusted Him, because I actually did what I knew He was calling me to do though it was not easy, I have seen how He has blessed my life. So many of the things that I have been able to experience, take part in, help with, etc., are a direct result of this choice. I would not have done most of the things that I have done if I had chosen otherwise.
I'll list a few of the major things that I can think of off the top of my head that would not have happened:
*Moved to the Aventine and made lifelong friends.
*Hosted my first nephew's (Hudson) Baby Shower
*I went to visit my best friend, Laela, in Chicago for a week.
*I got to see "Wicked" at the Pantageous Theater while on a date! (small, but still awesome!)
*Christmas Bliss (started this annual Christmas Party because I had a place to have a party)
*I spent two months working with an organization called Hope of the Nations in Kigoma, Tanzania.
*Road Trip to Fresno, Gilroy, and Santa Cruz over Christmas Break to see old friends and new friends I made while in Africa.
*Christmas Bliss the 2nd
*I went on an all-expense paid cruise for two weeks in the Mediterranean with my best friend, compliments of Oprah.
I won an Oprah Photo Contest with that pic ^
*I was able to go back to Kigoma for three weeks and work alongside Hope of the Nations with a team of friends.
*Christmas Bliss the 3rd
*Choreograph an epic Team Cheer at a high school summer camp. (Go Gabbas!)
*Adventure Day 2010. (Need I say more?)
Still my fave pic from Adventure Day 2010! ^
*Christmas Bliss the 4th
The only one I have from CBthe4th ^
*Coach the Cheer team at SJHHS (where I teach)
*10-Year High School Reunion
*Be in the room for my nephew's (Stryder) birth
*Christmas Bliss the 5th
It's only the start of the year, but I am looking forward to see what I can fill in here.
I don't know what my life would look like today if I had decided to continue on with my plans, to continue trying to build that life that I thought was best; honestly, I don't want to know. Though there are things that I wish were different now (I'm still a human), I know that God knows what is best and that He ultimately will bring me the most joy, the most love, the best life.
And that, I believe, is worth waiting for.