**I know some of you who read this aren’t coming from a faith background or don’t believe in God. This is simply my interpretation of the happenings in my life. My hope is that you celebrate how unique our lives are- and give thanks to whoever or whatever you may believe in.**
Over the last few weeks, a lot has been happening in my heart. Some good- some bad- some wholesome- and some hurtful. I’m learning and growing a ton in this season- emotionally, spiritually, as a wife, as a friend, as a daughter, and as a teacher. Whenever I get to a place in life where I wonder if God has remembered me, I trace back to His fingerprints so evidently placed in my life. And today, I felt a soft nudge at my heart to share His goodness and promises to me with the blogging world.
Octobers used to feel painful to me. As the summer faded away and fall snuck in, my anxiety always grew. It would be a new school year and things would be crazy busy. Life would hit fast forward and my soul would long to hit pause. But I’m going to invite you into some October things that have happened. In October of 2014, I felt a heartache like you wouldn’t believe. My grandma, also known as a dear, dear friend to me, was sick with cancer. I was transitioning to living at home again- away from most of my friends. With all the changes came a longing for companionship. Not to mention, I was becoming a real life picture of 27 Dresses- I was always the bridesmaid never the bride and people were even saying things about it. I was watching my friends fall in love and I wanted the same thing. Yep, I was twenty-two- years-old, but I still was eager. I attended a wedding on October 4th, 2014, my friend Molly’s, and remember leaving it feeling full of sadness and loneliness. Her wedding was beautiful and she’d let me into her relationship in such a safe, big, caring sister way. I was so thankful. I had such a fun time at her wedding and almost came up with excuses not to come, but I dragged and willed myself to go. On the way home, I sobbed. I was lonely. I was aching for friendships, but more importantly a relationship- maybe even just a guy to notice me. Just a year or two before I had my heart broken after a three year relationship and I remember pleading in my prayers, “Okay, God, now I’m healed so send someone.”. On October 6th, 2014, I wrote in my journal out of desperation from the Saturday before. I wrote “My heart feels heavy today and my tummy longs to know if marriage is something you have for me.” I wrote later on in that entry, “I long from a man who is kind, protective of my heart, hard-working, joyful, selfless, but most of all God- fearing and loving.”
The very next week, I was invited to another wedding. On October 11th, 2014, I was invited to my friend Mollie’s wedding (yes, a different Molly/Mollie). I remember on the way home from that wedding, I pulled over on the side of the road and cried. In that moment, I felt as though I’d never find anybody to walk through life with. I remember gasping through tears and asking God to send “something”. Two days later, same as the last wedding, I finally got time to journal. On October 13th, 2014 I wrote, “God, I come to you today with a heart that is wildly aching for your plans to be revealed. My heart is overwhelmed by fear, sadness, shame, and worry. I pray that you would hold my heart close to you.” And later “Thank you for protecting my heart, for loving my heart, and for giving me this super sensitive heart.”
I walked through a LOT in 2014- mostly wicked, wild emotions, but also tons of growth. In 2015 I accepted my first teaching job, started a journey with Noonday Collection and celebrated so many exciting things. In October of 2015, I also went on a date that changed my life for the good.
On October 4th, 2015 (exactly one year after being at Molly’s wedding), I got a call from a Washington state area code phone number. I listened to the voicemail a few hours after getting the phone call thinking it could be a telemarketer- nope. It was the new youth director at our church, Ryan. I was stunned, but I said okay and when he asked when I could meet, I replied, “Next Sunday.” Next Sunday landed exactly on October 11th, 2015 (exactly one year after being at Mollie’s wedding- you know the one where I pulled over on the side of the road crying after). Now if you’re thinking there’s a pattern- you’re totally right. Maybe these dates are “coincidental” to you. But to me, they are so much more.
And today, on a day when I’m desperate to remember God’s promises to me, I’m able to see these dates and these memories and remember just how important my life is to God. I get to get a front row seat to His faithfulness by using two painful days to be transformed into two really sweet days- two of the sweetest life changing days I’ve ever experienced. Those days lead to me meeting my now husband and I’m so grateful. Whenever I’m feeling low, feeling left out, feeling unimportant- I re-read these journals and I fixate on these days and I feel full of love from a big, big God. And on October 11th of 2015, I wrote, “Our first date rocked!” and later on “Ryan is doing all things sweet and right and it’s confusing. Help me to savor these moments and help me to live directly in this moment.” And boy have I believed so many of our dates after that to absolutely “rock” and Ryan still does many “sweet things” and it still gets “confusing”.
I pray this encourages you in whatever way you need to be encouraged. Thanks for reading our story- thanks for loving us.
Happy three years ago you called anniversary. Happy three years ago we went on a first date anniversary. And cheers to a lifetime of love!