Some events in my life I’ll never forget as their impact have changed the direction of my life – forever.
One of these events in particular took place during the Christmas season of 2005. I know that seems like a million years ago to some of you reading this. I was young, passionate, zealous for the things of God, and about to make one of the biggest mistakes of my life.
I’d been “on and off again” in a romantic relationship with someone for about five years at that particular time. When he proposed marriage with one of the most gorgeous rings I had ever seen (most who saw it would agree), I thought that this could perhaps be “it.”
I accepted the ring but soon after began to feel uncomfortable. I couldn’t sleep and began to question my choice for a variety of reasons. Still I kept up the facade. I continued to wear the ring as I made some “loose plans” to set a date for the wedding. One might think I would be happy, but I was truly miserable. I remember this feeling like it was yesterday because these were the days leading up to Christmas.
When I should have been enjoying eggnog, Christmas lights, and most importantly honoring the birth of Jesus — I was privately suffering and pondering my complicated history with my ex-fiancé.
This blog post is in no way an attack against him but a reflection of my own choices and behavior. I take full responsibility.
So Christmas day finally arrived. I was grouchy and moody for no apparent reason. My mom even gently confronted me about my behavior before our traditional family dinner. I knew that I needed to make the hard decision to call off my marriage engagement. I had prayed long and hard and found no peace in the idea of spending the rest of my life with my ex-fiancé. This decision wasn’t like casually picking out a new pair of shoes – this was serious.
It was one of the hardest things that I have ever done to date. Some people in my life questioned my choice. I was criticized. Someone even tried to convince me that I was acting irrationally.
But what I learned in the moment were key lessons that I still carry with me today:
- Don’t stop praying and inquiring of God’s throne when unsure about something. It’s better to tarry and wait for God to answer than settle for something that only “appears” to be a good thing.
- God has the final say. I had begun to make my plans as life seemed to be “aligning” itself with my goals, age, etc. But the perfect will of the only true and wise God stands.
- God had a very specific purpose (and husband) for my life. I met my husband of 13 years soon after my broken engagement. I answered the call to teach/preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and even established a consulting organization to help at-risk women in unhealthy or complicated relationships.
- My biggest “gain” was not a new relationship, things, or opportunities but it was more of God himself. God’s love for me is unprecedented. He truly leads me like the patient and kind shepherd that he is. #Psalm23
I can imagine that you are a real person like me – all of your plans have not come into fruition. Some things you set out to do have gotten lost in the challenges of U-turns, pit stops, and delayed progress.
Read more about how God can use these circumstances in your life for good in my latest book, Life Redirected.
Jason and I (May 2019)