Today is significant because it marks the one year anniversary of one of the worst days of my life. The evening of November 25, 2012 I received a phone call with some unexpected and unwelcome news. I managed to maintain my composure on the phone, but after I hung up I bawled like a baby. I was completely devastated and heartbroken. I was also completely blindsided, because based on how my life had been unfolding in the weeks prior, there was no foreshadowing that things would turn out the way they did. In fact, I thought that chapter would end completely differently than my new reality. I was overwhelmed with sadness, but also with anger. I didn't understand why God would suddenly take from me what I thought was amazing, right, perfect, and the most natural thing in the world. I was angry that He would bring such a wonderful blessing into my life, only to snatch it away as quickly as it came. I thought that what I had just lost was the best possible thing there ever could be, and didn't see how God could possibly have something better in store. As a result, my heart grew hard and bitter and I spent months wallowing in self-pity and anger. I resented others whose circumstances were what I thought mine would be before I received that fateful phone call. I resented God for allowing my circumstances to be the way they were instead of the way I thought and hoped they would be based on the events of November 2012 before the unwelcome plot twist. Out of my deep hurt and anger, I even said some hateful things to one of my friends (who had nothing to do with heartbreaking situation) and as a result feared that I had lost a dear friendship for good. The first few months of 2013 were an extremely dark time for me. Finally, in early spring of this year I realized I had had enough. I couldn't change my circumstances but I could change my attitude. With the help and encouragement of a dear friend and spiritual mentor I chose to trust God and believe the truth that He has a perfect plan for my life. I chose to cling to His promise that He is faithful and sovereign and trustworthy. I was able to have this change in heart not on account of my own strength and ability, but because of God's amazing power and the precious blood His son shed on the cross so that I could be His for eternity, even though I am completely undeserving of such amazing grace.
Over the past months, once I threw away my pride and submitted myself to God's will, He has done an amazing work of spiritual and emotional healing in me that I can't even attempt to express in words. And He has fully restored the precious friendship I feared I had lost. Though I will never fully understand God's ways this side of heaven, I have begun to see the unwelcome news that phone call brought one year ago from God's perspective. I would've never said this one year ago, but I am thankful that things turned out the way they did. While God has yet to reveal His "something better" regarding the fulfillment of a hope and dream that I thought would be completed last November, He has shown me "something better" in so many other areas of my life. Because of the heartbreak of last November, I have grown closer to God and He has revealed Himself to me like never before. I have gotten involved with an amazing church and small group and made so many wonderful new friends I couldn't imagine life without. I would've never gotten to know and love these wonderful people if my life had turned out the way I wanted and anticipated last November. I have learned that God truly knows what is best for me and I am so glad He had other plans!
Last November 25 after my devastating phone call I talked with my dear friend and spiritual mentor. She told me that I wasn't just going to be okay, I was going to be more than okay. I highly doubted it at the time, but she was so right! She loves to talk about building a "history with God" through tough times. This morning I was texting with my her about how I couldn't believe it had been a year already and how she was right that I would be more than okay. Her exact wise words back to me were as follows:
"That is what I mean when I say we have to have a history with God. You chose to trust him and he saw you through and now you know you can trust Him the next time you are in a predicament. He is always trustworthy and is at work in his children!"
This blog doesn't do justice to how God has worked in my life as a result of the trial I endured one year ago. Perhaps later this week I will share some verses that have meant a lot to me over the past year and reflect what God has done in my life. But for now I want to end with saying that this Thanksgiving I am most thankful for the hearbreak of last Thanksgiving. Great Is Thy Faithfulness!