On Sunday, November 19th, I celebrated Thanksgiving with my son and his family by hosting a Thanksgiving brunch at my home. To add to the joy, my grandchildren (ages 8 and 5) spent the night with me which included S’mores, hot chocolate, and stories before bedtime. It was an evening filled with love and laughter.
I particularly cherished our evening because of the date—November 19th. You see, on November 19th two years ago, my fiancé abruptly ended our engagement, packed his bags and walked out the door. I did not spend that night in my home with love and laughter but instead spent that night in my son’s guest bedroom—in shock and sobbing into my pillow.
There are dates forever etched into your mind—some for good reasons and some for bad. November 19th had been a bad memory—because on that night my dreams for a life with the man I loved vanished—the heartache and grief I felt during those first two months after he left was like nothing I had experienced ever before in my life. I had found love and joy again after a painful divorce—and without warning it was gone.
And yet, two years later…..I now see the joy and purpose that has come from that dark night.
As a faith based person (who lost some of her faith for a while), I had many people quote this scripture to me after my fiancé left….. “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” And they would tell me God would redeem my pain…… He would make something good come out of this great sadness in my life.
I have to tell you…. I didn’t and don’t believe that—because that makes God totally in control and we have no skin in the game.
Instead, I now believe and know that God/Christ/Holy Spirit gives us the grace to redeem the sorrows—the challenges in our lives—but at the end of the day, it is up to us to take the steps. He is not a magician waving a wand from the heavenly skies. We cannot live passively soaking up the good things in our lives while depending on Him to make the bad things disappear.
As I began taking steps of faith in my post-fiancé journey, I came across a magnet which now resides on my refrigerator—it reads… “All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”
Thus, November 19th was not just an ending….it was also a beginning.
As I look over these last two years, I truly stand amazed at all the joy—all the good things in my life. I have a job that I adore and work with people I admire and respect. I have turned my dark and empty home with an average yard into a home that is warm and where love has lived—I have a somewhat magical back yard with niches where grandchildren play—I have found a church home—I am making friends.
That paragraph is all wrong—because of the word “I”—I did this and I did that.
The truth is that “we” did it— the grace given to me and sustains me is from the Holy Spirit—and my life these last two years has been a team effort. The joy in my life has not come from God doing something for me—it comes from taking the time to create an intimate relationship with Him in which we have been partners.
For the sake of honesty, I do not want to imply that these last two years have been a joy-filled adventure. Do I miss companionship? Oh, yes. Definitely. I miss going to dinner and lingering over a glass of wine and holding hands—I miss taking walks and running errands and stopping to get a cup of coffee with the man I loved. I miss being connected in a close and personal way to someone I truly love.
But I no longer think about November 19th and remember the ending…..the pain. Instead, I celebrate the other side—that November 19th was also the beginning.
I will always cherish and hold dear to my heart the 2 ½ years that my Gentleman Caller with Smiling Eyes was in my life. But I have no regrets about these last 2 years of my life…and I am thankful they occurred. Today, due to God’s grace, I am stronger and my life is rich and I face the future with my faith, courage, and joy intact.
So, in this season of Thanksgiving… of turkeys and families and friends….it gives me great pleasure to share a few pictures from the last two years—pictures that reflect not an ending but a beginning…..pictures of joy.
I wish the same for you—that you may be able to look for and capture the pictures of joy in your life…. no matter which season of life you are in—one of endings or one of beginnings.
Love, Laughter and Blessings during this season of Beginnings………