Walking on the Navy Pier in Chicago this past September, I related my story, trembling, to the person who is now my best friend. He didn't reject me, but only told me how much he saw God's hand in it.
And he's right. The healing I have experienced is by God's hand alone. By no other means could a shattered heart be transformed into a whole one. By no other means could tragedy be turned into a story of hope. By no other means could I now celebrate rescue, redemption, joy, and undeserved blessing on the other side of the darkest days of my life.
I anticipated a long road and I wondered how isolated I would be on that road, especially after choosing not to hide the truths of my story on here. Yes, there were times where I almost regretted being so honest because the person that I had always been was humbled and there was no chance of reflecting an image or keeping up an appearance. There was no hiding. But God had a specific reason for giving me peace to be honest and vulnerable. Instead of experiencing the withdrawal of friendships, I found I had more people who loved me than I had ever known. I gained relationships and forged deeper ones with the people already in my life. God used my post as a vital step, my first step, towards healing. I won't hide the ugly from you and say that there isn't baggage as a result, because there is, but in all of my baggage God's grace has been so real and felt and He's teaching me how to fight when my fears and insecurities rise to the surface.
But most importantly, I know Jesus better now at 23 than I did at 22. Though it was not the way that I ever would have chosen, God had a special reason for allowing what He did in my life.
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done,.." (Genesis 50:20)
My prayer is that you draw hope from my story, wherever you're at in your own story, and see Jesus and the gospel even clearer.