Today has been a very emotional and self-agonizing day. The date marks the one year anniversary of the happiest day of my life, and also the saddest. I tried to keep my mind busy for the majority of the day with a nine-hour work shift, wedding anniversary dinner for my grandparents, and a girls night of movies and wine with a great friend. However, now I’m home, in bed, and my mind is racing…
If I had been told a year ago that I would not be with X anymore, I would have laughed. He was my life, my love, my future. This statement was made true when he asked for my commitment a year ago, and slipped a ring onto my finger. There are few things I regret in my life, and saying yes to him is not one of them. I do often wonder if I had not said yes, if I had chosen to wait just a little bit longer, would things have turned out differently.
Tonight I’ve been considering whether or not I wish things had resulted in a different manner. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t. And right now, I’m still unsure. There is a hole inside me that I’m not sure will ever be filled; even with all the bad events leading to our demise, the majority of my memories are better than great. My mind and body are tired and frustrated from the conflict happening inside, but in reality, there is nothing either can do but be patient and pray for the best, no matter what that be.
Once I came to the conclusion that I simply needed to pray, I began counting the blessings God has granted me throughout my life. There are so many (far more than ten)! And since I doubt sleep will welcome me any hour soon, I would like to share some of these blessings with you. So here are ten of the blessings I thank God most for giving me in my life:
1. Two amazing parents who have taught me a hard work ethic, respect and manners, and ultimately, unceasing love which will take you far in life.
I’m not a great daughter. Really, I’m not. I’m selfish and entitled and a brat and I disappoint on a regular basis. But no matter how awful of a kid I am, my parents still love me and do all they can so I can have the best of everything. There is a not enough time in the day for me to thank them for all they have done, and there is not enough breaths in my life to thank God for allowing me to be their child. I love them more than I can ever say… and that is something I need to learn to say more often.
2. A healthy body capable of unimaginable feats.
I can see. I can hear. I can talk. And on top of that? I can run, squat, lunge, and a whole bunch of other exercises that may not be fun, but guess what? A lot of people in the world are unable to do these things due to illness or injury or fate. I never want to take advantage of my physical capabilities, because there may be a day that SNAP! One’s gone. If that should ever happen, I want to think fondly on the time I was given where I could perform such feats.
3. The best education through a Lutheran grade and high school, and the intelligence to graduate college.
I may not always look back on my grade school and high school days with great esteem, but there is one thing those years offered me that I can never replace: a Christian upbringing. I could have simply been a once-a-week church goer as a child, but instead I was lucky enough to go to a Lutheran grade and high school where Bible studies and chapel meetings were a daily occurrence. I know the Good News like the back of my hand, I grew up knowing Jesus as my best friend, and I get a wonderful pinch in my stomach every time I see a confirmation class take their vows in front of my congregation.
I also was given the intelligence to excel in all aspects of school. I received many honors throughout my younger years, and achieved academic success in college through numerous merits, including a Bachelor of Arts degree and National Honor recognition. I also realize that life has much more to teach me and I relish the opportunity.
4.Various groups of friends who bring different necessities to my life.
A few years ago I would have classified myself as a very lonely person. I didn’t have many “good friends” who I saw on a regular basis, but rather a few people who I texted periodically just to make myself feel like I had some sort of social life. Things have changed immensely though.
Now I am blessed with a wide range of friends. I have a group of engineering friends from college, an entourage of people I once went to high school with (but never really talked to), work friends who can make me laugh through a single look, and a pack of wise roommates who make me life complete. It’s like every little section of my life is a little bit better simply when I hang out with these people. And the wonderful thing is, they can mix and mingle and get along which enables all my worlds to collide… that is when I feel almost whole again.
5. The ability to not be ignorant, but rather learn from life’s experiences, obstacles, and people.
I have had enough experiences in my young life to know when a lesson is about to hit me in the face. Now I know that I should never regret a situation, but rather embrace it and take it in turn. Pain and healing both occur surrounding the same circumstance; it’s simply that time might take longer for the latter.
6. Live and breathe in the 21st Century.
You know, this is something I actually thank God pretty regularly for… I mean, yes, the world does seem to suck a lot lately. There are so many wars, murders, natural disasters happening that sometimes I hear people wish they didn’t have to live through these times. But really, was there any time that was much better? Personally I’m glad I wasn’t alive during the Roman period when raiding villages and sticking heads on sticks was a hobby, or in the medieval ages where quartering was a thing, or even during the 1920’s where families feared for love ones overseas in the World War and couldn’t even drink a cold one to help calm their nerves. No, every era has its issues. Yes, the 21st Century definitely has a lot of issues, but I’m glad I live in the here-and-now.
7. My capacity of great love, and pain, and happiness, and struggle, and pretty much simply being human.
Though the tears and the hurt kind of feel like I’m dying sometimes, the lightness in my heart, laughter, and warm memories make everything worthwhile. I am proud that I can feel so much pain, because that means I truly feel that much love. And I enjoy the fight for happiness, because once I get to that point, I can look back, see my success, and be even more content.
8. Roles that not only give me fulfillment but also benefit others.
How many people out there can say, honestly, that they love their job? I can, and I do. Every day. But for me it goes beyond that… I work two jobs which I absolutely adore. One allows me to share my love and passion for the wine industry while meeting new people of all works of life. The other gives me the opportunity to be a part of someone’s most memorable day: their wedding. I receive fulfillment every time I walk through the doors of my occupations. I may not be saving lives or feeding the hungry, but I know God set me on these paths for a greater good. I’m enjoying the journey along the way.
9. The subtle blessings I often overlook.
There are many things and events in my life that were so subtle I simply overlook them. Usually in hindsight I realize what a blessing they truly were. Like being placed in the same running group as my current-day employer, or how I randomly and uncharacteristically began talking to my roommate and best friend on Facebook. At the time they were simple things, but now they are my entire life. It’s funny how God works sometimes…
10. An unknown but surely beautiful future where He is leading me every day.
I don’t know where the future leads. I don’t know how many times I’ll have my heart broken, or lose a loved one, or be injured, cut down, persecuted, harassed. All I know is that in the end, God works for the good of those who love Him. In the end, I will be with my Savior in heaven, and that’s all that really matters.
God truly is a great and marvelous Lord, One to be glorified and praised every day. I once prided myself on my faith, but lately I lack the discipline of coming to Him on a daily basis and know I have wavered in my devotion. This is something I am going to change. By His guidance, I am sure, I stumbled upon a friend’s invite to a Bible study group beginning in the middle of this month. The group will be discussing one’s purpose in life. How perfect is this topic, and how much more can I ask from Him? He’s always multiple steps ahead of me and it’s a wonder that I ever question where my life is heading. Thank you for everything You’ve given me, and everything You still have planned.