The Beauty of Redemption
I think it sometimes surprises people just how easy it is for me to tell my story. After all, I have a story of death. Of loss. Of mourning. What my surprised audience doesn't always realize is that I tell my story from a place of healing. Although the road that brought me to where I am includes a season of grief, my "story" isn't a story of heartbreak. It is a story of redemption.
It's been almost five years since I witnessed death first-hand, five years since I watched a person take his last breath. That last breath made me a widow: a 27 year old widow. For a time, that was my "story." I was that girl who lost her husband but somehow found a way to persevere. No, I didn't just persevere. I thrived in my season of grief. It was difficult, sometimes more difficult than I ever let on to people around me or in my blogs. But I thrived anyway. I bought my own place, got a dog, led small groups, traveled, served, and continued to work. I did not want to be defined by what happened to me; I wanted an identity based on who God said I was.
Looking back on the last few years, the part of my story that makes me emotional isn't the loss (not anymore). It's the redemption that followed. It's the way God used what should have been the worst months of my life to transform me into the person He always knew I could be. It's the way He used friends to support, challenge and push me to grow. And mostly, it's the way He orchestrated my Boaz story. There are still days that I get emotional when I thank God for the answered prayer that is my husband. Dustin doesn't "complete me." He isn't perfect and neither is our marriage. But he is the epitome of my redemption - the person designed for me and my story - and the end of a chapter that only God could write.
Now "my story" is one of love. I'm that girl who writes to inspire other women because she knows the importance of thriving. I'm that girl who leads small groups because she has a passion to empower. I'm that girl - that Southern wife and dog-mom - who lives a full life. My life is a story of redemption - of God's amazing ability to restore even the most broken roads to the way they were always meant to be. And it sure is a beautiful thing.