Edited by Sarah Thompson
I was originally going to make this a general "year in review" post, but so much of the change that happened hinges on my last relationship that I've decided to show you how I got to where I am because of it, and the good that God has had in store for me, despite the devastation of the breakup.
In January, I was in love and starting my last semester of school. But my plans for the semester quickly changed when my boyfriend wasn't able to stay for the semester, and our relationship turned long-distance.
Between that and my roommate's busyness with her placement during the week and leaving each weekend, it was a lonely few months. But I stayed pretty busy myself: struggling to keep up with homework in between theatre rehearsals and panic attacks.
Amidst all of this, I was struggling to decide what kind of job I wanted to look for after school. I also didn't want to have to move back home or somewhere even farther away from my boyfriend. When I finally mentioned this to him, he suggested I (duh) look for jobs in Ohio. I immediately adjusted my job searches and found a job right away that felt like the perfect fit. It was a youth facilitator position for a Christian non-profit. Exactly the kind of thing I was looking for! Making a positive difference in people's lives, in a Christian environment, but not in an actual church.
I applied, and the connections I had during the interview process were amazing. The first person to interview me was childhood friends with my college mentor. The second person to interview me said her son was best friends with my boyfriend's brother. And best of all, the job was only fifteen minutes away from where my boyfriend lived! At this point, we "knew" we were getting engaged and had started discussing wedding plans. Everything felt like it was falling into place.
And then I found out I didn't pass one of my classes and would have to make it up to complete my degree. And then I didn't get the job. What had seemed so perfect was ripped out from under me. But then came another offer: there was a receptionist position open at a different location with the same organization. They thought I would be a good fit if I wanted to apply!
This location was a good two hours away from my boyfriend, but it was better than the four we were used to. I applied. I got offered the third interview (which practically meant I was hired) and began looking for apartments on my way to and from visits. This brings us to June--the month everything really changed.
I had the privilege of getting to visit my boyfriend two weekends in a row that month. The first weekend was great. We did something fun everyday: a volleyball match with some friends, a trip to a creek with a waterfall, a surprise visit to an arboretum. I was so on edge, thinking he could propose any minute at any of these gorgeous places. He kept seeming nervous too--though for a different reason than I expected. I figured he was trying to keep me on my toes, make me not able to know for sure when he was going to propose.
Nevertheless, I (and my family) was sure the next weekend was going to be it. He had asked about plans for our reception just a few days ago--how could he not be planning for our engagement? Not only that, but my final interview for the job was that weekend. It was time for Things to Happen.
Well, things certainly happened. The most awkward and uncomfortable weekend of my life happened. I got dumped the day after our anniversary, which was also the day before my final interview for the job in the state I was moving to to be closer to the man who just dumped me.
But I kept it together for my interview and was even able to explain my new situation to my interviewers. And after the way that weekend had gone, to my surprise, they offered me the job then and there.
The first thing I did upon moving to Ohio was find a church. I fell in love with a Nazarene church--the same denomination my ex and his family belonged too. I probably would never have considered this church if I wasn't familiar with it from him. And in the new year, I'll be joining a worship team and teaching a class on spiritual warfare there.
Not only do I love where I live, but I'm glad it's a bit farther than fifteen minutes away from my ex.
It's not quite the hilly landscape I love in eastern Ohio, but the sunsets and sunrises here are some of the prettiest I've ever seen.
In October, I achieved my goal of publishing a book--and even that I owe to my ex, as it's all about our relationship and breakup.
It's strange to realize that the life I'm living right now I owe to dating--and nearly getting engaged to--one person. My life has been irreversibly changed because of him, and (excluding the heartbreak) it's all been good change. The friends I have here in Ohio are because of this job and this church--which I chose as a result of being in a relationship with him.
Sure, this isn't how I thought my year would go. But overall, I'm happy with how it turned out. I'm happy and proud to see where I am. What I'm accomplishing.
There are two things I hope you can take away from this post. The first is that God is not surprised by anything. He is always going to be working things out for your good. He is preparing things in advance for you.
The second is that you have impact on people's lives. Even if you don't do anything, through relationship with you, people experience things that will shape their future decisions. Directly or indirectly, you make a difference in other's lives.