This brings me to my college and young adult years. My college years were pretty uneventful. I mean, there were definitely lessons to be learned, but I was living a pretty sheltered life in a dorm for four years at my small Christian college. God knew that I needed those years to establish a firm foundation for my faith. He also brought me some amazing friends, who became my lifelong friends. As an only child, I craved for close companionship. Well, God sure answered those prayers in abundance during my college years. This was when I experienced the deep joy of sisterhood community.
After college, I entered the “real world.” I was not quite prepared for all the different directions I would be pulled in, concerning my faith, social life, and yes, even romance. I was enjoying the attention from guys that I was not used to receiving. In college, I was hanging out with my girlfriends in sweatshirts and pants…and wondered why guys were never paying attention to me. Besides, the guys at my college were way too conservative. I think some of them believed if they even talked to a girl they’d be giving out a wrong signal that they want to marry her. Anyway, the “real world” was completely different, and I was caught off guard. I was having fun, while making some unwise choices, and trying to figure out how to do this “life” on my own for the first time.
After several months of being tossed back and forth (of trying to live out my faith vs. being pulled into the ways of the world), I realized that I had come to a crossroad. I had to decide, is this really my own faith, or is it just the faith of the Christian schools I have attended? Is this truly the faith I choose to live by for the rest of my life? Around this time, there were circumstances in my life and “nudging in my heart” that let me know that God was directing me to move to Florida to be near my parents (they had moved to Florida during my freshman year in college). That was the last thing that I wanted to do. As far as I was concerned, California was my home…forever. I had my friends and mentors in close proximity. I was comfortable. I did not want to move. Yet, deep in my heart, I knew that this was the “right” choice to make at this crossroad. Faced with a choice of God’s way or my own, I decided to choose God’s way, even though it was very difficult for me.
I thought my life was back in order. I didn’t know that God had one more crossroad left for me before I moved. Moving to Florida was a decision of submitting my mind/will to God’s way. In hindsight, I think He wanted to make sure that I would follow Him with my whole heart also. I made some more unwise decisions and got myself involved with a guy who quickly stole my heart. I wrote about this on my post Intro: Single and Waiting. I knew from the beginning he was not the right guy for me, but I allowed my heart to get involved. After a short period, I came to another fork on the road. I knew that I could not choose God and him both. It was the hardest decision to make up to this point. What it boiled down to was this. If I let go of him, I knew I would experience some heartbreak for sure. But if I let go of God, I knew my heart would not survive. I would cease to live/breathe. I could never let go of God and find joy, purpose, or life again. It was never really a choice. At that point, I knew: my heart belongs to God. Now and forever. Completely. Irreversibly. I am His, and He is mine.
Since that moment, I have not looked back. I never had to face that choice again. For me, I choose Jesus…always. And I have not regretted it once. Actually, quite the opposite. Right after this last crossroad in California, God allowed me to see what a disastrous way I would have been headed with this guy. God opened my eyes to the manipulation and subtle, unhealthy control that I was placing myself under. A couple of years later, I met Allan, my husband. There is absolutely no comparison of the life I would have had with him and the life I share with Allan now. It makes me shudder at the thought of what my life would have been like had I chosen differently. It makes me so deeply thankful for the choice that I did make.
No, life has not been a fairy-tale since choosing God’s way, but like I said, I have not regretted it once. Even though trials are part of life, I will always choose to walk with God than to walk without Him. Without Him, there is no direction, no hope, and no true joy. Even if I’m doing “good,” I’m doing them out of my selfish ambition. Even if I am showing “love,” it’s to be loved back. But with God, it’s different. It’s Christ living in me…and I’m able to show selfless love to others because that’s the kind of love I experience from Him daily. I hope this makes some sense.
By no means was leaving California and meeting Allan the closing chapter of my God-Adventure, but that is where I will end this series for now. There have been many more adventures He has carried me through since then, but I will save them for a later time. Thank you for reading!