I’ve been thinking this week about how different my life would be if I had kept my “yes” to get married back in 1997.
(Please give me a minute to pass out in realizing this was 20 years ago!)
No wedding meant I stayed in Georgia. I didn’t go back to Tennessee or wind up on the west coast. So my 20 years of adult life have all been in Georgia. But what would I have missed if I had chosen marriage?
No Chico. OMG, he was a butthead, but that dog knew how to love. He didn’t trust easily, but when he did, it was with his whole being. He helped strengthen an already solid faith in God by showing me every day what true love is.
No Melissa or Teri. These are awesome women of faith who know who God is and believe He can do the impossible. They have invested in me and engaged in my trials. They are encouraging and supportive as each day I battle the thorns in my flesh. And they are always willing to pray for me. I love you, ladies!
No Bettie. My life would definitely be less colorful and engaged without this sweet adopted grandmother in my life. I definitely would not enjoy the beauty of a well-placed “bless your heart” without her. I am grateful to be part of the love and support she has to give.
And so many other wonderful people who have come in for a season and allowed me to be part of their journey.
Plus a variety of churches to wind up where I belong – in ironically the last place I said I would be. If I weren’t in Georgia, would I even know who Andy Stanley is? Would his ministry have had any impact on my life?
What about my love of live theater? Would I have discovered it living somewhere else?
And then there is the coming into my own. Would I have embraced my gift of writing? Allowed myself to be open to share all my bad moments? Would this blog even exist? Or would I have been too busy and distracted to stop and listen?
I could be married. I could have kids. I could be in another state.
I could be content, or I could be miserable. I could be settled, or I could be lost.
I don’t know where I could have wound up, since those paths are untraveled.
But I know where I am. I know God is using where I am for my good and His glory. I know God is allowing miracles to happen. And I know God will keep me and work through me as I continue on my chosen path.
Am I sorry about my choice 20 years ago? I am sorry that people were hurt by my disobedience to God’s guidance. I am sorry that pain may be the lasting legacy in the memories of those involved.
But otherwise, no. I am not sorry. I know I did the right thing for me. I wanted more than I was getting, and I got shortchanged because it was the wrong season for both of us. Neither of us was ready to handle together what we wouldn’t face individually. So it didn’t work, and that’s OK. I think God used that experience to the full extent of His grace to put everyone back into His will.
So I look back, and I smile. I have learned a lot, and none it goes to waste in light of God’s goodness.
No, I don’t know what I missed out on because I chose as I did.
But I know who and what I would have missed – and I am so grateful I didn’t.
Thank You, loving Father, for all of it – up to this point and into the future!
Marie Fremin, 8/27/17