True Stories — Sharing my year with you

Why is it that when you feel ready for quiet and normalcy, that’s the last thing you get? But that’s ok. God knows best, right? Here’s how my year went. Sit down with a little hot chocolate and I’ll catch you up on the highlights.

In April, I accepted a job in the editorial department of a Christian publishing company, leaving the world of freelancing. Within a few weeks I left my Chicago apartment amid a sea of interesting people to live in small town Indiana, amid a sea of cornfields. I thought I’d be cutting myself off socially, but anyone who lives in a small town probably knows that’s not what happened. In Chicago I shared a building with 50 other people. I shared a block with 10 times as many. In Indiana, I share space with no one. However, the first time I walked into Subway in my new town, the woman blinked and said, “You’re new here.” Yes. Yes, I was. Moving into a small town means moving into a town of ready-made friendships and close-knit families ready to bring you into the circle. God had brought me to a very new but very good life.

Then a few months later, I married my Vince, amidst drama and chaos. Three days before the big day, my little 19 year old dog Maggie, blind and deaf, died suddenly. I, of course, was an utter train wreck, but God gave me the peace I needed.

After an eventful three days, in which my remaining dog Milo ran away and caused an accident in the highway, vital people in the wedding began changing their plans, and the cleaners ripped my wedding dress, I took twenty steps down the aisle that would change my life. Twenty steps toward Vince, twenty steps into a future with him.

Best steps ever taken, let me tell you.

And then there was Scotland. Two weeks full of castles, green hills, leisurely couple devotion times, and the constant laughter of a pair of kids at play. We returned and resumed our lives, but life didn’t slow down. I soon received a new job within my company and was utterly blissful in my new role and the wonderful changes it brought.

I also finished my World War II novel and, with a big shove from Vince, started submitting to contests. I finalled in two—one of them with two books—for the first time ever. (It does help your chances if you actually enter!–thank you Vince.) It was like God saying, see? I told you this is what I wanted you to do. Keep going.

Just a few weeks after our descent from honeymooning bliss, my beloved grandma went to be with Jesus. I had dreaded that day for many years, but my missing her was somehow overridden by a gladness. We were both headed to our Savoir—she just beat me there. I set aside my quiet nature to speak at her funeral, expressing the blessing she’d been, and God gave me the exact words to say.

2012 was a jam-packed year. Loss and enjoyment and everything in between. Yes, it was tumultuous. And exciting. And crazy. Maybe a bad time to start a new marriage. But God in His sovereignty knew better. Let me tell you what an amazing plan he had for me by ordering all these events around my new marriage.

What if I had lost my dog and my grandma well before Vince’s time? Well, I’d probably still be wading through the grief, trying to collect myself. Instead, I had a Vince to support me, pray with me, and force me back to where I needed to be spiritually. When Maggie died right before our wedding, Vince handled everything. He held me together. That was God’s way of taking care of me and saying yep, you’ve got the right guy. No doubts.

All through my grandma’s burial, funeral, and memorial, Vince was a rock. Even my new job I owe to him. When the original job became difficult, he coached me through every single day, met me at the door with a huge hug, and prayed with me. Then he convinced me how I should handle the situation, and it got me a new position I’m in love with.

I’ve gone through some wonderful times and a few difficult times I’ve dreaded for years, but one amazing truth has surfaced. I was afraid of falling, but you know what? Falling isn’t so bad if you have someone there to catch you. Me personally, I have two someones who apparently work as a team.

Goodbye 2012. I wouldn’t change a thing.

So… what happened in your 2012?

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