Though I’ve very recently started taking more credit for my own accomplishments when credit is due and recognizing that where I am in my life is partially of my doing, there are several times in my life something has happened and been undeniably what I call “a God thing.”
Every time in my life that I have, for one reason or another, been absent from church for a long period of time or even just felt oddly disconnected from my faith, something always happens to remind me why I believe and why my faith remains important in my life.
My junior year of high school is when I started my first blog – and started really seeking out – inspiration. Or maybe it started seeking me out. As someone who’s always written, but never really in a non-fictional sphere, I discovered finding topics to write about more difficult at first. In fiction, ideas just always seemed to come naturally.
To write about my life – and have it be even remotely relevant – was very different.
From sixth grade on, I sang in my hometown church choir. At some point after starting college, I realized in hindsight that the obligation to don a robe and harmonize with a small group of congregants multiple decades my senior had become why I attended church.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t always because I felt connected or even wanted to be there.
But, on certain Sundays, always when I least expected it, God would appear to me through a sermon, a hymn or even a prayer offered from the congregation. Many a blog post on my website was inspired by the words of God speaking through someone of my faith community.
Every time I was reminded why I believe – and sometimes why I write.
On one Sunday the year after I’d packed up my two degrees and multitude of clothing and left Central, I found myself at a gas station in Ellensburg with Mr. Undecided. While he was gassing up the car, I glanced at the time and something in my mind clicked, reminding me that Sunday service at my Ellensburg-based church was about to start. I hadn’t planned to go, but something in me called me to make an appearance.
Unbeknownst to me, it was Senior Sunday. All of the new graduates of the congregation were assembled to receive a blessing an a United Methodist Women-knitted prayer shawl before going out into “the real world.”
I missed my Senior Sunday in 2016. But for some only-explicable-by-divine-intervention reason, the pastor spotted me in the pews and said they had an extra shawl and to join her up at the pulpit. The fact that I fortuitously decided to walk into that church on that day is a “God thing.” I’m actually wearing my prayer shawl as I write this post.
Those are the moments when one can recognize a difference between just an everyday decision and feeling called to action. The latter, is most assuredly a “God thing.”
This can happen in moments that feel minor and make them significant, and it can also signal greater importance of a person in your life.
On that note, over the past year I’ve had people leave my life, old friends reenter my life and new, sometimes unexpected, people come into and improve my life. It is because of these experiences that I keep the philosophy that people come into our lives (or leave them) for a reason. Yes, I have written on this topic of people coming into our lives at certain times for specific reasons before. And I fear, no, anticipate – no, promise, this post probably won’t be the last time I do. (See this post from nearly five years ago: brighteyesphotos.weebly.com/bright-eyes-nw-blurbs/the-hue-of-hypocrisy.)
Though it took me some time to see that Mr. Undecided exiting my life – though in a very inexcusably shitty way – was a blessing. I found he took a lot of my emotional distress and anxiety with him. That said, I still see him as having served a purpose in the part of my life he inhabited. Most importantly, he gave me a glimpse at only a minimal amount of the love and adoration afforded to me.
A few years ago, a friend from my elementary school days in Ohio re-entered my life via social media. Though it wasn’t until this year that we really started connecting. We’d comment on each other’s Facebook posts, realizing with every “yaaass girl” that had I not been moved 3,000 miles away at the age of 9, we’d probably have been best friends. That led to her authoring the first Pink Ink contributed post on this very website. I’m also, serendipitously, now scheduled to fly to Ohio in April to photograph her wedding.
If this re-connection – and the resulting onslaught of Gilmore Girls GIFs – isn’t a “God thing,” I’m not sure what is.
So, onto new people. As anyone who’s read my page before knows, in August, after months of breaking down and rebuilding, I decided to start dating.
Let me tell you – it’s been an experience.
But, even the super awkward experience of Mr. Good-on-Paper, I think I’d chock up as a “God thing.” I learned something from that date. I learned I could go out with someone, not have a connection with them, and be rather blatantly rejected, and be just fine. I could laugh it off even. If anything, God and I both had a good laugh about that one.
Whether romantic relationships – or encounters with romantic intentions – work out or not, the moments of self-realization they cause can be a “God thing.”
One most assuredly good example appeared in my life recently. After attempting something exclusive that ended up being short-lived, I was back out there. The fact that my relationship with the guy who I thought was worth taking a hiatus from casual dating for didn’t work didn’t depress me the way it might have in the past. I didn’t regret the experience and I still value him in my life, but that didn’t mean I should wait another five months to try again.
In the process of returning to the dating scene, I met a guy I’m going to call Drummer Boy. (It’s just too good of an opportunity to pass up.)
Though it may be too early to tell if there could be anything long-term brewing, I’ve had multiple moments in his company where I just felt like we’ve met for a reason.
Ironically, he is the first Christian guy I’ve actually dated, not that I’ve outright avoided them in the past, but I have found a lot of religious men don’t subscribe to my brand of faith.
But he seems to. It’s very odd, but he appears to be a guy who might just meet me on an academic and spiritual level, and he also happens to be pretty damn attractive.
We seem to be on the same page to the point that, regardless of how the chips fall, I feel safe in saying that just the experience of knowing him is a “God thing.”
I’ve been through a lot in the past year. Some things have happened in my life, which I am ashamed to say may have shaken me. But it’s the introduction of people like Sam or Drummer Boy into my life that refresh my faith. It’s never actually been gone, but these experiences definitely serve to remind me why I believe and that God is watching.