Date: March 23, 2022
By: Tia G.
“You will be okay, but you will move forward alone.”
The internal voice was quiet, yet very clear. I was at work that evening, and stopped what I was doing. I had never experienced anything like it before, yet knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the voice I just heard was God. The last few months had been tumultuous and chaotic and not at all what I had envisioned an engagement to be; yet in that moment, I could not deny the peace and consolation that covered me. I excused myself to another room, and took a few quiet moments to wrap my head around what just happened. I had been begging God for clarity in the confusion, and He just graciously blessed me with it. There was only one problem.
It wasn’t the answer I wanted.
It was less than 2 months away from the wedding date we had set. Plans were in motion, photographers, caterers, venues and the church were booked with deposits given. Friends and family were excitedly joining with us in the flurry of planning and preparing. Being married and having a family of my own had been my dream and the biggest desire of my heart since I was a little girl. I prayed and waited years for this to come to fruition in my life, and at 30 it felt like my dreams were finally coming true. Yet here I was, facing my own Abrahamic moment. God had given me a gift, one I had prayed and hoped and longed and waited for - and now He was asking for it back. Like Abraham, He wanted my obedience, and for me to trust Him.
After intense prayer and discernment, I came to terms with what I knew I needed to do. Yes, it would be very difficult. Yes, it meant I would have to last minute cancel a bridal shower where friends and family and gifts awaited. Yes, it meant I would feel the sting of humiliation when loved ones asked how things were going and I had to correct them in saying it wasn’t going to happen. Yes, it felt like all the hopes and dreams I had would be flushed down the drain. But yes, I knew it was what I must do. I mustered up every ounce of courage I could, and placing my obedience and trust in God, ended and walked away from my engagement.
I wish I could say that after that it was easy; that healing was a linear progression and more effort meant it happened sooner and bouncing back quickly was in the cards. It was far from that. I had done the hardest thing in my life to date, and had found myself absolutely crushed in a heartbreaking place of grief and loss. It was a battle raging with emotion of questioning why God would allow me to be so shattered while following His will; dealing with the bitterness of getting close enough to the dream to touch it, only to have it dangled like a carrot in front of me and ripped away. Yet just past that pain, peeling back the layer of rawness and hot tears, was a quiet invitation from the Lord. It is one he extends to us all; never imposing, always inviting - to pick up our cross and follow Him. It is the narrow road we are to walk; at times making sharp turns of injustices, approaching roadblocks of disappointment, rerouting detours of darkness, and swerving to avoid pain, but continuing to always move forward, with Him walking every step of the way with us. It is in this suffering, at the foot of the cross, that we are the closest to our Lord. It is a beautiful opportunity for us to embrace our struggle, and turn back to Him. He loves us so incredibly much, and provides us the strength we need when we are weak.
The Diary of St Faustina states this: I see that God never tries us beyond what we are able to suffer, oh , I fear nothing; if God sends such great suffering to a soul. He upholds it with an even greater grace, although we are not aware of it. One act of trust at such moments gives greater Glory to God than whole hours passed in prayer filled with consolations.” P 40. It was in this choice and each day of my struggle to trust our Lord, that the healing began.
I found myself in the confessional in the time following, and was met with a line that forever stuck with me. The priest had let me know that God reserves special graces for the depths of desolation, and I was in the midst of experiencing that. Two weeks after the breakup, I got an email in my inbox from and old friend, whom I had not spoken to in over 6 years. We were not connected in any way on social media, and she was living across the world in Europe. She acknowledged that it had been years since we were in contact, but proceeded to tell me she felt prompted to reach out. In the past two weeks, she had two dreams about me. In these dreams, I was engaged, but had to break it off. She disregarded the first dream, but after the second one knew that she should reach out. She mentioned that she could very well be wrong, but stated that God wanted me to know that He was for me, that I was important to Him, and that He wanted to comfort me in every way. This miraculous grace that the Lord gifted me was one that I knew was reserved for the depths of despair. God was meeting me where I was at, and blessing me even in the struggle, giving me the encouragement and love to keep moving forward.
Dear sisters, we mustn’t be afraid of suffering. It was in this place that my intimacy and depth of relationship grew the most with our Lord. Fast forward 2 and a half years later, and I am walking so closely with Him; I have grown and changed in the most beautiful ways, and have come to see that God’s dreams for me were so much bigger than my own. My faith life has caught ablaze with a passion for all the riches of the church, and my heart has transformed into one of gratitude and openness. I have learned so much about a loving Father who will work with anything for the good for those who love Him, and have gained wisdom of many valuable lessons and experiences. Hindsight is always 20/20, and looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Dear sisters, our lives will continue to unfold with unknowns, curveballs and situations we did not anticipate, yet we have a God who cares for us, who made us, who loves us and who wills the good for us. Sacred scriptures tells us that “God Himself will be with [us], he will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away…Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:4-5. Never be afraid of being rerouted; often, the detour is the road.