Friday was my ten year class reunion. It has been ten years since I graduated high school and embarked on my adult life. After attending the reunion, I began to reflect on my life over the last ten years. On the day I graduated high school I thought to myself, “Someday I will be attending a ten year class reunion. I wonder what my life will be like.”
My current life contains all the elements of the life I envisioned for myself ten years ago. At eighteen my goals for the next ten years included graduating from college, getting married, buying a house, and having children. Over the course of the last ten years I have done all those things. However, although all the elements of the life I envisioned are present in my current life, the manner in which my life unfolded was not at all like I had envisioned.
Never did I envision getting pregnant and having my first child at age twenty. Never did I envision completing college (and grad school) as a single parent. Never did I envision marrying a divorced man with a child. Never did I envision being a stepmother. Most of the experiences that I have had over the last ten years were not what I envisioned. Yet, somehow, my life today is exactly what I envisioned it to be ten years ago.
God works in mysterious ways. As a child, I was raised in the Catholic Church. Over the years I’ve always believe in God, even when my life path led me astray. There were a good seven to eight years that I attended church very rarely, and at least a year or two that I did not even set foot inside a church. It wasn’t until I got engaged that (wanting a Catholic wedding) I came back to the church. My husband is not Catholic, and for the most part he has not been a church-going man.
Since I wanted a Catholic wedding and my husband had been married before, he had to complete the annulment process through the Catholic Church. This tedious process of telling your life story and trying to convince the Catholic Tribunal that your first marriage was somehow inherently flawed, and therefore able to be annulled, was a grand gesture of his love towards me. In addition to the annulment we attended marriage preparation classes for second marriages taking place in the Catholic Church. This was a growing process for both of us and brought us closer as a couple.
Today, John sits by my side every Sunday at mass.
In reflecting over my last ten years, I am now able to see how my life experiences were divinely guided. While the road was long, bumpy, and winding, it led me to the life I enjoy today. There is a country song by Rascal Flatts called ‘Bless the Broken Road’ that beautifully illustrates my feelings as I sit here and write this today.
God has blessed my broken road, and for that I am thankful every day.