bless the broken road.

You know. Like the cheesy country song.

What a winding, broken road I have walked to bring me to this place in my life. I can't look back without smiling a little bit, that knowing kind of smile that people get on their faces when they think of something that shaped them, painful or not. My entire road has shaped me into the woman I am this moment. Every person I passed on the road, or walked on it with for a little while, helped shape me. And helped get me here. Every person who tried to steer me down their road, or deter me from walking mine, they made me stronger and helped get me here.

My road is not pretty to look back on. It is fraught with passing relationships and heartbreak and embarrassing stories and bad decisions. If I chose to let it, my road could easily be something about myself that I spend a lot of energy burying. Pretending it didn't happen. Erasing. I can choose to look back on the years I spent dating people that aren't J, and wish I could get them back. I can steer the conversation otherwise when old boyfriends come up. I can hold onto bitterness for the boys who broke my heart. I can spend all my time looking back at how narrow and winding and exhausting and broken my road is,
or I can love it.

I can own it. I can use it as a way to walk the road with other girls and possibly help theirs not be quite as broken. And this obviously doesn't just apply to dating. The sooner we can see our mistakes and missteps as opportunities to walk more closely and to be more raw with one another, the sooner the Deceiver loses his hold of shame on us. I've done things I shouldn't have done, dated boys I shouldn't have dated, given into temptations I shouldn't have given into. I've lied and stolen and abused and manipulated and struggled and hated. Like I said, it's not pretty. But it's redeemed. And the days I can put aside my pride and live like an open book, Satan's one pissed off dude. He wants us to look back on our roads and be filled with despair and humiliation. He loves it when we're embarrassed enough to keep our roads to ourselves. Or to only see our roads as broken, and not also blessed. Can you imagine if all the women of the world started having each others' backs? If Girl World was a safe place to tell each other what's happened or what's going on, and to have someone tell you they've done the same exact thing, no judgment at all? The change brought on by that kind of transparency would be radical. I've digressed from the original point, but you hear me, sisters.

Forgive me if I'm cheesy or sentimental, but having this diamond ring on my finger that means I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend just makes me unashamedly sappy & causes me to adhere to every cliche in the book: every person who has broken my heart along the way, really was a "northern star" pointing me straight to J. I didn't always feel that way, but I do now. Every mistake I made, every thing that I've done that I should be absolutely mortified by, is a part of my road. The boy that just broke your heart really is a northern star. That thing that didn't work out the way you wanted it to, God's using it to move your steps towards his plans for you. Everything that seems wrong, every broken dream, is a part of your road. And one day, maybe not soon, but eventually, you'll get to this place where you'll get to look back on the length of your road and smile knowingly.

And you'll set your face towards the future, and know that it's going to continue to be broken and messy and full of confusion, but that it's all worth it in the end.

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