When I look back on the path my life has taken thus far, it comes back to the old saying that there is a reason for everything. God leads us in different directions. I want to emphasize the word lead, because we do have control over our choices. With some situations, we jump on board with no hesitation, others we resist, but do anyway. Some things may completely suck throughout the experience, but we come out at the end a better person with a lesson learned. We also choose not to do somethings, and had we, it may have changed our path completely.
As I said in my last post, I have been away from my blog for months now because I have been working on getting myself together. I was being selfish and stubborn. I completely recognize it. After taking some time to reflect and think about everything, I have realized I need to embrace the journey. The current journey may not be ideal for me, but I can not just let time pass and let this temporary location cause me so much misery and negativity. Down the road, I will realize what lesson I learned from our time here. I may not know it now, but God has led us here, we followed HIS plan, and we are here to learn something from this just as we have from our other moves at other times in our life.
Let's start in 2005, after Brian and I got married. We were 20 and 22, and had never lived outside of our families homes. We packed up our belongings and moved to San Diego. That year shaped us tremendously and built a strong foundation for our marriage. We were able to be newlyweds without heavy influence of our family, not that family influence is a bad thing, but we were able to make our mistakes and learn for ourselves. (I am stubborn and prefer to learn that way!) We were overly cautious financially. We also were able to explore a part of the country that we may possibly never would have visited otherwise. I realized that for me, being far away from family sucked, and at that time, regretted ever moving there. In the moment, we allowed ourselves to be miserable. Looking back, we loved that year to ourselves. It was God's plan. Something led us there, we followed, and realized the importance and impact afterwards.
Now go to our eight years in South Bend. We felt the way the stars aligned in order for us to be there was an obvious way God was leading us. We were looking at the completely wrong time of year for a graduate program with funding. Weeks before the fall semester started, one opening was available for Brian's taking at Notre Dame. It was meant to be. Initially, Brian wasn't a fan. He would talk about how much he missed San Diego. Though, throughout the first year of being back "home", my grandfather passed, Brian's grandmother passed and my brother passed. I know in my heart that especially after my brother passed away, that it was meant to be, for us to be at Notre Dame during this horribly hard time. It was hard enough to leave my parents house to drive an hour to South Bend after staying the entire week after the accident. I know I would have sent Brian back to San Diego alone if we still lived there, because I would not have been able to go so quickly after something so tragic.
Having Notre Dame as my home base for faith was a God send. I feel at peace there. I began to connect at church in the silence of prayer in ways that I never had before. For me, the good that came from something so terrible as loosing my brother was my faith, and I feel that it only developed the way it did because of where I was at that time in my life. I fully felt the magic of Notre Dame, it ran through my veins, and it will for the rest of my life. I think even a non-religious person is capable of feeling something when there. It is a very special place. It is so much more than an educational institution.
We also had all three of our boys while living there. I am pretty sure that we wouldn't have had children when we did if we had stayed in San Diego. All three of them were baptized at the Basilica which was so special. Along with Notre Dame, faith and babies came the friendships that were made that I cherish. Friends for a lifetime. The type of friends that no matter the length of time it has been since you last were together, you pick up where you left off immediately. I miss them all and am so grateful for each and every one of them. I truly believe that the people that cross your path in life were put there for you to find. With each encounter, there is something to learn and you are continuously evolving from them. Our lives would have been completely different had we not gone to Notre Dame. I am beyond, beyond, beyond grateful for our time there.
We have now come to a place where we know absolutely no one, and it has been a horribly rough transition. I recall in a moment of rotten stubbornness a few months back, telling my mother-in-law that there was no amount of friends I could make that would help me to like where we are living. I will admit I was wrong. More wonderful people have been placed in my path, and I have already grown from meeting them. I am so grateful for those that I have met in recent weeks and months. All the wonderful women I have connected with in MOP's have helped tremendously! They give me hope! Hope that everything will be alright just where I am.
It may not be easy, but I am going to do my best to trust God and be patient (and less stubborn) as he leads me and my family in his plan. God is good, and I am grateful for where he has led me so far.