By: Jessica Comley
The future is uncertain. The future is undecided. The future is up to you and the choices you make today. All three of these sentiments are true, as I have discovered over the last six months of my life. I have gone from living in South Africa to moving to Scotland in 2009, to living in Scotland to moving to South Africa again in 2011, to moving back to Scotland in 2012. My life is far from ordinary.
I met my fiancé when I was fifteen and he was six years older than I was, at the age of twenty-one. This being somewhat controversial, we remained best friends for four years. After four years of long distance dating, we got engaged in 2011. I had just turned nineteen at the time. A hard time of soul searching followed as I decided whether to give up my free pass at university in the UK and my family for love and marriage in a country I thought I had left behind. Questions of whether it was wise to get married young, whether God wanted this for my life, and whether this was the best direction for my life. I had asked God to close the wrong door, to make my path clearer for me. But He didn’t, He gave me a very difficult choice and I took the choice I thought I wanted. I moved back to South Africa to start my new life with my best friend and fiancé.
It didn’t work out as I had planned. But then again, they say, “Life happens when you are planning other things.” Today I write this, from Scotland … again. It is snowing- in spring- and my feet are almost permanently frozen. I have been back just over two weeks and although it feels strange to be sleeping in my own bed again and living with my family- I am growing to love it. My fiancé and I decided to end our relationship after nearly five years of devotion to each other and a long journey together and I have returned heart broken, but at peace with our decision. Life holds new opportunities for me now. I am going to graduate from one of the best universities and it isn’t going to cost me a cent. I am back home, with my loving family and although it feels strange to be single after all this time- I feel strangely free. I have taken up long distance running and am growing increasingly passionate about my health and fitness. I know that this heartache will take months, if not years to recede, and I have days were I just want to curl up into a ball, under my duvet and cry- but I also know that God makes the best out of every decision that we make when we commit it to Him and that life, when lived with God holding your hand, can only get better. When you are going through a time of great trial, you can rejoice because you will be going through a time of great blessing shortly. Henceforth, I wanted to use this opportunity to speak to you readers about two things that I have learned from my experience.
One: the beautiful thing about God our Father is that He will bless you no matter what path you choose for your life. But know this, your choice may not be as wonderful and amazing as His choice for your life. Make a continuous effort to align yourself with God’s will, praying about your decisions, sharing your life with your Father- every intimate detail. Include Him, as you would your earthly parents and don’t make the mistake of forgetting that He wants to be involved in your life.
Secondly, I have been reading the wonderful book of Job in the Bible, because when I am experiencing a difficult situation I try to find someone in the Bible who was dealing with a similar situation. Job was living a prosperous life. He had thousands of cattle, camels, many children and a good wife. For no apparent reason to Job, God allowed Satan to strip him of everything, to see if he remained true to God despite the loss of worldly things. He threw himself on the ground when he discovered his loss and said “naked I came from the womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, His name be praised” (Job 1: 21). Even when his own wife turned against him saying he must “curse God and die” (Job 2. vs. 9), Job says in response, “shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” (Job 2:10).
When life gets hard, as it always does at some point, many of us blame God and turn on Him- blaming Him for our fall in circumstances, and accepting very little responsibility for our own actions. I am making a conscious effort that instead of lying in bed and blaming God, saying “why God did you allow my relationship to crumble, my life to be moved again for the second time in a year, losing my friends again, etc.” I am consciously choosing to say, “praise God, for though He has given, He has taken away!” and having great hope, and trusting and believing that my life will come together again, and everything will make sense, and I will come out more blessed than I started.
Yes, I have lost a great deal and have had to deal with a huge amount of emotional and physical strain for my age- I have dealt with some things, that many people will never deal with. But I have to hold onto God’s promise that “the greater the test, the greater the rewards.”