An early morning breakfast in a Birmingham, Alabama coffee shop with a friend took an interesting turn as I told her about some of the lessons I’d learned over my 41 years, particularly relating to dating, careers, and social relationships. Of course, we hung our hats a little longer on the aspect of dating, as I shared with her how I prefer to look back over that aspect of my life.
I must say, hearing myself talk about myself made me instantly think of how life seems to make sense. It all makes sense. I challenged her to do the same as I told her that I embarked on the daunting task of being able to connect each relationship to something or someone wonderful in my life, even if the relationship didn’t feel that way or end that way. From my first boo, to my last boo-hoo I choose to strategically look for the good in each boy or man with which I spent a part of my life. Whether the relationship (or whatever it might have actually been) ushered in life-long friendships or family, taught me a very valuable lesson, brought me a much-needed, closer relationship with the Lord, granted me a bit of God’s grace and mercy just when I needed it, showed me who I really was or what I really deserved, unveiled some pre-destined purpose, welcomed in new networks and expanded social circles, gave me amazing fun memories or funny stories, or simply proved that I’m tougher than an overcooked skirt steak, each association that I entered in (notice, I’m not blaming anyone:)) made sense in making me who I am today with a WEALTH of knowledge, empathy, grace and compassion to help others (and myself) stay the course for nothing less than God’s best.
Am I saying they were all great? Nope. Am I saying I was “all that” in them? Nope. Am I saying I’ve always been able to step back and see the good in things that were bad or felt bad? Nope. Am I saying I always operated in the will of God for my life (especially when I didn’t even know what the will of God was)? Nope. Am I saying if I knew better I still wouldn’t do better? Nope. But since it’s done and there’s nothing I can do about it all I can do about it is put Romans 8:28 on it and watch God work it all for my good (even the ones that brought me to tears that could figuratively flood the Sahara desert.)