Reach Out My Hand

Reach Out My Hand

I was engaged to my high school sweetheart when I was 19, just before I entered the Bachelor of Science Nursing degree program. I was all ready and keyed up to get this wedding thing ON! But my mom and my fiancé had the gall to strongly suggest that we wait until I was finished school. I was not impressed. All the wedding magazines were dramatically thrown in the garbage and I had a good cry. Little did I know that this was part of a greater plan for my life. 

God was working. 

The first day of school, I met a gal in the nursing program who soon became my best friend. She was a little different, she attended church, she was a pastor’s kid, and we just ended up sitting beside each other on orientation day and that was that! Meeting her was the beginning. This was the turning point in my life, though I think God had been working in my heart all along. I didn’t know Jesus yet and hadn’t even thought much about Him, but through connecting with her, seeing her life, meeting her fun friends from church, I began to understand a little bit about what life with God was like. 

School carried on and my relationship with my fiancé wasn’t going well. He was a nice guy, but the bad moments were taking up more of our time and starting to bleed into each other, turning bad moments into bad weeks. The good times were becoming more and more brief and infrequent so that they were difficult to remember, like the crumbs from your favourite cookies, forgotten under the couch cushions.

I was unhappy. But after 8 years with the same person, living together, engaged, and co-parents to our lovable dog, I was afraid to end it. He was part of my life and my identity. Much of my personality, habits, sense of humour, likes and dislikes were molded through the time that I had been with him. 

But God had been working.

I was in my mid-twenties when I decided to follow Jesus.  I attended church that week with my college friend when the pastor talked about a book called, “The God You’re Looking For” by Bill Hybels. Honestly, I don’t think I ever got past the prologue of the book, where he wrote about creation vs chance. God had done most of the work in my heart by then anyway. 

I prayed after reading that prologue. The next day I broke up with my fiancé and he made plans to move out.

I may have been scared and weak on my own, but I wasn’t alone anymore. Now, I felt the comfort of my Saviour. He was there with me, smiling and nodding with support and encouragement. Giving me hope and courage and strength. Reminding me that there is a future out there that He has designed just for me. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11

I began to walk a new path that day, taking the way of Jesus. It’s the path where I continue to seek Him, waiting for His guidance. I don’t know where it will take me, but I hold onto the hope, strength and courage that is offered as He walks beside me. Sometimes, my grip slips and I lose my way. But I know that if I reach out my hand, He’ll meet me with His own.