One week after Thanksgiving I was still trying to process the snap decision I had made. I was leaving my husband…but where was I going to go? When did I plan on leaving? In what world could I possibly make it on my own? I knew I needed a game plan, but with Christmas around the corner, I didn’t have the time or the energy to sit down and carefully think about the next steps I should be taking. There would be time for decision making later. It’s not like anything was changing at home, might as well get through the holidays and focus on my new life choices in the new year.
The first weekend of December brought one of my absolute favorite events of the year. My dear friend, Tiffany, was (and still is) a theatre teacher. Every December her school threw a Gala where the students and faculty performed. There was a silent auction, buffet, open bar; plus the opportunity to look spiffy in a fancy cocktail dress and support my brilliant friend. On this particularly cold evening I met up with my friends Brittany and Paul, then we boarded a bus headed towards the Bronx and Tiffany’s Gala! During the ride uptown I gave a monologue telling the story of our Thanksgiving weekend and my sudden (and yet not so sudden) decision to move out. I’m sure by this point anyone with half a brain knew that my moving out was bound to happen. My dear friends sat there and once again had to hear yet ANOTHER story about my marriage. What good sports they were. Obviously, they weren’t surprised by my news. We spent the rest of our traveling time brainstorming different options for where I would live. I assured them this would only be a temporary situation…but they knew better.
I loved being at this little Gala. The children’s parents were so proud. Everyone was dressed in their very best. You could feel the excitement of the holiday season in the air. We bid on hockey tickets during the silent auction and won! Did we know anything about hockey? Nope…but the tickets were for the same date at Tiffany’s birthday and we figured that would be another fun adventure for us. I lived for moments like this. Moments when life seemed normal. Evenings that could be celebrated. Days when it wasn’t difficult to smile or laugh. The reminder that I was still a human living a life. My life. The perfect ease of happiness overwhelmed my senses. That was the feeling my friends so graciously gave me. When I look back at this difficult time in my life, I remember these glorious occasions. They were my life line for so long. How do you properly show gratitude for such a gift? I’ll never be able to fully repay the favor. But being the selfless souls they are, they don’t expect a return on their investment.
For months I had been so focused on my failed investments. What I wasn’t getting out of my marriage, my in-laws, my dreams, my life, my future. In one evening, God was able to turn the tables and make me take a good, long, hard look at my reality. Through a brief moment of clarity, I was able to see how much others were still investing in me. I had been dropping the ball in more ways than one. There was more to who I was as a human than just the label of “wife.” I was a woman. A daughter, sister, co-worker, artist, Christian, and a friend. People were still investing in me. No one had given up.
My friends are a beautiful reminder that while God was working in me, he was also working in them. He gave them the tools they needed to help me along the way. He gifted them with pure hearts, words of wisdom, and more patience than Job. Having others continue to invest in me, helped me continue to invest in my relationship with Jesus Christ. And, in the end, walking closer with our Lord is the most solid investment you could ever make.
Matthew 6:20 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”