Last week, I drove home at dusk as the sun faded behind the clouds, providing the perfect light, I would think, if I were a photographer. The air smelled like pre-summer rain and it blew across my face as I drove with my windows down.
I crossed through Emory's campus and it suddenly hit me that I was driving my old running route. I spent my first two summers interning in Atlanta living in student housing, pounding the same three-mile loop every morning in the dark before work.
As I crossed over my old halfway point, my mind flooded with memories I haven't processed in many years. It hit me that, this week, Chris and I will get married just a little over a mile from where I spent those first few years in Atlanta. Where he planned the night of our proposal is right by the golf course where I once met a boy who I (incorrectly) thought I'd marry. Where we'll dance into the night is just down the road from where we used take postprandial walks getting to know one another better. And, our wedding day is, almost exactly, five years to the day after I had my heart broken by him.
These streets that once felt so broken, empty and painful, have been refreshed - paved with love and filled with abundant joy; so much so, that I almost didn't recognize them. The landmarks that used to make my heart ache, reminding me of what once was, have been resuscitated, new life breathed into them.
I was reminded in the moment that this journey was written for us. Our wedding day and our story were by design; they were not by chance. It was a gentle reminder that there is a plan and, if we can lean into it a little more and trust more fully, we can find unprecedented joy and relief.
Had you told me, as I moved from apartment to apartment across the city, living in 10 different places, that I'd begin my life as a married couple with Chris just down the road from my very first apartment, I never would have believed it. If you'd told me that connections Chris and I both made at separate high schools, nearly 500 miles apart, would be the people who ultimately introduced us, I would have been flabbergasted.
But that's the thing about it. It's not our map to navigate or our story to fully understand. It's simply a beautiful life we're meant to live, if we can open up our hearts to trust a little more.
Happy Monday, friends!