I once heard a story when I was younger. It was about a little girl and her father. She loved him more than anything else, as most little girls do.
She loved to dress up. She had costumes and heels and bows - but the item she treasured most was a pearl necklace. It wasn't a real pearl necklace, just a cheap strand of plastic beads. It didn't matter to her - in her eyes they were pearls and she rarely let them leave her neck.
One night her dad came into her bedroom and pulled her up on his lap.
"Do you love me sweetheart?" he asked.
"Of course Daddy! More than anything else in the whole wide world!"
"Then will you give me your pearl necklace?"
She stopped and stared at him with big, fearful eyes.
"But Daddy....I'll give you anything, just not my necklace."
He picked her up and tucked her in, kissing her on the forehead. The next night he sat her down and asked her the same thing. She once again stated she loved him more than anything, but begged for him to pick another item she owned. This continued for a few days and then the father decided to stop asking.
One night, a few weeks later, the little girl came to her dad. Her eyes were welling up with tears as she stretched out her arm. As her father took his hand to meet hers, she dropped her necklace in his palm.
"I love you Daddy, more than anything...even more than my necklace."
He looked at her and smiled. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a strand of real pearls. As he placed them around her neck he said. "I love you sweetheart. I had something so much better for you all along, I just wanted you to trust me."
How many times in your life have you been that little girl? Clutching on to something so tightly - not knowing that if you let it go, there was something so much better waiting for you on the other side. I know not all of you believe in God or have a specific faith, but I think that everyone can relate to this. They always say that hindsight is 20/20.
The thing I struggled with most in my life was being single. If you've read my love story with Ryan you probably know some of these details. I was in a serious relationship for 2-3 years. By that point I had accepted the fact that even though this guy wasn't exactly what I wanted in a husband, we had been together for so long - so the next step, naturally, was to get married. I tried to quiet the nagging feeling in my heart that this relationship wasn't right...mainly because I couldn't fathom "starting over" again. Christmas Day, something pushed me over the edge. I knew I couldn't stay in that relationship. Through hysterical crying I broke things off. The next morning, I stood in the shower, crying my eyes out. I personally made a vow to myself that I would remember that moment, and a year from then I wanted to look back at my life and see how things had changed.
The next year was emotionally hell for me. I moved to Atlanta, alone, not knowing anyone. I was lonely and went to that place where we go sometimes after a breakup: Maybe I was wrong? Maybe things could work out? I went back in forth inside, but a final conversation between me and the ex is what settled at all. He wasn't ready to commit anytime soon - even after 3 years.
I pushed past it and started trying to date again. I began praying that God would not place anyone in my life until it was "the one". I was tired of investing my life into someone, only to find disappointment in the end. By November, I called my sister crying. Why was I still single? Why were all my friends married or settled down? I felt like God was not listening to me at all. The next week I got this notecard in the mail from her. The Bible verse was exactly what I needed and she wrote an additional message to me, "...it's the longing that makes us truly appreciate the gifts He gives us - without the longing, we would never know the joy of receiving something so great."
3 weeks later I drove to Nashville with some girlfriends for my birthday and to find an apartment. The last night of our trip, 2 days after my 25th birthday, I met Ryan in a bar. I always said I would never meet a good, Christian man at a bar...surely I would meet him at church or somewhere decent. But that's the thing about God - He doesn't care about what you think. He had His own plans...and they usually turn out to be pretty comical. Things rarely go the way we plan them to go.
2 weeks after that, on Christmas morning, I remembered that day, a year before - crying out hysterically to God, all He was saying to me was "Kaitlyn, you need to just let this relationship go...I have something so much better. If you would just trust me."
By March I was engaged and in June we got married. To a lot it seemed quick, but to me, it was just God showing His faithfulness. This man wanted me. He was ready to give me everything and take care of me. He adored me so much that he was ready to commit to me - just 3 months after we met. It didn't take Ryan 3+ years - we both knew almost instantly that we were meant for each other. I truly believe it was because we were both praying for each other before we met. We were ready to settle down and find our other half. We both just had to trust in God and His perfect timing.
I just wanted to share this with you as an encouragement. Like the little girl, we all grasp tightly to things in our life. We cry out - begging not to lose things things we love....the relationships, the plans, the jobs, the money...little do we know that if we would just let go, just trust God....He always has something much greater than we could ever imagine waiting for us in return.
"Change can change your life. You'll never know unless you embrace it." Check out more from my biffle's life: