Just before we left Peru and I graduated from high school, I got an unsettled feeling in my heart. Kind of an "I'm taking my life more into my own hands than I should, rather than trusting God" feeling. I quickly dismissed it because I rationalized that I hadn't done anything that past year without praying about and feeling like God was blessing it. On the flight to the states, I remember turbulence. Turbulence outside the airplane but also turbulence in my heart as I wondered if my staying with Jose was my will or God's. I remember a Spanish song coming to mind "Paz en la Tormenta" which is "peace in the storm" and feeling renewed peace and thinking my unrest must be just because I was leaving everything I held dear.
But, the feeling didn't go away. It popped up again and again and each time it did, it got louder. I continued to ignore it, fully confident that I was doing what I thought was best and that Jose and I were meant to be together and that surely God had already blessed that.
So, that fall evening, when he unofficially asked me to marry him, I didn't even hesitate. Of course I was going to marry him. There was no doubt in my mind. But my joy was cut short as I dealt with the continual unrest in my soul. And I continued to fight that unrest. I didn't share it with anyone, I just kept it covered up, and emailed and called Jose more and more when those feelings surfaced. I wasn't going to give in and I certainly wasn't going to break up with him.
After Christmas, to start the new semester, my Christian college had "Spiritual Emphasis Week." They brought in a special speaker and we had mandatory services for the week instead of chapel just 3 times per week. At that point, as my feelings of unrest grew each day, I would go back and forth between ignoring them and just deciding that God did want me to break up with Jose and that I should just do it. I would work up the courage to talk to him about it and then back down...I really didn't want to do that.
"Spiritual Emphasis Week" was centered around Abraham and God asking him to give up what he loved best. It was like God had set that one up perfectly for me. I truly fought what it felt like God was saying to me the first couple of nights, but there comes a point, where the unrest in one's soul becomes so uncomfortable and makes it even difficult to breathe and I quickly found myself in that place. Finally, in a torrent of tears, hunched over in the fetal position, drained and exhausted from fighting, I surrendered. I told God I'd call Jose the next day and tell him that things between us were over. It was such an awful feeling, giving up control like that, especially because at this point, I very much wanted to be part of Jose's life and had no interest in letting him go.
But, as I did let go, an interesting and most beautiful thing happened. God first off, flooded my heart with peace and then in my mind, it was like I saw my relationship with Jose going away and God taking it, putting it on that "silver platter" and handing it right back to me. God had wanted my heart. He had wanted to be first. He had wanted to be the one orchestrating our futures, not me and my desires. Pure joy filled me and such an incredible feeling of joy. I was so thankful and excited!
My parents left the next month (February) to go back to Peru. It was almost harder to see them go back and know I wasn't able to than it was to leave Peru in the first place. Not only were they going to see Jose and be back in my beloved Peru, but I also wouldn't have family around anymore. It was such a lonely time, but not depressed lonely like before. My renewed relationship with God was flourishing and I was just so excited to learn more from him so that when I did see Jose again, it would be just an amazing, joyful reunion.
You can find the beginning of this story here: Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3, Part 4