There are certain milestones in life that are forever etched into our memories. Turning ten, the big double digit birthday. Becoming a newly licensed drive. Your first kiss. Graduating high school, college or medical school. Marrying the love of your life. Moving out of your childhood home. Getting your first real career-focused job. Becoming a first-time parent.
For each person the milestones are different. Every person has special moments in their own life that shape their future. Milestones dot our journey, making it uniquely our own.
There are milestones that stand out in my mind. They have been moments that have altered the direction of my life and catapulted growth of character and spiritual maturity.
How could I forget the milestone of graduating high school? That day is seared in my mind. The book closed on years of feeling like an outsider in a school with over six hundred kids in each graduating class. I had spent my years of primary education never quite finding a place where I fit. I saw other girls my age form cliques and establish bonds that have lasted long past graduation day. I never found such friendship. I never found belonging. But on graduation day that chapter closed. It was a profound moment.
The moment my almost-wedding got called off marks another profound milestone in my life. Months had been spent planning a wedding, looking forward to an impending marriage and entire life that I believed was decided, a sure thing. In the end, it wasn't meant to be. My life plan was shattered. The foundation I had been standing on went crumbling to the ground. It took courage to walk away from that relationship without casting stones at myself for what could be considered as a colossal mistake. That decision to end the engagement and relationship was a gigantic life milestone.
Just the other day I reached another milestone. This one was quieter, not a public affair and didn't require that I change my relationship status on Facebook. This milestone was one of the heart.
For the first time my prayer life changed. Instead of praying that I be delivered from my solitude and loneliness I began to pray that God keep me alone. Why would I pray to be isolated? Why would I pray that God keep me single, alone, and set apart? Because this is where I meet God.
I spent all of my high school years in a dating relationship that lasted over four years. I jumped from relationship to relationship in college. Then I was in an engagement, believing I was dedicating myself to a life-long relationship. In every one of those circumstances I was never as close to God as I am now.
On my own, without a male companion or group of female friends, I have become intimately involved in a relationship with Christ. He has become my closest friend and most faithful companion. When everyone else has gone their own way, God never has. He has remained steadfast and close to me.
The moments that I begin to seek out other relationships this closeness suffers. I am prone to start replacing that primary relationship with other human relationships. I don't mean to say that these relationships are sinful. In fact, they can and are an immense blessing when they are put in their right place. The trouble is I have a tendency of elevating them above my relationship with God. I start depending on the consistency and availability of those relationships instead of depending on God.
But a milestone was reached just the other morning. As I lay in bed praying, I realized that my prayer had changed drastically from what it had been just the day before. I began to ask God for more solitude and alone time with Him. My prayer was no longer lamenting my lack of friends. Instead it was wholeheartedly desiring more time with just God and me, communing together without interruption.
In my storybook of milestones this will be written as a blessed day of spiritual growth. Finally I see clearly who my first love is and I want more of Him and only Him. This feeling can't be duplicated. It is one of elated bliss and relief. I don't need to meet someone, find a group or be in the company of a certain clique to find fulfillment. I can find it on the floor of my closet or the seat of my car. I can find it praying from my kitchen counter or walking my dog. I have all the companionship I need. And I have all the companionship I could ever want.