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Finding the BEAUTY from the ASHES

Three years ago TODAY, this incredible human being asked me to be his girlfriend... FOR THE SECOND TIME.

The first time had been just one week before. I knew then that IF I said yes to being Jay’s girlfriend, then there was a really good chance it would quickly snowball into more. We’d started hanging out weeks prior, I’d moved back to Washington as a young widowed mom a few months before & we had reconnected while Austyn (my daughter) & I were attempting to find a new local church. I hadn’t even been able to remember the last time I’d seen him.

What had begun as me FINALLY starting to understand why my late husband had considered Jay such a great friend & person... turned into a FAST realization on my part that our relationship could very easily take a turn for the romantic. 😬

When he asked me to be his girl the first time... I challenged him. “I know why I’d be a good girlfriend for you, but why would you be good for me?” I knew it sounded a bit snotty but after a few failed attempts at dating A.N. (after Nick), I NEEDED to know it would be worth it. Jay confidently told me quite a few reasons on the spot. They were pretty legit but then, he caught himself, perhaps realizing this needed a bit more thought. “Nevermind. I’ll get back to you on that...” But I wasn’t sure he would.

He came to my house a week later with a handwritten LIST, you guys. “Ten Reasons Why I’ll Be Good for Alyssa” was neatly printed across the top. He stood before me & read them off, with tears in his eyes.

You guys. I knew it. In that EXACT moment. God had His hand on my life for YEARS & YEARS in ways I could have never imagined!! Nick had always said that God had HUGE plans for Jay’s life. He had gone to BAT for his friend every time I told him why I didn’t approve of their friendship. I hadn’t believed Nick’s faith. I didn’t believe God could or would turn around someone with Jay’s past. And there’s no way Nick could have guessed THIS... but, somehow, he KNEW God was up to something.

There isn’t a REASON people die, you guys. And there never will be. Not a good one. BUT, if you follow the ONE inside of your heart, trust for the BEST & LEAN IN to your relationship with your Maker, it’s INSANE to see all the ways He can make GOOD come from BAD.

And, in my life, this is just one of the ways that He brought BEAUTY from ASHES. ✨

Jay Bae Bae,

I’m so insanely glad you asked me to be yours. & I’m freaking STOKED you had the guts to approach me about it a second time, with your heart on your sleeve. THANK YOU for being you! THANK YOU for growing with me. THANK YOU for being everything that nobody (ahem... *I*) never knew you could be. I’m so INSANELY inspired by you & I truthfully fall absolutely, irrevocably more IN LOVE with you every day.

I won’t ever stop choosing you, babe. Thanks for choosing me, too. 💕

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