I wish I could tell you that I haven’t blogged because I’ve finally squashed the narcissistic streak within me.

I wish I could tell you that I’d been off having a grand adventure that kept me from updating frequently.

I wish I could tell you that the three months of cyber-absence were spent making the real world a much better place.

Nope.

If anything, I’ve been hiding from the blogosphere because I didn’t have much to say.  At the very least, what I did have to say was neither  warm and fuzzy, nor humorous, nor pleasant, nor entertaining. I went through a dark period, wrestling with some pretty big issues, and my blog felt very claustrophobic whenever I logged in to delete the zillions of spam comments I receive each week. I even visited my old myspace blog and fantasized about a simpler time in my life when I really did have the freedom to say whatever was on my mind.  Since then, the bumps in the road have been more jarring.  I’ve learned that, even when people try to destroy your life and your family, it doesn’t give you license to open your mouth and destroy theirs.  I’ve learned that most times, the kind of people that act out destructively eventually destroy themselves.  Most of all, I’ve learned that when you are completely vindicated, there is absolutely no satisfaction in knowing you were right.

I hit one of my lowest lows.

The amazing thing about hitting rock bottom is that the realization that things really cannot get worse.  It would have been impossible for me to find a job I hated more; it would have also been impossible for me to find a job that paid less.  The people that had royally screwed with my family, my career, and my belief in human decency were no longer in my life.  And the choice to remain completely bitter and twisted was mine.  I had to decide whether or not to stay  in my deep, dark, and twisty pit, or whether or not I was going to climb out and get on with my life.

One day, I was driving to work – my old job, the job that sucked the life out of me, the job I fantasized about quitting every single day – when I got sent around a ridiculous detour route because of a water main improvement project.  I was frantically speeding through suburbia, trying to find my way to work, terrified that my miniscule income would dry up if I got canned for being late.  Eventually, I found my way to work, parked, and headbutted the steering wheel of the car.  Repeatedly.  I’m not sure if my following exclamation was a prayer or blasphemy, but it came out something along the lines of: “God, you win. If I give up being angry will you please get me out of this hell hole. Please?”

When I checked my email after work, I found that I had received an email from a family friend whose church needed an office administrator.  Within two weeks, I started my new job; since then my hours have almost doubled.  I’ve bought a new-to-me car – a gorgeous Nissan Altima named Lucy.  I’ve met some incredible people.  And I’ve looked back across the past 6 months with joy and Thanksgiving.  Without any doubt I know I’m exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt so energized and passionate ever, even on my longer, harder days.  And I’d gladly go through hell again to get where I am now.

Someone once told me that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping it kills the person who hurt you.  I was poisoning myself for months and living in misery, holding on so tightly to what might have been.

Forgiveness is a daily choice.  Yes, I lost my job, my wedding venue, my church, and my friends because people I loved like family betrayed us. Nothing is going to change what happened to my family.  And that’s alright. I’ve been given immeasurably more than what I had. But I couldn’t receive what God had for me until I gave up looking into the past. Ultimately, we all have the choice to forgive.  When God sets us free from captivity – even if we’re chased into the wilderness by an army – we can look back at Egypt like the Israelites, moaning about how much better things were when we lived in slavery. Or, we can trust that the Promised Land is just ahead and that He will lead us there.  The former leads to a long, painful trek through the wilderness. The latter leads us to peace and joy in the most unexpected ways.